• Snow Hill Action

  • Discussion pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Discussion pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Moderator: therock

  by Sand Box John
 
Trackmoble action on the Maryland & Delaware at the Tysons Food Snow Hill Feed mill.

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Three loads were in the cut being moved.

The gray box on the yellow post in the image above houses the crossing signal override when cars are spotted near the grade crossing.

  by hutton_switch
 
That "Trackmobile" looks to be a pretty cool machine! Reminds me of the old B&O and Pennsy motorized street tractors that pulled freight cars on streets in the Fells Point area of Baltimore. What can you tell us about it?
  by Aa3rt
 
Here's a website for Whiting Trackmobiles:

http://www.trackmobile.com/index1.htm

From the website, a little history on the development of the Trackmobile:

http://www.trackmobile.com/ourhistory.htm

From Northeast.Railfan.Net, here's an entire page of Trackmobiles:

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/mow21.html

Pennsylvania Railroad's rubber tired street switchers:

http://prr.railfan.net/RubberTiredSwitchers.html

I'm familiar with the Pennsy street switchers but didn't know the B&O had them as well.
  by Sand Box John
 
"Aa3rt"
I'm familiar with the Pennsy street switchers but didn't know the B&O had them as well.


I vaguely recall seeing one being used at the Arundel Concrete plant back in the 1970s. Don't recall if they were owned and or operated by B&O or Arundel Concrete.

Thanks for the links. The promotions clip on the remote controlled unit was pretty cool. Maybe I could get a commission if I managed to get Tyson Food to purchase one.
  by hutton_switch
 
Aa3rt wrote:I'm familiar with the Pennsy street switchers but didn't know the B&O had them as well.
Thanks for the links on the trackmobiles. If CSX or NS decided that street-running freight operations were still profitable in Fells Point, we'd likely see these pulling freight today.

After the retirement of the G.E. boxcab that ran the rails in Fells Point for many years, it was replaced with a Caterpillar DT-1 rubber-tired tractor in 1954 (courtesy of S. Berliner III's ALCo-GE-IR Boxcabs Bibliography website - no pictures of them there, unfortunately). The Cat is retired as well, and is at the B&O Museum, along with the G.E. boxcab. I have photos of them that I could post here, but the forum doesn't allow for uploads of pictures, only those already posted at this or other sites. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I got the pictures from.
  by Aa3rt
 
Gentlemen, a little more "research" (net surfing) yielded this photo of the B&O tractor locomotive on display at the B&O Museum:

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/bo_tractor.jpg

Scroll to the bottom of this page for more photos of the PRR tractor locomotives. I knew these critters plied the streets of Baltimore, but until today, never realized they were utilized in Jersey City and Philadelphia as well.

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/mow10.html
hutton_switch wrote:If CSX or NS decided that street-running freight operations were still profitable in Fells Point, we'd likely see these pulling freight today.
Not being familiar with the street trackage in Baltimore and the radius of curves or clearance restrictions, I'm curious-do you think today's larger, longer freight cars could negotiate this trackage?
  by hutton_switch
 
Aa3rt: Thanks for locating that pic of the B&O tractor and providing a link to it.
Aa3rt wrote:Not being familiar with the street trackage in Baltimore and the radius of curves or clearance restrictions, I'm curious-do you think today's larger, longer freight cars could negotiate this trackage?
Very interesting question - I'll post it over at the B&O Yahoo Forum and see what sort of answers I can get.
  by Sand Box John
 
"hutton_switch"
If CSX or NS decided that street-running freight operations were still profitable in Fells Point, we'd likely see these pulling freight today.


The reason why that trackmobile is used by Tyson Food is Maryland & Delaware only makes trips to Snow Hill to deliver loaded hoppers once a week or so after locally grown supply is exhausted. No loads go out of Snow Hill.
  by hutton_switch
 
hutton_switch wrote:Very interesting question - I'll post it over at the B&O Yahoo Forum and see what sort of answers I can get.
So far, there have been two answers of value to report on - one said that anything to a maximum of 40 feet in length could still get around the streets of Fells Point, and another individual followed that up asking what was left in today's freight rolling stock that's 40 feet long?
  by Aa3rt
 
hutton_switch wrote:So far, there have been two answers of value to report on - one said that anything to a maximum of 40 feet in length could still get around the streets of Fells Point, and another individual followed that up asking what was left in today's freight rolling stock that's 40 feet long?
Thanks for the follow up. That was my impression, it's been a long time since I've seen any 40' rolling stock in revenue service (That doesn't mean there aren't any but they are probably few and far between.) and with the tight curves I wondered if the newer, longer cars would be able to negotiate the trackage in Fells Point.

  by MDDE_Fan
 
Cool! I really want to go down to the snow hill area and chase the MDDE.... :-D

  by Sand Box John
 
"MDDE_Fan"
Cool! I really want to go down to the snow hill area and chase the MDDE....


The grain runs to the Tyson Food feed mill in Snow Hill are only done once a week at the most. They do come down to pick up the empties more then once a week when there are empties to pickup.

Some of the folks at Tyson Food get a little upset if you take pictures on or near there property. The MDDE folks are pretty cool.

For another eastern shore location for Trackmobile action, I noticed one working Norfork Western branch serving the propane and Purdue facilities on the west side of Salisbury Wednesday around 1500.

  by Aa3rt
 
Sand Box John wrote:For another eastern shore location for Trackmobile action,...
Gentlemen, I hesitate to bring this up, as it doesn't pertain to Maryland, however, watching the History Channel about two weeks ago, there was a program about small* rockets being launched at Cape Canaveral. The portable launch pad rolls on rails, there are two parallel tracks with the pad itself riding on some very heavy duty railroad trucks. The pad was being moved into position with two Trackmobiles, one on each track.

*Small being a relative term. It wasn't the space shuttle, but these were fairly large rockets, approximately 100-150 feet in height.

UPDATE: After my initial post, I checked the Military Railroads forum. You can read more about the operation in this thread:

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=27081

  by Sand Box John
 
"Aa3rt"
Gentlemen, I hesitate to bring this up, as it doesn't pertain to Maryland, however, watching the History Channel about two weeks ago, there was a program about small* rockets being launched at Cape Canaveral. The portable launch pad rolls on rails, there are two parallel tracks with the pad itself riding on some very heavy duty railroad trucks. The pad was being moved into position with two Trackmobiles, one on each track.


Trackmoble Incorporated role in Lockheed Martin Atlas V Program in Cape Canaveral Florida. Links at bottom of page to photo gallery and to a 5.1 meg, 8:28 Windows Media file.

  by Aa3rt
 
Thanks John, you've obviously perused the Trackmobile website more thoroughly than me.