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Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by oregontrunkline
I recently moved to Toledo, and sneak off to watch the mayhem at Vickers, where the CSX main south from Detroit crosses the NS (former CR/PC/NYC) water level line. I also check out the nearby CSX Stanley and Walbridge yards, and there is always - always!! something happening. New Year's Eve afternoon was no exception. To set the stage, we'll start on Monday the 27th.

First, CSX seems to be storing some units at the Transflo facility that surrounds the former B&O coaling tower in Rossford. They are parked mostly out of view, but I saw remote unit 9156 there by itself on the 27th, and it was joined by four more on the 30th and 31st. The only other number I was able to get – and only after a tour of the scenic side streets around the facility’s fringes – was Chessie System (B&O sublettered) remote 9121. One of the other units was a GP30 conversion, but I wan unable to tell from the poor viewing angle if it, or either of the other two, were also remotes.

Pickings were very slim at the north end of Walbridge the afternoon of the 27th, a very empty yard and only four units (two switchers and two road units) in sight . BNSF GP60 134 and an NS Geep that hid itself before I could get its number were at the north end of Stanley, and nine units, including UP 4225/3906, were in the service tracks. 8135/7133, the latter in CR blue, were on the hump.

The service track was a veritable rainbow the afternoon of the 30th, with 16 units from 7 owners in 9 paint schemes on hand: NS 8951/PRR 8398, CN 2509/IC 1019/CN 5705, 7393/HLCX 6315/4771/Oakway 9052, GCFX 3056/9304, 6054,2738/UP 4457/7611, 9241,9245,9253. The Helms unit was in CP red, and the CSX blue/grey/yellow and new blue were represented. Incidentally, the last three units appear to be stored, as they don’t seem to have been moved in some time. BNSF warbonnet 8241 and an unidentified (i. e., mostly hidden) second non-CSX unit were at the north end, where they were joined by the NS and CN consists.

More BNSF power (6376/4820 and an unidentified unit) were on hand at the north end of Walbridge along with several more CSX units. TORC 999 was switching miscellaneous freight cars.

Sadly, I couldn’t stay, but as I left BNSF: 9450/9510/2572 arrived on a southbound freight.

I did get in two and a half hours at Vickers on the 31st, and talk about ending the year with a bang . . . First, I checked in at Stanley, where I found CN 2509/IC 1019/CN 5705 (the same consist as yesterday) and NS 9397/BNSF 943 among the CSX and leased power. The crossing at the north end of Stanley was blocked, so I went directly to Vickers and settled in for some fun. The 13 trains (7 CSX and 6 NS) I saw in 2 hours and 20 minutes were (n/b-s/b CSX, e/b-w/b NS, direction, consist, time, car count, comments):

n/b,IC 6139/CN(IC) 6106,1414,???,Autos
n/b,7525,1431,75,Covered hoppers
n/b,7917/HLCX 9043,1445,78,Freight, lots of tanks, held 24 minutes
s/b,CEFX 3110/UP 9363/2575,1516,72,Freight, was parked for crew change, 2575 new blue
e/b,8390/3376,1530,77,Intermodal; 8390 full NS, sublettered PRR
s/b,8531/5836,1521,63,Freight, held 16 minutes
e/b,9431/PRR 8394,1548,93,TOFC, held 19 minutes for CSX
e/b,9261/8816,1620,89,Intermodal, mostly TOFC
s/b,????,1621,Held for crew change until after I left
w/b,9934/9969/9974,1635,--,Freight, all in primer

Evidently some sort of pre-New Year’s traffic jam was going on, as two southbounds needed to be recrewed north of Vickers, two trains were parked waiting to go at the north end of Walbridge (hiding the power there from view), and two more trains were parked side-by-side westbound between Walbridge and Stanley. One I’d seen at Vickers, but the other gets my nod as my consist of the year:

7803/????/8702/HLGX 561/HLCX 6245/I&M 462.

It apparently came up from the south. The second unit was a former BN SD40 that was hidden behind a warehouse. As they waited, 61/BNSF 9510 pulled out of Stanley to go south (on the T&OC, from what I could deduce) and a remote set drilled cars beside it.