Gilbert B Norman wrote: ↑Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:05 am
Well Colonel, something tells me "The new girl at the throttle" reads "The Gospel According to Saint Ewing" at bedtime.
This morning on my three mile walk, I observed a 75 some car Eastbound container train being handled by one, IMI ONE, C-44 engine. It appeared to be making track speed (50-F, 70-P).
I thought BNSF was avoiding adaptation of Precision Railroading, but maybe "changing Engineers" brings about a new philosophy.
Having worked both the Chicago to Aurora line (Eastend desk) as well as the trans-con I can tell you that single unit stack trains aren't allowed. I'm guessing what you saw was a transfer job running from Eola to Cicero for handoff to either CSXT or NS. The cars were probably held at Eola account the connecting railroad couldn't handle the train yet. Once the cars arrived at Cicero the BNSF power is detached and connecting power added. It is also common for trains to be parked west of Aurora on the Mendota sub waiting for the connecting railroad to say they're ready for it. When this is done only one unit is left on the train to keep the brake system charged. I'm pretty sure this is what you saw. Things must be going just great over at CSXT and NS thanks to Pretty 5h;++y Railroading. No wonder shippers are raising hell with CSXT, NS and UP.
While on the subject of PSR I noticed a post today on the BNSF group at Facebook concerning the ZBELALT9. This train runs twice a week from Belen, New Mexico to Alliance, Texas connecting at Belen with the ZNBYWSP9 (Northbay/Oakland to Willow Springs/Chicago) which sets out cars for it. The ZNBYWSP9/ZWSPNBY9 are the HOTTEST trains on BNSF as they are almost entirely United Parcel Service )UPS) containers and trailers.
Now the picture posted to FB showed the ZBELALT just outside Clovis, New Mexico consisting of two Gevo's and 6 cars. Knowing the BNSF Southwest division where I used to work I'm assuming the train had a Belen to Amarillo Long Pool crew. At Amarillo a second crew takes it to Wichita Falls with a third crew doing the final leg to Alliance yard. Three crews using two 4400 HP locomotives to pull SIX cars for BNSF's best customer (UPS) is NOT something you find in a PSR handbook.
By the way I should add that BNSF does have a Z train that runs from San Bernardino to Alliance (ZSBDALT9) that also works at Belen. The problem is the ZNBYWSP9 goes through Belen around 0800 and the ZSBDALT9 goes through Belen around 2100. I'm sure UP would have no problem letting UPS cars sit in a yard for 12 hours. Sell your UP stock as PSR is killing the north american railroad industry.