• Yorkrail / NS weekly coal 510, 511

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by teamgunzi
 
UPDATE:

01/09/2010: No train scheduled (I have the official 2010 schedule ! )

01/16/2010: No train scheduled

01/23/2010: Train scheduled, but I was out of town visiting the Folkston (GA) Funnel !!!! No info was relayed to me about the power, but apparently nothing special.

01/30/2010: No train scheduled

02/06/2010: There WILL BE a train ! Weathermen are calling for another snowstorm, possible overnight Friday-Saturday.


FOLKSTON FUNNEL-

Located about a half-hour west of I-95, just into Georgia near the Florida Line. I was able to spend exactly 1 hour there on a family vacation to Disney. In this time, there were THREE Southbounds and when I left, the Northbound signals had just turned green.

CSX absolutely FLIES through here, especially the container trains, of which I saw one. It's double track with a wide grass buffer along both sides of the right-of-way. The town of Folkston has constructed an elevated viewing platform (about 10X20 feet) with roof overhang, steps and a ramp, with ample dirt-road parking. There are benches and chairs, and two wrap-around shelves at the central roof pillars. A mounted bin contains local info as well as Amtrak schedules and a track diagram. The local frequencies are heard over loudspeakers. The platform is in the block south of Main Street, on the east side of the tracks. There are several businesses and food outlets within a block or two. After checking on train status at the platform, we picked-up some Subway and took it back for some train watching.

Feel free to walk or drive to the other side, as there are several grade crossings nearby. One block to the north are signal poles, and just distant to the north is where the two subdivisions merge together forming the 'funnel'. Also one block north on the west side, is the renovated Folkston train station/freight shed. It is sometimes open to visitors (closed while I was there) and offers a different vantage point. All in all, the Funnel is a very nice attraction !

Ted G

PS- while there, don't forget to visit the famous Okefenokee Swamp. Absolutely beautiful ! It's about 10 minutes further west, and costs only $5 for a carload. It was too cool out while we were there, so we didn't see any alligators.
  by teamgunzi
 
Updates:02/06/10 fiasco !

Friday 05 2010:
Tonight around 5PM, while I was putting the brand-new snow chains on the family van, I heard a horn from the direction of Spring Grove. I grabbed the camera and took my little PT into town. Here's what I saw: First of all, this is the FIRST TIME I'm aware that NS has ever used more than three units. That's right, there was a fourth unit, and the train came to town on FRIDAY, no doubt to beat the blizzard !!!!!

As I arrived at the mill, the train was just pulling across the RT-116 crossing. D9-40CW #9418 led SD70M-2 # 2709 (elephant style), and D8-40C #8700 (elephant) with GP40-2 #3041 trailing facing eastward. That's right: if you can can get out Sunday (or most likely on Monday), the standard cab EMD will lead the 511 !!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately, all units are in NS black.

By 6:30, all cuts were staged for the morning startup (good luck with that one, with the impending storm...), with the GP40 out of the way on the main, 9418 and 2709 set to work the first cut, and 8700 on the second cut.

That's all I have for now, and likley all I'll get until they leave town, as I WILL NOT be able to get off my hill with all this snow coming. I'll post updates on departure as I hear them...

Of note: those snow chains I mentioned in the beginning, well, I just bought them on my commute home tonight along with a set of cables for my PT. Not sure why, but something told me to do it. Good thing, as my car almost slid off a hill trying to get into my rural neighborhood. I was able to back up about a quarter mile (No kidding), turn around on a flat spot, and carefully head into town to a safe spot to figure out these cables! Once they were on, I went home like it was a Spring Afternoon! These cable saved my life! And, as it would turn out, the chains enabled me to get the van into town on Sunday. :-)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Saturday 06 2010:
Coal train progress: slow but sure. By 8:53 AM, crew one started dumping the first cut with 9418 solo. Lots of work had to be done first, with four switches to be dug out. The 2709 is working (possibly with the 3041) with crew two. For some reason, the 8700 is now stashed out of the way inside the mill. The whole train is in town: no second section this weekend. Likely Monday departure: will update tonight.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
At 11:55 PM Sunday, the crew was locking-down the power, with AT LEAST one cut remaining. Not sure how many loads are left.

The mill's Ma&Pa 84 worked at least a half-shift today, with a very friendly crew- as usual ! (Yes, I made it into town safely with snow chains in place. The van has higher clearance than the PT).
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Monday Feb 08 2010 had the crew continuing to trudge away, slowly but surely. Without much help from the mill, with frozen loads, and three feet of snow, this is surely taking a while.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Tuesday AM, Feb 09 2010:
The 511 crew was doing their headlight and brake tests minutes before 9AM, and quickly started assembling the empties....until they got out to the Colonial Valley crossing. A crew was called to help manually chip away at the snow-plowed ice mounds blocking the track. This is the kind of stuff that might have derailed the empty cars being shoved. I left them by 10, when it was evident this would take quite a while to clear out. Oh well...

A report from a local railfan, BJ, had the 511 rolling through York at @12:30 PM. That's it for this marathon coverage!
Ted G
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
02/13/10 No train scheduled.

02/20/10 Train scheduled, but did not run :-(

02/27/10 Train not scheduled, but did run :-) We'll see if this is simply a make-up for last week, or if the routine is now thrown off for a while...

Operationally, this week the whole train once again made it to town in one movement. So much for safety in numbers. D9-40cw #9440 led, with ES40DC #7514 (elephant style), and SD70M-2 #2662 following backwards. The 2662 will lead the 511 outbound. Two cuts were brought into the mill to begin, with 9440 solo on the first cut. About 9:15 they made their switch-around, and the pair pulled their cut forward. When enough cars were dumped for them to clear the main, 9440 backed out to RR Rd. and only grabbed 15 cars. Around 11:30-12:00, the pair will go fetch a cut, if you want to see an ES40DC leading.

All for today (unless there is an event) !

Ted G
  by teamgunzi
 
March 05-07 2010:

For the first time this season, the Spring Grove coal train is not using car heaters at the Glatfelter paper mill. Operationally, this means the crews have the option of backing their cuts through the dumper, with power on the east end.

Today, they are backing all the way through, then pulling east one car at a time. When finished, they pull to 'Plank' and run around, then shove east. Then they grab one cut of loads off the main and wait their turn just inside the mill off Rt.116.

The 510 leader was D9 #8932, back-to-back with standard-cab SD70 # 2526, then forward-facing D9 #9698. 9698 had the first cut, with the other two working together. The very clean and shiny Standard-cab will lead the 511 out of town..

Oh yeah: the whole train was again brought in one movement.

NOTE: no train is scheduled for 03/13/10.

Ted G
  by teamgunzi
 
After initial OS word that NS #2685 was leading BNSF # 9139 on the 510, it figures they'd drop our BNSF unit in Enola :-(

Instead we got three fresh units: CRQ Blue #6764 led into Spring Grove at 6:26 AM today, with NS #6669 and NS 9380 trailing. Either of the latter could lead the 511, as they're both facing toward York. Didn't check if the whole train came at once, but I'm figuring it did as it has all year so far. #6669 is a standard cab.

The 6764 is working the first cut solo: started at 7:05 and is averaging about 8 minutes per car so she should be out in the open at Colonial Valley Rd. around 9AM- maybe a little after.

Only 32 cars were brought in on this move, so 6764 should run out to RR road promptly for her next cut, once the second crew is out of the way (currently sitting on the main just inside the mill at Rt 116).

All for this weekend,
Ted G

PS- a train IS scheduled for next weekend.
  by teamgunzi
 
Sadly, there WILL come a day when pictures of trios of NS Dash-9s will be something special ;-)

This weekends train has... you guessed it... such a trio: #9576 led the 510, with two rear-facing, # 9436 and 9212. What'll make these pictures really in demand is that all three are in older non-horsehead paint with the strobe reflector stripe. (Yawn...)!

The way they're paired up today, the 9212 will lead the 511. (Double yawn...)

The only excitement is that the 9576 is a real smoker: truly an "honorary steam engine".

The next 510 will be April 10-12.

Ted G
  by teamgunzi
 
Not much this weekend: D9-40cw #9867 led D8-40cw #8387 elephant-style, and rear-facing SD70M-2 # 2760. 2760 will lead the 511 outbound. The 510 came to Enola yard with two units: #8310 and 8695, both standard cab D8s, the leader wearing CRQ colors!

Next train scheduled for weekend of April 24.

Ted G
WM York Branch MP 2.2
  by teamgunzi
 
This weekend's train is more of the usual: three black GEs.

The 510 was led by 9268, with 9032 and 9913 trailing. The 9913 will lead the 511 as it's the only unit facing outbound.

Next train scheduled for April 30-May 1.

Ted G
WM York Branch MP 2.2
  by teamgunzi
 
Although originally scheduled for this week, Glatfelter did not receive a train. There is built-in flexibility that allows the schedule to be altered slightly due to changes in needs, 'force majeure' cancellations, or whatever. No train scheduled for Mother's Day weekend, but refer to the previous sentence ;-)

Ted G
  by teamgunzi
 
There is a 510 this weekend- see previous post.

The leader into York was SD70M #2646, with D9-40cw #9485 and ES-40DC # 7522, all in black. The big news is that somehow they were sent from Enola "elephant-style". Unless the 511 can run long-hood forward, one of the units will need to be turned. Two possibilities are: run one unit around the wye at Poorhouse in York (tonight OR tomorrow AM?), or get to Spring Grove and run a light unit out to Porters wye. The latter might require permission from CSX: I don't know. Poorhouse seems to be the easier option.

Ted G
WM York Branch MP 2.2
  by teamgunzi
 
Of course, another option would be to not turn any units and run the 511 long-hood-forward.

Per field reports, as of 8:50 PM Sunday, the 511 was Eastbound through York's Lincoln yard with SD70M #2646 leading long hood forward ! Figures it would be in the dark :-(

Ted G
WM York Branch MP 2.2
  by teamgunzi
 
For the second week in a row, the 510 made it to town (Spring Grove) with all 3 units facing west. 9832 led the 7522 and 2646, all in Horse-head black. Lets hope for a daylight departure this time !

Of interest this week is that #9832 made a RARE MILEAGE run this morning. Venturing beyond the (approximate MP 3) usual stopping point, 9832 ran beyond the Rt. 116 crossing (MP 2.2)- returning light about 10 minutes later. Didn't see the outbound run (heard the horns), but was told it too was "just a black engine". Not sure why this occured, but to my knowledge it's never happened before.



Ted G
WM York Sub MP 2.2
  by teamgunzi
 
Nothing worth shooting this week: GE #9639 led the 510 with #9832 elephant-style, and rear-facing SD70M-2 #2696 trailing, all in black. 2696 should lead the 511.

No train scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

Ted G
WM York Sub MP 2.2
  by teamgunzi
 
Arriving in Spring Grove PA just before 6AM, the 510 pulled it's first 30 cars into the mill at 6:20. Led by NS D9-40CW #9594, SD70M-2 #2756 followed elephant style, with D9-40CW #9480 bringing up the rear. The 9480 should lead the 511 empties out of town, as it's facing the correct direction.

No train scheduled for next weekend due to the scheduled week-long plant shutdown at the mill.

No train scheduled for Father's Day weekend either, although one has come to town in the recent past. It seems it was last year or 2008- if my memory serves me properly- that the Father's Day weekend train had two SD80MACs (one leading the 510 and both trailing on the 511).

All for this weekend,
Ted G
WM York Sub MP 2.2
  by teamgunzi
 
Sorry for the late post, but on rare occasions there really is life beyond trains! Really.

Saturday, June 25 brought a 510 to the mill after a two week dry spell. I was up early and waited for it near the Thomasville quarry, and chased it back to town. Usually arriving Spring Grove between 6 and 6:15 AM, this day it didn't get to Thomasville until 6:45. (Could have stayed in bed a little bit longer...). That allowed for some early morning haze to burn off, and some 'sweetlight' sunbeams to shine over the hills onto the quarry. :-)

While all three units were in black 'Horse-Head' paint, the news is the variety of power: ES-40DC #7688 led D8-40CW # 8314 elephant-style, with SD70M #2627 trailing. The 2627 would lead the 511 Eastward on (I'm told) early Sunday afternoon.

No train scheduled for Independence Day weekend, and again the weekend of July 9-11 due to Chryslers At Carlisle show...errrr... I mean, due to the annual miner's vacation week.

Ted G
WM York Sub MP 2.2
  by teamgunzi
 
Today's 510 arrived Spring Grove (Sprenkle Rd crossing) at 6:08 AM, just as the sun was beginning to crest the small hill to the East of the track. Unless future trains are late, morning 'sweetlight' sun at this location is about over. The 'sweetlight' season for the 510 near Spring Grove only lasts from mid-May to mid-July. The last (and best) opportunity was three weeks ago: see the last post. If that train had been 'on time', the sun would have been just right. As it turned out, with it running behind, the sun was perfect for the hillier area near the quarry.

Today's train had D9-40cw #9700 leading D9 #9178 elephant-style, with SD60-I # 6753 trailing. 6753 will lead the 511 out of town. Unfortunately, this SD60 is shiny black- it may be a recent repaint out of CR blue, as the sets of blue 60's seem to be getting broken up lately. 8-(

Ted G
WM York Sub MP 2.2

PS- check out the July Railpace, page 14 for a shot taken on this line. The August issue will have more pictures from this author.
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