Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

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Mark D
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Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby Mark D » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:30 pm

The past few weeks I've been doing metal fabricating in a town about 20 miles west of me on U.S. Hwy 12. Town is Atwater. Weird name because there aren't any lakes within their boundaries.
Where I'm working just across the street from the elevated ballast of the BNSF main line all the way to Washington.
I've been doing this work almost daily since the first of this month. I have heard and seen two trains go past, and I have heard three go past, but couldn't see them because I was busy. In a month!
That shows BNSF, as anyone would realize is a DUH! But that shows how hard this country is not functioning.

The trains I did see were relatively short. The first was maybe 90 cars. The other one had 42 cars - I counted them just to see. I figure they were repositioning them, or they had a company that just had to have their stuff RIGHT NOW!

Nothing is going on anywhere.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

tom c
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Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby tom c » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:42 am

I have a friend who works for the CN on the EJ&E and he is busy hauling trains around Chicago still.

Tom C.
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Lost somewhere in Michigan instead of Colorado!

John Bohon
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Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby John Bohon » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:43 pm

Things are not much better in the south. Even before the lockdown PSR and the insane demurrage rules had done their intended job of running off traffic very well. Train frequency and car counts were way down. I live within earshot of the CNO&TP which use to have something like 50 trains a day. They are now few and far apart. When I do my track inspections for TVRM I am near the mainlines fairly often. Both CSX and NS are very slow. A couple of weeks ago a CSX train sat for half a day I know of on the single track line that use to be to busy for that to ever happen. A CSX engineer I know said he is still getting called 3 time a week but the trains are mostly half the size they use to be. He use to barely get his rest before the phone was ringing. I suppose this is what happens when a company actively chases off traffic and revenue and then the economy suddenly tanks.

John Bohon

Mark D
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Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby Mark D » Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:14 am

I was working in Atwater again yesterday. Another BNSF train went past. One. I was busy, so didn't get a car count but it wasn't one of those mile long trains judging by the sound. However, they might have had more because I wasn't there in the morning and left around 7:00 PM. But still, normally when I'm working there I can see at least three or four trains during a six or seven hour day. And they're normally pretty long.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Mark D
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Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby Mark D » Fri May 01, 2020 8:38 pm

Yesterday on the way home I again crossed the BNSF track. I prudently looked up and down the track before crossing. I noted a BNSF diesel set coming my way, but a good half mile down the track. Since it was that far I did cross with a long time to spare. But I think it must have been only a set of diesel locomotives. After I crossed I went north to U.S. Highway 12 I looked out the passengers window, as the track is just off the highway, and saw nothing on the tracks! I could hear the whistles (really a horn) but I couldn't see any cars.
If it was only locomotives, that's fine. But otherwise it was a mighty short train.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

SOO2719
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Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby SOO2719 » Sun May 03, 2020 6:55 pm

I caught this long general freight early this evening in Long Lake:

Eastbound BNSF freight Long Lake 5 3 2020.JPG

Eastbound BNSF freight headed for Luce Line Long Lake 5 3 2020.JPG

End of BNSF eastbound freight Long Lake 5 3 2020.JPG


They may be having to run fewer trains these days, but this baby sure had a long. healthy consist.
Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/

Mark D
Conductor
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby Mark D » Wed May 06, 2020 12:00 pm

Well, that shows they're doing some business anyway. I like that.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Mark D
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby Mark D » Wed May 13, 2020 9:40 am

Well well well, yesterday two BNSF trains went past in Atwater during the period from 1:30 to 8:15 PM. One I didn't see because I was in a position to not get to the window to see what it was hauling.
That was the first. The second one had about 20 tanks and nothing else. This isn't normal for this particular stretch of track. It's never been, in recent times, had trains every half hour or even one hour. But generally I would see at least five or up to seven trains during the day. Not all long strung, but much more than what's running now. I hope it picks up pretty soon.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Robert T
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Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby Robert T » Sun May 17, 2020 3:23 pm

At least the Twin Cities and Western is just as busy as it always is. A friend of mine who works there says it's just about the same and they're moving mostly agriculture products. I just saw a BNSF powered westbound grain train yesterday and they're usually 110 cars. Hopefully business will pick up for BNSF too.

Robert T.

bobnsteam
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Re: Not Much Railroading Going On These Days

Postby bobnsteam » Mon May 18, 2020 2:50 pm

Guys,
I know steam is the thing, but, with steam staying home the rest of the year diesel's are the next best thing.
UP runs north and south through town in the evenings and wee hours. Horn blowing banned by irate residents
which is O.K. At a nearby town BNSF runs west to the Port of Long Beach and east to Nevada and Arizona and points beyond.
Roster numbers indicate loco's are always GE's, never an EMD. Best train watching in So. California is the Tehachapi Loop
and Cajon Pass. Dream come true? 4014 traversing the Loop!
That's my take on not much railroading. Will leave the technical stuff to you pro"s which I enjoy very much.
Bob


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