Author Topic: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**  (Read 6532 times)

CSX2605

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2012, 06:18:41 PM »
Dispatcher had a devil of a time getting switches to line and lock up.  T360 & Q647 played around the Princeton area for a good while this morning.

CIOR

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 06:35:39 PM »
Dispatcher had a devil of a time getting switches to line and lock up.  T360 & Q647 played around the Princeton area for a good while this morning.
Don't miss that. AT ALL. made for long trips and the tools to fix the issues were rarely ever enough.

torgy1962

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2012, 07:58:20 PM »
So does CSX still have any of the ex CR plows in operable condition?

Sure. I've lost track of that German self-propelled rotary that CR bought. I think that it's assigned to Selkirk.

CSX2605

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2012, 11:49:32 PM »
Still a mess tonight. Switches not locking up, signal maintainer stuck in the snow and trains a waiting.
A video I had a little fun with. First two trains that passed after the Christmas break in the blizzard this morning.
 

xgap

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2012, 01:07:35 AM »
Yes, 77 and 78 were something. SRR sent company officials up to ride all thru trains on their Out Post Western Division. Most of those guys had never seen any snow or ice. They slowed things down even more. In those days the cold caused just as many problems. Vintage freight cars, no yard air and no car dept at a few locations. Wondered how they ran train any further north. One official said they had a different type of moisture??

indrr

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2012, 08:20:24 AM »
Great video!

LIRC obviously has not come through Whiteland since the snow fell. If they do send a train north today, I'll try to catch a photo of them busting the pile of snow at the crossing :D
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CSX_CO

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2012, 01:19:05 PM »
I wish I could count exactly how many times you need to put yourself above everybody else.

More like putting someone in their place young grasshopper.  You've got 2 winters out here (if that?) and last year didn't count for anything as far as "winter".  I've heard the 'horror' stories of the Blizzard of '78 where guys didn't get out of the yard for a week.  Before the storm, they grabbed any cabooses they had laying around and even some old sleepers from AMTRAK and put them behind Building 5 at Avon.  The wreck train had a full time cook for wreck duties, and he was put to work making meals and feeding the guys stuck at the yard.  You worked until your hours were up, grabbed a bunk, and they shook you awake to go back it on your rest.  Another guy got 'stranded' at Anderson and the only way to get back to Indy was to take a van train to Crestline, and then another Van train back home.  One of those trains derailed while he was trying to accomplish getting home.  No other way to get him back into Indianapolis.  He ended up with Frostbite and a big settlement from Conrail for having been on duty like 48 hrs or something crazy without medical attention.

Another Blizzard of '78 story I heard was of a guy walking a train south of Deshler that was in Emergency.  He left the caboose headed towards the head end to find the problem.  Got back 2 hrs later and had never reached the head end.  The drifts were so bad he ended up walking up and over the train, without realizing it, kept the cars on the same side of his body, and ended up back at the caboose.

Had the 'luxury' of working into Chicago one year when the Metro area got 24" to 30" of snow back in the early 2000's..  They just didn't have anywhere to plow it to.  They were using dump trucks to haul it out of the loop.  I didn't see any 'unit snow' trains, but CSX did have some gons loaded with snow that they stuck on one of the trains headed to Georgia.  We got lucky and caught something going 'out' of the city.  There were trains from Dolton all the way to Wellsboro, nose to tail, at any location they could park without cutting crossings.  I think we counted like 20 trains parked waiting to get into the city.  When we got to Walkerton there were two more WB's that were told pull up to Wellsboro off crossings and get comfortable.  Other trains were parked at Garrett because they stood no chance of getting where they needed to be.  That was just 2' of snow.  Line of Road was fine because you just ran it as two one-way streets, but terminal was all kinds of jacked up from that one.  The DED's up there didn't like the blowing snow, and would throw out a "Detector Malfunction" which meant you had to walk the train, both sides.  Walked a lot of trains that winter because of that.  One trip on a Q351 I was so exhausted I literally had to climb and pull myself back up on the engine from walking through the drifts. That was when I started to hate snow.

I'm not sure if it was the same storm or not, but was working as a switchman at Defiance Yard which serves the big GM Foundry there.  It was the jobs regular off day, but they asked us if we'd work it.  I hadn't looked outside, and asked if the roads were bad "They're just a little snow covered." "Ok, I'll work it then."  Took almost a gallon of hot water to just unfreeze my door to get into it, and a fusee to the lock to get the key in.  I saw one plow on I-69 and that was it.  The whole way up muttering "this is stupid...this is so stupid."  Thank God for the All-wheel Drive Blazer!  They deadheaded me and the regular conductor from Garrett on a coal train to get us out there.  All we had to do was shove cars to GM, and get the heck out of there.  Took us about 4 hrs to pull about 30 cars from 3 tracks, and shove them across SR 18.  A move that would normally take an hour to an hour and a half from start to finish.  It was snowing and blowing so hard, after every move you had to sweep your switch again.  Sweep a switch, throw it, pull cars out of a track, sweep it, shove them off, sweep it, put the remainder back.  Trainmaster had already had the track guys blow out the switches we would need, but within 10 minutes they were filled back up.  Deadheaded back home on an empty coal train to get home.  I remember the old head talking to his wife and trying to get her to understand he was on a train.  "I can't get a gallon of milk on the way home, I'm on a train.  I SAID I'M STUCK ON A TRAIN I CAN'T GET ANY $&*% MILK RIGHT NOW!"

Last weekend Avon came pretty close to shutting down, and that was with maybe an inch of snow.  Conrail never saw the need to install switch heaters anywhere inside of terminals.  Until about 3 years ago, 2 groups of switches on the hump end didn't even have blowers on them!  I guess they just figured maintainers would be withing range to come sweep switches.  That, or the relied too heavy on the 'smudge pots' to keep points clear of ice and snow.  I think the EPA banned the use of those, because they've disappeared at Avon in the last 5 years.  Used to come in the east end and the points would be all on 'fire' with the kerosene pots lit up.  Worked great, but like most things that work great, the EPA doesn't like them.  So the rain that fell before the snow turned right into ice and froze everything up.  I've heard stories of working the hump, and not humping anything for 16 hrs.  IF you stopped humping at Avon for 5 minutes you better have a good reason.  They'd chew your butt for stopping the hump because a car derailed. "Just swing around it and keep humping!"  So, being 'stopped' for 16, that qualifies as 'shut down'.  Better off to let it blow through, clean up, then go back at it then make a bigger mess of things with the packed snow and ice causing derailments. 

Two winters ago during that terrible ice storm we did just shut down until things thawed out a bit.  Just brought the pullers in, and stopped the hump, no sense causing a big derailment trying to move a couple of cars.  They actually had the hump engines going into all the tracks after it stopped to knock the ice off the rails before they could start humping again.  I've been in freezing rain, but that was the first time I've ever seen it rain 1/2" to 1" and it all freeze.  Every time the wind blew, I expected us to lose power, but it stayed on.  Thankfully the sun came out and thawed things out.  Ice and snow falling from cars was a problem though, so the pullers had to be careful around the equipment that had been sitting.

Anyway, snow wasn't that bad until about Kokomo South.  NS and CSX across Northern Indiana were moving, as I saw AMTRAK (Capital Limited I assume) on the east side of Elkhart, CSX had one at LaPaz, and there was a WB on the Wabash at US 31 as I came south this morning.  Worst of the snow wasn't really until you hit Westfield.  My parents in Michigan received about 2" of snow, but other places up there were just a dusting.

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indrr

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2012, 02:41:40 PM »
Dammit, you two. Stop it.

You both live within a few miles of each other now. Go have a drink and make up would you?

BTW, I caught sight of the LIRC northbound in Whiteland right after it plummeled the snow drift. Huge train with 4 or 5 engines (couldn't quite get a clear angle to be sure). No photos though :(
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arcticrail

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2012, 12:43:54 AM »
That video is a riot!  Nice job.
If it moves or makes noise...I'm interested!

Laguna Man

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2012, 03:00:16 PM »
Great video - funny too.

IndyKing

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2012, 05:42:27 PM »
A video I had a little fun with. First two trains that passed after the Christmas break in the blizzard this morning.

Very nice job, CSX2605... the train(s) with no name!
Cheers, Al

CSX2605

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2012, 10:17:30 PM »
Very nice job, CSX2605... the train(s) with no name!
LOL.....the first train was Q596 and the second was a 13,000 ton Q647. For obvious reasons Q647's crew wasn't to fond of having to almost stop at every signal because they were covered with snow. 
Thanks

CSX2605

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2012, 07:26:14 AM »
Hearing the radio this morning, I think everyone is a little "testy" after dealing with the weather and all the problems it created for the crews and dispatchers down here. Some interesting conversations. Where is the love?  ;D

JohnIII

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2012, 09:02:31 AM »
I'll have to wait until I get back home tomorrow to see your video, appears I'll need my PC to view it, as it won't play on the IPad.
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storrs19

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2012, 11:42:25 AM »
Hearing the radio this morning, I think everyone is a little "testy" after dealing with the weather and all the problems it created for the crews and dispatchers down here. Some interesting conversations. Where is the love?  ;D


Well the DS is in Nashville where all they got was rain so he's happy, lol.  That was a great video Brian and I can imagine Q647 was not happy.  That's insane running a huge train like that in those conditions. 
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csxdispatcher

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2012, 01:58:04 PM »

 That's insane running a huge train like that in those conditions.

Not really, it wasn't that cold.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 03:07:17 PM by csxdispatcher »

CSX_CO

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2012, 02:03:21 PM »

Well the DS is in Nashville where all they got was rain so he's happy, lol.  That was a great video Brian and I can imagine Q647 was not happy.  That's insane running a huge train like that in those conditions.

Nashville folded up shop about 2000 last night.  Ended up having to park G100, K325, plus a couple others for that side at Avon last night.  No crew vans on their division, so no dead heading crews to protect their trains.  Throw in Louisville can't manage to get crews to Avon to protect their trains either and both Kraft Runners were filled with trains, let alone ones parked at Terre Haute.  We burned through our crews trying to move their trains to parking places, and we were running out of parking places in Indy.  Two days in a row Q360 has been dragged out of the yard and parked in a Kraft Runner because of a lack of rested crews.  All the coal and grain trains moving are throwing things in a tizzy, and the Chiefs can't crew balance.

Q515 was going to run as a X515 type train so we wouldn't take a hit on right car-right train and the origination because of the snow.  Up till I left, things were still moving at Avon, but I take precautions to make sure stuff doesn't freeze up on me.  Hand throw switches were needing swept, but I kept the electrics free and moving until I left.  Track department had 6 guys on 'winter guard' to get stuff moving.  I think Avon ended up with 4 to 5" of snow by the time it was all said and done, a far cry from the 'coating to 1"' they were predicting up until 1800.  Jet blower got its first workout of the season on Thursday, and I'd imagine they might break it out today too.  Snow isn't that wet and heavy though, so leaf blowers would do the trick, just more labor intensive.  We need a couple good shifts at Avon to get back on track.  Had 4 derailments in 3 days last weekend, in addition to last weekends ice and snow, and we never really got back running right after 'shutdown'.  Seems like every time we get our heads back above water, something 'happens' and we get a setback.

Oh, be on the lookout for an old CN GP7 type engine on a Q595 in the next couple of days.  Was supposed to run yesterday, but the Chief didn't give their blessing, so it had to be set out.  They were worried it would hit a hi-wide coming at the Q595.  Thing is dwarfed by the GEVO's it was trailing, but whatever.  Going to Florida IIRC.

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CSX_CO

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2012, 08:07:11 PM »
Took video of the jet blower in action. Once I figure out How to upload video somewhere ill post it.

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CSX2605

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2012, 12:00:23 PM »
Did Nashville have a meltdown early this morning? Heard a train say they sat at Carlisle for a few hours because the system shutdown in Nashville.

CIOR

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Re: **Blizzard Warning for Central and Southern Indiana**
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2012, 12:02:06 PM »
Big trains in cold and snow suck. The reality of being able to use air and having it work is onethingthat cold weather makes tough. When you set for hours pumping air on a cut you realize quickly there is a reason why they have restrictions on train length for a reason.

My first winter on the railroad I witnessed how the MofW crews would dig out the switches in the yard and it was bad enough that they put one MofW guy on each local to help keep things clear.
The night we had a big snow we didn't get any help and the 2 of us ground guys had to dig out a switch stand at Orestes with a broom and ended up using a metal tray out of the engine compartment. Took us a hour to clean it out enough and then spent too long using fusees to melt things up enough

The old heads would tell the tales of 1977 and 78 and horrors of being stuck.
I recall being deadheaded on a train a few times because the cab services shut down. We got on a triple crown train and other crews were put on trains behind us. It was. 12 hour trip via train for a deadhead. Happened a couple times and thankfully wasn't a common thing.

That said I never saw the railroad shut down and granted we never had what they did in 77/78 it was still working no matter how slow it was.