Author Topic: Going, Going, Gone  (Read 1022 times)

NSHuntingtonDistrict

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Going, Going, Gone
« on: January 23, 2019, 09:21:13 PM »
I'm not around here too much anymore, busy living the life of an extra board conductor. Soon it will be four years set up already. I saw this evening that NS is going to be selling off 124 locomotives. All remaining SD60s, all SD60Ms, 21 SD60Is, and some MP15s. I understand these are older units, not the most reliable. It's a shame the SD60Es aren't being shown the door as well. Of course, this move is part of precision railroading. The last few days, trains on Detroit, especially, have been held for power, including 255 and 181. 331 this morning was on duty for 4 hours before their power came from an inbound train. 255 has been delayed 3 to 4 hours waiting for power. They are regularly running 171 out of Sterling with only one engine, when UP requires two. Everyday, it's a scramble to see who they can steal power from to fill 171. They've eliminated the horsepower per ton fuel conservation rules, but now the trains are underpowered and late waiting for power. Of course, I dont see the big picture, most of these units being sold have already been in storage. The upside to this is, no more SD60E rebuilds.
Extra board livin'

scraphauler

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 10:50:49 PM »
The 2 MP15 and 9 of the 60s are actually on a separate bid that closed today. These 11 are in Altoona and are cancelled E rebuild candidates.  I bid on both of the MPs and one of the standard cab 60s. Bid em cheap so doubt we get them,  but who knows.  One 15 is complete and has broken crankshaft, other is empty under hood - a ďdummyĒ so to speak.

STLX 7000

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 11:53:42 PM »
I imagine the higher ups at GE and Progress Rail are salivating at the prospect of new locomotive orders after this madness has passed. Look at what CN is having to do now after years of deferred CAPEX under the Harrison regime. Once Wall Street has squeezed all it can out of CSX and NS, they'll have to recover the same way. Unfortunately for railfan's, that means more cookie cutter locomotives.

rrnut282

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 12:16:03 PM »
Are these the same SD60s they rebuilt with new cabs?
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scraphauler

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2019, 01:08:28 PM »
After sale, NS will only roster 45 SD60I in the NS 6717-6762 range.  ALL other SD60s of all variations will be stricken from roster.   9 of the units just emerged from shop from rebuild in 2018 including one that came out of shop on 10/7/18 and went straight to storage.

rrnut282

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2019, 01:10:40 PM »
That's some precision scheduling, right there. 
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Rick

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Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2019, 05:50:45 PM »
The rebuilds that just came out in the last six months to a year ago where already being rebuilt before the new man upstairs started implementing his version of precision railroading.  He actually did his research himself going to every terminal in the system and watched, talked to, and asked questions on how and why things where being done at every terminal on the system.  Then he put together a team to analyze what was going on and they are still in the process of doing this spending a week to two weeks looking at everything from available crews, idle times for locos, management and what they contribute to, etc...   

The power problem is occurring because bigger yards are starting to run dp trains and ns only has so many do equipped engines.  They maybe ready to go but may not be able for certain trains because they are needed for dp trains later in the day.  Thus obviously causes a domino effect to terminals down the line.  Also, rumor as of now, foreign power will cease to be used as leader or trailing unless that train is headed back to said foreign powers railroad.  This has been partially implemented in Elkhart but not fully. 

On a side note, one difference in his approach and Harrisonís is right now every local job is a seven day job. You have 5 cars or 25, itís coming to you.  If you order 10 cars but only can hold 5, you will be charged every 24hrs for the yard holding your cars.  You also only have 24 hrs to unload your cars once received.  So far in the short 3 weeks weíve been doing this businesses are being serviced as soon as they need it and their cars are getting to them by the next day.  Also, three new trains are being added to the ns Chicago line as if the next week or so.  There are some other changes coming soon for operating procedures to help identify delays in the yard and on the road.  Iíll just say dispatchers and the remaining trainmasters left are not going to appreciate that. 


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MP173

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2019, 10:51:15 AM »
Rick:

What are the 3 new Chicago line trains to be added?

Also, it appears that train B99 - Elkhart - Burns Harbor turn has replaced the two symbol trains operating between the two terminals - I believe the BH - Elkhart train was 34E and perhaps 31E was the Burns Harbor inbound train.

What would be the purpose of re-symbolling these?  Would it be that a single crew now handle this (B99) instead of a crew in each direction?

It appears that B99 is having a little difficulty returning.  It is dead at CP463 this morning and it outlawed last week....didnt make it out of BH yard.

I hear quite a few "Precision Railroading (sarcasm)" comments on the scanner these days.

BTW, yesterdays 16E was 1 locomotive x 72 cars.  Chugged up Otis hill.

Ed

rrnut282

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2019, 01:56:17 PM »
There are days when I scratch my head seeing the local (L69) die at Kingsland.  This is the first siding on the line and a whopping 25 miles from the terminal.  (if you count Winters Rd as the terminal boundary, because crews can change there, it's even less)  Twelve hours to get out of the terminal isn't my definition of Precision anything. 
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Rick

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2019, 02:27:59 PM »
Rick:

What are the 3 new Chicago line trains to be added?

Also, it appears that train B99 - Elkhart - Burns Harbor turn has replaced the two symbol trains operating between the two terminals - I believe the BH - Elkhart train was 34E and perhaps 31E was the Burns Harbor inbound train.

What would be the purpose of re-symbolling these?  Would it be that a single crew now handle this (B99) instead of a crew in each direction?

It appears that B99 is having a little difficulty returning.  It is dead at CP463 this morning and it outlawed last week....didnt make it out of BH yard.

I hear quite a few "Precision Railroading (sarcasm)" comments on the scanner these days.

BTW, yesterdays 16E was 1 locomotive x 72 cars.  Chugged up Otis hill.

Ed
The three trains are 23m, 25g, 25n.  Van trains and at least two or possibly all will do work at colehour and go on to further terminals.  Corwith for sure but not the other two yet. 
You are correct, b99 replaces the 34e and 31g. Instead of having three crews( one to go to school way and one on rest)now there is one to go up and back.  Sometimes it makes it sometimes it doesnít.  Today it separated and was having air issues like a lot of other trains today up here.  A couple others had power issues coming in or leaving Elkhart. 
Yes, the comments are said once in awhile but like any change they always do.  In a couple months things will be working better and more fluid.  Itís going to be real interesting if they change the pools. 


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Rick

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2019, 02:54:01 PM »
There are days when I scratch my head seeing the local (L69) die at Kingsland.  This is the first siding on the line and a whopping 25 miles from the terminal.  (if you count Winters Rd as the terminal boundary, because crews can change there, it's even less)  Twelve hours to get out of the terminal isn't my definition of Precision anything.
That wonít be happening much longer.  If it does, someone or some people will be losing their jobs


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scraphauler

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2019, 03:28:10 PM »
Without going into specific details and debating the who's, why's etc.,  I can say that a shortline I am involved with interchange with NS was taking place 2 times a week.  Job was a 5 day a week job that had it down to a science on how to only make 2 full round trips in 5 starts.   When they switch to 7 days a week a couple weeks ago, the old head crew bailed and bumped it somewhere else and job has been being covered off the board for now.   Low and behold, they can make a round trip in a single day.  So now rather than running what equated to two 35 car long trains a week, they are running seven 10 car trains.  Certainly reduces dwell time for those cars.  What we where told was they would evaluate the locals over the next few months and that the big changes would come at clean sheeting and new operating plan rollout later this spring.   Certainly will be interesting.

One interesting thing that is coming out of this is the opportunity for shortlines to pickup new business.  Case in point, Rick reference the change in demurrage rules.  To expand on that, they also raised the Intra/Inter Terminal switch rate and the Intra-plant switch rate and are aggressively enforcing.  Basically, when a car arrives the serving yard where local is based that works customer, customer is notified and they get one "free" move on the car - either deliver to their siding/facility, OR, put car into constructive placement status on railroad owned tracks and start the demurrage clock.   It is a chargeable move then to move car from constructive placement out in the yard to the customer facility.  They put real teeth into that charge and are enforcing it now.  Also, anytime the railroad has to touch a car in the customers track without pulling it, that is a chargeable move.  For example,  customer says spots 1 and 2 hold, spot 3 pulls, spot 4 holds and train crew has to move spots 1 and 2 to get to spot three, moving spots 1 and 2 even though they simply put back to same spots is a chargeable move.

This is having the desired effect NS (Class 1s) was wanting - customer is modifying their behavior.  NS (Class 1s) hope that by going after these charges aggressively and making the charges a significant amount, customer will better control the flow of inbound equipment.  This causes customer to do one of five things

1)  Go away - switch to truck (or barge).  Class 1 will say, well, that traffic we didn't want anyway  - Class 1 will count as a win.
2)  Tighten up their ordering procedures to fit railroad demands and be prepared to run "shut down" trucks.  Class 1 wins, customer changed their practices.
3)  Do nothing and pay.  Nothing changes for Class 1 other than collecting more money for what they are already doing - Class 1 wins.
4)  Customer ceases using their own siding, electing to send their product to a shortline or transload facility who can arrange to store, transload, and deliver by truck JIT to their facility.   Class 1 counts as BIG win - no loss of revenue, one less siding to switch and switch to maintain, and no first mile/last mile expenses
5)  Customer uses a nearby shortline as a holding location and rebills cars out of there to their facility.  Class 1 counts this as a BIG BIG win.  While they still have that first mile/last mile expense, the customer has modified their traffic flow, revenue goes up, and load count doubles.  Load #1 is from origin to shortline.  Then rebills as a new load to destination.  2 separate loads now for Class 1

Numbers 4 and 5 ARE happening.  I just inked a deal with a petrochem/plastic manufacture who supplies raw materials to your typical suburban and small town industrial park customer who have 8-10 car spots to hook hoses to the tank cars/covered hoppers.  Manufacture buys in bulk from Chemical Coast.  Traditionally these cars sat in class 1 serving yard or various sidings until ordered in my manufacture based on their production schedule.  Now, all the loads are consigned to my railroad and put into storage.  Manufacture has to have tighter controls in place as they are no longer able to give a days notices to bring in these specific 3 cars - they now need a weeks notice.  They send us their notice, we bill the car out as if it originated on us and give to NS who then spots on arrival.  Cheaper for them to pay two separate freight bills (including an inbound and outbound switch charge for us) and storage to us, than to pay demurrage for entire time car sits on RR property prior to spotting and the switch fee to move from storage to spot.

This is the new reality, like it or not.   

Rick

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Re: Going, Going, Gone
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2019, 04:20:49 PM »
The cake jobs held by the senior old guys arenít exactly happy.  Dragging feet and making 12 hrs plus on a yard job or local will soon be a thing of the past in many locations. 


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