Author Topic: NS Still Running  (Read 1534 times)

NSyorktown

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NS Still Running
« on: January 30, 2019, 06:55:47 AM »
With much of the state of Indiana closed-down for the day, I wondered how much rail action would be slowed or cut off totally.

That said, NS #123 just ran by on the Muncie-Frankfort line, headed for North Carolina (although it was shorter than usual).

With the current wind chill at -32 degrees, I did not run out on the back deck to wave to the crew.

Stay safe, everyone!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 11:29:05 AM by NSyorktown »

Rick

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NS Still Running
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 09:22:33 AM »
Everything is still running as planned.  Definitely slower today because of temps.  Itís currently -17(-44 wind chill) in Elkhart.  Chicago is -20(-48 wind chill) so main line is a little slower from what I hear and itís obviously taking longer for trains to get moving due to air issues. 

Just saw on the tv that the metra is using snake ropes to keep switches from freezing


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« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 09:44:21 AM by Rick »

rrnut282

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 11:03:38 AM »
Great day for pull-aparts.  One good flat spot on a loaded car and all the signals drop. 
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crblue

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 12:19:35 PM »
Not Elkhart or NS in the northern part of the state, but I heard the following on one of the CSX radio channels in the Indianapolis area this morning: "Hard to believe we're having problems today." Umm...yeah.

Rick

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 12:34:21 PM »
31m just nailed a semi in laporte.  Crews fine and driver bailed.  Both mains blocked for now


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scraphauler

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2019, 12:56:37 PM »
UP curtailing Chicago ops

Severe Cold Impacting Operations
Announcement Number: CN2019-3
1-30-2019

To Our Customers,
Severe cold in the Midwest is impacting operations. As a result, customers with rail shipments moving through this area, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, can expect delays between 48 and 72 hours beginning today and through the weekend.
Additional resources have been deployed to mitigate the impacts of the cold weather, and we are diverting trains away from the Chicago interchange to other interchange points where possible.
The opinions, views, and incoherent ramblings presented here do not necessarily represent the view point of any company I work for or own,  any logical thinking being, or even me.

Rick

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2019, 02:12:35 PM »
Broken rail issues towards Chicago around 490 I hear now


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wabash2800

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2019, 08:18:53 PM »
Rick wrote:

"Just saw on the tv that the metra is using snake ropes to keep switches from freezing."


Yup, the media is reporting that the railroads are setting their tracks on fire...


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MP173

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2019, 09:41:14 PM »
I worked from home today (our company closed due to weather) and monitored NS on the Chesterton web cam.  It was slow go (LaPorte accident and pull apart at CP490) but they seemed to move pretty well.

Couple  of observations:
1.  NS 20E, the hot morning Chicago - NJ TOFC train had 23 containers/trailers.  Normal load is 100 - 150 per day.
2.  CSX Q010, the hot Chicago - NJ UPS/TOFC train, which runs in competition to 20E...usually around 8am thru Suman, moved thru at 1pm - 5 hours later than normal.
3.  A CSX train lost their horn.  By rule they had to stop at each road crossing and toss fussies.  Crew indicated they would run out of fussies and time well before reaching Garrett.  I mispelled "fussie".
4.  NS 20K, the afternoon Chicago - NJ TOFC train, usually with 60 - 100 containers/trailers was 2 hours late and had 31 loads.  Obviously....Chicago was shut down!
5.  NS 24M, the hot Chicago - Baltimore UPS train, one can set their watch by (640am at Chesterton) was 3 hours late but had 40 UPS loads.  My guess was UPS held the train for loads.  This train usually runs 45 minutes ahead of 20E.
6.  CSX Barr Div. was "melting down" (shouldnt that have been "freezing up" with trains parked everywhere.  Q137 was being "re-re crewed" - 3 crew out of Williard. 

All in all, a very interesting day to be inside listening and watching the rails.  Hats off to the crews, dispatchers, MOW (how about changing a rail today?), et al. that made it thru the day.  Tonight with temps to -25F will be quite a challenge. 

Not sure if I would want to walk a train to do an inspection or not.

Can an conductor refuse to do so due to safety (temperature) issues?

Ed

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2019, 09:48:38 PM »
I worked from home today (our company closed due to weather) and monitored NS on the Chesterton web cam.  It was slow go (LaPorte accident and pull apart at CP490) but they seemed to move pretty well.

Couple  of observations:
1.  NS 20E, the hot morning Chicago - NJ TOFC train had 23 containers/trailers.  Normal load is 100 - 150 per day.
2.  CSX Q010, the hot Chicago - NJ UPS/TOFC train, which runs in competition to 20E...usually around 8am thru Suman, moved thru at 1pm - 5 hours later than normal.
3.  A CSX train lost their horn.  By rule they had to stop at each road crossing and toss fussies.  Crew indicated they would run out of fussies and time well before reaching Garrett.  I mispelled "fussie".
4.  NS 20K, the afternoon Chicago - NJ TOFC train, usually with 60 - 100 containers/trailers was 2 hours late and had 31 loads.  Obviously....Chicago was shut down!
5.  NS 24M, the hot Chicago - Baltimore UPS train, one can set their watch by (640am at Chesterton) was 3 hours late but had 40 UPS loads.  My guess was UPS held the train for loads.  This train usually runs 45 minutes ahead of 20E.
6.  CSX Barr Div. was "melting down" (shouldnt that have been "freezing up" with trains parked everywhere.  Q137 was being "re-re crewed" - 3 crew out of Williard. 

All in all, a very interesting day to be inside listening and watching the rails.  Hats off to the crews, dispatchers, MOW (how about changing a rail today?), et al. that made it thru the day.  Tonight with temps to -25F will be quite a challenge. 

Not sure if I would want to walk a train to do an inspection or not.

Can an conductor refuse to do so due to safety (temperature) issues?

Ed

A conductor can question whether or not to do something but as soon as they are ordered and they refuse then itís insubordination which is a fireable offense.  As for the horn failure 1) they donít have to use fussees if they have a flag daylight or lantern at night2) they donít have to stop if the crossing is equipped with gates and they are functioning or if there is no traffic approaching the crossing or a qualified employee is protecting the crossing. 


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Rick

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2019, 02:26:07 AM »
To add what has already been mentioned.  Engine fire due to a compressor malfunction, no shocker there.  Another broken rail west of south bend, tons of air issues, switch problems galore in the yard, switch locks and electrics freezing up, multiple interchange issues in Chicago mostly yards filled up or lack of crews working, a couple trains cane in with heater failures in route, horn failures, and other mechanical issues. 


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ventrue

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2019, 03:24:48 AM »
Sorry to break the spirit of lamenting and bemoaning planetary records for the cold and all the pain and destruction caused but....

The coldest I personally can remember working the road it was actual temperature 30 below and the wind chill was 70 below...we must have gotten dinged by the detector so I had to walk back and...

I GOT HOT.  Any good railroader working the road on the ground is going to be prepared for the worst so I brought a lot of clothes and wore lots of layers and even had a balaclava.  When I got back on the head end I was a sweaty mess and sweaty is something to be avoided when its below zero.  You CAN wear too much clothing.  You can get HOT even when its 70 below.  :)

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2019, 07:30:16 AM »
Thanks Rick.

There was a DD issue last night on NS and dispatcher seemed to walk around the issue to allow the train to run at 30mph to the next DD.  Perhaps it was within the rules, but it was an interesting discussion.

Ed

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2019, 07:32:52 AM »
Rick:

Perhaps you can answer this....has 26W (Chicago to Pittsburgh UPS train) been annulled or cancelled?  I havent seen it since Christmas.

About that time, the makeup of 24M seemed to grow...did NS perhaps combine the two trains?

Thanks,
Ed

Rick

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2019, 09:06:39 PM »
Sorry to break the spirit of lamenting and bemoaning planetary records for the cold and all the pain and destruction caused but....

The coldest I personally can remember working the road it was actual temperature 30 below and the wind chill was 70 below...we must have gotten dinged by the detector so I had to walk back and...

I GOT HOT.  Any good railroader working the road on the ground is going to be prepared for the worst so I brought a lot of clothes and wore lots of layers and even had a balaclava.  When I got back on the head end I was a sweaty mess and sweaty is something to be avoided when its below zero.  You CAN wear too much clothing.  You can get HOT even when its 70 below.  :)
Where the heck was that, Alaskan railroad?


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Rick

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NS Still Running
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2019, 09:29:24 PM »
Thanks Rick.

There was a DD issue last night on NS and dispatcher seemed to walk around the issue to allow the train to run at 30mph to the next DD.  Perhaps it was within the rules, but it was an interesting discussion.

Ed

Depending on what caused the detector to go off.  Any non critical can be authorized by the wayside help desk to proceed to next detector not to exceed 30mph.  All key trains must stop and be inspected though.  Iím guessing a trending hot and they wanted them out of the way.  If it was the thumper and itís non critical then we proceed to Elkhart and itís set out there.  If itís a critical then it must be inspected and set out in south bend going east.  Westbound can set out at a couple places or burns harbor if itís non critical. 
Rick:

Perhaps you can answer this....has 26W (Chicago to Pittsburgh UPS train) been annulled or cancelled?  I havent seen it since Christmas.

About that time, the makeup of 24M seemed to grow...did NS perhaps combine the two trains?

Thanks,
Ed

Now that you mention it, I havenít heard it either but Iím not too familiar with all the Toledo trains.  It is/was a Toledo long pool train so I never got it.  I couldnít find it anywhere so it hasnít run in a while.  They are redoing the van traffic system wide so it could have been combined with another or itís being run out of another terminal outside of Chicago.  Theyíve shuffled some trains to Elkhart crews into Chicago so we can do work in Chicago and continue on to other yards. Kill two birds with one stone and get rid of the other stones if you catch my drift?

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ventrue

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2019, 10:27:39 PM »
Where the heck was that, Alaskan railroad?


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minneSOta.

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2019, 10:34:34 PM »
minneSOta.

Not to venture off topic, but having grown up in Wisconsin, and extreme northern Illinois (almost a stones thro from the cheddar curtain), and my moms side entirely from SW Wisconsin, I remember brutally cold winters for most years in my childhood.

That upper Midwest was often colder than Siberia in January. Always assumed thatís why those Wisconsin and Minnesota women were so...um...Ē*insulated*Ē

ventrue

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2019, 10:46:40 PM »
Not to venture off topic, but having grown up in Wisconsin, and extreme northern Illinois (almost a stones thro from the cheddar curtain), and my moms side entirely from SW Wisconsin, I remember brutally cold winters for most years in my childhood.

That upper Midwest was often colder than Siberia in January. Always assumed thatís why those Wisconsin and Minnesota women were so...um...Ē*insulated*Ē

Avoiding sounding like an old man who walked uphill to school both ways, my experience in Southern and Central Minnesota were not unlike this past's "record" cold, every Winter.  Its entirely possible climate is colder now a bit but I wonder if most of the closings and cancellations and delays were due to not being prepared because of lack of experience, even tho most of the Class 1's in Chicago operate thru Minnesota and at least at the company level, were not untried.  OTOH, trains are now longer tho mitigated by DP.

I also don't remember mail not being delivered due to cold at any time I was in MN.  It's possible that 15 inch snowstorms might have nixed mail service but I also don't remember that in the news either.

crblue

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2019, 06:27:23 AM »
The governor of Kentucky recently made some off-hand comments about people getting too soft when it comes to winter weather. His comment caused NBC's resident weather guesser and intergalactic alien (see Men In Black) to call the governor a nit-wit...which may be true.

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/427879-al-roker-slams-nitwit-kentucky-governor-for-criticizing-school-closures-in-low

That said, just about any agency that deals with people having to be out in the cold seems to be erring on the side of caution these days. We can't have little Johnny standing on the corner waiting for the school bus in sub-zero temperatures because he may not be smart enough to keep his coat zipped and his gloves on...assuming that his parents were smart enough to send him out the door with them. As a result, school superintendents seems to close schools more often than they did "back in my day" when I walked 9 tenths of a mile to school (if I had been a mile away, I could have ridden the bus) in freezing weather and a foot of snow.

I work in the commercial construction business and safety is A Big Deal. We are continually reminded that if we don't think we can do a job safely, we have the right to "stop work". So, applying that logic to the railroad, if a conductor has to walk a train in freezing weather and doesn't think he can do it safely, can he "stop work". It seems that the answer is generally "no" because the dispatcher or trainmaster will generally take the position that the conductor should have been smart enough to dress for the weather.

I don't envy you professional railroaders who have to deal with cold weather. I have memories of Conrail trying to get grain trains out of Logansport during the winter of 1976-77. I was a new clerk and very wet behind the ears. That was the first time I ever heard about the car department's "snifter" that they coupled into the train line so they could pour in alcohol to dry out the air. Even with all the effort, one of those trains took about 12 hours to get out of the yard and up the hill at the east end of Yard A.

Rick

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NS Still Running
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2019, 07:32:38 AM »
minneSOta.
I bet sub zero temps were normal for you then.  This was definitely the coldest Iíve ever worked in but Iíll say it wasnít terrible.  Dress appropriately and stay hydrated with water and warm liquids it was fine.  Being able to bounce in and out of the weather helped too.  Donít know if Iíd have the same thought if I was a maintainer though.  They definitely earned their keep this week. I think the coldest it got here was -22 but I havenít checked the news lately.  Definitely set the record for coldest high for the day. It was -14 according to my phone at one time.


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Rick

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2019, 07:49:54 AM »
The governor of Kentucky recently made some off-hand comments about people getting too soft when it comes to winter weather. His comment caused NBC's resident weather guesser and intergalactic alien (see Men In Black) to call the governor a nit-wit...which may be true.

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/427879-al-roker-slams-nitwit-kentucky-governor-for-criticizing-school-closures-in-low

That said, just about any agency that deals with people having to be out in the cold seems to be erring on the side of caution these days. We can't have little Johnny standing on the corner waiting for the school bus in sub-zero temperatures because he may not be smart enough to keep his coat zipped and his gloves on...assuming that his parents were smart enough to send him out the door with them. As a result, school superintendents seems to close schools more often than they did "back in my day" when I walked 9 tenths of a mile to school (if I had been a mile away, I could have ridden the bus) in freezing weather and a foot of snow.

I work in the commercial construction business and safety is A Big Deal. We are continually reminded that if we don't think we can do a job safely, we have the right to "stop work". So, applying that logic to the railroad, if a conductor has to walk a train in freezing weather and doesn't think he can do it safely, can he "stop work". It seems that the answer is generally "no" because the dispatcher or trainmaster will generally take the position that the conductor should have been smart enough to dress for the weather.

I don't envy you professional railroaders who have to deal with cold weather. I have memories of Conrail trying to get grain trains out of Logansport during the winter of 1976-77. I was a new clerk and very wet behind the ears. That was the first time I ever heard about the car department's "snifter" that they coupled into the train line so they could pour in alcohol to dry out the air. Even with all the effort, one of those trains took about 12 hours to get out of the yard and up the hill at the east end of Yard A.
Interesting you mention the alcohol.  I just had a conversation with my dad who was working in Avon during the 70ís to early 80ís through those harsh winters.  He was telling me about a train that was having trouble getting out of Hawthorne.  Him and a machinist along with two car department guys were sent over there.  Come to find out only one of three engines didnít have frozen main air lines and the cars were pretty much froze too.  Long story short, 10 hours and 175 gallons of alcohol later they had air to the rear end.  You canít run alcohol through those compressors so bypassing them sounded like fun and the crap they blew out was an interesting goo of probably oil, alcohol, and water. 


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IndyHog

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2019, 09:25:16 AM »
Been on trains where they used alcohol too. Sat 12 hr and never turned a wheel. Do believe alcohol in the trainline is illegal now.
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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2019, 09:46:49 AM »
Been on trains where they used alcohol too. Sat 12 hr and never turned a wheel. Do believe alcohol in the trainline is illegal now.

Not sure if itís illegal?  At the least it is Just highly frowned upon because it dries out the seals and causes bigger leaks down the road.

Rick

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2019, 09:55:48 AM »
I know ns quit using alcohol a while back.  They donít use anything now.  Let Mother Nature do the work is a what I was told. 


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ventrue

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2019, 11:54:39 PM »
I bet sub zero temps were normal for you then.  This was definitely the coldest Iíve ever worked in but Iíll say it wasnít terrible.  Dress appropriately and stay hydrated with water and warm liquids it was fine.  Being able to bounce in and out of the weather helped too.  Donít know if Iíd have the same thought if I was a maintainer though.  They definitely earned their keep this week. I think the coldest it got here was -22 but I havenít checked the news lately.  Definitely set the record for coldest high for the day. It was -14 according to my phone at one time.


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Yeah, I'd say below zero was normal.  I can remember periods of time like a week or more and it doesn't get above zero.  My story of getting hot at 30 below I remember just because I had to work in it.  There very well could have been weather that was colder that I don't recall because I was riding in the nice, warm cab except for short jaunts to heated buildings or vehicles.  In later years I became an engineer of sorts and working the yard just had to endure short bits going from cab to cab or to building.

Rick

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Re: NS Still Running
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2019, 02:01:33 PM »
Rick:

Perhaps you can answer this....has 26W (Chicago to Pittsburgh UPS train) been annulled or cancelled?  I havent seen it since Christmas.

About that time, the makeup of 24M seemed to grow...did NS perhaps combine the two trains?

Thanks,
Ed
Just found out that 26w is only run during peak season.  Thatís one of ns hottest trains.  Amtrak gets out if the way for it.  Lot of amazon, ups, etc... that is highest priority.


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