Author Topic: IMC brush-clearing  (Read 105457 times)

monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2010, 02:25:10 PM »
Today, I noticed at the Tipton County Road 600 North (just north of Sharpsville) grade crossing of the IMC, that there had been some brush-whacking completed as I looked south toward Sharpsville.  I couldn't stop and look closer because of traffic, but what was different about this work compared to what we've been discussing thus far (east of US 31 inside Kokomo city limits) is that the brush had been cut along each side of the rails.  It looked like a machine had cleared it.  However, there were still small trees and brush between the rails.  There are not as many large trees on the ROW here, as this is where the NS maintenance ended when they were still serving traffic to the Sharpsville Co-op.

In the town of Sharpsville, it was hard to tell, but maybe a little clearing work was done as well.  No sign of rail travelling equipment though.  No cuts in the gravel at the grade crossings.  I drove on south to CR 400 N, and could not see anything there.  While in Sharpsville, there was some joints of rail that have been removed from the passing track.  I don't know how long they've been gone.  A co-op hired crew last fall removed some of the co-op siding in the same proximity.
monty

Garry Tidler

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2010, 02:30:21 PM »
I checked the IMC between Tipton and Sharpsville and didn't see any changes. I will keep checking and report back. I took some pictures.

buckeyehoosier

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2010, 06:42:52 PM »
Great photos. That ROW looks pretty good considering.

It really doesn't make much sense to spend extra money for a crew to clear a line like that if they're just going to scrap it. With the last branch I saw pulled they simply went up the ROW with a large front end loader, knocking aside whatever brush was in their way, then dragging large lengths of rail back to their staging area.

Will be interesting to see what happens here nonetheless.  8)
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JGN

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2010, 07:32:42 PM »
WSRY hasn't touched the line from Kokomo Creek on North(where their ownership takes over), all looks the same. Rail still off at Milepost 52 behind the Chrysler plant and heavy brush fouling the ROW. I have noticed a couple of railroad trucks(unmarked)coming and going from the Marshall Yard office this last month, which I haven't noticed in a long time so that has me wondering what's going on. I agree, contracters usually just work through the brush when removing rail, but there are always exeptions, and thus nothing is out of the realm. I will keep an eye on the aforementioned section and post if I notice any changes, Jay

JohnIII

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2010, 07:39:58 AM »
The Milwaukee Road ran on trackage like that.  I've seen pictures of the Oolitic branch from the 70s and 80s where the track was overgrown and ballast was non-existent.  Don't know how they kept stuff on the track.
Back to the subject, it'll be interesting to see what happens to this line.
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That Guy

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2010, 01:48:31 PM »
Just read a few minutes ago on another list that someone stopped to talk to the contractors clearing the brush.  They believe they are contracted through NS, but not sure.  Said they are clearing brush all the way to Tipton on this contract. 

IU_Tower

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2010, 08:22:34 PM »
Just read a few minutes ago on another list that someone stopped to talk to the contractors clearing the brush.  They believe they are contracted through NS, but not sure.  Said they are clearing brush all the way to Tipton on this contract. 

Now if they just do ALOT of tie work and resurfacing, we'll be in business....
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monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2010, 09:02:32 PM »
I drove back through Sharpsville this afternoon, and what I reported in my last post was accurate, BUT it was not fresh work.

The nice pictures Garry posted shows that the ROW is much cleaner between Sharpsville and Tipton, so as the crew works south, their task will get a lot easier.  This investment into the line by NS is encouraging to me.

I think WSRY may really be the impetus to this but there are a lot of details outstanding that could dampen my enthusiasm.  NS is the big kid on the block.  Having said that, the greatest majority of the traffic out of Kokomo (probably 80% of it) is originated at Kokomo Grain - and they share some common ownership with WSRY.

Since nothing has been filed with the STB, would it be a remote possibility that NS may keep it's current share of the IMC and interchange with WSRY right in Kokomo?  Seems a natural that WSRY may use run-through NS power anyway.  That would dispel NS fears of WSRY bypassing their routes to the Southeast in favor of CSX.  Could this be why the STB is quiet?
monty

scraphauler

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2010, 09:19:58 PM »
Just read a few minutes ago on another list that someone stopped to talk to the contractors clearing the brush.  They believe they are contracted through NS, but not sure.  Said they are clearing brush all the way to Tipton on this contract. 

I would be interested in knowing who the contractor is.  The general nondescript appearance of what little equipment there is involved in the clearing certainly leaves the field wide open, but it fits to a T the description of Seymour Excavating who does contract brush/tree removal for railroads, utilities, etc.   Someone asked one the labors what was going on while they where working on a project in Southern Indiana a few months ago - he said the where clearing brush, contracted through NS as far as he knew (sound familiar?).  Yes, they where clearing brush on RR right of way - problem is, they where not working for NS - they where working for RailAmerica.   Probably just a coincidence, but makes one wonder.....
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central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2010, 10:24:03 PM »
I will contain my excitement till I start seeing crossing lights put back in service, road crossings cleared of pavement and repaired.  US31 has quite a thick layer of pavement over what was a rough crossing, so do many of the other crossings.  1 set of flashers are wiped out on STRD 26 and on Lincoln road.  Lots of work to do yet if they plan to run stuff.  I remember the grain movements when the old CERA of the early 90's ran regular 70+ car unit trains south.  That was fun to see, usualy 2 Monon F units leased from ITM and usualy 1201 and 1202 pushing on the rear till they crested the grade from US31 to between Southway Bvld and Alto Rd.  If it wasnt the F units it was 1751 and 1750 on the point.  Then later on came the high hood ex NS GP30's and ex BN GP10's  All the good ol days!  Keep the updates coming!   Mike T

IU_Tower

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2010, 09:24:14 AM »
Now, if they would just re-install the diamond at Tipton we would all have reason to rejoice.

Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?
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monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2010, 06:42:14 PM »
The crew has cut through to Center Road now.  Nothing south of there yet.  They have whacked through the worst of it.  Looks so much nicer.  Would look even better with shiny rails. 
monty

LJ

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2010, 08:24:50 PM »
Almost sounds like to me that Railamerica wants to create a monopoly on W.S.R.Y/ U.S. Rail's operations.

central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2010, 09:17:49 PM »
I saw a father and son walking the right of way between Alto and Southway Bvld on my way home from work this evening.  I agree, flashers made operational, and some shine on the rails would be very good!   For now its nice to be able to see down the track again, hasnt been like that since I moved back in 2008.  Mike

nhensley

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2010, 07:56:50 AM »
Any more updates on this topic?

monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2010, 08:31:28 AM »
From what I have observed, work seems to have stopped at Center Road.  Really, they cut the worst part of the ROW - the worst being the thickest timber.  I suppose a mechanical mounted machine could do the rest.
monty

ATSF616

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2010, 08:15:46 PM »
Any more updates on this topic?

Haven't had much time to explore in detail, but as of today (Monday April 12) absolutely nothing appears to have been touched north of the US31 grade crossing.

central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2010, 09:37:16 PM »
Looks like they are done doing the brush clearing for the moment, for whatever reason they were doing it.  Maybe we will see something new or someone will devulge what rumors they have heard.   Mike

scraphauler

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2010, 09:41:19 PM »
Need a geography refresher.  The first phase of the new US 31 goes to bid this coming Wednesday (4/14).  This phase runs from 0.5 miles SOUTH of Indiana 26 to 2.5 miles SOUTH of Indiana 22.  Does this portion of the new highway stay SOUTH/WEST of the IMC, or will it be crossing the IMC.  Reason I ask is there is no provision for an bridge over the rail line IN THIS PORTION of the new road - only bridges are over Martin-Youngman Ditch, Scott-Youngman Ditch, Kokomo Creek, County Road 300 S, and a bridge for Indiana 26 over the new US 31.  And since this road is being build to Intersate Highway standards, I doubt they would put in a grade crossing.  I'm hoping this portion of the new highway simply just doesn't make it to the IMC right of way and there not something else getting ready to happen.    Although, I still think that a reactivation of the IMC and Kokomo Grain/WSRYs traffic moving Tipton  (from Marion) likely signals an end to Kokomo-Marion service - I could see CERA pulling out of Kokomo and operate out of Marion serving the elevators on line, cutting line between furthest west elevator and Kokomo.
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central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2010, 10:41:17 PM »
Howard county and Hamilton country protested the cutting of the IMC from Kokomo to Tipton and from what I have heard from folks that attended the latest meeting held at Tri Central HS is that INDOT will now build a bridge over the IMC.  I think it took Hamilton country (lots of money and voting folks in that county) protesting to get INDOT to not sever the line.  Both counties want the rail corridor preserved for future light rail service from Kokomo to Indy or freight service.  I know KG wants to take grain to Tipton instead of Marion, been that way for years.  CERA used to operate this way back in the late 80's and into the 90's.   Used to watch either 1750/1751 or the 83a and 96 take 80+ loads of grain to Tipton when I was a teenager.  Usualy the 1201 or 1202 shoved on the rear till it reached the summit between Southway Bvld and Alto Rd, then cut away and return to local switcher duties.  Back then there was enough local traffic to warrent a swither job during the weekdays.  Mike