Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not a morning to be wasted...

(Train sightings on 04/22/07)

After all I couldn't let Sunday's sunshine and pleasant temperatures go to waste now, could I? Headed out along the Lehigh Line with camera and scanner in hand to see what was running.Trackside out in Bloomsbury (NJ) saw the following trains pass by my vantage point:

8:20-NS 21M; In my opinion, this was a shorter than usual 21M when compared to previous 21M's. Power was NS 8345 (C40-8W, ex-CR 6103), NS 8851 (C40-9) and NS 8455 (C40-8W).

8:32-NS 24V; After holding on the tunnel's west side for 21M to pass, NS 2777 (SD70M-2) and NS 9463 (C40-9W) would bring this train of COFCs east.

9:25-NS 18G; Two C40-9Ws, NS 9760 and NS 9266, would bring eighty-five cars of mixed freight east.

10:20-NS 11J; Provided the nice surprise of the day. NS 9656 (C40-9W) and blue and yellow BNSF 8732 (GP60, ex-ATSF 4032) would bring 106 autoracks west. This power was the same power that brought NS 18N east on Saturday (4/21).

Not a bad way to spend this Sunday morning...

Monday, April 23, 2007

A morning of meets...

(Train sightings on 4/14/07)

A number of meets took place Saturday morning between the Lehigh Line's CP 62 and CP 67 in Pattenburg (NJ). Starting at 8 o'clock and falling into the heard but not seen category by me was the first meet at CP 64. NS 19G would hold the main while NS 20K and NS 212 went by on the passing siding.

With NS 214 (Atlanta, GA to Croxton, NJ) holding on Pattenburg Tunnel's west side, NS 23M (E-Rail, NJ to Los Angeles, CA), with NS 7545 (ES40DC) and NS 8590 (C39-8), would go west at 8:30.

Following behind 23M was NS 21M (North Bergen, NJ to Chicago, IL) with PRR 8412 (C40-8W, ex-CR 6218), PRR 6770 (SD60M, ex-CR 5513) and NS 9668 (C40-9W).

After 21M went west, at 9:17 NS 214 would be instructed to bring its train of "...just under 7,000 feet." and take the short siding. 214's power would consist of three B32-8s (NS 3527, NS 3553 and NS 3530) and GP60 NS 7146.

The reason for taking the siding was that NS 11J (Newark, NJ to Oak Wood, MI) was coming west with sixty-nine autoracks. It would pass by CP 64 with NS 2616 (SD70M) and NS 8819 (C40-9) at 9:30 with instructions "to take the long siding." Two more eastbounders would be coming through.

An unknown NS intermodal, possibly 24Z, would be first to come east. Motive power was NS 9721 (C40-9W) and NS 2701 (SD70M-2).

The second train would be NS 64J (Mingo Junction, OH to Kearny, NJ) bringing back empty municipal waste containers for refills. NS 9813 (C40-9W) and NS 8805 (C40-9) provided the power.

Not a bad morning for train watching to see how efficiently the dispatcher was moving these trains along.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A view from the bridge...

(Flooding on the NS Lehigh Valley line in New Jersey)

This is the scene looking east around 1:30 on Monday (4/16) from the Interstate 287 north bound bridge towards Bound Brook. The bridge on the left is the ex-LVRR bridge that is now designated as part of CR's Shared Assets Lehigh Line. The bridge on the right is the former Reading Bridge. Beneath those murkey waters lie two sets of tracks. Judging from the amount of debris and water covering the tracks, one can only speculate when this stretch of tracks will be operational.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lehigh Line Saturday (3/31) sightings...

at Bloomsbury (NJ) were as follows:

NS 24Z-8:35; would have PRR 8340 (C40-8W, ex-CR 6097) and NS 2767 (SD70M-2) taken the Pattenburg siding for two westbounders.

NS 21M-8:55; had a trio of C40-9Ws for power. They were NS 9711, NS 9205 and NS 9376.

NS 19G-Time wasn't recorded as NS 9794 and NS 9834, two C40-9Ws, had some interesting cars in this 116 car general merchandise train. There was a odd couple (No, not Felix Unger and Oscar Madison) of a Guilford Maine Central boxcar coupled to a Pan Am boxcar. The 109th car was a SOO LINE boxcar with a faded "Colormark" marking. The next to the last car was a NW scale car.

NS 11J-9:45; would be instructed to take its ninety-seven autoracks onto the "...long siding for one eastbounder." 11J's power consisted of NS 2526 (SD70) and NS 9010 (C40-9W).

NS 18G-10:30; was moving ever so slowly as it came east. Motive power would be NS 8307 (C40-8, ex-CR 6035) and NS 2620 (SD70M).

Sorry about not including a shot or two with this report. Low battery power in the camera combined with cold temperatures left my digital camera DOA!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hot Box on NS in NJ

I put this news in the heard on the grapevine category because I got it at least third-hand.

Saturday afternoon, 3/31/07, the NS line from Allentown, PA to eastern NJ was all tied up when a stack train tripped a hot box detector at Neshanic Station. The conductor said that the train was over 2 miles long. NS had several crews "outlaw" due to this tie up. The train was 24V, a stack train from Harrisburg, PA to dockside in NJ. 24V ended up setting out the shop car at Royce, where it was in turn picked up later in the evening.

But 24V on Friday had a bad car too, which was set out on the hotbox siding at the tunnel.

All this news leaves me with several questions. How do they pick up these cars and where do they take them? How do they repair them? What happens to the cargo? And as these questions are answered, the answers could raise more questions. I guess this is what happens when you hear it on the grapevine.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Before the clouds rolled in...

(Train sightings on 3/24/07)

managed to get trackside along the Lehigh Line in Manville (NJ) and Three Bridges on this Saturday (3/24). Here is what I saw during that time.

8:30-NS 23M @ Manville had NS 7114 (GP60) and NS 3528 (B32-8) for power. This very long intermodal seemed to go on forever. By my time estimation, it would take around four minutes to pass completely by.

8:45-NS 21M @ Manville would have NS 9519 (C40-9W), NS 6687 (SD60) and NS 6780 (SD60M) providing the power. This one could also be categorized as another long intermodal.

10:00-falling into the seen but unknown symbol category was a eastbound intermodal, possibly NS 214, that passed through Manville. Power was three NS diesels.

10:10-NS 64R @ Manville was finally given permission to head east over the Royce Runner to Port Reading Junction. Behind NS 9303 and NS 8912, two C40-9Ws, was a "Southern" boxcar followed by seventy-nine tank cars containing ethanol and then another "Southern" boxcar.

1:50-NS 64J @ Three Bridges had NS 9460 (C40-9W), BNSF 994 (C44-9W), PRR 3018 (GP40-2, ex-CR 3310) and NS 7600 (ES40DC) bringing back those empty garbage containers.

3:00-NS 24V @ Flemington Jct was still waiting on the siding for a possible recrew. It called a stop at CP 51 a little after 1 PM and was still waiting when I departed. Power was PRR 8442 (C40-8W, ex-CR 743) and BNSF 7616 (ES44DC).