NS GP40-2 3046

Monday, November 03, 2008

I've submitted two pictures to Railpictures.com only to have them rejected. The second one was rejected on this account:
"Poor lighting (Cloudy): Common angle cloudy day shots of common/standard power are generally not accepted." Alrighty then. I give up trying to get my pictures posted on their site. Why do I need to post them on their site anyway? I have my own site and I am the editor. If someone is looking for a locomotive, they usually use Google to find pictures or location information.

Here is there rejected picture

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Yesterday was a very interesting day on the railroad. Several things happened. First the Wheeling crew somehow forgot to give us all our empties. I am still trying to figure out how they thought 10 empties should stay on their train and not go with the other 31 empties we had. Second, a locomotive is only capable of pulling so many cars going up a hill. We currently have a GP15 (LTEX 1420) that can pull about 20 loads on our line. I bet it could pull more the line of you could move the hills to somewhere else. Since this locomotive has not been put to the test, yesterday was the day. So 23 loaded gons were attached to 1420. Off they went at 20 mph and would soon drop down to 9 mph. What killed the train was a curve. This train went from 9 mph to a halt. Half the train was left outside the yard and the other half about 5 miles back at the bottom of the hill.

After the Wheeling crew placed the 10 empties in their train and tied them down to our cut of empties, we proceeded to get down to business. Our first move was to get the loads that where left out on the main outside the yard. Once tied on to the loads, we pulled into the yard and tied on to a cut of 6 empties. This cut was place on the front of the locomotive. So we started to move to the rest of the empties that were being stored across the crossing. Once across the crossing, we made the tie on to the empties. I connected the air hose. Once that angle cock was opened, I gave the engineer "ahead" over the radio. Very slowly, that little GP15 started to shove 41 empties and pull 11 loads at the same time. That poor little engine did it somehow. It was slow going at first, but soon it was the train was moving at about 4-5 mph. We shoved the empties out of the yard onto the main so that we could have room bring our second section of loads into the yard. By the way, this way is small yard. A main line, with a long siding and a short siding attached to the siding. I have to look at my map to see how many cars can fit into this yard. We shoved the loads to the siding track. Once the loads were parked, we ran pulled back onto the main to head out to get the rest of the loads.

To be continued…..

w&le 301.jpg

Here is a picture of Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway GP40 301. The crew on that train did some goofy switching yesterday.....

Friday, September 05, 2008

This is a picture of the rear half insides of a GP15. Usually only one door is open to start the locomotive. This time, we have a few doors on the open trying to figure out why the engine stopped running. After the engineers goofed pushing buttons, we left. Not in a train, but a truck to the location of our other locomotive. We had to start our night at the scrap yard and work backwards using the SW1500, 1185. This little engine is a beast. The max number of empties it has pulled is 63. On a great day, it will pull about 20 loads. When pulling 20 and in run. 7-8 for about 20 minutes, you will smell this funky rubber smell. I'm guessing that is the smell of the traction motors cooking. I often wonder how many cars a SW1500 could pull on a flat grade..........

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

nate working.jpg

I've been working on the railroad. All the livelong day that turned into the darkness of night.......

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good news, the hard drives are good. Something on the motherboard went south. I am moving stuff over to the new server right now. I hope to have the site up by the end of the day.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I had a few moments to snap this picture of myself. I did not have my Carhart overalls on today. My Carhart's are the best. Anybody looking for some Dickies?


I was not expecting to work today. We have to get a cut of 33 empties and bringing up 4 loads.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Those cars ahead will turn my passenger train in a freight train. There are 15 empty gondolas and 1 loaded with wire metal. Should be fun switching with a load on the rear and in the rain.....

The train that I am working today as a brakeman.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

It has been awhile since my real last update. My last update was from my new Blackberry device. I must say that I was impressed with its ability to take a decent picture and post it to Blogger.

My railroading 101 intro Brakeman class is over with. I’m now a certified brakeman thanks to Midwest. To pass the test, we had to tie on to two empty gondolas, make an air connection, release the hand brakes and use the radio to the engineer to move past the switch. Once past the switch, we had to back our train up to clear the switch and set off one car. We went back and forth with two cars using the radio and hand signals. Once done, the instructor told us if we passed or failed. Out of the three folks who were on hand for the test, all three passed. Next class in line will is for the famous Conductor.

Days before the test, I decided to purchase a pair of overalls. I figured if I was going to work as a brakeman, I should look like one. To my surprise, OshKosh stopped making adult work wear. So I was left with pickings from Carhart and Dickies. After trying on a pair of overalls from both makes, I went with a pair from Dickies. Going forward, my next pair will come from Carhart.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It has been some time since I've update my blog . I've wanted to update my blog and website with some new pictures from the roundhouse. My brakeman class is almost complete. I have learned a lot since this class started. In a couple of weeks, I will have a test on what I have learned in the class room. So far, I have not received any hands on experience. I will find out this Saturday when I can get a ride on a local shortline here in town.

I promise, I will update ny blog again within the next few days.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I’ve been away from updating my blog for sometime now. There are no real excuses expect pure laziness on my part. My very brief statement sums my new found thoughts and feelings about railroading.

For the last 5 weeks, I’ve been learning the trade of a railroad brakeman. My class is taught and held at Midwest(http://www.midwestrailway.org/). I usually tell friends and family that I’m going to hang out at “the roundhouse”. For about two and a half hours every Saturday morning, we have reviewed railroad operating rules and air brakes. I will admit that I thought I knew everything about railroading until I started to learn about railroading. This class brings me a different aspect on the world of railroading and those who perform duties for a living. It’s hard work that must be performed with the up most safety and respect for the equipment at all times. The air brake system for a train is really interesting to me. There are so many parts that make up this system. You have the triple value, reservoirs, compressors, air hoses, brake pipes and so on. You learn little things. It takes 7 minutes to charge the air on a train, 8-11 minutes to charge up to 50 cars and 18-25 minutes to charge up to 100 cars. I’ll guess it takes a lot longer to charge trains over 100 cars. I’m confused how trains with helpers and how they are able to help recharge the brake system. We will soon learn how to get on and off equipment that is moving (not fast, just up to 5 mph), couple and uncouple cars, learn the hand signals and read railroad timetables. But before we can learn how to do the things above, we have to put back our turn table.

The roundhouse was built in 1906 and I will assume that the table was installed at the same time (that makes it 102 years old!). A few years back, someone was working on something and had the Pettiebone crane on part of the table. Somehow, some of the wood ties became cracked. This issue soon opened the door for other issues. When our RS3 locomotive was placed one the table to move cars around, the one end would dip down about 7-8 inches. This would cause the engine to have to climb to the track near the roundhouse. We started the project with hopes to replace the bad ties. Now the project has taken on bigger issues. For the first time since the table was built, the wheels have been turned. They are all nice and round now. This will allow the table to rotate smoothly now. Also, the housing for these wheels will allow for regularly greasing. Next week, I’ll post pictures of our turn table.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I've been a huge slacker lately. I have plenty to share from a new and fresh view of railroading, kind of.

I'm now in learning how to become a brakeman. There is a different side of railroading that I have been exposed to.

A lot more to come really soon.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Another year is here already. Some people like to make goals for the upcoming year. I really don't make goals at the start of a new year. One thing that I will do this year is upgrade my lenses for my Canon Rebel XTi to Canon's L series.

Over at Railroadforums.com, there is a monthly photo contest. For the month of January, it deals with the cold(http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21540. While driving home last Saturday from the roundhouse(Midwest), I passed the old Erie Railroad yard on East 55th. NS was there putting a train together to clear out the yard for the week. Some of the cars in the train contain scrap metal that was steaming. If I was smart that day, I would have pulled over to get some pictures of steam coming from the gondolas. I still have the rest of the month to come up with something interesting........