NS GP40-2 3046

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Walking Away.....

There is a power plant in Eastlake, Ohio that receives Power River Basin coal trains from the BNSF Railway. At one time, there was always a pair of EMD GP40-2 locomotives to pull the coal cars down to the car plant for dumping. These units where kept on a siding next to a small trailer that was used a depot for the crews. The units where usually ex-Conrail units that went to CSX. The usual units that got to handle the coal traind where 4407, 4410, 4411, 4420, 4447, 4449 and others in series.. These units were once used to tow hot TV (Trailer Van) trains across the Conrail system. Soon, they where bumped to handle general freights due to displacement by newer power to handle that could handle longer trains. By the time CSX recieved these units, there where being used in local and yard service. When not being used to shuffle auto racks and pull long cuts of flat cars in Collinwood, you could find them working on the coal cars for the power plant.
Over the years, I been able to catch the bandits mentioned above around Cleveland.
I'll post the pictures tomorrow.......

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thanks to mother nature, I was able to receive my first lesson in winter railroading 101. When working in the extreme cold(10 degrees) and snow, you have to take your time when walking and dealing with the equipment. There was plenty of snow that caused problems when walking and climbing up the freight cars to tie them down. You sink into inches of untouched snow. In normal weather, it takes seconds to get to from one car to another, that is now minutes. Equipment takes on a new lifeless form. Brakes do not like to do their job on the cars when applied right away. Make a couple of reductions and keep pulling. The brakes on the car will heat up sooner and hopefully not later. Most of the times, you will come to a stop. This makes things tougher when switching in yards. Not enough time to drag the cars around to heat up the shoes to grip. A road hogger can put on his first reduction on at speed to get his brakes to heat up pretty quickly. Lucky Guys.....

Monday, January 05, 2009

This train stops for bunnies.........

I was riding on the rear platform when I heard the and felt the locomotive coming to a quick stop. I quickly entered the cab to see what was going on.
"Why did we stop" I asked the engineer?
"There was a rabbit in the tracks and I did not want to run it over"
"'What kind of rabbit was it"
"I don't know. It was one that was between the tracks. Can you go check to see if it cleared the rails?"

I walked out the fireman's door, slammed it shut behind me and proceeded to the front of the locomotive. When I made it to the front, I did not see any rabbit. I radioed the engineer to tell him that there was no rabbit in between the tracks or near them and to start moving our engine moving forward again. I returned to the cab to start my questioning.

"What kind of rabbit was it again?"
"I don't know." "It was a Playboy Bunny."
"That would been worth us stopping."
We both had a good laugh.

Other than this happening, the nightly run was uneventful. It was cold out with temps in the 20s. We ran slower than usual do the the cold. Rail has a higher chance of breaking in cold weather. I'm guessing that our rail with various dates stamped from the 20's would be prime supects for cold weather breaks.

I forgot to mention that I lost my Carhart knit hat. It might have escape from me somewhere in the depot or near my car in the yard. One of our crews is working tonight. I wonder who will find it first, a CCR crew or Wheeling. There have been hats in the yard before that just end up laying around for weeks until someone speaks up about their hat blowing off.