Mailbag: Train Consolidation, AC&Y Trail

We don’t get many comments in response to postings on this blog but on occasion we get some. One of those was an email from a friend who used to work for a Class 1 railroad.

He wrote to say that although most trains these days being operated by Class 1s are a mish mash of various type of freight, don’t expect to see UPS trailers or containers moving as part of a monster length manifest freight.

“They are the hottest trains on any railroad that gets a contract for them, and they move,” he wrote.

Any intermodal train that has even one UPS trailer or container is considered to be a UPS train for dispatching purposes.

As for auto racks moving in manifest freights, he wrote that automobile traffic probably has not come back to the point where it is economical to separate them out again.

“The advantage of operating dedicated auto rack trains is that they are considered intermodal trains, like trailer/stack trains, and can operate at the maximum allowable speed for whatever subdivision they are on.”

On CSX, for example, that can be a top speed of 70 mph. But auto racks placed in the consists of manifest freights are limited to a top speed of 50 mph.

He said that sales of new vehicles probably are not good enough currently to warrant paying more for a dedicated train.

We also received a comment from a reader involved with a new recreational trail group, New London-Greenwich Rail Trail, Incorporated.

He wrote to say his group purchased the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown right-of-way between New London and Greenwich in May of 2019 from the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway.

NLGRT has been working to remove overgrowth and construct the trail, which has been named The AC&Y Trail.

Late last year CSX removed a piece of panel track from the former AC&Y right of way that had sat at Greenwich East Town Line 79 road.

I remember photographing that panel track a few years back and know that it sat there for some time.

The AC&Y Trail is expected to open to the public by the end of summer 2020.

Perhaps that will create some new photographic opportunities of the CSX Greenwich Subdivision.

The trail will pass the New London Reservoir, which sits above ground and is a good place to photograph CSX trains and W&LE trains using CSX trackage rights.

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