Posts Tagged ‘Union Pacific’

Pair of Uncles Petes Minutes Apart in Marion

July 13, 2017

NS train 175 pounds the diamonds with the CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision as it passes AC Tower in Marion, Ohio, on the NS Sandusky District.

NS Train 195 approaches AC Tower in Marion.

Union Pacific motive power is hardly a rarity on the Norfolk Southern lines radiating from Bellevue.

What might be a little out of the ordinary is seeing two trains led by UP locomotives in a span of less than five minutes.

That was the treat for trackside observers in Marion last Sunday afternoon when train No. 175, a Bellevue to Macon, Georgia, (Brosnan Yard) manifest freight cruised through town and past AC Tower with a pair of faded UP units on the point.

The 175 met at South Marion the 195, a Linwood, North Carolina, to Bellevue manifest freight that was led by a newer UP unit.

Minutes after the 175 cleared AC Tower, the 195 came roaring past.

Touch of the UP on NS in Bellevue

July 1, 2017

Union Pacific No. 6247 is the last locomotive in a light power move to Bellevue. The signal at right is for a Wheeling & Lake Erie train.

A trio of Union Pacific units trail as a train gets underway headed for the Fostoria District.

Trailing in the motive power consist of train 175 as it passes the old reservoir at Caroline.

Helping to pull train 60U south of Attica.

During the longest day outing of the Akron Railroad Club last Sunday in Bellevue, Union Pacific motive power showed up on at least four trains, albeit trailing in all instances.

A UP unit was the last unit on a light power move, which meant that it was facing outward as it rolled through the mini-plant. So the photograph gives it the appearance of leading even if it isn’t.

Still, it is nice to see something colorful and foreign when going trackside.

Yes, the Salad Shooter is Still Operating

June 10, 2017

I’m not sure why I wondered if CSX train Q090 is still operating. But in the wake of the E. Hunter Harrison takeover of the railroad this year the operating plan is in state of flux.

Known to some as the “salad shooter,” Q090 is an interchange train that CSX receives from Union Pacific in Chicago and which carries perishable produce for a warehouse located near Albany, New York.

It doesn’t operate every day, last I knew. I’ve seen it here and there, but I can’t remember the last time that I caught it. It has been several months and it might even have been more than a year ago.

But there it was racing through Berea with nothing slowing it down.

Despite its Union Pacific motive power — which has long been standard for the train — I didn’t recognize it at first. It used to be a string of solid white reefers, but that wasn’t the case on this day.

Toward the front of the train was a collection of what appeared to be standard boxcars so I thought it was just another manifest freight.

But then the consist quickly evolved into those white reefers and I later learned in a radio transmission that this was the Q090.

Somewhere in the not too distant past the train became a section from California and a section from the Pacific Northwest, Washington State, I believe. That might account for the mixed appearance.

All I can say is, “where ya been salad shooter? I sure have missed you.”

UPS Endorses Chicago Bypass Proposal

May 31, 2017

The proposal to build a freight-only bypass rail route around Chicago has picked up a big endorsement from UPS.

The package delivery and logistics company supports the proposed 261-mile line that would begin in northwest Indiana and end in southern Wisconsin.

Comments filed with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board show that many shippers favor the bypass while some railroads, notably Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, have gone on record opposing it.

NS and UP said in comments submitted to the board that they would not use the route, preferring instead to use their existing tracks.

Comments are being taken through June on the plan by Great Lakes Basin Transportation to build the bypass, which also has aroused some NIMBY opposition along its proposed path.

Neither Flipping nor Flopping in Bellevue

April 28, 2017

Of course the highlight of the day, or any day for that matter, for me is catching an Illinois Central unit. It is leading train W08 on the Toledo District into the mini plant.

OK, so what did my trip to Bellevue in early April have in common with Marty Surdyk’s venture there last winter that he wrote about this week in the Akron Railroad Club Bulletin and the ARRC blog?

Actually, very little. The soles on both of my shoes stayed firmed in place and I did not do any flipping or flopping while waiting for trains. I’m still laughing about that story.

I didn’t get any NS heritage units as Marty did in catching the Lehigh Valley H unit on northbound train No. 174.

But I did chase No. 194 southward (railroad eastbound) and my catch of the day was a former Illinois Central SD70 leading a train into town on the Toledo District.

I posted a photograph earlier of the IC unit along with a few other highlights of my day, so here are a few more images from my day in Belleveue, which also involved a chase down the Sandusky District.

The first train that I saw was a monster Wheeling & Lake Erie manifest freight sitting outside of town.

A railfan who goes by the screen name of Camcorder Sam on Trainorders.com, said that the W&LE didn’t come into Bellevue on Saturday so the Sunday train was extra long.

I would get it creeping around the Brewster Connection at Center Street.

If it wasn’t such a great day for heritage locomotives, it was a good day for western foreign power. Two trains had Union Pacific power sets leading them. BNSF power led the 44G, a grain train that came in on the Fostoria District and west south on the Sandusky District.

The crew putting together the 12V had the mini plant tied up for a good half-hour to 45 minutes, causing three trains to have to sit and wait before they could leave town or come into town.

The dispatcher used a term to describe this that I’ve never heard before. It sound like “shopping” but it could have been “chopping.” Whatever work it was had an “op” sound to it.

The crew of L14 toured the mini plant as they spun their motive power set because the original lead unit had some type of issue.

ARRC members will be going to Bellevue in June for our annual longest day outing and Bellevue will be the subject of the cover story in the June ARRC eBulletin.

Just remember to wear a good pair of shoes that day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Union Pacific No. 4012 leads train into town as another one leaves town. They are passing at Southwest Street.

A trio of UP units leads a train out of town.

The W&LE always seems to have to wait before it gets into the NS yard in Bellevue. An inbound train is shown on the Brewster Connection.

It’s all about steel wheels on steel rails. Shown are the wheels of a car on the W&LE train.

The L14 maneuvers around the Mad River Connection in the background as seen between two auto rack cars on an inbound train coming off the Fostoria District.

After spinning its power the L14 finally got underway. It is passing the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum on the Mad River Connection.

As the 12V was being assembled and had the mini plant tied up, it operated as symbol L07.

Train 194 had to wait for the 12V to finish its assembly work before it could leave town. The 12V picked up a Mansfield Crew near Flat Rock and the 194 went around and out ahead of it. The 194 is leaving Bellevue with a CSX unit tucked behind lead locomotive 2661.

The 194 had to wait for a CSX intermodal train at Attica Junction before it could resume its journey. It is shown on the south edge of Siam (Attica Junction)

The 12V saunters through Attica in a view made from the cemetery along the tracks.

Tank cars bring up the rear of NS train 188 as it crosses the Fort Wayne Line at Colson in Bucyrus. The 44G was waiting for it to clear.

 

CSX Eyes Building Chicago Intermodal Terminal

February 1, 2017

CSX is planning an intermodal facility near Chicago along the joint line that it uses with Union Pacific.

CSX logo 1The site is on the former Chicago & Eastern Illinois route in Crete, Illinois, 33 miles south of Chicago.

Although CSX has not announced plans for the 1,100 acre site, speculation on public forums has already triggered NIMBY opposition amid support from public officials.

Some residents have objected to the likelihood of CSX building an overpass for Crete-Monee Road.

Opponents appeared at a public hearing last month and signs opposing the intermodal site have sprung up along roads in the largely rural area.

The intermodal site, though, would be within the village of Crete.

“There is substantial support among local, state, and regional officials for the (Crete) concept,” said CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle. “Locating a facility there would enhance the region’s ability to manage the growing volume of intermodal freight moving to and from the Chicago region.”

The area where the intermodal site would be built has seen growth in warehouses and distribution businesses in recent years.

The village has rezoned the property for intermodal terminal use. CSX purchased the land in June 2016.

If CSX develops the intermodal facility it would part of its Southeastern Corridor and become the first Chicago area intermodal facility tied directly to the port of Miami, which is a gateway to Latin American.

5 Class 1 RRs to Cut 2017 Capital Spending

January 28, 2017

Five of North America’s seven Class 1 railroads plan to spend less in 2017 on capital spending than they did last year.

train image2Norfolk Southern’s capital budget will remain static at $1.9 billion while at CSX capital spending will fall from $2.7 billion to $2.2 billion.

The NS budget includes $930 million for track maintenance, $290 million for locomotives, $240 million for positive train control, $170 million for facilities and terminals, $110 million for technology and similar initiatives, $80 million for infrastructure, and $50 million for freight cars.

The CSX budget figures include $307 million in payments for locomotives that were purchased under seller financing and delivered in 2015.

In 2017 equipment investments are significantly less due to the completion of locomotive purchases.

Canadian Pacific plans to spend C$1.25, an increase of 6 percent from the 2016 budget with around 70 percent of that earmarked for basic replacement and maintenance of way work

Union Pacific has cut its capital budget by 11 percent compared with 2016. The western freight hauler plans to spend $3.1 billion, compared with $3.5 billion last year.

BNSF is cutting capital spending by 13 percent from $3.9 billion to $3.4 billion, saying it has invested a lot of capital in network improvements and growth during the past several years.

At Canadian National, capital spending for 2017 has been set at C$2.9 billion of which C$1.6 billion is for for basic track infrastructure work.

Kansas City Southern has slashed capital spending by about $30 million and expects to spend between $550 million to $560 million in 2017.

CP Won’t Bar Harrison from Working for CSX

January 25, 2017

A regulatory filing made by Canadian Pacific with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows where E. Hunter Harrison can and cannot work under the terms of his non-compete agreement with CP.

E. Hunter Harrison

E. Hunter Harrison

Harrison, who recently stepped down as CP’s CEO, cannot work for Canadian National, BNSF or Union Pacific. But he could work for CSX, Norfolk Southern or Kansas City Southern.

CP granted Harrison a limited waiver of the non-compete clause, which also included waiving a provision that Harrison is not permitted to solicit for employment at another company any CP employees above the level of manager.

Specifically, CP’s waiver makes an exception for the railroad’s chief of staff.

News reports have said that Harrison is teaming up with activist investor Paul Hilal of the firm Mantle Ridge to oust CSX CEO Michael Ward.

Some believe that Harrison would use being the head of CSX to lead a merger effort. Last year Harrison and CP unsuccessfully sought to merge with NS.

If Harrison does make a bid to become part the CSX CEO, he will have until Feb. 10 to do so under the terms of the CSX bylaws for nominating members of the board of directors and filing resolutions to be heard during the annual meeting, which is usually held in May.

I Just Felt Like Shooting a CP Unit

October 14, 2016

 

berea-october-9-x

berea-october-9-02-x

berea-october-9-03-x

I don’t know why, but I just felt like photographing this Canadian Pacific locomotive at Berea.

It’s not leading and there is nothing special about this unit. But it was the first thing I saw when I arrived to spend a few hours on a Sunday morning.

It was a day of sun and clouds and sometimes you got the sun and sometimes you didn’t. Also shown is the eastbound Q158 and the eastbound Q090. In both instances I tried to emphasize the clouds and sky, which were nice on Sunday.

The Q090 is a train that I haven’t seen for awhile. It was also the first time I’d seen it since UP and CSX began teaming up to offer express produce service from Washington State.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

AAR, Unions Spar Over Brake Inspection Waiver

September 30, 2016

The railroad industry is pushing the Federal Railroad Administration to allow unit freight trains to travel up to 2,600 miles between air brake inspections.

FRABut the proposal being pushed by the Association of American Railroads is being resisted by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

The AAR wants the FRA grant a waiver so railroads can check if wheel temperature detectors can replace a mandatory visual inspection.

The pilot program would be undertaken on the Union Pacific on coal trains operating between the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and an unloading terminal in White Bluff, Arkansas.

Under current federal law, the air brakes on a unit train must be inspected every 1,500 miles.

Wheel detectors measure temperature of the entire wheel and railroad industry officials argue that an abnormal wheel temperature reading is a more accurate measurement of whether the braking system is working.

They note that a visual inspection does not take temperature into consideration. Railroad hot box detectors measure the temperature of the wheel’s journal.

AAR contends that relying on wheel temperature detectors will increase employee safety.

The BLET, though, counters that using wheel temperature detectors to replace visual brake
inspections is a poor use of the technology.

“BLET believes [temperature detectors] should be deployed in the field and utilized for their intended use of examining wheel temperature in between terminals. [Detectors] should not, however, be used as a pretext for dodging regulatory safety standards,” said Vincent G. Verna, BLET’s regulatory affairs director.

The Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Union, Transportation Division officials are also asking the FRA to deny the AAR’s request.

The FRA will be taking comments on the AAR proposal through Oct. 13. A decision is not expected for several months after that.