Posts Tagged ‘W&LE on CSX’

How Do They Unload Those Things?

October 27, 2018

At the beginning of summer I was hanging out on the above-ground reservoir in New London by the CSX Greenwich Subdivision.

Traffic was decent given that CSX operates fewer trains these days.

I heard a Wheeling & Lake Erie eastbound train get permission to enter CSX tracks at Greenwich for the trip to New London where it would get back on its own railroad.

My enthusiasm for seeing a W&LE train amid a stream of CSX action was tempered somewhat by the fact that both locomotives were running long hood forward.

Much of the consist of the train was gondolas loaded with limestone. That raised a question in mind as to how the stone is unloaded.

Most of the stone I’ve seen shipped by rail moves in hopper cars with doors that open at the bottom. Gravity then does the unloading.

But how do you get stone out of a gondola. My guess is either you use a clamshell bucket or you have to turn the car upside down as is down with some cars carrying coal.

My hunch is these cars are not turned upside down when unloaded.

The Little Guys Wins One in Greenwich

March 3, 2016

Feb28 Greenwich 01-x

Regional and short-line railroads that have trackage rights on a busy Class 1 mainline are not always a top priority on someone else’s property.

No one knows that better than the Wheeling & Lake Erie, which must use CSX tracks to get between CP47 in New London on the CSX Greenwich Subdivision and GN Tower in Greenwich on the Willard Subdivision, where the W&LE line to Carey diverges.

So when I heard a W&LE train key up the CSX IG dispatcher last Sunday to get permission to enter the Greenwich Sub at New London, I expected the Wheeling train would have a long wait.

The dispatcher, though, seemed to indicate that the wait would be short. “Watch for a signal” after a UPS train passed by.┬áThat would be the Q010, which was already through Greenwich.

Not long after that, though, what had been a relatively quiet Greenwich Sub sprang to life with a parade of eastbound traffic, including the Q008, Q004 and L382.

Also in the mix was a Q263, which pulled up and stopped at the home signal for the connecting tracks from the Greenwich Sub to the Willard Sub.

The Q263 had to wait for the Q008 and an auto rack train to come up the single-track Mt. Victory Sub from Crestline.

It had been more than two hours since I had heard the Wheeling train talking with the CSX dispatcher and it was getting to be late afternoon when I finally heard the W&LE 6354 calling signals as it made its way west on the Greenwich Sub.

The Q353 was still waiting and as I saw the headlight of the W&LE train come into view I expected to see it stop next to the CSX train.

But it kept going and went around the Q353. Was the W&LE getting dispatching priority?

Well, maybe not. The Q263 still had to wait a while longer for an auto rack train to come up from Crestline and go east on the New Castle Sub.

The auto rack train reached Greenwich 16 minutes after the Wheeling train took the short connection to the Willard Sub. So either the dispatcher or a computer decided that a 36-car Wheeling train could move on through quick enough not to delay any CSX trains.

Still, I’d like to think that seeing a W&LE train go around a CSX train was a victory for the little guy for once.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders