Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Something, Something, Trains

6/10/2016 A work train with Herzog ballast cars is headed South out of Rouses Pt. with leased SD40-2 power of interesting heritage crossing the Leggett Rd.

We are well into June at this point and my railfanning has taken something of a slump. Nothing in particular, just time, and when the trains have been running. I don't know when the big tie work is supposed to start, however we were given a real treat a few days ago when a Herzog ballast train came through. It was Saturday June 10.

On June 10, 2016 a Southbound manifest freight meets the Herzog ballast train in Rouses Pt. NY at 10:40 am
It was a a day when there was a Southbound 930, and they were waiting in Rouses Pt. The ballast train was working up from Plattsburgh and ended up parking just across from Leggett Rd. It was neat since we got to see the 930 take off, then the work train ran the power around so they could go South. Word is the cars are destined to head over to Vermont to get refilled with ballast.

A Southbound Canadian Pacific 650 ethanol train passes the historic Delaware & Hudson station in Plattsburgh, NY at 9:30 pm on June 7, 2016

A few days earlier on the 7th had a nice opportunity to have a local rail fan get together. Some friends came back to town to visit and it was an excuse to have some of us local train buffs hang out. After a nice dinner in town at Mickey's, for track side dining. Then to hang out for a little by the historic 1886 Delaware & Hudson train station for a lovely evening. We were rewarded by the end of the night at about 9:30 pm when a Southbound CP 650 ethanol train rumbled by our merry band.

In other news Trains magazine from Kalmbach Publishing gave some nice coverage of the plight of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, and the greedy trail group that has been coveting the railroad right of way. It was a nice article, with coverage of the dastardly acts by the city of Kingston and Ulster county against the Catskill Mountain Railroad.
It is a sad state that the rails to trails conservancy, that started with such lofty goals, has become a childish, predatory monster, seeking out historic and preservation railroads as easy marks. This decision on the CMRR and the Adirondack Scenic will have potential long term ramifications when it comes to any preservation or short line railroad that operates on any government owned track.

I did enjoy getting to point out that on the Kalmbach map they got he railroad wrong, they show the line connecting the former Chateaugauy branch going from Lake Placid to Westport, which is completely wrong. It should break off from North or Saranac Lake, and circle North to come in near Plattsburgh. A little criticism I had of the article was that all the Adirondack Scenic pictures were of trains operating on the South end, which is currently not in danger of being lost.

Anyway the  added exposure is nice, hopefully it will reach a wider audience as to what has been going on in New York.

June 6, 2016 and a Northbound NS/CN manifest freight 931 passes through the Canadian Pacific defect detector at MP 173.3 in Beekmantown, NY.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Recent Rail Activity May 2016

5/27/2016 Amtrak 69, the Northbound Adirondack, under the lead of AMTK 13 crosses the Saranac River In Plattsburgh, NY
Well I have really been wanting to get some posts up, but found time has not been my ally.

It has been difficult catching things running when I am out since they rearranged the schedule mostly overnight to accomodate the extra maintenance going on.

4/24/2016 Maintenance equipment congregate near the Terry Gordon Bike path in Plattsburgh during a busy work day on the railroad.
For the last couple months now it has been a maintenance blitz. They have been replacing rails dropping piles of ballast and ties for the various projects. We have seen upwards of 40 Canadian Pacific maintenance of way workers on the move. Which as an aside is money being pumped into the local economy as these workers are put up in area hotels, fed at area restaurants and buy supplies at area stores. Much less the amount of fuel, supplies and various items the railroad buys locally to support the operation.

The rail gang has been moving South, I have spotted their line of equipment down at Westport, Port Henry and the last place someone I knew spotted it was on the maintenance siding in Ticonderoga.  I would imagine it is all tucked away somewhere down by Whitehall at least by now.

But the next chore to get done is to replace ties.

During the last week someone has been through marking ties to be replaced with fluorescent paint. I first noticed it down by the D&H Station in Plattsburgh on Friday.

5/27/2016 Bright paint marks raroad ties tof be replaced while the new ties sit waiting to be utilized near Dock St. in Plattsburgh.

I am hoping to see some of the tie gang in action like I got to witness the rail gang. All this extra work going on is in addition to the regular maintenance.

Coincidentally all this going on happens while there have been protests around the country with sit ins that have involved arrests. In the meantime the local paper has lambasted the railroad for the dangers of the cargo they haul.

I would love to be able to interview someone from Canadian Pacific about the infrastructure projects they have worked on. It is always great to see the work that goes into the line, and encouraging that they invest in the railroad to make it safe and efficient.

With all this going on for maintenance, it has reduced the amount of trains I've been able to see, with most running before I can see them in the morning. Overnight if I have a window open, I can sometimes here when traffic comes through, and if you can hear the whistle pattern enough, tell if it is a Northbound or Southbound.

Of note lately was the appearance of Amtrak 184 the heritage Phase IV and AMTK 822 the Phase III locomotive bouncing back and forth on the Adirondack, including a few days where they met.

Two Canadian Army tanks returning from the Sullivan Cup at Fort Benning, GA came back on 931 North. I chased them the day they went South back in March in 930.

I saw a 930 at Burke Rd. in Beekmantown that had stopped after getting a stuck brake alarm by the detector near Spellman Rd. the crew inspected the brake and when it was clear they continued on their way.

And just a few days ago the local engine changed to the 7307, which is odd since the Bombardier test facility looks full of cars.

Well this has been a long time coming, but just haven't had a lot of time to update.
6/1/2016 ex-D&H GP38-2 CP crosses the Barracks Golf Course in Plattsburgh, NY on its way to the wye and into the CP yard at Bluff