Selkirk hump to shut down?

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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby C2629 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:10 pm

You cant use the “Saturday afternoon” sample from the spring to get a true feeling of the current traffic levels. I spend many 6-7 hour days trackside and now rarely see two trains per hour average, and that often includes 2-3 Amtraks. Yes there are fairley busy afternoons, but they usually follow dead mornings.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:20 pm

It's a long sample, and not just from the spring. We're talking at least 20 Saturday afternoons from March to September 23rd. In addition. I've also spent at least 6 Fridays, 1 Thursday and 1 Monday photographing CSX since the spring equinox, with similar results for the most part. Don't believe me? Friend request me in Facebook and you can see the action for yourself in my photo albums. I have a number of FB friends who shooting CSX at other times, and they seem to be getting similar results. Yes, there are quiet periods.. but they are usually the result of MOW blackouts.

Furthermore, I am in the process of moving my photo archive from Photobucket to Flickr. This is a massive archive of 25,000+ photos that includes alot of CSX. In going back thru work, I've noticed the train counts on CSX haven't changed much since 2007. I'll let you know when it's finished because it has some photo albums that aren't on FB. The photos don't lie- that's why I am standing my ground regarding my comments on both CSX and NS.
Last edited by Matt Langworthy on Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby SecaucusJunction » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:44 pm

From what I hear, most East Coast carload traffic, including Philly and Baltimore, now operates via Selkirk. Cumberland is being further downgraded so even more traffic rerouted are possible.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby C2629 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:56 am

If you count all the regular daily CSX trains, add in the eight Amtraks and throw in a few alcohol or grain trains then you might get to forty trains. Thats a far cry from what things were like a few years ago. I had lots of days back then where I often would see 25 in an eight hour or so timeframe. Your living in the past, rail traffic in WNY is not what it used to be.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:31 am

I'm not living in the past. You are also welcome to friend request me on Facebook, and you can see the photos that prove CSX is averaging 2 trains per hour. I can even provide time stamps if desired.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby SecaucusJunction » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:39 am

The oil traffic is missing now. A few years ago, Philadelphia was getting 3 trains a day. There were also oil trains to Albany running that way.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:49 am

Fair point about the oil trains to Philly going away. The tank trains to Albany are ethanol and still run. I shot them at Chili Jct and Hamburg during the summer.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby sd80mac » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:40 am

C2629 wrote:You cant use the “Saturday afternoon” sample from the spring to get a true feeling of the current traffic levels. I spend many 6-7 hour days trackside and now rarely see two trains per hour average, and that often includes 2-3 Amtraks. Yes there are fairley busy afternoons, but they usually follow dead mornings.


if you are going to be in that same time frame 6-7 hours with 2-3 Amtrak in that time frame, you are NOT going to see a lot of trains. For some reasons, it's 99% of time that it's lull time whenever Amtrak comes through... it's usually none for an hour around the time Amtrak goes by. UNLESS Amtrak was running late, then it would be right in the middle of traffic.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby the cowboy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:31 pm

Here we go again. Traffic is definitely not what it used to be - especially in terms of train counts. With the demise of most of the oil trains and the beginning of "Precision Railroading", train counts on the ex-NYC are definitely on the decline. There are fewer intermodal trains - most of the ones that remain have been turned into plodding "land barges"-some with 500 or more axles. The number of manifest freights is also reduced - the ones that remain are frequently running with more than 250 cars. Seen many coal trains lately? Didn't think so! It's not like years past when one could expect something every half-hour or so and trains often ran like streetcars in the evening. Take it from one who has been there for 50 years or more!
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:01 pm

Nobody is comparing train counts to 1967... or even 1997, for that matter. It is true that trains are longer, local manufacturing has declined, coal fired power plants are closing and the oil trains were just a temporary blip on the radar. On the other hand, I have photos that document an average of 2 trains per hour in the Buffalo/Rochester area. I am mystified as to why anyone would deny this evidence exists on my Facebook page.

CSX is really a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. I have seen the same reports as SD80mac regarding traffic shifting from the former B&O to the Water Level Route and noted a low traffic level at Sand Patch when I was there on Sunday. Sand Patch averaged around 2 trains per hour (except for an MOW blackout) on a previous visit 2 years ago. That is no longer the case, and the traffic could very well be running thru NY now.

C2629 claims he was seeing 25 trains in an 8 hour span just a few years ago. That would average out to 75 trains per day, which seems a tad high IMO. Even if it is true, an average of 2 trains per hour (or 48 trains per day) is still a lower count than what he saw.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby C2629 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:15 pm

Matt, no one says you cant see an average of two trains per hour over a relativley short time span. In fact there are times where you might see 3-5+ an hour. The point you cant grasp is that it only happens for a short period of time, not for the 24 hours that make a day. If you see 10 trains in 4 hours, one sixth of a day, you cant simply figure that every 4 hour period will see 10. If that were the case there would be 60 a day. Looking at my log book, 10-5-2011, before the oil train bonanza. There were 19 trains from 0800 until 1445. The next day there were 24 trains from 0830 until 1500. The day after that there were 17 from 0730 until 1415. Day after day thats how it was, but not now.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby SecaucusJunction » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:29 pm

There were oil trains to Albany as well as ethanol. Don't look now but there have been a few Philadelphia oil trains running again.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:32 am

C2629 wrote:Matt, no one says you cant see an average of two trains per hour over a relativley short time span. In fact there are times where you might see 3-5+ an hour. The point you cant grasp is that it only happens for a short period of time, not for the 24 hours that make a day.


Well, if you have evidence then I'd love to see it. Photos or even logs will do. You' refuse to grasp that I didn't just shoot CSX just once or twice, but numerous times this year... and in years past, as well. It would be one heck of a coincidence if the traffic levels on Saturday afternoon remained static, while falling off for the rest of the week. The law of averages comes into play here- sooner or later lower traffic levels would effect Saturday as well.

I should also add that my Friday shots of CSX in greater Buffalo include morning photos, and the average of 2 trains per hour seemed to hold sway there as long as MOW wasn't working on the tracks.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby C2629 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:19 am

Matt, check your pictures from yesterday morning at CP382 between the hours of 0700 and 1045, how many trains do you see ? Then subtract the number of Amtrak trains from your total, and that is the number of CSX trains that ran in 3 hours and 45 minutes. The answer is ZERO CSX trains in that timeframe. Ok, go back a day, there were 3 CSX trains from 0700 until 1115. This is not O’fallons Nebraska were talking about, trains dont keep coming at a constant level 24 hours a day. Busy times change, it wasnt that long ago that the mornings were so-so followed by a normal flurry that saw 7-8 from about 1130 and lasting until about 1330. Now the mornings are very slow with a pickup sometime around 1230-1300.
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Re: Selkirk hump to shut down?

Postby C2629 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:10 am

Here is an update on the busy water level route. This morning from 0715 until 1200 there were 4 trains by CP382. Two Amtrak and two CSX.
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