Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

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Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby rrfoose » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:31 pm

How many trains is CSX running on their St. Lawrence Sub each day? Have traffic levels increased or decreased in the past 10 years since this was owned by Conrail (as their Montreal Secondary)? This may be a hard question to answer, but at any one given point in time, how many locos may be on this section of track between Syracuse and Montreal? Thanks in advance!
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby RussNelson » Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:17 pm

It varies from day to day, of course, but there's almost always a northbound train between 18:15 and 19:15 (in Potsdam), and another train (have never paid attention to the direction) between 1:30 and 2:30. There's at least one more train, but I haven't paid attention to when.
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby tree68 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:36 pm

CSX moved one pair of through trains off the St Lawrence Sub and over to CP up Lake Champlain, about a year ago. That reduced the regular through traffic from 4 to 2 trains. I don't know if the "acid" train still passes down the line.

A local out of Dewitt handles cars to/from Massey Yard for the Watertown Locals (2 each). Can't speak for the north end or the south end.
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby joha107 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:48 pm

CSX operates four road trains per day, Q620 (south), Q621 (north), B753 (south), B756 (north), and Woodard, Watertown and Massena each have at least two locals that usually operate every week day. Q620/Q621 operate between CN in Montreal and Selkirk Yard, these are CN runthroughs and don't typically do any switching along the way, except in Massena where Q621 drops cars for Alcoa and picks up traffic bound for Montreal, and Q620 has some cars for Massena that they drop. These trains were rerouted onto the D&H a few times in recent years because of trackwork being performed on the St. Lawrence Sub, but they are back now to their usual route. B753/B756 (used to be Q623/Q622) operate between Massena and DeWitt, B753 takes cars from Massena, Watertown, and Woodard that have to go to DeWitt, B756 takes cars from DeWitt that go to Woodard, Watertown, and Massena, this also includes cars that are going to Beauharnois, Quebec.

There are a few extra moves on the St. Lawrence Sub, Fort Drum gets many coal and coke trains throughout the year and military vehicle trains also operate pretty frequently. Most of these move overnight between Syracuse and Watertown, they are normally moved during daylight between Watertown and Fort Drum by one of the Watertown based locals, typically B778. Recently grain trains have been operating from Syracuse to Woodard, then to the new ethanol plant in Fulton, I think they have been getting one a week, traffic in and out of the plant will probably increase significantly once the plant is fully operational.

I'm not 100% positive on this but I believe traffic has increased slightly from when Conrail owned the line, mainly because of increased Fort Drum traffic and Fulton ethanol plant traffic. Also I think what's now B753/B756 used to only operate five days a week where they now run everyday. As far as power, Fulton recently has had a slug set assigned to the yard, there also is at least one unit assigned to Woodard, two for Watertown for B778 and B779, and at least two local units for Massena, probably more for one of the other jobs that run up there. B753/B756 usually have any pair of CSX units, same with Q620/Q621, sometime more power if needed of course, foreign power shows up on rare occasions. CN power can be seen bringing Q620 into Massena and heading back to Montreal on Q621, CN power is not usally seen south of Massena anymore, though sometimes they slip through. Fort Drum trains sometimes provide some color, this year has seen a couple KCS/TFM pairs on vehicle trains, and a BNSF pair as well, and CP/SOO power on a coke train.
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby rrfoose » Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:45 am

Thanks joha - that's the info I was looking for!
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby rrfoose » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:42 pm

One more question while I'm at it, actually... What are the grades like on the St Lawrence Sub? Pictures of this route are hard to judge (and come by), but it appears to have a relatively low grade profile. Has CSX (or did CR) ever had to use helpers anywhere on this line? Thanks again!
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby joha107 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Track has kind of a roller coaster look to it, the land looks kind of flat but there a lot of little hills all along the line, there are a handful of locations where you can see noticable elevation changes. Kellogg Hill gives southbounds leaving Watertown some trouble, but not enough that they need helpers, makes for good sound though. I think there is also a Kalb Hill, near DeKalb, that can be tough heading south sometimes.
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby roadster » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:33 am

B753/B756 no longer stop at Woodard. The Woodard cars are dropped and picked up by the new Fulton local B776 which makes the round trip from Fulton to Dewitt and back 6 days a week, Sunday nights off. The line as Joha said is roller coaster of short grades and curves which are a challenge for most engineers. The first grade from Liverpool to Woodard starts the fun. Southbounds also have a challenge from the Rt 481 overpass in Clay where the tracks dips into the Cicero swamp and then a stiff climb to Woodard. At a timetable speed of 25mph most of the hills are passable, but lots of noise with engines in 8 notch. The occasional malfunctioning crossing protection at Henry Clay Blvd, or Wetchle Rd.(Ican't remember the spelling) can mean a stall for heavy southbounds like Q620. Also the grade at Pulaski up to Richland can be a hoprror for a Fort Drum loaded coal train. Have fun
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby RussNelson » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:14 am

roadster wrote:The occasional malfunctioning crossing protection at Henry Clay Blvd, or Wetchle Rd.(Ican't remember the spelling) can mean a stall for heavy southbounds like Q620.

This sounds like a rule of which I'm not aware. Are you saying that you have to stop the train if you can see malfunctioning crossing gates / lights? How would you be able to see them in enough time to be able to stop? And yeah, I can imagine that stopping on an upgrade is a PITA.
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby roadster » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:34 am

This mostly occures during the winter months when snow melt mixes with road salt and causes a false activation, (or bad jumper wires on joints) or even malfunctioning gates themselves. The traveling public will do their civic duty and call the 800 # on the crossing gate, (or call 911) and it gets reported to CSX Police center in Jacksonville, Fla.. They in turn notify the Dsp. who issues an EC-1 (simular to Conrails Former D) to any affected trains, requiring them to approach said crossing at 15 mph or less, proceeding with caution. A report of an activation Failure (gates and lights fail to function for a passing train) an EC-1 issued requires the train to stop prior to crossing and conductor most flag his train over crossing. If, I see a crossing not functioning as I pass in the train, I can only sound my Horn loudly and frequently until I'm on the crossing, then contact the Dsp. to notify them of the problem.
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby RussNelson » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:06 pm

I see, yes. I'll bet that gets old fast. Part of doing business in these northern New York counties, I guess.
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:15 am

Haven't paid attention this week, but last week trains were only running the south end at night, during the day MOW crews were working with track cars and various equipment - probably at least in part tamping the ballast that a train went up and dropped several days the week before that (it had the same power all along, the first time one SD50-2, after one trip back with it long hood out the next time it went up with a junk SD40 on the hind end to lead coming back).
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby roadster » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:36 pm

Change of trains status. B753/B756 have been annulled. Now the only road trains are Q620/Q621. These to now do the Watertown, and Massena drops and pickups. Extra B953/B956 are run occasionally as heavier traffic needs require.
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:09 pm

That effective this week? A couple nights I was up late I noted at least 4 trains passing -
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Re: Trains on CSX St. Lawrence Sub (CR's Montreal Secondary)

Postby rrfoose » Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:08 pm

roadster wrote:Change of trains status. B753/B756 have been annulled. Now the only road trains are Q620/Q621. These to now do the Watertown, and Massena drops and pickups. Extra B953/B956 are run occasionally as heavier traffic needs require.


And the traffic levels dwindle even more. :( The Q's will be some big trains now....
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