Selkirk

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Selkirk

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat May 13, 2017 3:02 pm

Saturday, May 13th, I heard this morning from very good sources that the hump at Selkirk will be shut down within a couple of weeks, everything will either be pre-blocked or flat switched. I did not think this would happen but I guess I shouldn't be surprised at anything these days. As I have said many times the railroad does not make money switching cars but makes money by moving freight for their customers. I would not be surprised if the only hump that would remain is the one in Waycross, Georgia. I also heard that the plan is for no more remote jobs, only manned engines with engineers, that will help get the switching done more efficiently and safely and I think it would be a good move. I guess this is a "stay tuned".
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Re: Selkirk

Postby Backshophoss » Sat May 13, 2017 6:57 pm

Hopefully this will end the misrouted cars at Selkirk and finally close the "black hole" that surrounds that yard! :wink:
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Re: Selkirk

Postby newpylong » Sat May 13, 2017 8:58 pm

Confirmed per BLE. Insanity.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby ccutler » Sun May 14, 2017 12:20 pm

Interesting. I read an interesting article in the last few months describing how Conrail SAA eliminated their hump yard in Pavonia very successfully. They did it in part by adapting readily-available technologies from outside the rail industry to track cars. I believe the article was in Railpace but may have been in Trains.

I see the trains going to/coming from Oak Point/Selkirk and, while the trains may be 100 cars long, there's probably only about 15 or so outgoing blocks....but that's just a guess based on the types of freight cars being moved, not based on any first hand information.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby twropr » Sun May 14, 2017 7:38 pm

It will be interesting to see if smaller yards like Springfield, MA do preblocking so that a westbound at Selkirk can set off blocks for, say, Oak Island, Willard or Buffalo for pickup by other trains. Another interesting thing to watch for is whether it will be common for eastbound trains to go thru the receiving yard and take pre-blocked cars on the head-end thru the Lighterage connection and into the north departure yard for ease in block swapping. In the CR days the lighterage tracks were used to hold hot cars, such as Hunts Point reefers, that needed to make a tight connection.
I have not heard anything about CR (shared assets) de-humping Oak Island. If this is true, Oak Island could build some of the blocks for southeastern points that Selkirk did. And, if Willard survives as a hump yard, it will build trains for western connections thru Chicago.
Selkirk was a very efficient yard during the CR and early CSX days. The only inefficiency I saw were instances where hot eastbounds, who had not set off Buffalo blocks, would take them to Selkirk for backhauling to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby Safetee » Mon May 15, 2017 6:25 am

There is no question that hump yards are an important technology. The problem with hump yards is the tendency to worship production, ie number of cars humped per cycle,overlooking quality of humped cars ie cars sent where they were supposed to be sent as opposed to misdirected cars. With the exception of intermodal and automotive traffic, Quality control at Selkirk always seemed to play second fiddle to production.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby newpylong » Tue May 16, 2017 10:10 am

Yes, instead of looking at the problem (why their hump yard dwell times are so high) and fixing it, he is using the nuclear option to reduce costs and improve the operating ratio.

If hump yards are set up efficiently (you have crews bleeding/inspecting inbound cars the minute they arrive, and you have switchers making up outbound trains with the classed cars immediately), they are the most efficient form of switching in nearly every aspect except large blocks, which should get set out immediately either by the inbound train upon arrival, the hump switcher, or another flat switcher.

If Selkirk closes the hump yard, another yard is simply going to have to pick up the slack. Not every car can be flat switched, only big blocks. Flat switching anything but big blocks is asinine.

My guess is they'll learn how stupid it was and re-open it soon after closing. NS has closed hump yards and opened them after they learned this. Their hump yards are operated very efficiently now. The technology isn't broken, but its implementation can be.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby ExCon90 » Tue May 16, 2017 2:40 pm

There's a well-established method of dealing with that. You get rid of something and save a lot of money. Later, you put it back and save still more money. You can even do that with entire yards--close one and save a bundle; later reopen it and save another bundle.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby mmi16 » Tue May 16, 2017 11:00 pm

ExCon90 wrote:There's a well-established method of dealing with that. You get rid of something and save a lot of money. Later, you put it back and save still more money. You can even do that with entire yards--close one and save a bundle; later reopen it and save another bundle.

Over my 51 years of service, I saw the close to save money and the reopen to save money done over and over again - if all that money were actually SAVED the carriers would be rolling in even higher profits. The shell game continues.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby Maybrook fan » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:41 am

Did they carry through on shutting down or setting a date for the closure of Selkirk ???
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Re: Selkirk

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:11 pm

I was told by a railroad friend from the area that not only is the hump shut down but also the receiving yard is totally empty as well.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby bluedash2 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:36 pm

I guess class ones never learn from the mistakes other class ones make??
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Re: Selkirk

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:25 pm

I don't like cuts any better than anybody else does but I am not convinced that this is a mistake. I suggest if you have a copy of August Trains that you read the piece by Fred Frailey. I thinl he is right on the mark here. Let's see what happens say a year down the road.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby newpylong » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:55 am

It will reopen inside a year guaranteed.
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Re: Selkirk

Postby mmi16 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:08 pm

EHH can fudge numbers in the short term. The long term will win.
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