West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby jaymac » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:32 pm

Since my newish car quite probably got to Davisville with the assistance of 206, it seemed meet and right that it should get west under its own power. 09-19-2013 was the day. Except for some G&W and VRS transmissions and some few transmissions while passing Deerfield, the radio was quite quiet (Amazing: no transposed letters!). Despite the ground fog, a glance across the river in Charlemont just before 0820 showed a WB. It tripped the 410.9 talker at 0831 and got a no defects for 314 axles and 4291' at 0833. NS 3471 and OldPaint 353 were hauling EDRJ at a steady (no rocking and rolling railroading here) 30 MPH (Per my speedometer and probably the 3471's, too). Up at East Portal, the speed had slowed, and the power plus 75 cars were inside the mountain at 0850. There was a substantial block of tanks placarded 3275 ("Nitriles, Toxic, Flammable, NOS"), some sodium hydroxide tanks, but no slurries. The container at the fishing parking lot area was still there, as was the container further east near the Deerfield River bridge. There seemed little else visible of note.
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby atholrail » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:32 am

I too made a west of Deerfield adventure yesterday, 9/19/13. Just alittle later than jaymac's. Having luck last Thursday catching RJED out of the tunnel around 1300, I tried my luck again. Well, luck seemed on my side. Not exactly 1300, but at 1350 RJED came out of east portal. They had NS 3491, MEC 615, NS 3482 and 59 cars. A chase back to Deerfield ensued...
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RJED thru Zoar
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RJED outta east portal
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby newpylong » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:32 pm

AYRJ held behind AD-1 in North Adams for loaded coal train today. AD-1 had to make pick up off Hoosick Middle. Instead of having AD-1 clear up on the branch and letting AYRJ go, they made them wait. Went into emergency around Williamstown. Dispatcher says not enough time to make Eagle Bridge, shove back to clear North Adams. Only on Pan Am. You can't make this stuff up. HO scale railroading at it's best.
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby jaymac » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:12 am

An LCT on West End on 09-20? Unless the one waiting for a new crew at Wachusett on the morning of 09-19 shoved far to the west (It could happen, it seems), that means 2 LCTs in 2 days. Mebbe the 09-20 LCT was a Mount Tom?
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby newpylong » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:58 pm

This is for Bow as well.

No crews and terrible speeds make for poor railroading. 2 new conductor classes training on the west end now, more to follow. Supposedly engineer class in Fall.
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby jr145 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:04 pm

The deadline for conductors to apply for engineer was about a month ago.
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby atholrail » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:31 pm

Speaking of terrible speeds, I had the chance a week or so ago to talk with a certain member of the NS rail gang who has some importance. He was pretty vocal about how NS wanted to send up their own Tie Gang, and a Herzog ballast train, but for reasons not told PAS wouldn't allow. They can put in all the new rail they want, but the ties and ballast will not hold the guage in many places along the main.
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby newpylong » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:12 pm

Yup. The ST track worker's union would have a conniption. They aren't pumped about seeing NS put the rail in as it is. So now every sectionman from Rotterdam to Ayer is on the Conn River production gangs and the freight main is going down the tubes.

Oh yeah, and they are putting in 2 aspect signals all over the place where there needs to be 3. In North Adams the western limits of CPF423 is going to/has only two lights, so if a train is taking the #1 track the best they will get is a medium approach, even if they are lined out the other end. Not a big deal with that track being 10 mph and uphill as it is, but if they ever bump it to 25 it will be an operational nightmare. The crews have been very vocal about this needing to change but engineering doesn't care. They also still haven't tied in Noonan's (CPF 466) and Ferry St (CPF 464). Still only get an approach or medium approach heading east. So every train has to be prepared to stop at Ferry street. I just don't get the shortcuts.
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby BM6569 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:43 pm

But if all the ST crews are busy working on the Conn River, what would they care if the NS crews came in and did ties and ballast on the main? They'll be busy with the Conn River into next year so it's not like this will cause them a big shortage of work. There's certainly several years worth of work needed on the main which would keep them busy long after the NS crews complete their part.
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby Abe Froman » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:53 pm

atholrail wrote:Speaking of terrible speeds, I had the chance a week or so ago to talk with a certain member of the NS rail gang who has some importance. He was pretty vocal about how NS wanted to send up their own Tie Gang, and a Herzog ballast train, but for reasons not told PAS wouldn't allow. They can put in all the new rail they want, but the ties and ballast will not hold the guage in many places along the main.


Sounds like a classic example of "half the story." In the overall scheme of things would not it make more sense to evaluate the results of the $2 million "Engineering Study" to improve clearances in Hoosac Tunnel before making a decision to improve the roadbed and replace ties west of East Deerfield? After all, common sense would dictate that improved clearances in the tunnel would result in more frequent and consistently heavier trains. In turn, that would necessitate rebuilding the west end of PAS. From a traffic flow and overall cost perspective isn't it advantageous to perform one large project at one time, i.e. improve clearances + rebuild roadbed as opposed to several smaller projects over a period of several years?
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby Dick H » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:21 pm

Perhaps loaded crude oil trains are done running on PAR for the forseeable future.
As the west end trackage continues to go downhill, any oil train that might show
up probably will be a 10MPH move. However, even a "gentle rollover" of a dozen
cars or so, like what happened south of Mattawamkeag will bring a multitude of
investigations, protests and the like, in the wake of the Lac-Magantic disaster.
PAR surely does not want that.
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby B&M 1227 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:55 pm

I drove home on 346 in Pownal today and noticed some stuff going on at MP 435.2. There was a bunch of ballast dumped on the east side of the crossing and what looked like a form for pouring a large concrete object on the north side of the tracks. I wasn't able to stop, but next time I'm in the area I'll grab some photos. Anyone have the scoop? Is this preliminary work for that siding in Pownal they always talk about?

Over in Hoosick Middle there looks like there are a half dozen or so scrap gons. I imagine PAR is staging them there for the VTR customer in North Hoosick which can only fit 3 or so cars at a time, though they could be for something else.

In Eagle Bridge the new Battenkill siding is very close to completion if not yet in service. PAR has also erected a new signal gantry to replace the 70s era B&M signals.

There was mention elsewhere of Hudson River bridgework ending. I don't know how much re-decking they were able to do, but they've been passing trains on the bridge again, usually in the late morning.
Did we ever hear a music sweeter than the one that thrills, as it floats along the Deerfield, as it echoes o'er the hills.
How we watch that little engine as it stalks across the plain; was there ever music sweeter, was there ever sight completer, than the coming of the train?
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby newpylong » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:19 am

The siding is going to be from 434 N Pownal (where the interlocking used to be in the rock cut) east to 432 (the dirt road crossing in the field). It's on hold indefinitely.

Still no customer using the Buskirk track yet it would seem...
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby B&M 1227 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:50 am

Yeah, I haven't seen anything going at Buskirk. Then again, it took a while between VTR putting in a switch in North Hoosick and the scrap company shipping loads. I still have no idea how they would transload anything on such a narrow strip of land. If it happens it happens but I'm not holding my breath.
Did we ever hear a music sweeter than the one that thrills, as it floats along the Deerfield, as it echoes o'er the hills.
How we watch that little engine as it stalks across the plain; was there ever music sweeter, was there ever sight completer, than the coming of the train?
-E. A. Fitch
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Re: West-of-Deerfield Gawking

Postby B&M 1227 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:27 pm

Talked to a friend today who said the work at 435 is to stabilize/rebuild the Hoosick River Bridge. The concrete forms were most likely for the abutments. Is there any effort to bump the line up to 286k or are they just catching up on 30 years of deferred maintenance?
Did we ever hear a music sweeter than the one that thrills, as it floats along the Deerfield, as it echoes o'er the hills.
How we watch that little engine as it stalks across the plain; was there ever music sweeter, was there ever sight completer, than the coming of the train?
-E. A. Fitch
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