Gardner 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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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:50 am

0420-0710/11-22-2017 was an eventful period.
From 0430 and later, first with backing, and then with counting down and 3-stepping, 22K was busy at Ayer. The 0445 arrival at Wachusett had surprises -- the platform was MT and the 333 WLs dark. A series of 400/D-3 exchanges -- first heard by me at 0448 -- offered an explanation. The 334 WL wouldn't go into correspondence, and D-3 offered the 400 the choice of either taking the switch off power or going east on 1 to 333 and shoving back onto the Controlled Siding, making it seem like the 400 was still at or near 335. I learned that Zombie Zones affect more than me cuz D-3 and 400 each had trouble hearing the other. D-3 tried a different tower, things got clearer, the 334 switch was taken off power and a 2-to-Controlled-Siding 241 at 334 for the 1645 was OKd at 0458. The C or AC advised that E that the switch was already thrown, so a protective dethrow/rethrow happened. By 0500, the 333 WLs were still dark, so I went west -- with the usual stop. On the subject of Stops, those were what the 334 ELs were showing, the 1 stagger at Approach and then dark at 0506, the 400 having called out a Medium Clear at 0505 on the 333 Controlled Siding to the folks in back, 15 minutes after the advertised. The 335 ELs and WLs were dark, indicating a likely WB had gotten outta shunting range.
What had happened down Da Hill was the mere prelude to the real eventfulness, those main events happening up Da Hill. Not only would the presumed WB be facing a stop on the 345 EL, it would also be facing racks on the #2 -- 287 -- and on the #1 -- NSs 9058 and 7000 by the platform and leading 28N's racks. To get a small detail outta the way, the tamper and regulator were still on the House.
287 was getting itself back together, so a trip west was made to see what should predictably be an MT Parkers and the 346 WL at Stop. The second was true, but the first wasn't, the hint of that coming by a-both-sides-audible exchange between EDPO with the 7542 and the D-3 with EDPO standing by at 0525. EDPO was already holding east of the 346.6 and got a single-to-1 241 good at 0535 to pull up in back of 28N, 28N waiting for 287 to get outta town, haul east, and shove back on the #2 to drop their PWs and let EDPO get east. Part of D-3's transmission also involved a following ED-8 who would be dropping 37 freights for the PW. KCIRs 7542 and 7584 and NewBlue 3401 plus 41 got east of the 346.6 at 0544 with no defects, 36° (my car's reading 37°), and no train length given. and also making noise for 287. For news of the east, at 0546, D-3 acknowledged AY-2 lined and locked normal at the Milling with 7 MTs on the Main.
At 0554, 287 advised they also were lined and locked normal with 0x51, 2600 tons, and 5200', D-3 OKing them on signal indication at 346. NS 5476 and UP 4956 -- Sorry, photographers to the west: The Wizard of Wyeing didn't come through -- getting at 0603 no defects, the same temperature, 5168', and train too slow. Assuming the 346.6 measures first axle to last axle, then the 32' discrepancy seems a matter of overhang.
There were conversations between 28N and D-3 about the yard being open and leaving their PWs arranged so ED-8 could leave their 37 PWs, but 28N had lotsa racks -- 2 tracks worth -- so the racks would be left on the #2, where ED-8 would also leave their PWs. West Switch would be left clear -- mebbe. While all this was going on, a second look was made at the Jade, and a logo-free white pickup was in the lower lot and oriented in a nonproductive way for gawking, so mebbe there'll be trackwork in the area today. 28N was doing their thing, and EDPO were going nowhere while getting closer to collecting RRA.
Back down Da Hill, the 335 ELs were dark, ditto at 0626 for the 333 WLs, and a minute later, it sounded like 406 were doing their air. The 330.8 WLs were both Clear, but seconds later the 2 dropped in the rearview mirror. The 330 2 WL was showing Slow Approach, and both the GL and FG WLs were showing Stops, KCIR 5943 solo in the FI-1/2 parking spot at 0640. At 0645, the 40.2 gave a no defects on 2 to 28 axles, acknowledged by 404. No further 241s had been heard -- usual cautions in effect -- for the 334, so dunno if the Approach earlier at the 334 stagger was for a WB, with all the fancy dancing that implies for the EBs already at Gardner, or if it wa a transient/spurious and involved in 400's earlier problems.
Happy Thanksgiving, and if you've caught duty, may the only turkeys you come across be on your plate, whenever you get to enjoy it!
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:51 am

0420-0620/11-24-2017 featured -- with the usual Zombie-Zone cautions plus being outta the car for 5 for a Fitchburg refueling -- not 1 non-Keolis-related PAR/S reception.
At 0445, Wachusett was MT and the 333 WLs dark. The arrival at 334 was in time to see 400 come outta the west and get onto the Controlled Siding with a total of 3 flats and 1 bi plus the 1122 at 0449. Not only were the 334 ELs at Stop, but the 1 stagger -- as on 11-22 -- was at Approach, leading to the conclusion that if there is any local shunting -- even if just on the #2 -- the 1 stagger will be lit. The 335 ELs and WLs, however, were dark.
Up Da Hill, the only occupants were 4 rack loads -- set-outs? -- on the west end of Yard 4 and the tamper and regulator on the House. At 0517, Parkers was MT and the 346 WL dark and still -- like the 345 signaling -- old school.
Back down Da Hill the 335 ELs were dark, but a couple later, it sounded like 402 was getting ready to get ready, and at 0534, the 333 WLs came on with a Medium Clear for the Controlled Siding WL. Further east, the 330.8 WLs showed a Stop for 1 and a Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL a Slow Clear, the GL Controlled Siding a Medium Approach Medium, and the FG 1 WL a Limited Clear, KCIR 5943 sitting solo in the FI-1/2 parking spot at 0550. Dag: 2 hours and only 2 paragraphs!
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:32 am

0420-0640/11=27-2017 presented a surprise or 2.
At first -- 0425 and a little later -- it seemed that 22K -- mentioned over the air -- was yarding cuz there was also a car countdown in progress. A few later, however, D-3 gave permission to reverse at AY, so mebbe 22K wasn't yet yarding and somebody else was.
The 0450 arrival at Wachusett was in time to hear 400's C tell 400's E that it was OK to depart and a total of 4 flats and 1 bi plus the 1053 got east of the now all-red 333 WLs at 0452. 0454 was when the WLs went dark, more than hinting that there was no near-term activity. The same states of illumination and impending activity were in effect at the 1 stagger and 335 ELs and WLs, the 334 ELs at Stop and the 334 WL once again unseen by me.
On the way up Da Hill, besides a brief bit of snow, there was a both-sides-audible exchange between POED and D-3 at 0508 in which it was disclosed that the 1-to-2 switch wouldn't throw. After a presumed consultation with the Chief, D-3 told POED to keep WB and that the track supervisor would be informed. The arrival was well enough timed to see a marker by the Pratt's yard and then POED getting on the move from east of the Timpany Boulevard UGB with KCIR 7627 and NewBlue 610, the marker getting west at 0513. An accurate car-count escaped me, but the 346.6 came on at 0521, giving a no defects, 25°, and 492' (yes -- four-hundred-ninety-two) at 0522. As far as the rest of the yard, there were mebbe a dozen general on 1 and onto the Extension and a few on the easterly end of 4. The House still had the tamper and regulator, and at 0531, Parkers was MT and the 346 WL dark.
Partway back down Da Hill and in deepest Zombie Zone and ~0540, D-3 gave out G-303, Line 4ing some stretch to someone who -- unlike me at that place and time -- would hear well what came from the Paxton antenna. Further east, the 335 ELs were dark, joined in darkness at 0549 by the previously all-red 333 WLs, 402 having gotten east. The 330.8 WBs showed Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, and the 330 and GL WLs were all Stops. 402 had gotten far enough ahead me that the FG 1 WL was at Limited Clear. At 0609, KCIR 59?? was in the FI-1/2 parking spot, and at 0610, the 40.2 gave a no defects to 28 axles, right on 402's time. $02's problems, however hadn't yet started. At 0638, Boston West acknowledged that 402's main engine had shut down and requested a call when they got back on the move. I stopped listening before I heard any good or bad news.
Other things that went unheard were any attributable transmissions to, from, or about 28N or 287 (no visible racks in Gardner), AYs 2 through 5, or EDPO. POSE had gotten west cuz D-3 had asked Q427 -- mebbe ~ 0515 -- to call clear of Barbers.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:39 am

Radio reception -- especially from D-3 -- was spotty 0425-0645/11-29-2017. There were only occasional bits of clarity -- Power Control, 7-amp fuse, AY-3, and 22K among the comprehensible. There had been what sounded like unattributable yarding going on, but -- as will be seen later -- 22K wasn't involved. 400's C was heard telling 400's E that it was OK to depart, and 400's E acknowledged and called out a Medium Clear on the Controlled Siding. My arrival was in time to see their departure, the 1051 pushing a total of 3 flats and 1 bi east of the 333 WLs at 0452. At 0454, those WLs went dark, a strong hint of no near-term activity, a situation dittoed at the 334 1 stagger and 335 ELs and WLs. Yes, the 334 ELs were at Stop. Dunno if weather was a contributor to the reception issues, but -- despite clear skies -- the roadways were wet, and the mega-flag at the Aubuchon's distribution center beside Rte. 2 EB in Westminster was definitely close to horizontal.
Up Da Hill, the yard was pretty much crammed -- general on 4 and racks on 2 plus 1 and the Extension. There were no reflections coming back from the racks on 1, so they were probably MT. The tamper and regulator were still on the House, and at 0529, Parkers was MT and the 346 WL dark.
Back east, the 335 ELs were dark, and a couple later, 402's C OKd departure for the 402's E, a Medium Clear again bing called out. The total of 4 flats and 1 bi pushed by the 1117 got east of the WLs at 0546, and 0549 was when those WLs went dark. I do generally like symmetry, but not when its nonproductive.
Further east, the 330.8 WBs were both at Stop, and partial explanation came just after the Rollstone Street OHB in the form of wells and containers visible on 2. The GL WLs were also both at Stop, and 22K with NSs 8344, 6787, and 2514 was sitting across from the easterly part of the platform. Some serendipity did happen today cuz at 0606, a white van with LV plates rolled up, so it looked like a recrew or new crew was about to happen. Curiously and well after 402 was east, both FG WLs were at Stop, and at 0612 KCIR 59?? was in the FI-1/2 parking spot. Also on the curious front, there seemed to be all sorts trailer-and-equipment activity at the old layover facility.
With the usual cautions in effect, didn't hear D-3 tell 22K to head east.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:31 am

0430-0710/12-01-2017 was not without its surprises.
In the non-surprise events were yarding transmissions on an as-needs basis to/from 22K. There would also be a number of D-3 shoutouts -- first heard at 0452 -- to an LGT, the location of which was not to be determined by me. The 0455 arrival at Wachusett -- too late to see 400 get east -- was in good time to see the Approach on the 333 1 WL go to Clear, 28N already on the move with NSs 8400 and 9344 and getting 8 -- yes, eight -- racks east of the WL at 0500. Having learned to wait and see if the WLs would go dark, I was rewarded with the sight of the racks getting all shiny. What had sounded like 23K had been mentioned earlier, but it had seemed like that it would be either way late or way early for that train. While waiting for the WB's air to pump off, D-3 provided some more auditory input at 0506 by telling FI-2 to tie down in Gardner and that a cab would be sent. The WB did get just that, and headlight glare interfered with getting the leader Pony's number, but the trailer was stablemate 9685. By number, there were 29 occupied wells -- surprise alert -- followed by 27 unoccupied racks, all west of the WL at 0510. Not surprisingly, an offer of thanks was made to The Deity Of The CPF-333 Dunks, but surprising all -- even the 1 stagger were red at the 334 ELs, leading to the supposition that the WB would be either holding or tied down at 335. Mebbe 3 minutes later, the 335 ELs were similarly scarlet, but the tracks -- especially 1 -- were MT. The 335 WLs were showing Stop for the Single and Medium Approach Slow for the layover, well before anything was due outta the layover, but still with in the time-range of a shunting westerly WB.
Up Da Hill, the still-old-school 345 EL showed an Approach, a Medium Approach being more usual for a WB that would be going in on 2. But nothing would be going in on 2 cuz that's where the east-facing and tied-down FI-2 with KCIR 5943 and 5 boxes was: by the platform and both east of and fouling New Switch. The WB's climb up Da Hill musta been quicker than mine cuz the 345 EL had gone to Clear and the 346.6 had not even been heard. So much for thinking that I would have a second shot at getting the leader's number. As far as the Yard went, 1 and the Extension, 2, and 4 had racks, but the racks on 1 had no reflections, so any loads from 28N woulda been on 2 and/or 4. From the sound of leaking air, the air plant was being kept busy, and the tamper and regulator were still on the House.
In the next few, D-3 would acknowledge that San-Vel was secure and cars were spotted on the Main, 28N being a possibility. and would also tell AY-3 with the 7562 that it was OK to head west. At 0552, Parkers was MT and the also-still-old-school 346 WL dark.
Down Da Hill, darkness was also the mode at the 335 ELs. At 0609 the 40.2 would give a no defects on 2 to 24 axles, right for 402's time, and the 333 Controlled Siding WL was at Medium Clear for 404 sitting at the platform. Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, the 330 2 WL at Slow Clear, and the GL Controlled Siding WL at Medium Approach Medium. Even though 404 got east of me while I was refueling across from from the station, the FG 1 WL was showing Limited Clear, and the 404 with a mix of 5 flats and 1 bi plus a 20?? got east while I was holding at a stop light. At 0635, the FI-1/2 parking spot was predictably MT, and at 0644 a now-breaking 40.2 gave a no defects on Track ? to 28 axles. At 0655, D-3 called out to POED, but and with the usual Zombi-Zone cautions in effect there was nothing further by the 0710 end of listening.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:36 am

The 0415-0635/12-04-2017 sampling period brought some puzzlements. To get some of them out of the way, D-3's transmissions seemed more than a bit more problematic. Either Zombie Zones had expanded, or business had shifted to other time slots. Except for some POSE activity, more about which later, and some ~0615 possible AY-3 car countdowns, there was naught else audible, save for Keolis.
The 0445 arrival at Wachusett showed the platform MT and the 333 WLs dark, a puzzlement since 400 was due out at 0450. The 334 ELs were at Stop, but the 1 stagger dark, indicating that 400 was neither immediately east nor immediately west. On the way over to 335, there was a 400-to-D-3 shout out followed by an audible-on-both-sides D-3/POSE confab involving the 24th car, meaningful to them, but not for me. The 400 shoutout not being repeated, D-3 probably put in a signal for them. The 335 ELs were at Stop, and the 335 facility WL showed a Medium Approach Slow. A return to the 335 lot next showed 400 with a total of 4 flats and 1 bi plus the 1135 getting onto the 2 at 0452. Dunno the cause of the delay, but a later check of the T Service Alert showed that 400 had gotten close to being back on schedule. The T Service Alert also showed 0930-1500 bustitution cuzza track-work.
Up Da Hill showed racks on the easterly half of Yard 4, ditto for general on Yard 2. Loaded racks were on Yard 1 and onto the Extension. The CPF-345 1 EL was at Clear, as was the House, the tamper and regulator being elsewhere. Fitchburg? Didn't see them there, but give my then-state-of-ignorance, wasn't looking.
A bit west, Parkers was MT, and despite a few minutes' investment cuzza the 345 1 EL, the still-dark 346 WL prompted a 0521 departure.
Back down Da Hill, the 335 ELs were dark, but at 0538, the 333 WLs went from dark to lit, a Medium Clear for the Controlled Siding.
At 0456, 402 with a total of 4 flats and 1 bi (again) plus the 2019 got east. WL darkness returned at 0459, again another departure prompt. Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, Stops being displayed on the 330 WLs cuz 402 was just departing the platform and facing a Medium Approach Medium. The FG 1 WL was at Limited Clear, getting dropped at 0600 by the 402. 0600 was also the Time Effective for Form D G-304, Line 2ing POSE with the 7627 to Burncoat. There had been an update and acknowledgment just earlier, but that was during a transit of 1 of the too-many Zombie Zones.
At 0602, KCIR 59?? was in the FI-1/2 parking spot, and at 0610, there was a badly garbled 40.2, probably to 402.
After occasional bursts of static, there was a 0625 clear-on-the-D-3-side exchange with POSE asking whether they thought they could make it to Burncoat to tie down. The answer musta been affirmative cuz D-3 said he'd call a cab for them at Burncoat for 0830. Dunno if it was power or time trouble.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:55 am

FYI, a good place to hear Pan Am dispatcher radio transmissions for D-3 mainline is the Rte 140 bridge over the MBTA (formerly CSX) Worcester mainline at North Grafton, MA - clear as a bell! That's perhaps 10ish miles as the crow flies from the Greendale area. Of course, you can't hear the crew side of the conversation.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:48 am

0420-0645/12-06-2017 was wet and windy. How wet? Lake PrincetonRoad/Route31 had appeared again under the aforenamed UGB. How windy? The megaflag at the Aubuchon Distribution Center beside Rte. 2 EB in Westminster was again almost horizontal, but his time with the added weight of water. At least the temperature had been well above freezing.
From 0420 and beyond were heard the sounds of 22K yarding. At 0423, D-3 would advise ED-8 that there wasn't much room at Ayer, so they were to leave as much as they could on Freight Main East, 0435 being when such transmissions were first heard. There was also a brief "FI-2" heard, but dunno if they were aiders and abettors of ED-8.
The rain and wind slowed the arrival at Wachusett to 0453, the right time to see the 333 WLs go from all Stops to dark after 400 got far enough east. The 334 ELs were at Stop, but the 1 stagger and 335 ELs and WLs were -- you guessed it -- dark. ED-8's 0512 post-setoff update included 5x1, but length and tonnage escaped memory since that was also just about the same time that the breaking 40.2 gave breaking -- but non-braking -- news to the 400. A bit later, ED-8 asked D-3 for yarding instructions, and D-3 engaged in a convo with the Ayer U. D-3 did give instructions, but I was in a Zombie Zone by then.
Up Da Hill, there were racks on Yard 4 and general on Yard 1 and onto the Extension. Yard 2 appeared MT, but appearances can be deceiving, more about which later. The recently elsewhere tamper and regulator musta been homesick for the House cuz they were back there. At 0528, Parkers was MT and the 346 WL dark.
Back down Da Hill, the 335 ELs were dark, but the 333 ELs showed a Clear for 1, Medium Clear being on the Controlled Siding WL for 402 with a total of 5 flats and 1 bi plus the 11?? (number-boards dark) getting east at 0456. The WLs got dark at 0459, so I continued east, seeing an Approach on the 330.8 1 WB, more about which later. The 330 WLs were at Stop, as were the GL Controlled Siding and FG WLs. At 0606, KCIR 59?? was in the FI-1/2 parking spot, and -- to refer back both to the possibility of cars in Yard 2 in Gardner and to the Approach on the 330.8 1 WB -- D-3 told POED at 0608 that they would pick up 1 and 2 in Gardner. Sure shows how easy it is to miss a train. At 0609, the 40.2 gave 402's 28 axles a no defects on 2, and there were 0617 and 0644 AY-3 transmissions.
28N, 287, AY-2, AY-5, and/or EDPO? Dunno.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:32 am

More attentive readers will note that naught is noted for yarding transmissions for the 0425-0645/12-08-2017 gawking period. The reason is simple: Naught -- with the usual cautions -- was heard.
What was heard was the 400 getting on the move, the Wachusett arrival just in time to see same getting east of the 333 WLs with a total of 3 flats and 1 bi plus the 2033, the 333 WLs going dark at 0453. To give further proof that my radio was working, EDPO with the 7517 and D-3 engaged in a a number of exchanges in which EDPO advised that they had gone into emergency at MP-342, ending at 0455 with D-3 asking that EDPO tell him what they would find. The Freight Main Line being at least a temporarily 0-track line between 345 and 335, it should be no surprise that the the 335 ELs and WLs were on the dark side, as was the 334 1 stagger.
Partway up Da Hill, a side trip was made to 340 and the Betty Spring Road OHB, and nothing at either of those spots -- plus the Rte. 140 OHB -- in the line of headlights, marker, or lantern was visible.
All the way up Da Hill, there was general on Yard 4, a mix of general -- including a tented lumber centerbeam -- east and racks west on Yard 2, Yard 1 and the Extension -- surprise! -- MT. The House still housed the tamper and regulator. The still-old-school 345 WLs were at Stop, no surprise given EDPO not far east and not going any further east in the near term. At 0541, Parkers was MT and the also-still-old-school 346 WL dark, so it was EB, but not just for me. At 0544, EDPO advised D-3 that all was well, D-3 saying to continue east and EDPO responding they were on the move.
The 0555 arrival at the dark 335 WLs showed that EDPO hadn't gotten far enough east yet to do any shunting, and a few later, the 333 ELs and WLs were also dark, but 404's crew sounded like they were all on board and ready to leave the facility. Whether EDPO or 404 would be first is something I didn't hear, but the Clear on 1 and Stop on 2 at the 330.8 WBs plus the Slow Clear on the 330 2 WL, Medium Approach Medium on the GL Controlled Siding WL, and Limited Clear on the FG 1 WL kinda pointed to it being 404's road.
There had been an earlier transmission that hinted that POED might be on D-2, but otherwise the airwaves were stingy.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:12 am

0420-0655/12-11-2017 was an eventful period. 0420 and later had sounds of 22K yarding, Mixed in with those sounds were sounds of AY-3 doing the same, but the location -- to me though not the crew -- was less obvious.
The 0453 arrival at Wachusett -- too late for the 400 -- showed a Medium Clear on the 330 1 WL, but 1 more minute turned that to dark, the 400 now far enough east. Not wanting to wait for The Shrine Of The Deity Of The CPF-333 Dunks to open it was WB for me, and on the way, a few 0500 D-3/ED-9 Zombie-Zone exchanges took place, the clear bits being that the leader was the 7549, that ED-9 would wait for the 400 to get east, and then call for permission to move. My trip west was made where the CPF-334 ELs and 1 stagger were unanimously red. Not only that, but the 334 WL mast was lit and by headlights. Initially, there was no sign -- audio or visual -- of movement, but that did change when KCIRs 7561 and 7605 started hauling east, getting a possible 68 east of the 1 stagger at 0516. "Possible" is the operative modifier account a number of intervening transmissions with D-3, IDing the EB as EDPO, EDPO explaining the delay slightly west as engine trouble, particularized as the brakes releasing, crossing EDPO over at 333 (remember the Medium Clear?), and the hedzup that they would be holding a bit at FG. The final intervening transmission was the 40.2 giving no defects on 2 to 24 axles -- presumably the 400 -- at 0514. There were some Ciment Québec shorties, a good number of full-size covered hoppers, a similar quantity of MT centerbeams, 1 tented-lumber centerbeam. 2 small cuts of LPGs, some paper-service chemical tanks, and a few boxes, 1 of which could qualify as a portfolio entry for an art-school scholarship for its tagger. Over at 335, both the ELs and WLs were dark, and to show what time of year it is, phrasing that has gone unposted for several months will now appear: The plow berm at the entrance to the 335 lot was undisturbed.
Up Da Hill, the yard had a long string of loaded racks on 2 and lotsa general -- including a wrapped-lumber centerbeam -- on 1 onto the Extension. There coulda been a few on 4, but the racks blocked that view, and the regulator and tamper were still open the House.
In additional seasonal news, the plow berms for the entry to the west end of the yard off the Rte. 2 WB ramp for Timpany Boulevard and for the Main Street crossing of the Heywood likewise were intact.
While my trip west was underway, a D-3/POSE dialog started, the focus being whether POSE's length would mean a stop at Burncoat or Shrewsbury Street for the power swap. Never heard what the decision was, but given Zombie Zones, that's no surprise. Also no surprise were the MTness of Parkers and the 0549 darkness of the 346 WL.
Back down Da Hill, the 335 ELs and 333 ELs and WLs were dark, but at 0603 the 404 sounded like they were ready to get moving, and at 0604 404 called out a Medium Approach Slow for the 335 Yard Lead, followed at 0604 by a 404-404 discussion about calling Fitchburg cuz they were already having "issues." As of 0705, there were no 404 Service Alerts, so things musta gotten all better.
Further east the 330.8 WBs showed a Stop for 1 and Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL a Slow Clear, the GL Controlled Siding a Medium Approach Medium, and -- to complete the usual -- a Limited Clear on the FG 1 WL, and at 0624, east-facing KCIR 5930 was on the west end of a pair of covered hoppers at the FI-1/2 parking spot.
Except, for 1 more AY-3 transmission, almost naught else was heard. The exception came at 0654 when D-3 told someone that they'd be holding for the Keolis OB to clear North Leominster. Mebbe it was ED-9. Dunno.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:14 am

The 2 key and unifying themes of 0425-0650/12-13-2017? The alpha and omega of yard chatter belonged to AY-3, and -- for those of a certain age and who also remember "Pogo" -- Friday the 13th came on a Wednesday this month, at least at the start.
Somebody other than AY-3 may have also been working in and around Ayer cuz the U engaged in a breaking-to-me exchange with D-3 about testing waters. The Friday-the-13th aspect got known at 0449 when D-3 told the 400 that he'd lost code, so it would be 241s from 333 and east. The switches were lined OK, a signalman was on his way to take local control of FG. the 241 for the 333 Controlled Siding was OKd at 0452, and 400 called east and clear of 333 at 0453. The arrival at Wachusett was in time to see the 333 WLs go dark at 0458. There would be further conversations for 330 and GL, but D-3 would tell the 400 to accept the Limited Clear they had called out for FG. Another 241 was given at 0459 to EDPO with the 7542 for 1-to-Single at 345, letting me know the order of probability of seeing EDPO was next to naught. An offering was made at the usual locale, and the metaphoric dice were rolled to try the status of Authority Drive, particularly down the slope to 5th Mass. Turnpike. It hadn't been plowed or treated in a bit, so caution if you're gonna be in the area. Everything -- including the 1 stagger -- was at Stop at the 334 ELs. The 335 ELs and WLs, however, were dark. "FI-2" had been heard, but no 241 was given to them, but Zombie Zones are Zombie Zones, so mebbe FI-2 had gotten east of 334 while I was dealing with Authority Drive. The 335 lot looked like there mighta been some minor traffic.
Today's trip gave the sensation less of driving and more of sailing, tacking in particular, the Aubuchon flag doing another excellent job of indicating which quarter was the lee.
Up Da Hill, the entrance off the ramp to Timpany Boulevard to the west end of the yard retained its intact berm, and next at 0524, there was another 241 -- to what sounded like the 2517 from 2 to the Single at 346, the switch to stay off power. The yard itself was MT, and the 2517 being a frequent flyer on 28N/287, 287 was my initial guess, but the 346.6 -- on at 0528 -- gave a 0531 no defects, 12°, 1760', and train too slow, the acknowledgment coming not from 287. but ED-9.. The MTness of the yard and the earlier 1-to-Single 241 meant that EDPO had highballed Gardner and mebbe an ED-8 with or without racks would be coming. 28N? Never a matter of discussion within the listening period. D-3 telling ED-9 to keep 346 off power and saying nothing about throwing the switch for 1 kinda hinted at a future EB with yard activity. The House still had the tamper and regulator, and -- remember FI-2? -- the plow-berms on the Heywood had been run through. At 0532, someone -- probably EDPO -- called out a Medium Approach, not on, but for 335. At 0540, Parkers was MT and the 346 WL dark, so it was back east.
Down Da Hill, the 335 ELs and WLs were at Stop, but there weren't yet any visible headlights, so it was over to 333, dark ELs and -- at 0603 -- ditto for WLs. At 0608, 404's crew announced the air was all set and everybody was on board. No 241s had been heard either given to or acknowledged by 402, and the same held for 404, so code musta gotten restored. The earlier lake under the Princeton Road/Rte. 31 UGB had reduced itself to a pond, but the rapidly-dropped temperatures meant icing.
Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed Clear for 1 and Stop for 2. Even though 402 was well east, the 330 and GL WLs were all at Stop, but the FG 1 WL was at Limited Clear. At 0618, the yarding chatter was from FI-2, and at 0620, a half-dozen or so boxes with a marker on the west were in the FI-1/2 parking spot while a bit to the east, KCIR ???? was working a solo box.
There were more bursts of garble, the final clarity being AY-3 getting the word the crossing was clear.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:37 am

0420-0635/12-15-2017 presented more sounds than sights. From 0430 and on, 22K's crew were earning their money yarding from the sounds of things. Other sounds came at 0444 in a series of exchanges between D-3 and ED-9 with the 7561. The recrew was on board and they would hold for a WB -- POED with the 7552 -- who would get D-3 instructions to see if there were more than 11 cars and 2 engines on Freight Main West for ED-9. To minimize suspense, whatever POED had to report went unheard, and POED went unseen. There was also a D-3 0447 shoutout to AY-2, but dunno what the substance was, but -- as usual -- there will bee more to follow.
As for visuals, the Medium Clear on the 333 Controlled Siding WL was dropped at 0451 by the 400 with a total of 3 flats and 1 bi plus a 20?? (number boards dark), the WLs going dark at 0453. The 334 ELs were at Stop, and the 1 stagger and 335 ELs and WLs were dark. The 335 lot showed signs of a fair amount of vehicular traffic.
Up Da Hill, the ramp entrance to the west end of the yard showed no signs of vehicular activity. Yard 4 was pretty much FP-FP with racks, MT or loads could not be determined. Yard 2 had only a bit lower occupancy with general that included MT centerbeams. The House still had the tamper and regulator, and the still-old school 345 EL showed Clear, possibly in anticipation of POED, especially since ED-9 would likely come in on 2 to lift at least Yard 2. Parkers was MT and the likewise-still-old-school 346 WL dark at 0528, triggering the usual response. One other thing about Parkers: Even though there was no activity to trigger the 346.6 for confirmation, my car thermometer showed 9°, the first single-digit display there this approaching-celestial-winter. One other thing about 0528: That's when D-3 again called out to AY-2, AY-2's side not being heard, but D-3 saying he would check, provoking the guess that a called-for cab hadn't yet appeared. At 0539, there was the start of serial exchanges between D-3 and AY-5 with NS 9539, provoking another guess that AY-5 was possibly the recrew of 28N or more probably the precrew of 287.
Back down Da Hill, the 335 ELs were dark, and despite the efforts of a TT in front of me, the re-arrival at Wachusett was in time to see the 402 drop the Controlled Siding WL at 0546. There were 3 flats and 2 bis plus the 010, the same arrangement -- dunno about car numbers -- as detailed in johnpbarlow's 1739/12-13 on the T Interesting Northside thread for the 329. 0459 was when the WLs went dark.
Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed Stop for 1 and Clear for 2, while the 330, GL, and FG WLs were all Stops, 402 not yet far enough east to be otherwise. At 0602, KCIR 5930 was in the FI-1/2 parking spot on the west end of some covered hoppers, and the discussions pointed towards some brake issues.
There had been D-3 discussions with ED-9 either side of Transfer Time, variously involving Derby and fitting in between passengers, the last intelligible sounds being ED-9 being told it had a Clear at 0624. Given the transmission strength and my then-location, I'm guessing ED-9 was still in Ayer.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:18 am

For the 0425-0655/12-18-2017 gawking period, the Ayer-Fitchburg stretch was the busy -- some might say congested -- spot.
There were spots of static, and a ~0430 D-3/ED-9 exchange had ED-9 ready to head west, but to hold for POED with the 7552. At 0441, there was the D-3 side of a convo with 28N with the BNSF 4637, sounding like an acknowledgment of a 24x0 update and being on 1. 0451 brought 400 giving themselves permission to head east plus freight traffic would cause them to be on 1 and then cross over at AY. There were also strong -- hinting at Fitchburg -- transmissions from FI-2, later IDd with the 7595 -- yep, a 6-pack on FI-2. There was also 40.2 garble at 0452, and a unanimous display of Stops in the 333 WLs, become unanimously dark at 0453, indication of 400 being far enough east and nothing being near enough to shunt.
The 334 ELs were at Stop and the 1 stagger dark, the same time as even further proof of the confounding variables of elevation, distance, and intervening landmasses can have on high-band propagation. The 40.2 -- garbled at 0452 and while I was a mile closer -- gave a no defects on 2 to 128 axles. Even though the 1 stagger had been dark, the 335 ELs were at Stop. Why? 28N was right at the 335 lot, BNSF 4637 and NS 1156 getting the previously announced 24 east of the ELs at 0512, the same time D-3 told them they'd be going to the credit union (FG) and that a cab would be on the way.. May the Wizard of Wyeing maintain that power order for photographers of 23K. At 0511, D-3 had advised POED that he needed them to clear 330 for the next passenger. To save suspense, POED went unseen. To show the depths of my OCD, the 335 ELs were checked, the Single at Stop and the Lead at Medium Approach Slow.
A few later on Rte. 2 WB, a talker -- this time the 7.8 -- was heard, no surprise since the 7.8 had been heard from there before, but it was for POSE, whose crew figures in future events.
Up Da Hill the easterly half-or-so of Yard 2 had general and there were 5 racks on the Extension and mebbe a bit onto Yard 1.. The sides were perforated, not always generous with reflections, so dunno if those were recent 28N setoffs, unremediated previous setouts, or WBs. The House still held the tamper and regulator, and at 0536, D-3 asked someone -- mebbe POED -- how far they had to shove back to clear the interlocking, and Parkers was MT and the 346 WL dark at 0531.
Back down Da Hill, the 335 ELs were dark, as were -- at 0554 -- the 333 WLs. Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed Stop for 1 and Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL at Slow Approach, the GL and FG WLs all at Stop, 28N still holding by the credit union. At 0555, D-3 would confer with POSE, canceling their Form D G-301 and issuing G-302 to reflect the power-swap at Burncoat and also telling them they would be cabbed to the credit union, presumably for 28N.
There was also power sitting WB at the FG ELs, KCIRs 7561 and 7605, responding to D-3's 0614 query to ED-9 that they were waiting for a signal, getting the signal, and getting west so they could cross the road and get east to do a presumed pickup.
The final sighting of the day was the aforementioned 7595 sitting solo in the FI-1/2 parking spot at 0620. Other things were heard, although the time was not noted for the reason of traffic on 190. 404 called out the the Slow Clear on the 330 WL and immediately upgraded it to Slow Clear, a hint that the GL Controlled Siding WL had gone to Medium Approach Medium. That was followed in a few by 404 telling the crew that they'd be on 1 at North Leominster, a hint the the FG 1 WL was now showing Clear. Further south on 190 and further from Ayer, a one-time-only-and-Zombie-Zone "AY-4" was heard. What was not heard was anything to, from, or about 22K -- usual cautions in effect plus 5 minutes of refueling in North Leominster -- which coulda already been tucked away or still west. Dunno.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jaymac » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:35 am

The posting for 0420-0650/12-20-2017 features not a whit of of its namesake. No actual gawking was committed at Gardner. Why? What was instead gawked was The Great -- Although Extended -- Six-Way Wachusett Meet. Caffeine is strongly suggested.
There had been occasional outbreaks of garble, but at 0445, D-3 advised AY-2 that "they" were outta Gardner and coming down Da Hill. Given AY-2's usual area, a reasonable guess was that AY-2 had asked D-3 about 28N. The pre-400/0450 arrival at Wachusett showed not only the predictable Medium Clear on the 333 Controlled Siding WL, but also a dimmed headlight down by the 333 ELs. Dunno how long they'd been sitting there, so an official start time cannot be established. The west got bright, but it wasn't -- yet -- 400. It was 28N stopping by the bend. 400 with a total 3 flats and 1 bi plus the 1055 dropped the Controlled Siding at 0452. 400 also reported to Boston West that a passenger had advised them of a broken water pipe that was flooding the stairs, strange since it had been much colder much longer last year. The next 333 WL change was the 2 going first to Approach at 0456 and then to Clear at 0459. Since 28N's headlight had gone dim at 0458, it was puzzlement time. Adding to the surfeit of information was the FG 2-to-2-and-back-to-their-train 0501 241 for ED-9 with the 7605. To save suspense, ED-9 would not participate in The Great -- Although Extended -- Six-Way Wachusett Meet. Not knowing what Line 13s mighta been issued before I started listening, a trip of thanksgiving for what had already been shown was made to The Shrine Of The Deity Of The CPF-333 Dunks. While in line -- you guessed it -- noise got made. The Clear for 2 was still showing and the west again got bright: It was EDPO with KCIRs 7518 and 7517 plus 52 doing the dropping on 2 at 0511. There were some company gons, scrap hoppers, boxes, MT centerbeams, 1 wrapped-lumber centerbeam, and half-dozen or so LPGs. 0514 was when the 40.2 gave no defects on 2 to 400's 20 axles. The 2 WL went to Approach at 0520 and to Clear at 0521. Also at 0521 was a semi-broken D-3/FI-2 exchange involving the unlikelihood of a move on 2 between 330 and FG, so FI-2 would be on West Side. The 330 2 WL got dropped again at 0527 by by FI-2 with KCIR 5930 and 4 boxes, and still the two occupants of 1 -- each on either side of CPF-333 -- got closer to their crews' RRA disbursement without getting closer to their destinations, although what was getting closer was 402's scheduled departure.
At 0537, D-3 advised EDPO that there would be 4 waters on 4 in Ayer, the complicating factor being removing a shop freight car -- shoes needed -- as part of the move. Also at 0539 came the ED-9 update of 0x37, 1256 tons, and 2096' with an OK to move after 402. At 0541, the 40.2 gave no defects on 2 to 220 axles, in agreement with my count for EDPO.
At 0539, the Clear for 2 got swapped for a Medium Clear for the Controlled Siding, getting dropped again at 0546 by 402 with a total of 4 flats and 1 bi plus the 1156. A suitable interval later things got bright to the east and it was 287 or mebbe still AY-5 led by -- thank you, Wizard of Wyeing! -- BNSF 4637 and NS 1156, the power couple of the 12-18 28N, plus 23 crossing over to 2 and getting west of the WLs at 0551. 0552 was when the 1 WL went to Clear, provoking brightness, but now in the west. NSs 6722, 9526, 9832, and 7688 got their 57 east at at 0557, marking the endpoint to the aforementioned Great -- Although Extended -- Six-Way Wachusett Meet, in itself a demonstration of the design utility of CPF-333.
In between the 2 River Street UGBs, 22K was slowing while ED-9 was moving. The 7605 was clear, but the KCIR trailer's numbers were obscured. There were good numbers of shorty covered hoppers, but couldn't see what else. Everything from the 330.8 WBs to the FG WLs showed Stops, 404 not in the immediate picture. And yes, sitting West Side at 0616 was FI-2.
There was a broken D-3/AY-2 exchange, right about the time AY-2 usually announces themselves in the clear and the Milling lined and locked normal.
Just after crossing over the Oakdale OHB and at 0639 came those words that inspire dread: "B&M Detector Mileage 7.8. Detector Working," but it musta been only low-to-mid double-digits cuz the good news came at 0642 and POSE's marker was seen retreating west when I hit the crossing.

Edited cuz I didn't take my own caffeine advice: Six-Way -- 400, EDPO, FI-2, 402, 287 or mebbe AY-5, and 28N.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Gardner Gawking

Postby jwhite07 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:05 pm

If the POSE you saw is the same one I saw sitting at Barbers about an hour ago (seems likely), indeed it was an unusually short one.
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