Auto Rack Service

Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

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Auto Rack Service

Post by urrengr2003 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:08 pm

Neeed someone to help an old man that is having a 'senior moment.' We operated an ML-9 to handle mty auto racks; wasn't the counterpart to this train ML-12??? Seem to recall they operated via Suspension Bridge but don't know where they went east; Tarrytown or Framingham. Was on the B&A in 1964 before this service, hottest thing west then was BB-1 & LS-3 with all easbound service in BA's. All I recall about Framingham was drops for NH eastbound and P/U's from NH for the west.

Went to the Mohawk in 1969 and ML-9 was there then; it was the hardest train to pull we had, harder than the vans. As a RFE once turned in delay to Supt on ML-9 as 'wind resistance." Got laughed out of the next staff meeting over that until Mr. Joslin started a project to compare HP/Ton between conventional trains and auto racks. He then agreed that the construction of the tri-levels with all their pillars and ramps made for harder pulling cars. Always beleived the smaller wheels under the tri-levels contributed to this also.

There was never a better looking train than 8000' of ML-12 negotationg the reverse curves at 60MPH from the second floor of Tower 26. The multi levels had a unique sound with their small wheels & they had a bang in the carbody as the couplers worked up and down between cars.

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Post by BR&P » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:10 pm

That's right - eastbound loaded autoracks was ML12. And I believe they did come down the Falls Road but I'd have to dig thru some boxes to be sure. It was quite a sight, the power would be out of sight east of the yard and no caboose in sight looking in the other direction.

Noel Weaver
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Post by Noel Weaver » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:19 pm

ML-9 and ML-12 were River Line trains out of Little Ferry Yard in New
Jersey. Later on in time they were combined with TV-15 and TV-16 on the
rear in both directions. TV-15 would leave from North Bergen with the
empty auto carriers behind the last van and TV-16 would come in with the
loads behind the last vans. TV-16 went in at CP-5 for running 1 or 3
Bellmans and the cut was made behind the last North Bergin right on
running 1 or 3. The jeep would handle the rear end crew and bring them
up at Bellmans to make the cut. The rear end crew got off at Frickies
(don't remember the spelling) which was in the interlocking at CP-5.
During my time on that line in the mid 1970's, I ran both of the above
trains many times. Once in a while if either of the trains was very heavy,
they would run separately.
The clearances on the Hudson did not permit auto carriers until they were
improved during the Conrail period in the mid to late 1980's and then
only to the Chevrolet plant at Terrytown.
Noel Weaver

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Post by urrengr2003 » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:54 am

When did Framingham become a 'destination' for auto trafic? In the mid 60's the B&A installed a High Car Detector (beleive it was at Wilbraham)that sounded an alarm in Dispatchers Office & caused a Lunar White signal aspect to be displayed on the rear home signal for Framingham. Trains receiveing this signal could not proceed east of that location. This was done in anticipation of handling tri-level equipment on the B&A.

Thanks for the above information; feel foolish not to have known that the ML trains went to the River Division at SK...always thought they went across the bridge but never really knew where they went at SM. Never too old to learn.

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Post by lbagg91833 » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:58 am

ML 12 ran DETROIT-TOLEDO-BFLO-SK-RIVER DIV. Never ran on the FALLS ROAD to my knowledge, and reverse mvmt via BFLO unless a derailment or other blockage required it to run WESTBD via the BRIDGE, thru CANADA as the ML's would clear DET TUNNEL. LAB

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Post by BR&P » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:14 am

I stand corrected re the routing. Main line, not via the Falls Road. I also came across an article from the Buffalo newspaper about ML12, and it spoke of the train coming into Buffalo from the west.

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Post by RSD15 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:19 am

out of framingham there was a train FMA-9,I can`t recall a counterpart maybe TV-6w.
as noel pointed out ML-9 was sometimes combined with TV-15, but also with VNF-7.I think that train may have used the falls road.


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