• Another fun night for the SU-100 crew... 9/13

  • Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.
Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, NJ Vike

  by rcbsd45
It was not a pretty night for the SU-100 crew. On duty at 7:30PM last night(wednesday, 9/13), they had nothing but problems. They had 92 cars, and for power? the 3668, 3674, 3040, and 3020. Not sure of the exact order. by the time they got to the top of Gulf Summit, one of the alcos had shut down 3 seperate times, the 3040 was caked in oil(not sure if it was self inflicted or from being in the line of fire from an ALCo), and the other alco was giving them trouble and had to be restarted more than once. When they hit Port jervis, the plan was to run them east ahead of train 41, one of the last westbounds for the evening. upon hearing of the problems, NJT initially refused the train. they finaly got the OK to go at about 2:30 AM(or thereabouts) and limped up the hill at less than 10 MPH! The 100 crew outlawed at Sparta, and the WS-7 outlawed ahead of them in Odgensburg! WS-2 came to recrew one train, the WS-3 the other. 100 crew finally made it to the hotel at about 9:20 AM, and needless to say it was a long night for all around. And once again, the culprits are orange and black with six axles! Should prove to be an interesting trip home for the crew tonight, what with the wet rail, the leaves starting to fall, and of course the tonnage, usually heavier westbound than eastbound. The power may include the 3618, which stayed behind on the other night, as well as one other "POS" thats been down here for some attention from the other day, as well. Stay tuned!

  by blockline4180
Yeah, I heard they used 3 rescue engines to tow him back to Litte Ferry. Must have been a site to see!

  by Steve F45
i drove past the facility earlier, had 3 alco's, 3618,3040,3020 and i think 1 other not sure though.

Sounds like 1987, all over again........... :-D

  by oibu
When you spend $2.50 maintaining an engine, you get a $2.50 engine to run with...it's hell for the unlucky crews though. Hopefully these rebuildings will work out and will be applied roster-wide. Then they'll have reliable motive power for a year or two until they all start falling apart again...

  by RichM
This is why I was asking about who is really working in Dansville. I'll defer to GOLDEN-ARM, but it seems like Rome took a very long time to get up and running when they started cycling the -45's through in the '80's. I know it's twenty years later, and an EMD 645 is very common, but rebuilding a locomotive isn't just rebuilding the prime mover. It would be nice if they can cycle the EMD's through at some regular pace, but the learning curve seems to be steeper than it should be.
I would expect that this exercise may determine how many more older EMD's they consider acquiring, although it's amazing to me they would touch anything that was once Southern Pacific's. The Cartier Alco's may have their problems, and they may just be shot, but they're weren't abused the way SP in crisis "maintained" their locomotives.

Not to cast aspersions, against what was "Rome Locomotives", but the REAL work being done there, was a thorough steam cleaning, and a decent paint job. Even in the late 80's, the actual cost of "rebuilding/refurbishing a 20 cylinder locomotive, with trucks/motors, generator/alternator, and switching gear, was over $100,000.00 This could hardly be justified, when that money might buy 3, 4 or possibly 5 more of the same type units. Swapping parts, doing the bare basics, to remain in compliance with the CFR (when that was even done) was what was going on, in lot's of places. Walter got a good deal, on some well used locos. He squeezed a little more life out of them, but the real world failures, OTR back then, seem to be forgotten, by those "reminiscing". They looked great, for a while, but the oil quickly covered those shiny new paint jobs. Heads, power assemblies, rings, bearings, injectors, etc., all being done, really, on a "run to failure" basis. A few spectacular wrecks, took some of the power, out of the mix, and Sparta mountain finished off, what the derailments didn't. (The grades in NY as well, took their toll) You can't fault Rome, they did what they were paid to do. You can't even fault Walter, as he was getting his monies worth, with plans for the new GE's, to pick-up some slack. Money spent fixing one unit, could also be used, to buy several replacements. This has always been the bottom line, on almost every railroad. Getting the most, for the least. (also remember, though, a railroad will spend a dollar, to save a nickel) Regards :-D

  by rcbsd45
Once again, another rough and long night, this time, it was this past Thursday night, 9/14. Here's what basically happened. the SU-99, with two ALCo's and the 3020 between them was on duty at 7:30 PM. they had 55 cars and somewhere around 5800 tons. they left westbound sometime around 8:15 pm(I believe) and it wasn't long after that the ALCo's started to act up(no surprise!) just as they had on the eastbound trip the day before. Sure enough, the train stalled at midland Park near Goffle Road, MP 24.97.
Originally the plan was to send the 3618 out to push, but this unit was not available. ("Last Chance Garage and Locomotive Repairs" in Danville did such a great job, the unit's been sidelined most of the week since it first came back down!)The WS-7, with the 3040 and 2300 then went west and tied on the train and began to push. Sometime after this, east of Wycoff, the 99 sruck a downed tree, and the result was that the branches and such got caught up under the train, resulting in for seperate breaks in the train! No derailment, just parted hoses. the conductors from each eand walked, met in the middle, got the train back together and then eventually proceeded west.
As you may imagine, these things all take time, which is why it took as long as it did Thursday night to get the train west. It was then decided that the 99 crew would back their train into the Limecrest industrial siding at Sparta Jct, await the 100, and also await a recrew ordered from Binghamton, on duty ay 4:30AM Friday. it was a matter of simply sticking the 99 out of the way and not having it potentially outlaw on the single track somewhere, as the recrew was still several hours away.
As for the 100, they had their own troubles, as they hit Port Jervis, and NJ Transit refused to accept the train, Seems the 100 had no two way telemetry on the rear and was sent(ordered?) from BH with a simple "N-C"(Non Communicating) marker that doesn't allow for the engineer to dump the train from the head end. so now someone had to get awaken, drive to Little Ferry, find an approrpiate two-way marker, and then drive to Port Jervis to deliver it to the 100, ang again, all these things take time.
So once again, things went down the proverbial dumper, and it was another long and arduous night for the boys on the front line we call the crews. Does it get any better than this?? WILL it get any better than this? Stay tuned, kids....

  by pablo
I got quite a few interesting things out of that post.

1. Is Dansville doing good work? Doesn't seem so.

2. The ALCOs aren't the biggest problem.

3. Who's planning things up there? (Yes, it's a question, but that alone is an answer...or, perhaps a statement...)

Dave Becker

  by Steve F45
does anyone even know whats wrong with the 3618? i know 3012 was down for a few days when it came back from dansville, but hasn't had any problems since then.

What seems to be a problem now is, they have 3010 and 3014 up at dansville now too from what i hear. So now they are even more short on power then they were 2 weeks ago.

  by rcbsd45
Things can be summed up in a few short words. Cooperstown doesn't care. The NYS&W is owned by Delaware Otsego Corp., a diversified corporation with several other companies aside from the NYS&W. They collect decent $$$ from utility lines that runa on the railroad's right of way, fiber optic lines(one of which runs in close to 50 miles of right of way in NJ), they have the "RRE". The RRE, or "rolling revenue enhancement"(their words) involved all the former wood chip hoppers that were lettered for the BAR before being lettered for the NYSW, as well as the other C&D cars lettered for the railroad(since relettered to CWSX, CDWX or something similar). Then there's the various rela estate holdings, not to mention the fact that there are rail customers who are are on a cash account basis, which while not illegal in any sense, is a bit unusual. the corportation is doing very well these days due to the diversification of their properties and investments.
It should also be mentioned that the railroad is engaged in labor "negotitations" these days and doesn't seem to have much of an interest in settling that roight away, despite the boys working without a contract for qute some time now. What the carrier wants is like most companies in their position: get the most and pay the least.
But in short, the boys at the top are conent to keep things limping along on the rail front, since it also makes things tough on the employees who have to work with the crap on a daily basis. And the saddest thing of all is that it doesn't have to be this way. (sigh!)

  by Steve F45
so let me ask this question, is it possible for nysw to buy new power? Not refurbed or rebuilt but new power if they wanted to and didn' spend all this mone on rebuilding what they have?

  by RichM
We're back to the old discussions, money and politics.

I think you need to look at this from a multiple choice point of view. Do you buy or lease, and either way, do you lease new, used, or refurbished?

There are several hundred SD 40-2's that have been rebuilt, depending on the leasing company, with varying approaches to what rebuilding means. There are Helm units that may have had an oil and filter change, there are others that were torn down to the blocks and had complete overhauls and upgrades.

As the big guys continue to buy hundreds of new units, most of the fleet overhaul lease units (as opposed to seasonal/demand lease units) should be coming back in the next 6-18 months.

Buying new would mean SD 70's or Dash 9's with full EPA compliance. They are expensive, and without regular, time sensitive runs, I don't think that makes sense. Unless the NY or federal government will do something creative for financing.

This is where politics comes in. I was dancing around the Rome vs. Dansville question, but really where I was coming from is this... I get the impression that Dansville is Super Steel in another county. I'm guessing they are receiving some sort of tax concessions, low interest loans, etc., to operate there. NYS&W may also benefit in some fashion by this arrangement. But any rebuilder faces the same situation: how good are its people, and how much work is the customer willing to pay for?

We're guessing on all this. GOLDEN ARM's earlier comments about Rome originally doing "shave and a haircut" work indicated that NYS&W was simply trying to get the units running at that time, and extend the service life some undefined period.