• CSX River Sub Traffic

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by cd2434
Had a chance to spend some time along the Hudson last weekend. Lots of great scenery, great weather, and great spots to relax and watch trains. Or so I though I would watch trains... I was trackside from 9:30-7:00 on Saturday (10/7) and only saw 3 freights go by (all southbounds... thought that was weird too), with two coming before noon. Most sources I've seen say there should be ~30 trains per 24 hours, so I was expecting to see maybe 8 or 9 total. I don't live nearby so it's hard for me to keep tabs on the line & anything that could be affecting traffic. Has anyone heard of any MoW work or any other reason the traffic was slow? Did I just pick a bad day? I was thinking of going back next weekend but if it's this slow I'm not sure it's worth the drive for me.

Any River Sub discussion is welcome in this post, wouldn't mind having a thread for more general discussion.
  by cr9617
Doubt it has anything to do with it, but there is a crew putting in signal or comm. (i think) lines in at the crossings in Dumont. Last week they were at Madison Ave., today they were working on New Milford Ave. They leave some trucks and equipment on the ROW between the two crossings.
  by cd2434
Good to know. I did see a ProgressRail truck when I was in Highland that looked to be messing with some ties that were along the tracks near the crossing. Couldn't have been holding up traffic since one of the few trains I did see went by as he was working.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
May or may not be relevant - I work in Rockland County, and when I started my job last year I could usually count on seeing a freight going (or sitting) on that overpass over 87 by the Palisades Mall in West Nyack when going to work or coming home nearly daily. I don't know if I was hitting their morning sweet spot (about 8:30am - now I go in earlier) or what but I can't tell you the last time I saw one in the morning, and I rarely see them in the afternoons (I pretty consistently leave work around 5pm). It definitely seems like traffic has taken a hit. Not sure if it has to do with EHH taking over (that seems to be prevailing theory when things at CSX have gone south recently) or it's some sort of more organic cause.
  by SecaucusJunction
CSX changes in the past year or so...

One pair of garbage trains (lost to NS) (another pair of garbage trains was combined with general freight)
One pair of Autoracks (combined)
Maybe a pair of intermodal (combined)
Just about all of the oil trains, up to 3-4 per day (though they recently started back up again infrequently)

Philadelphia and Baltimore manifest traffic is now routed via Selkirk and down the River Sub
Philadelphia ethanol has gained momentum so loads and empties run several times per week
All manifest and intermodal trains now run daily
  by DogBert
It always seems a bit hit or miss - though more hit than miss. The last few times I've gotten lucky, seeing 8 or 9 during a full day (early morning until around 5pm). There are far more general merchandise trains than oil now. Maybe a year ago half the trains I'd see were oil... now it's maybe 2 out of 8.

When it's a miss... yeah, 3-4 trains max. I always assume there is work taking place somewhere on those days. There was a big tie replacement job earlier in the year around iona island.
  by cr9617
There appears to be some tie replacement in Blauvelt. I drove over the Erie St crossing and caught a glimpse of some fresh ballast dropped along the sides and some scattered ties to the north of the crossing.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
Go figure, this morning I saw a train of tank cars crawling north over 87 this morning by the mall. Seriously the first train I've seen in the morning in ages.
  by cr9617
tie gang working this afternoon south of pineview rd crossing in West Nyack/Blauvelt.
  by cd2434
Went back again this weekend anyway, had better luck and met a few other fans watching the Amtrak fall special make its way up the river. A few general observations...

I agree with DogBert that there are more manifests than intermodal, I only saw one intermodal and it was very early in the morning. Lots of manifests. Some of them are real land barges... I haven't counted but got video of one that had to be pushing 200 cars. Funny enough, it stopped due to a broken knuckle & blocked the crossing at Hilton, NY for ~45 minutes.

GirlOnTheTrain, I found the morning to be pretty busy when I went but maybe it's just a Saturday thing. Definitely a dead spot from noon-late afternoon most days I feel. Maybe it is the EHH effect... wouldn't be surprised.

SecaucusJunction, thanks for those updates. Would be nice to see the ethanol trains pick up steam again, saw 3 last weekend. Seems to be a common theme to combine trains now on CSX, results in land barges like I mentioned above.

Thanks for the update cr9617. I saw a ProgressRail crew with a hi-rail messing around with some ties by the crossings in Highland a few weeks ago.
  by SecaucusJunction
I believe just about all of the intermodal traffic runs in the late evening to early morning hours.
  by bigblue5277
A Friday this month in September had a decent level of traffic. a good mix of southbound and northbound trains all day. Traffic was pretty steady in the morning to noon (about 9 trains) After noon things slowed up with only 5 trains with one being a 4 car local. 14 trains total during daylight.

The standard train on this line has two locomotive units, either with both units up front, or with one unit up front and one in the middle of the train. So if you see a single engine in front expect to see a second locomotive somewhere in the middle of the train.

Also, there was one instance where an auto train had one locomotive up front and one in the rear.

This month has been a beautiful, sunny month perfect for being outdoors!
  by lvrr325
I suspect that when a train runs with the DPU at the tail it means whatever cars had been behind it were a block for someplace that was dropped, like say for example a train going west from Albany could drop a cut at Syracuse from behind the DPU and it's just one uncouple and go.

Sunday mornings when I'm at the market there's no real certainty to what trains are going to show with or without a DPU other than the trains for the line north don't typically have them.