• FRA geometry train on Framingham Secondary

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by CSX Conductor
Anyone in Mass see the FRA's geometry train on Friday? As far as I know it travelled the B&A from Framingham to Boston, back to CP-21 in Framingham and then took a round-trip on the Framingham Secondary to Mansfield via Medfield Jct and Walpole.

Anybody have any photos of the equipment used?

  by CSX Conductor
For anybody interested to see it, I fund a link through another loacl railfan site that I frequent on Yahoo Groups.

Boy it's an ugly looking thing.

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... bydate%3A4
  by jfturner
The unit in question is known as the FRA's T2000, a self-propelled Track Geometry car that uses lasers, sonar and other hi-tech stuff to test the true integrity of the rails. It gets ferried between jobs via a locomotive from the host (or victim or offending depend on your point of view) railroad. Then it runs on its own power while making an inspection. Very similar to a Sperry car in some respects.

However, ask any Track Supervisor who has had to deal with the aftermath of the results it finds and you will not get a positive reply. Its the bain of the railroads.

It pretty much shutdown the NECR's main between Bellows Falls and White River Jct last week. Week before it allegedly did a number on the CPRS (D&H) between Albany and Saratoga. Its also made its unwelcome presence felt on the CSX Boston Line and the GRS Freight Main.

A necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless for those who must fix things after it.

Can you say 10 MPH???

  by Xplorer2000
Define "Evil" here....
What would be worse: having to fix the defects it discovers in its travels, or, having to clean up, or worse PAY up after a major derailment with the concurrent property damage and / or loss of life. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  by CSX Conductor
XPlorer, Csx doesnt want to put $$ into any track until they absolutely have to, or, like in most cases, until after it's too late.

  by jfturner
To answer your previous point,
Yes - it would be worse to have a derailement instead.

Case in point that supports your arguement:
The section of track from White River Jct to Bellows Falls that the T2000 sh_t canned on the NECR is the same section of track where the recent derailment in Hartland, VT occurred.

Case in point that support the CSX Conductor point of view:
So do you think the NECR fixed the track after the T2000 visit or just reduced the track speed????? Ask anyone with an NECR Track Bulletin.
There is no mention of "new" rail or tamping being done. But there is a reduction from 40 MPH to 25 MPH.

Again - its a bain, a necessary evil. Never said it was unjust or unnecessary. Railroads in the northeast are all struggling to make a profit, so every bump in the road hurts. Unfortunately sometimes they take a calculated risk and defer track maintenance. Another problem is the economics and politics of track maintenance. Being proactive and repairing track requires a large capital outlay, and thus someone higher up, be it stockholders or whomever, need to be convinced the $1 million+ is justified. Yet at the same time a derailment gets covered by insurance so the costs don't come out of the same operating or capital budget.

Yes its silly (sometimes unsafe) but its the same anywhere in the corporate world. How long did Firestone wait to fix their tires? How many Ford Pintos burned before they changed the gas-tanks? Why does Microsoft software have bugs? In any business, there is pressure to save money and thus an ill-effect can be to cut corners and take risks. Its an evil of the capitalist society we live in.