• Southern Tier - West of Binghamton

  • 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

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  by SST
 
Well, its that time of year again and I dropped my boat off for storage and headed to Attica for dinner. Before parking in front of the pizza place, I drove around to the NS shed/ex depot and as I crossed the track looking east, I see a solid green over solid red signal. Cool, somebody is on the way!

I waited about 15 minutes or so and finally the cross buck and signals start blinking. And then around the corner he comes. This was about 6:10pm. Here are several pictures. Unfortunately, they didn't come out perfect. I should have stood outside my truck instead of inside through the glass. Live and learn.

For a large picture, I'll just post the link.
https://postimg.cc/QK1pZcxk



https://postimg.cc/p9m5tKsh

Instead of going to the pizza place like I usually do, the restaurant near the tracks was open for business. So I stopped in. Exchange Street appears to be in an abandoned state but when I walked into the building, wow! It was like going back in time. Beautifully restored. I'm not terribly picky about food but my Rigatoni was absolutely delicious! I actually had to slow down eating it. I recommend this place [The Attica Hotel]. This is a place that you can take your family or girlfriend on a date. Time it with a train only 75 feet away and you got it made.
https://postimg.cc/K1xvNtXS

This is the back side of the menu giving some detail on the history of the Attica Hotel:
https://postimg.cc/phCDWzwD
  by SST
 
On my way to xc ski I drove along the row. The sun was so bright I couldn't clearly see the signals. As I'm driving along I look in my rear view mirror and I see a headlight out of synch with other auto traffic. Here comes the train! Ha. Pictures are between Schwartz and Townlin rd, Lancaster-eastbound. This train also had a single locomotive about 2/3 back. Only had 15 cars or so behind it. 2/25 @3:30pm
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  by SST
 
My cell phone seems to deliver photos better than my PC.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
Current symbols for NS road trrafic on the Tier west of Binghamton are as follows:

22K- Chicago to Ayer, MA
23K- Ayer to Chicago
36T -Bison Yard to Binghamton , stops to work at Gang Mills
37T- Binghamton to Bison, does not stop enroute
309- Binghamton to Elkhart, stops at Gang Mills and Bison Yard
310- Elkhart to Binghamton, no stops between Bison Yard and Binghamton


Note: this reshuffle began recently
  by RMB357
 
Thanks for the update Matt. Down to 6 trains a day... I can remember in the early 90s it was almost 20 a day.
  by johnpbarlow
 
And in the early '70s (ie pre-Conrail), approximately 30 daily scheduled freights ran on the EL across the Tier between Binghamton and Hornell.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
RMB357 wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 4:55 am Thanks for the update Matt. Down to 6 trains a day... I can remember in the early 90s it was almost 20 a day.
Fewer trains but they are much longer now. For example, there was a concern that 23K wouldn't fit into the siding @ Silver Springs because it was 12,900' long. I also recall 309 being 17,000' long on a hot summer day a few years back. it popped an air hose and came to a halt in Cameron. Thankfully, the issues was near the front of the consist and easily fixed. it was a firsthand view for seeing why PSR isn't as "precise" as it is claimed to be.
  by SecaucusJunction
 
Trains may be long, but there’s nowhere near the amount of traffic on the line from even 10 years ago. It’s a downward spiral but not just on the Southern Tier
  by Matt Langworthy
 
SecaucusJunction wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:24 pm Trains may be long, but there’s nowhere near the amount of traffic on the line from even 10 years ago. It’s a downward spiral but not just on the Southern Tier
Some of the lost traffic was coal, which is gone and never to return. There is snad traffic now but not at the frequency co9al had back in the day.

And while the number of trains in other categories (e.g. manifest, intermodal) is less than Conrail, trains are much longer. Conrail rarely fielded trains more than a mile long.
  by TrainDetainer
 
They may sometimes be monsters now, but BUOI leaving Buffalo was quite often well over a mile long (sometimes three tracks out of Frontier's south yard), TV200/202 were way over a mile (and usually a half), DABU was routinely way over a mile and a half long - often 2 miles long. I had one DABU well over 2 miles (114 racks IIRC) coming across the valley at Chemung one day when it was so windy I was down to about 32 MPH in run 8 with that huge sail behind me. I also handled one of the original DPU trains with the new 6050s on BUOI from Buffalo - the DPU was new but the train wasn't that much bigger than the often 11500 or 12000 ton BUOIs. The long slog from Buffalo to Darien Center would tell you if you were probably going to make it out of Attica without doubling the hill or not, but there were lots of times you could walk faster to Darien with the big trains. OIBUs and OIELs could get pretty big too when the power was available. Even trips down the hill to Ithaca could get big back then - my biggest was 89 Milliken coal + 34 Wallace coal + 56 salt hoppers, which adds up to around 9200' IIRC. Even 'regular' Sayre-Ludlowville trips were over a mile - 89 Milliken and 27 mty salt comes in at about 6100'.
  by Deeretracks
 
Interesting... thanks for the first-hand accounts TD. At least we have a chance at some rare power now, between the heritage units, special interest locos, and 68N using lots of run-through power. Yesterday saw 2 KCS "Belles" on 68N- one on point and one on the markers as a DPU. We may have fewer trains, but it is still a fun time to be a railfan!
  by SecaucusJunction
 
Thank you. Anyone who thinks NS is doing a good job at getting traffic has REALLY low expectations. Remember NS routed trains off the Buffalo Line to the Tier and now that traffic is gone too. Old CP traffic on the west end? D&H taken over by NS and that traffic gone as well. If and when CSX takes over Pan Am, look for further traffic decrease.

NS Traffic is bad all over but especially on routes where NS and CSX compete. NS usually focuses on traffic in PA where they generally have a rail monopoly. Competitive traffic out of NJ and Boston mostly goes to CSX.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
TrainDetainer wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:17 am They may sometimes be monsters now, but BUOI leaving Buffalo was quite often well over a mile long (sometimes three tracks out of Frontier's south yard), TV200/202 were way over a mile (and usually a half), DABU was routinely way over a mile and a half long - often 2 miles long. I had one DABU well over 2 miles (114 racks IIRC) coming across the valley at Chemung one day when it was so windy I was down to about 32 MPH in run 8 with that huge sail behind me. I also handled one of the original DPU trains with the new 6050s on BUOI from Buffalo - the DPU was new but the train wasn't that much bigger than the often 11500 or 12000 ton BUOIs. The long slog from Buffalo to Darien Center would tell you if you were probably going to make it out of Attica without doubling the hill or not, but there were lots of times you could walk faster to Darien with the big trains. OIBUs and OIELs could get pretty big too when the power was available. Even trips down the hill to Ithaca could get big back then - my biggest was 89 Milliken coal + 34 Wallace coal + 56 salt hoppers, which adds up to around 9200' IIRC. Even 'regular' Sayre-Ludlowville trips were over a mile - 89 Milliken and 27 mty salt comes in at about 6100'.
Thanks for the info. The coal traffic long gone now. I'm sure NS would've liked to keep it but (as we all know) it wasn't their call to make. I remember the DPU experiment, which didn't last long at all. How common were trains over 3 miles in length?
  by TrainDetainer
 
I don't recall anything in the three mile range back then. IIRC someone was complaining in the yard office one day about a DABU of 124 cars, which would be well over 11700 feet all stretched out. That would have been the longest I knew of on the tier back then.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
NS has removed 36T and 37T from the schedule again, in favor of adding length to 309 and 310. The trains are moving more slowly these days, so it often takes more than one crew to get from Buffalo to Binghamton (and vice versa). On the flip side, 69N has been running on occasion again to get the empty hoppers back to the Midwest.
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