Huge unit coal train

Discussion in 'General' started by meteor910, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    While heading over to The Hill for lunch today, we crossed over the Frisco (yeah, I know, BNSF!) via the Hampton Ave viaduct. Running east below us on the SLSF was a huge, fully loaded unit coal train the likes of which I have never seen on the Frisco. I did not get to see the head end power.

    Anybody have any idea what this was? My guess, and it is only a guess, is that it was a UP unit train diverted to the River Div. coming up from southern Illinois because of high water. The coal was in large lumps, several inches.

    Ken

    ps - I had fettuccine. Wonderful!
     
  2. Brad Slone

    Brad Slone Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Ken,

    I'm not sure if it's new traffic or detour traffic, but for the past two days I have seen a unit coal train loaded headed east through Dixon. They both had a pair of engines on the lead and a pair of DPU's on the rear. I have also heard similar trains with DPU power running through at night that I would suspect are moving coal as well.

    Brad
     
  3. DanHyde

    DanHyde Member

    Been seeing many strange things on the Frisco, and the Umop! Coal trains, empty and full, Full tanker trains, [ crude oil according to the placcards], Covered hoppers, and quite a mix of motive power. Seen at least 2 ballast trains a week on the old Desoto sub. [ runs behind my work]. Must be problems with flooding, like you said,Ken. I know everything up north towards Clarksville is already shut down.
     
  4. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Coal is a lot of what BNSF does. I know here on the Ash Grove sub, that's the bulk of the traffic. The loaded ones always have DPU's, emptys can vary. I've noticed the trains are longer than they had been because of traffic increase. Shoot, I think even UP is running more empty coal trains up the MNA than they use to.
    Because of the high amount of traffic, and the backlog caused by the bad winter, everyone has been forced to put everything they have in service. I've seen just about everything here on the Ash Grove sub (now FT. Scott sub). For instance, I read a story that CN leased 100 ES44's to BNSF, so they inturn pulled 100 SD60's and SD90's out of storage.

    Ethan
     
  5. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Brad - If the coal train we saw yesterday is one of those you have seen on the Eastern Div, I'd really like to hear it climbing Rolla Hill! It looked like a very heavy train, but as I said, I did not see any of the power.

    Ethan and Dan - Thanks for your comments. I'm sure high water has something to do with this.

    Ken
     
  6. Brad Slone

    Brad Slone Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Ken,

    Continued to see some interesting things today, a couple loaded coal trains headed east with DPU's even saw a mixed train that all it needed was a passenger car! It started out unit coal which is what I thought is was then it changed to manifest freight and finished up with a long string of double stack containers, really strange. Regarding power, I forgot to mention yesterdays and Fridays power included a Citirail engine, whoever that is. Last week I saw a UP unit tank train heading west back to North Dakota. Even thought the coal trains are headed east so they don't have to climb the Dixon Hill, they make quite a racket just fighting the Hancock Hill from the west. Interesting times.

    Brad
     
  7. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I saw the "everything train" Brad mentioned in his posting headed east today in the afternoon. I too thought it was a coal train, then I saw the general merchandise, the two-bay covered hoppers and finally the inter-modal cars. Somewhere towards the end of the covered hoppers, there was the big SLAM! as the slack ran in from cresting the hill, so I thought the end was near, but the cut of inter-modal cars was quite long.

    Empty coal trains seem to head west through Kirkwood and these seldom have D/P. Barbara reported a loaded coal train Saturday, but I do not know the direction.

    Unfortunately, Ken, the only black is on the run-through NS units (and the yellow on the Citirail ones) :-(

    George
     
  8. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Brad, Citirail is a leasing company. Currently they only have ES44AC's, C40-8's and 1 SD40-2 out there.

    Ethan
     
  9. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Been having a bunch of leased power thru here too. Those Citirail (Citibank) units are good ones, at least they appear to have been serviced correctly, and provide good service. Unlike some other units you can plainly see the rattle can patch, renumbered, and just put back into service. Some consists appear to be a "dogs breakfast" lashup. I was told by a friend in Montana they had an SD45, and SD45-2 (both still 20 cylinder power) as the only power on the train.
    Traffic levels are up all over, now with the flooding, its gonna get crazy for a bit. Wouldn't be surprised to see some power come back from South America now:eek:
     
  10. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member Frisco.org Supporter

    My earlier post in this thread mentioned most westbound empty coal trains through Kirkwood did not have D/P and, what do you know, the one around 9:30 this morning had two on the front and two on the back. The train was mostly "company" (BNSF) cars if that makes any difference.

    Another westbound empty coal train just went past around 11:30, but this one had all the power (4 locomotives) on the front and no D/P. It was an "NRG" train with most reporting marks "PJNX" and "TNGX" on the cars.

    Alas, there was only BNSF, and not "Mandarin," orange :-(

    George
     
  11. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Tom's post jogged my memory. A week or so ago, I saw a SD45 in service on the FT. Scott sub. I didn't get close enough to get a road name and number, but the paint scheme looked like what CEFX uses (light blue with slanted vertical stripes). Looking at CEFX's roster what SD45's they have have all been rebuilt with 16 cylinder prime movers. I thought it was cool to see something retro like that on a major class 1 line.

    Ethan
     
  12. DanHyde

    DanHyde Member

    I saw 2 coal trains at Lindenwood this morning. One full, on the River Div., and an empty on the track for SW Mo. Canadian National, UP and Citi train? weird combos!
     
  13. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Watching sure is fun these days.

    A big coal train (NRG - PNJX reporting marks, among others) went east this AM with loaded coal cars. If I recall 2 SD70MAC powered the front and a couple GE were pushing on the rear.

    Just a couple minutes ago, BNSF and Canadian Pacific GE units pulled an eastbound train. It looked like coal, but it was another of those seriously mixed ones: the first 30 cars were coal, 10 each from 3 different reporting marks, then some covered hoppers, then mechanical refrigerators and finally the last 30 or 40 cars were fairly typical. There was a GE C44-9W pushing at the rear.

    (Still no o&W anywhere...)
     
  14. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Interesting that the current situation is putting trains on the Frisco (yeah, I know it's the BNSF now) that require one or more pushers at the rear end. You see that all the time on the MP (yeah, I know it's the UP now) coming up Kirkwood Hill, but I rarely ever noticed that on the Frisco.

    Ken
     
  15. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Ken, the BNSF has been using distributed power on the former Frisco for several years. All of the coal trains through Tulsa have been that way ever since they started running those extremely heavy and long trains. The cool thing about dp trains is the engineer has the option of running both sets in power, dynamic brake, or lead dynamic brake and rear power depending on the terrain and speed needs. That last option is helpful after a train has topped a hill because the engineer can keep the head end from picking up speed too quickly on the down hill side while the rear is still climbing the hill. This could cause a separation. Therefore, he/she will hold the head end with dynamic brakes on the lead units while continuing to shove the rear of the train with the rear units.

    Terry Jankowski
     
  16. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    That's exactly right, Terry and that's the way I like to run them. There is no requirement to run loaded coal trains (or any other DP train) with "the fence up" out of Tulsa (except a couple places between Tulsa and Springfield), but that's the way I was taught and in my opinion, it results in a much smoother ride with fewer run-ins. What you never want to do is go into dynos on the rear and power on the head end. That's a recipe for disaster! Some of those coal loads from Tulsa to Madill weigh in at 18K to 19K tons and they get real interesting when you have bad order dynos.:eek:
     

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