Rail roads and their tracks.

   / Rail roads and their tracks. #1,831  
We get quite a few in that range here. Mostly container trains. Ever notice that a lot of those container cars are really 5 cars? Look at the trucks. There's singles at every joint, but only a coupler every 5 cars, where you'll see 2 trucks, one on each side of the coupler.
I see them in 3 and 5 car combinations.
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #1,832  

   / Rail roads and their tracks. #1,833  
Took a long walk today. Really needed to see some RR progress after seeing so much RR decay.
I got up onto the abandoned Wawa to West Chester Septa line.
Heres the end of the progress so far, just past the new Wawa Rail Station. It probably wont go much further for quite a few years. Beyond where you see the new catenary is Route 1 and the new Wawa station



Below is a view looking the other direction, towards West Chester. Tracks, rail berm, bridges still in half-decent shape, although no real traffic since the early 90’s-except a few “tourist trains”.

   / Rail roads and their tracks. #1,834  
Heres the notorious Chester Creek. In ‘72 (Agnes) it flooded so severely that it destroyed the Wawa line to Chadds Ford very close to where the pictures above were taken.


Below: Some of the berm under the rails destroyed by Hurricane Agnes flooding the Chester Creek in ‘72



They still persist, hanging in the air 50 years of tree growth through them
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   / Rail roads and their tracks. #1,835  
Here we are about 5 miles away-same RR as the washed out line in previous post. This spot went undamaged despite being next to the Brandywine Creek, it survived. In fact 90% of the Wawa to Chadds Ford line is in tact, but the 10% that flooded was damaged so badly, it was decided to be closed. It was probably only seeing 1 train per day towards the end.
Funny thing is now thousands of housing units have been built and it would be perfect for use as commuter rail.

   / Rail roads and their tracks.
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I was emailed this notice today.

Union Pacific Steam Club Update - Big Boy No. 4014's West Coast Steam Tour​


Union Pacific Steam Club Update No. 21 - April 11, 2022
UP Steam

Union Pacific's famed Big Boy No. 4014 is set to return to the tracks this summer for its "West Coast Steam Tour." Kicking off June 26 from Cheyenne, Wyoming, this year's tour will celebrate Union Pacific's 160th anniversary, railroad heritage and the communities the railroad serves, visiting the Pacific Northwest for the first time since its return to service.

The Big Boy will be on display in four cities:

  • July 6, 2022: Sparks, Nevada
  • July 8-9, 2022: Roseville, California
  • July 15-16, 2022: Portland, Oregon
  • July 21-22, 2022: Boise, Idaho

Display days include locomotive viewing, access to the "Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car," a multi-media walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading, and live Q&A with the Steam Crew.

Big Boy No. 4014 will leave the Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming, June 26, making brief whistle-stops in dozens of communities in Wyoming, Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. Further details for these stops will be released to the Steam Club in May.
UP Steam

Last month, the Steam Crew turned the Big Boy on the turntable in Cheyenne. Watch the video!

That's all for now! Be safe, and we'll see you trackside, at least 25 feet away this summer!

Union Pacific Steam Club

This email was sent by Union Pacific, located at 1400 Douglas Street, STOP 1550, Omaha, NE 68179-1550 (USA). To receive no further emails, please click here or reply to this email with "unlist" in the Subject line.
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #1,837  
If you zoom up the photo, you can see the swing bridge in the river in St. Joseph, MI as it appeared yesterday. It's usually open to allow for the heavy boat traffic, but they close it twice a day for the Amtrak, and once in a while for small freight trains that serve local customers.

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That's the Coast Guard Station on the left. In the background you can see cement silos on the left, which are served by ships once in a while, and a drawbridge. Past the drawbridge are piles of crushed limestone that is delivered by ship. And in that same area there are salt piles covered with tarps, again, delivered by ship.
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Union Pacific to begin metering traffic if shippers don’t reduce car inventory
By Bill Stephens | April 12, 2022

Railroad taking steps to reduce congestion as operating metrics have deteriorated this year amid crew and power shortages

Email Newsletter​

A Union Pacific merchandise train climbs toward the summit of Sherman Hill in Wyoming in June 2018. UP is taking steps to alleviate congestion as its network bogs down due to a combination of crew and power shortages. (Bill Stephens)

OMAHA, Neb. – Union Pacific will start metering traffic on Monday if shippers don’t voluntarily reduce their active freight-car inventories on the railroad, which is bogging down due to a combination of crew and locomotive shortages.
“Over the last few weeks, our network has experienced some setbacks – including numerous service interruptions, crew shortages in select areas and delays to our network – as we have seen our operating inventory continue to climb over the past 60 days. This additional inventory has led to more congestion in yards, an imbalance of our resources, and further slowdown of our operational performance,” Kenny Rocker, executive vice president of marketing and sales, wrote in a message to customers on Monday.
The railroad’s key performance metrics – including average train speed, terminal dwell, and number of trains held for crews and power – have trended in the wrong direction for most of this year.
UP is working to alleviate crew and power shortages.
Man in dark coat with blue shirt and tie
Kenny Rocker, Union Pacific executive vice president of marketing and sales. (Union Pacific)
“While the current demand for crews is high, we are facing a tight labor market,” Rocker wrote. “As I’ve noted before, we are recruiting heavily to alleviate crew shortages in certain locations and have modified our recruiting strategies to attract more applicants. We are aggressively hiring and streamlined our onboarding process to get new hires on the job faster.”
UP has 450 conductors in training who should enter active service in early summer, with more in the hiring pipeline. UP also has relocated 80 train-crew personnel to areas that are particularly short of crews.
UP’s crew headcount was up nearly 2% in February compared to a year ago, according to the latest Surface Transportation Board data. But traffic in the first quarter was up 4% compared to the same period in 2021, according to the railroad’s weekly carload report.
To alleviate power shortages, UP is pulling 100 locomotives out of storage. They will join 50 units added to the active fleet since January.
UP is removing up to 3% of railroad-controlled cars from the network. “We are in daily dialogue with our unit train customers to maintain fluidity and reduce their inventories on our system,” Rocker wrote. “For intermodal, we are closely monitoring the inland ramps to make sure our supply chain partners have [the] ability to dray their shipments off the ramps.”
Despite these efforts, the number of cars on the UP system continues to rise.
“We are now asking for your help to further reduce the number of active rail cars on our network. We have already identified and notified those customers who can help us manage the current congestion by reducing their rail car inventories,” Rocker wrote. “If we do not see reductions to the operating inventory through their voluntary efforts, then we will begin metering traffic after April 18th. This action, along with our other ongoing initiatives, will give us the ability to work through our backlog and improve the service for all our customers.”
Shippers typically add cars to their fleets as rail service slows, which tends to exacerbate congestion and delays.
The big four U.S. railroads – BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, and UP – are experiencing service problems to various degrees. Last week the STB ordered their executives to appear at a two-day hearing on service issues. The hearings will be held April 26 and 27.
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #1,840  
You can only hack and slash for so long...more customers going to have to truck it