Operations Support

September 22-23, 2007

Well it has been a while since we reported on operations at the railroad, and a whole year has gone unrecorded.  This was due mostly to forgetting the camera the two times that we did make it up in 2006, and the earlier trip this year.  The most significant event of 2006 was the acquisition of 3 Cannonball 35 ton single bay ballast cars.  These have helped the M of W department tremendously, and have been used in company service extensively during the past two seasons.

The 3 ballast cars in service at milepost 120

We have also added a speeder with trailer to the rolling stock collection, in an effort to make it easier for the Superintendent to make his rounds.  Problems with the drive belt sidelined this unit briefly, but it is back in service. 

The new speeder is just visible to the left.  We errantly failed to obtain a valuation photo this time around.

Track work for this trip included a complete re-work of the curve between MP 110 and the grade crossing at 100.1.  This section of track was laid in 2002 in a driving snow, and consequently had a bad hump in it that was a concern.

The curve as it was laid over Thanksgiving weekend 2002.

Work on the curve began in earnest and consisted of re-ballasting and re-leveling of the track.

Here the work train with 2200 in the lead, spreads ballast at MP 103.  Ballast car operator M. "Turtle" Agne works the gate.

Extensive tamping is carried out by the crew.  Weather conditions are ideal.

Level and firm track is the desired result.

Apart from track work, the big excitement was the DS&N's first revenue high and wide shipment from Pine Grove.  The King Iron works, shipped out a large non-pressurizing reactor vessel which gained trackage at milepost 25 via overhead crane, and was transported to Pike Summit at milepost 105.  The reactor was then moved with heavy equipment to the consignee.

Don't be fooled.  These are actually two overhead cranes moving this reactor!

Engineer R. Gantz is at the controls of the 970, as it prepares to head West to Pike Summit.

The High and Wide makes good time through the tunnel thanks to generous clearances.

The special move exits the tunnel.

Nearing the delivery point.

The crew of 970 is guided via radio to the unloading point.

In position for trans-shipment.

A large intermodal crane prepares to lift the reactor from the flatcar.

Workers secure the load.

The train is moved away, and the crane positions the load onto its conveyance.

The reactor is safely loaded for the final leg of its journey.

Later that day, and into the evening, the mainline was cleared of work equipment, and revenue trains began running in earnest.  Here we take a look at one of the trains run during daylight hours.

Grinding up grade at milepost 50.

These two F-7's have their 10 car train well under control near milepost 40.

The conductor radios the head end "No orders 2300!  Conductor out."

Passing the Division Point at milepost 147.

2300 makes a fine sight coming out of the tunnel at MP 120.

The scenic splendor that is the DS&N!

As night falls, the trains keep running.

GP-50 number 241 is switching the spur on the West Pike Subdivision.

A load of grain is arriving for delivery behind 241.

With the work complete, 241 returns to the engine house.

The following day, additional ballasting work was done between milepost 0 and 20 on the mainline, and MP 0 and 30 on the West Pike Sub.  Hopefully we will get a chance to continue this work as the year progresses, but with colder weather soon upon us, that will be up to mother nature to decide.

New Ballast to hold the track for bitter weather.

Until next time....


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