Operations Support November 29th through December 4th, 2002
This was the fifth visit to the DS&N by Moose Valley crews, and the first in the harsh winter that the Pennsylvania northern tier is noted for. Overcast skies and near constant snow fall made for a difficult, but exciting time.
Our real work started Saturday, while the ground was still mostly snow free. 50 feet of additional curved track were laid by the crews. It was during this work that the real snow accumulation began.
Here we see the 5 sections of track with 1 rail in place.
The 970 and 2200 are push/pull on today's work train.
2200 waits to take the train east.
Here the rail crew led by foreman R. Gantz, is proceeding with installation of the second rail.
Tie plate installer G. Agne is braving the freezing temperatures without gloves when needed!
As the weather turns for the worse, and the snow starts to fall, the work train returns to MP 110 to finish up.
In only a few moments, the snow overcomes the work party, and daylight is lost.
The crew hurriedly completes the days goal in a driving snow.
The completed section looks good, but needs ballast before it becomes usable.
The operating session was conducted immediately after the track work was finished. Two trains led by the 970 and 2200 ran the length of line, separated by milepost, with each operator taking a full turn out and back in the wind blown snow.
View from the operators position on the 2200. MP 110 looms in the headlight.
The lights of the engine house on the left show some degree of the blowing and drifting snow. The headlight of the 2200 is to the right as that train makes it's way east.
Back at the Y, some members of the track crew have been exhausted by the day.
The following morning, a plow extra is dispatched from Dolittle to clear the line.
Bucking heavy drifts, the 2200 makes its way over the line. Due to a lack of sand, the main is only cleared to MP 37. The 241, needed for the west bound move, is down for the fuel pump upgrade.
Our track work progress was limited to the 50 feet laid on Saturday the 30th. However, lots of shop time was put in. The oil was changed in all 4 locomotives, and all remaining EMD power received the electric fuel pump upgrade. A review of freight car truck operation was initiated, and one particular style in use was determined to have a casting deficiency which prevented good articulation. A refit program was completed on the majority of these trucks. The freshly built MV 20020 tool car was used extensively, and its operation was deemed excellent. However, it was found susceptible to loading variances which require care in placement of the load. Despite the less than ideal conditions, the railroad was relatively derailment free, particularly (and thankfully) during the night time operating session.
Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas from everyone on the DS&N Division!
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