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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Going WACR Building the "Big One" on Monday, May 2...

After sadly having to drop my wife at work for a day on I thought would be spent at home working on some projects, I rolled past the Washington Co. Railroad's (WACR) White River Junction yard that is located literally a few hundred yards away from my development.  I knew that the WACR would be rolling a BIG train north this day, but had no idea how big and how long it would take to assemble said train.   The crew is typically on duty by 0600 and heading north no later than 0730-0800, however not the case this day.  With more than 70 cars on hand in the yard - some of which were for Justin's Services adjacent to the yard, a few for Claremont Concord Railroad's West Lebanon, NH operation and more salt that is ultimately destined to Ely, VT and Barrett's transloading terminal, it took several hours to get the train built and get out of town.


With knowledge of the traffic backlog last week, both VTR GP38-2 202 and VTR GP40-2 307 were shipped to the south end to handle the train for Monday.  The crew of Tommy and Mark went to work getting the cars swapped around from the New England Central interchange in the WACR's Bank Yard.  I will detail some of the moves below in photos and provide links to the 6-part video series I uploaded to YouTube detailing the operation of building the 55-car train to go north on the WACR's Bradford and Lyndonville Subdivision.  The Newport crew would ultimately have to meet the train at St. Johnsbury and take much of it along north with just the VTR 307 for power.

Enjoy the photo essay below and also the accompanying videos!


Switching out log loads and separating the red pine (uniform cut) logs from the other logs and then rebuilding them into a separate section of the train, the VTR 202 and 307 shove against loaded boxcars on the runner ...


Conductor Mark readies to throw a switch after the log loads are switched off the runner....then rides the cars back...


While engineer Tommy writes down car numbers as they build the train...


Finally ready to depart, the northbound WJNP will roll with 25 loads and 30 empties - many of the loads being salt on the head end for delivery to Ely, VT.  


My parting shot of the train was this shot that I saw develop rapidly in the side of my truck - an over-under shot in the non-traditional sense...

An oddity on this particular day is a car destined for Justin's Services that is currently lettered for Yadkin Valley - as YVRR 7012.  The car has an interesting stencil on it that identifies it as a TEST CAR - and says it must remained coupled to HS 62261...  Thanks to Mike Collins, the YVRR 7012 was previously the HS 62267 (renumbered in 2008) and prior to that had been HS 8676 and built in 1976 as the SP 19130.  It is owned by NATX and leased to CP at the moment.

The car referenced in the stencil - HS 62261, was built in 1976 as RF&P 19224 and in 1999 became the HS 9368.  In 2005 it was rebuilt to and renumbered to HS 62261 and became an unknown test bed.  In 2007 it was relettered to OAR 62314.




The videos below depict approximately one hour of switching that resulted in the 55-car train departing.  I would have loved to video the whole train passing, but a text message (learned my lesson to turn on Airplane mode) came through and halted the video halfway into the train...











Hope you've enjoyed!

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