Modern EJ&S

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Modern EJ&S

Unread postby MQT1223 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:59 am

My new thread details my "What if" scenario on if the East Jordan & Southern in Northern Lower Michigan had kept operating after 1961 despite loosing the East Jordan Iron Works as a customer and the railroad somehow managed to hang on against all odds. This is based on the railroad well after it had become a common carrier and well after its logging days were done.

The year is 1962...

The East Jordan and Southern, despite loosing its largest and primary customer in East Jordan 2 years ago and after nearly being abandoned, has decided to continue operations but on a reduced schedule. To cut back on costs, the railroad has went from operating 3 days a week to 2 days a week (on rare occasions as needed) and reduced the amount of excursions it operates during the year to reduce the wear and fuel costs on the few pieces of equipment it owns and operates. The railroad company owns one steam locomotive, one gas mechanical locomotive, one open air passenger car and a combine it has had since the beginning of operations. 2-6-0 #6 is kept strictly on standby and the crews are certified to operate both locomotives as to not keep specialty employees on the payroll. Also, the station agent works both the East Jordan and Bellaire ticket windows and all flag stops have been eliminated to reduce the amount of maintenance on railroad owned structures (the depot at Chestonia is privately owned and operated for the sake of convenience).

The time table is similar to the previous:
Train No. 1 Departs East Jordan at 11:30 AM, arrives at Bellaire at 12:20 PM pending no delays or flagstops
Train No. 2 Departs Bellaire at 1:00 PM, arrives at East Jordan at 1:40 PM pending no delays or flagstops.

**All trains are mixed and no freight customers are worked until the passengers arrive at their respective destinations. Once the passengers have been delivered to their respective locations then the combine is dropped in the yard and cars are delivered to their destinations.

Current online customers are:
East Jordan Canning Co (Soon to be Burnett Foods) - Receiver of boxcars loaded with crates of metal cans and glass jars for produce
East Jordan Lumber Co - Receiver of boxcars loaded with various lengths and types of wood for residential and commercial use
East Jordan Cooperative (Also known as The Co-op) - Receiver of tank cars loaded with various petroleum based products, coal hoppers for coal fired boilers in homes and boxcars full of Miscellaneous goods
Slough Scrap Yard (Newest Customer on the EJ&S, online since 1959 before the loss of the Iron Works) - Receiver of empty gondolas for processed scrap metal, only customer that ships loaded cars by rail
A transload ramp is also present by The Co-op
The Depot also functions as a freight house and on rare occasions still receives a boxcar of local goods or a specialized shipment for local pickup
On rare occasions a car will be spotted along EJ&S operated trackage in Bellaire for projects, such as the work done on a church in 1959 that required a flat car of Brick to be spotted just south of the river on the siding in town.

Current offline customers are (Defined as having a siding/spur still connecting to the railroad):
East Jordan Iron Works (Also known as EJ or EJIW) - Used to receive inbound hoppers loaded with coal, coke, and raw iron ore for use in manufacture of metal based products, also on occasion was known to ship outbound loads of metal products on flat cars and in box cars. Reason for cease of service, switch to trucks.

Typical operations during this time are as previously mentioned, a two day a week operation with as needed service. 9 times out of 10 the trains will run starting from East Jordan after the empties are picked up and the train staged in the small yard in East Jordan. Once an air test is performed the Plymouth will run a mixed train with the combine and the empties down to Bellaire. Speeds range from 15-25 mph with a few rare occasions seeing trains hit 30 mph. Tie work was last performed in 1959, with the majority of ties being made of old growth oak and have been in the ground since the logging era. Most of the time not every industry will not be receiving cars with every trip to Bellaire, with the Co-op being the most active customer on the line at the current time. The line is mostly downgrade going into East Jordan. Upon entering Bellaire limits the train will enter the south leg of the wye and back up to the Bellaire depot, so that the train is facing the opposite direction for the trip north (an Armstrong turntable is located in East Jordan for turning equipment) Coming back from Bellaire requires a skilled engineer, or risk doubling the train due to the line averaging a 2.5 percent incline. The line is also very curvy with a few sections of decent straight track, and roughly half a dozen bridges over the Jordan River and its tributaries. All of these bridges date back to the construction of the line and are made out of raw tree trunks. If it is known the Plymouth cannot pull the loaded cars to East Jordan in two trips or less, the 2-6-0 is fired up to handle the days' chores. Since the loss of service to the Iron Works, the Plymouth has had little to no difficulty pulling the trains. Prior to this the 2-6-0 handled freight much more often.

Excursion services bring in a little bit of money on the side, with the famed Swan City Express being the bread and butter of the East Jordan and Southern's excursions. The reduced schedule has seen the excursion season cut back to between May and October to avoid the snow, with some occasional specialty trains. Excursions operate with the #6 unless it is unavailable, the Swan City open air car (converted from an old logging flat) and Combine #2. Trains prior to the reduced schedule operated every weekend, but now operate on two weekends a month. Holidays see special trains run, such as Easter, Thanksgiving and the final weekend before Christmas. The 4th of July tradition of Free Train Rides is kept as an appreciation gift for the community, although there has been talk of adding a very small fee to this ride despite public negativity towards the idea.

Locations on the line include:

East Jordan: MP 0.0 - Northern Terminus of the Railroad
Mt. Bliss: MP 4.3 - Former Flag Stop and Logging Camp on the Jordan River located at Webster Bridge Rd
Marble: MP 5.9 - Former Junction/Interchange with the Detroit and Charlevoix Railroad, abandoned during the Great Depression
Chestonia: MP 7.7 - Located at intersection of M-66 and Old State Road, sole remaining flag stop between Bellaire and EJ. Former logging camp, now small settlement
Hitchcock: MP 11.3 - Located at the corner of Kladder and Skinkle Roads, former logging camp, only foundations remain indicating a previous settlement
Section 10: MP 12.2 - Former logging camp, not referenced in previous timetables but still signed
Farmdale: MP 13.0 - Former logging camp and flagstop located on a bend in the road at Eddy School Rd
Wolcott: MP 14.1 - Former logging camp located near Oslund Rd and S Graham Rd on the Cedar River. Not noted as a flag stop or mentioned in later time tables. Still signed but hardly a speck on the railroad much like Section 10
Bellaire: MP 18.6 - Southern Terminus of the EJ&S, connection and interchange with the Pere Marquette / Chesapeake and Ohio located here. Interchange is made up of a long passing siding on the PM / C&O Main and a wye incorporated into the siding leading to the EJ&S Main. Siding also features the Bellaire depot, which sees use by the EJ&S and PM / C&O with connector service to and from East Jordan

This is just the start and laying out the groundwork for the modern EJ&S. Follow this thread for more updates on the newest addition to the Paper Railroads Forum!
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)
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Re: Modern EJ&S

Unread postby AARR » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:13 am

Looking forward to updates :D
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...
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Re: Modern EJ&S

Unread postby MQT1223 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:43 am

It's 1963...

During a recent excursion, #6 suffered a Mechanical failure hauling a chartered excursion up the grade to Bellaire. The Plymouth was called in to rescue the train, and later return to the locomotive. It was discovered that #6 shattered a piston due to a faulty cylinder cock not allowing all of the water to exit the cylinder. The 6 is slowly towed back to East Jordan to assess the severity of the damage. During this time, the Plymouth takes up the excursion duties. The cost savings of using the Plymouth versus the 6 during this time increase valuable excursion profits by nearly double without a price hike on the ticket fees due to the 6 being sidelined.

Unfortunately the 6's mechanical failure is as bad as it can get, needing a new piston rod machined and a brand new sleeve in order to continue using the 1909 built Alco product. The explosion also bent some of the valve gear due to the excessive force. The EJ&S contacts the C&O to see if they can aid in repairs, since predecessor Pere Marquette was the last one to rebuild the engine in late 1946 (supposedly the last steam locomotive overhauled in Wyoming before the arrival of the E7's). The C&O, steam free for nearly a decade at this point, isn't as accommodating to the EJ&S as the PM was, and refuses to take the 6 DIT in a freight train. Left without the equipment necessary to make this level of a repair, and the issue of a backup locomotive being the primary concern, #6 was put into long term storage inside the roundhouse. Her coal was removed from her tender, her boiler and water cistern drained, and her stack capped...

Meanwhile the Plymouth picked up the slack, hauling passengers and freight and with the expenses saved of not operating 6 the railroad was turning a small profit. However the larger and more heavier rolling stock combined with the extra task of running sold out passenger trains was taking a toll on the Plymouth, and the EJ&S looked to the secondary market as they had years before to acquire their second diesel...
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)
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Re: Modern EJ&S

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:20 pm

Its 1964...

Rumors start to circulate... about the newest motive power joining the EJ&S's roster. It's their first locomotive purchase in nearly 30 years... excitement is building as the EJ&S is finally able to have a real locomotive on site. This will be their most powerful locomotive to ever grace the 70 lbs rail of the EJ&S Main. Nothing this big has ever made its way to East Jordan. On a big railroad it would be laughing stock, but on the EJ&S its the equivalent of a UP Big Boy.

Leave it to the salesmen of EMD to take and win over the EJ&S with a pair of ex. C&O BL-2's that were recently traded in for new GP30's for the C&O. However due to the C&O requiring all of their units ride on the reconditioned trucks of the trade in units, the pair of BL-2's are riding in on some trucks from scrapped Alco FA units! Two units were picked so that one could be used for parts to keep the other running as both units were in exceptional shape for their age.

EJ&S waited until winter let go in Northern Lower Michigan to make the move, and both units arrived in Bellaire in the spring of 1964. One BL-2 entered service immediately while the other was shoved into the roundhouse next to #6. The Plymouth was parked behind #6, and was kept on Stand-by service as well as the seasonal excursion runs.

The BL-2 proved its worth by saving trips to Bellaire, no more doubling the grades between Bellaire of East Jordan and the reliability of the more popular GP series. The shop crews weren't exactly thrilled on working on it due to the nature of the carbody, but the performance of the unit and the lack of breakdowns kept the crews happy with the purchase management made to suppliment the Plymouth.

Things were looking up for the EJ&S in the mid-60's...
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)
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Re: Modern EJ&S

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:46 pm

The end of the decade is near (1960's)...

The EJ&S is looking for new opportunities to grow their business and increase profits. Continued talks about returning the Iron Works to rail service have received little to no headway, but the occasional car of scrap comes out of the plant for defective material. Management however has decided to use some of the unoccupied tracks for car storage. Sloughs Scrapyard has taken up a contract for the scrapping of retired freight cars, and they will receive cuts of old wooden cars and old steel cars that have been written off for scrap as well as the usual outbound carloads as well.

The roster has seen one change, and that the Plymouth was retired and sent to Slough's Scrapyard after suffering a cracked block during an excursion. The second BL2 was pressed into service after a shipment of parts came in from EMD following the demise of the Plymouth. Its in a rotation with the other BL2 to minimize wear. An additional amenity was added to the Swan City Express, when the EJ&S was donated an old wood caboose from Slough's Scrapyard after it was brought in on a cut of cars destined for scrap. Its of New York Central heritage.

Rumors have been floating around about management looking to restore the 6, but nothing has been set in stone until estimates can be made and a company found to fix the cylinder liner failure. The rest of the work can be done in house.
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)
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Re: Modern EJ&S

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:53 pm

Entering the 1970's the EJ&S has entered a period of uncertainty. 2-6-0 #6 is slowly being torn down in preparation for a return to operation as time permits select days when the work load isn't too big. The boiler is sound and will be receiving new flues and some firebox patches. The cylinder liner will be repaired under contract and sent down to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum's Soule Shops. The chassis and running gear will be sent down via truck to receive necessary repairs and other work to ensure the cylinder liners don't fail again. Boiler work will be done in house. Freight business hasn't really picked up or declined. On the passenger side of things a former B&O heavyweight coach was acquired just before the creation of Amtrak and has been pressed into service due to the deteriorating condition of Combine #2. #2 is being evaluated for overhaul and takes priority while the 6's chassis is down in Tennessee.

There has also been rumors floating around that the Chessie System has been wanting to divest themselves of their Northern Michigan trackage and the EJ&S has been monitoring the situation... talks of trackage rights on the C&O to Boardman Yard in Traverse City are ongoing to ensure the EJ&S maintains an outside connection and service for their customers.
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)
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Re: Modern EJ&S

Unread postby AARR » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:27 am

there's a large cement plant in Charlevoix that could use some rail service :wink:
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...
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Re: Modern EJ&S

Unread postby MQT1223 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:01 am

AARR wrote:there's a large cement plant in Charlevoix that could use some rail service :wink:


If trying to keep with actual events and mixing in my fictional, north of Bellaire will still die off as planned. The main focus of the "Modern EJ&S" is maintaining its outside connection before it can worry about customer expansion. Any other alternatives will be explored.
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)
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