Bellevue Terminal to be converted to flat-switching

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NSSD70ACe
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Bellevue Terminal to be converted to flat-switching

Unread post by NSSD70ACe »

Norfolk Southern’s Vice President of Network Planning and Optimization announced yesterday that the Bellevue Terminal will be losing its hump and converted to flat-switching operations.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/john-fri ... 99552-o9MJ
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bluestreak81
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Re: Bellevue Terminal to be converted to flat-switching

Unread post by bluestreak81 »

What is flat switching?

hoborich
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Re: Bellevue Terminal to be converted to flat-switching

Unread post by hoborich »

Switching flat cars. :lol:
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northstar16
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Re: Bellevue Terminal to be converted to flat-switching

Unread post by northstar16 »

I was just up there a few weeks ago on business and could see the yard is not as busy. Talking to some of the guys in the yard at a restaurant they said rail traffic is slower the last few months but starting to pick up. Wait times on the main is now less which is a good thing all because they have more room in the yard. The yard only looked like 3/4s of the way full.

Someone was flying two drones over the yard that day for like over two hours getting video. Not sure if these two guys worked for the railroad or maybe they were railfans.

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Bellevue_Guy
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Re: Bellevue Terminal to be converted to flat-switching

Unread post by Bellevue_Guy »

I walked down to the railfan platform last night mainly to get a view of amateur fireworks from various sections of town (and was not disappointed), but also got an interesting look at an outbound road crew building their consists via flat switching. The old east and west yards, which are the west end of the yard closest to town, were built by the Nickel Plate for flat switching, and it looks like NS is going back to using primarily that part of the yard, though the trains pull all the way out of it before backing down the next track.

The train I saw last night pulled out of the yard with a diverging signal at Southwest St to head south on the Sandusky district. It stopped and started about 3 times, until the last car was just past the inbound mini plant signal next to the railfan platform. At that point the both the mini plant and Harkness St signals lit up with low yellow restricting aspects, and the train backed up through them back into the yard until the head end had just cleared Center Street. Soon after that they got a diverging clear at Southwest St onto the Sandusky District, and pulled a now longer consist out of the yard until the bottom had cleared the mini plant where they once again stopped (with the head end out past Slaughterhouse Rd)

This time the the signals for the reverse move lit up slightly different as they were now lined onto a different track at Harkness Street than the first shove, and when the head end stopped it was half blocking Monroe St, much to the annoyment of a driver who had stopped to wait during this particular shove. A few minutes later it backed up a little further, stopped with the head end end blocking Center Street, then pulled back out across Monroe St and stopped near the Southwest St signal. At that time the conductor walked by heading to the front, and after another 10 minutes or so of sitting there the train with its full consist finally departed down the Sandusky District. The whole operation took 80 minutes, with Monroe St being blocked for about 90% of that time.

When the hump was active the only time I would see this type of back and forth train building operation going into and out of the west end of the yard was when the W&LE would do it using the Brewster connection and the old east yard. Now it appears this is going to be happening all the time, and using the various NS mainlines for pulling out onto. When driving north across the overpasses a week or so ago I did see a train shoving a long cut of covered hoppers on the Toledo district past the museum into the yard, and a couple days ago I saw a train stopped on the Fostoria dIstrict with the head end shy of the golf course, so both of these were likely in the midst of similar road crew train building operations to what I saw last night. This is going to result in a lot more long duration blocked crossings in Bellevue, especially at Monroe and Center St, with people wondering why in the hell the trains keep stopping and changing direction multiple times.

Also, as a side note, at some point while last night's outbound train was doing this operation, it paused for several minutes while an inbound train entered the yard from the Toledo district. The inbound train got a low yellow restricting signal at the mini plant and entered the old west yard (as opposed to the much more familiar flashing yellow diverging approach diverging to send it over to the bypass track)

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