CP 421 Upgrade

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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by justalurker66 »

tttodisp wrote:From what I can tell, the connection to the Branch will be about where the diamond is now (basically no change).
The "100 yards west of the underpass" (Benham) description was made earlier in this thread by Super Chief. I wouldn't mind seeing the switch between the station and Main St (making Track 1 the closest track to the station at the platform). Piecing the breadcrumbs together I get the following:
CP421-May3-Maybe.jpg
This is similar to the diagram you posted but the RH crossover between Track 2 and Track 3 is moved east. In this diagram I am reusing the existing crossovers on the North and South Freight tracks as the eastern crossovers in the new interlocking. The new cabinet location shown in the photographs above would allow for Track 1 to be placed between the new cabinet and the current North Freight track.

If this is the plan, the Coach Track would need to be closed for the construction of the west part of the new interlocking. North and South Freight trains could continue to run through the new switches as they are installed. On cutover, Tracks 1 and 2 would be moved south (near 6th St) and connected to the new tracks.

A 15" above top of rail platform could be built next to the new Track 1 with a crossing of the lead to the branch track (although the switch could be placed 100 yards east of the underpass and merge with Track 1 east of the platform ... not requiring passengers to cross rails to get to the train).

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by Super Chief »

Anybody else know or catch the 4-6-2 steamer and tender on flat car eastbound . Got a grab shot on the flat car as it went thru 421 but didn't get any markings.

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

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Perhaps it is the Steamer removed from the Hammond park that is to be cosmetically restored and you saw it on the way there. I believe it was going to either Chattanooga or Spencer.

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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by justalurker66 »

NS is still plodding along in Elkhart, A new cabinet was dropped off within the last few weeks but it has not been placed or leveled. The other new cabinet near the station platforms (south of current track 2) seems to be the focus although there is a cabinet south of South Freight in the treeline that I cannot tell if it is leveled or not.
New cabinet.
New cabinet.

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by Super Chief »

Is the new cabinet the green one? Oh wait thats for Museum and Amtrak patrons. Yeah its a slow process at 421. NS seems in no rush to get the signals at 426 swapped either. Track workers moved to Toledo after the Dearborn and Lake divisions were connected and nothing has been said to the Elk crews either.

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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

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The green box with a white roof replaced a grey box with a white roof. Both serve the same basic function (a receptacle for #1 or #2). Neither are intended for public use. When an eastbound train sounds its horn for Main St I assume anyone in that special box would have the #1 and/or #2 scared out of them.

(There was a green box with a white roof at that location earlier this year, so apparently the vendor changes out the unit instead of just emptying the collected contents.)

Slow progress is better than no progress.

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by Super Chief »

Thanks for the clarification on its function. So there's nothing in there transmitting bits or an ATCS server or a lapbelt for safety. I assume the phone numbers on the walls are not Watco dispatch or Toledo east or Chicago west? If you were in it at night I'll bet a couple of ditch lights would show you the toilet paper is out.

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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by justalurker66 »

I'm not sure when it went in, but the new westbound cantilever support has been installed about 500ft east of the Prairie St overpass (which is good as an installation west of the overpass would be blocked by the overpass). The signal will be at the corner of Charles St and Madison St north of the track at the end of Stocker Ct south of the tracks. It is about 360ft west of the current CP 421 westbound signal and east of the first turnout in the current interlocking. It should be as visible to approaching trains as the current signal bridge.

tttodisp
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by tttodisp »

Thanks for the update. That is farther east than what I had been told, but perhaps someone decided that this location made more sense operationally.

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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by justalurker66 »

tttodisp wrote:Thanks for the update. That is farther east than what I had been told, but perhaps someone decided that this location made more sense operationally.
Most trains are held at 419 until a path through CP 421 is cleared. But it doesn't hurt to have the CP 421 signal visible before entering the curve.

There is about a mile between the CP 421 westbound signals and the next crossing (Lusher) but trains do not use that section as a parking lot as there is a defect detector in the middle.

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by GTW »

With the CP421 upgrade there is also a chance of NS or CP for that matter to use the CN South Bend. Sub. from South Bend to Battle Creek over the former GTW for short period of time. NS would be able to operate east of Battle Creek over the Amtrak Mich. Line/MDOT to Detroit without ITCS being involved. And CP could operate all the way to Port Huron via the Flint Sub. and go thru the Tunnel to Canada. Could be very busy with CN adding four new trains from Kirk Yd. to Elkhart very soon.

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by Saturnalia »

GTW wrote:With the CP421 upgrade there is also a chance of NS or CP for that matter to use the CN South Bend. Sub. from South Bend to Battle Creek over the former GTW for short period of time. NS would be able to operate east of Battle Creek over the Amtrak Mich. Line/MDOT to Detroit without ITCS being involved. And CP could operate all the way to Port Huron via the Flint Sub. and go thru the Tunnel to Canada. Could be very busy with CN adding four new trains from Kirk Yd. to Elkhart very soon.
There going to be nowhere near enough disruption for anything close to this.
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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by justalurker66 »

There are a few reroute options for trains that do not need to go through Elkhart for the yard (and fuel).

I believe most of the work can be done without a major disruption ... which will allow Amtrak and hot trains to pass through during the "worst" construction days and still allow less important trains to pass most days until the project is completed.

BTW: NS has been clearing the old track and ties south of the South Freight track (by 6th St).

Here are a few photos taken recently ...
June 28th
June 28th
June 28th
June 28th

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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by justalurker66 »

July 5th
July 5th
July 8th
July 8th
CP 421 Westbound Signal - New signal base behind current signal
CP 421 Westbound Signal - New signal base behind current signal

tttodisp
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by tttodisp »

I am hearing that Grand Elk will starting rerouting their traffic via Detroit effective 8/9, so that should mean some CP 421 work is imminent.

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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by justalurker66 »

There have been a couple of changes at 421 since I last looked:
cp421-Aug3rd-1.jpg
The power feed has been moved over to the new cabinet closer to current Track 2. The generator and fuel tank have been removed.
cp421-Aug3rd-2.jpg
A new track alignment has been laid with a left hand switch leading toward the freight tracks.
If the connection between the coach track and south freight is removed this new alignment could be continued west unimpeded.
cp421-Aug3rd-3.jpg
A closer look at the new turnout and ties laid out.

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

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GTW wrote:With the CP421 upgrade there is also a chance of NS or CP for that matter to use the CN South Bend. Sub. from South Bend to Battle Creek over the former GTW for short period of time. NS would be able to operate east of Battle Creek over the Amtrak Mich. Line/MDOT to Detroit without ITCS being involved. And CP could operate all the way to Port Huron via the Flint Sub. and go thru the Tunnel to Canada. Could be very busy with CN adding four new trains from Kirk Yd. to Elkhart very soon.
Is this pure speculation or is this a real rumor? Also, I would think they would go down the Holly to continue running via Detroit/Windsor. I could be wrong, but they did that before back in 2012 when a derailment occurred somewhere in Indiana, running a couple CP trains via the Holly, Flint, and South Bend Subdivisions.

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

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The GDLK petitioned to reconsider the removal of the CTC on their line again.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... nal-system

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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by GTW »

When CP had its train #534/#535 running via the GT a new connection was built E. of Strathroy,Ont. called "Komoka" on the CN line to Toronto. This all came to a end when these trains left the GT for the NS route via Butler, Ind. in 2005. So, if this would happen with the CP 421 upgrades and CP ran this way for a while I would think they would run all the way to Port Huron via the Tunnel to Canada. As for NS running this way its only rumor we should know soon. The ITCS has been down west of Kalamazoo on the Amtrak Line for the last week or so. They might run from Porter all the way to Detroit on the Mich. Line, time will tell.

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justalurker66
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Re: CP 421 Upgrade

Unread post by justalurker66 »

GTW wrote:The ITCS has been down west of Kalamazoo on the Amtrak Line for the last week or so. They might run from Porter all the way to Detroit on the Mich. Line, time will tell.
I do not expect ITCS to be down for too long. Planning a reroute based on expecting a failure to continue is dicey. Any traffic moved to Porter to Kalamazoo would need to not interfere with existing trains. South Bend to Battle Creek would work. NS Chicago District and Huntington District is a possible route.

Reducing traffic through 421 would make it easier to make changes to the interlocking but I am not expecting a lot of reroutes. As you say, time will tell.

The biggest disruption will be for east end yard traffic ... westbound arrivals and eastbound departures. Through trains should not be affected until NS is ready to move over the mains. The work that is being done is on North Freight and South Freight and just north of North Freight. Eventually NS will need to touch the Coach Track and mains ... but unless NS finds a place to reroute their own traffic I do not expect any outage to last more than a couple of days at worst.

Severing the Kalamazoo Branch/GDLK connection would take a couple of trains off of the line. Trains that could (and do) run via CP 423 not the freight tracks. Is the Elkhart and Western expected to run their cars via GDLK to get to Elkhart or just shut down for months? As long as there is a switch in CP 421 serving the Kalamazoo Branch I expect the Elkhart and Western to be served via CP 421 as it is today.

And finally, NS still owns and operates the Kalamazoo Branch up to MP 1.4 where it becomes GDLK controlled. (The FRA filings are interesting as in one paragraph Watco states that the line 1.4 to 33 is owned by NS and leased to GDLK then in the next paragraph they describe the line as owned and operated by GDLK. Watco also plays up the small business angle of minimizing GDLK and then plays up their experience running TWC by including all of their trackage.) NS needs to plan for existing conditions ... CTC continuing east of MP 1.4. Is the holdout signal (currently controlled as part of CP 421) considered part of the NS Kalamazoo Branch or GDLK? If CTC is pulled on GDLK I assume the WB signal would remain as part of CP 421 for NS (CTC is not being removed between CP 421 and MP 1.4) but the EB signal would no longer be needed.

We shall see.

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