The HESR in the thumb.

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JANGAJONGA
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The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by JANGAJONGA »

Might have a chance for a day trip this weekend and wanted to go see the HESR in the thumb. were would be the best places to go in terms of likeliness of seeing trains?

GreatLakesRailfan
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by GreatLakesRailfan »

Bay City.

Even though technically it's not the Thumb, Bay City's probably your best chance to see HESR action, what little there is on the weekend.

Going east from Bay City/Saginaw, you might have luck west of Reese or in either the Vassar vicinity or NW of Vassar (towards Reese, via Richville).

Other locations to try would be Caro in the early morning(?), or Bad Axe. They run as needed south of Bad Axe (Croswell line), so if service is needed in that direction, there would be action on that line. That's pretty hit and miss though, as I personally caught them on the Croswell line at least twice over the summer, but only by chance as I just happened to be driving up Old 51 as they were running within sight of the road...

One other possibility would be east of Vassar, specifically in Marlette. In the past they've left a unit at the elevator in Marlette on a semi-permanent basis but apparently the 998 and 999 are being shipped out, away from the HESR system(?), according to posts on the Yahoo Group HESRRailfan. Speaking of the Yahoo group, that might be a good place to pose your question. There's at least one good HESR source there who doesn't post here, who would more than likely be able to answer your question.

GT1970
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by GT1970 »

I lived in the "Thumb" for sixteen years (1980 - 1996) and spent time in Caro, lived in Cass City and spent time in Bad Axe and unless it was in 1980 when I first moved there I can't remember seeing a train at all. Good luck
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by Railnut »

Uh..yeah..timing is everything (scanners help as well)..plus knowing the "schedual" the jobs run. I have lived in the thumb for 23 1/2 of my 25(1 year in Minnesota, half a year in Ann Arbor) and have caught the HESR MANY times (Croswell, Applegate, Carsonville, Ruth, Marlette, Brown City, Vassar, Gera, Richville, Reese, Caro, Millington)...there hasn't been trains through Cass City since the mid 1980's (not to mention that the tracks are gone now).

Vassar/Richville/Reese is a good place, in thre thumb, to get an idea on whats up with the 810 job in the morning between 8 and 9am. The 800 job is usually getting ready to head to Saginaw about that time as well (you can find them someplace between Arthur and Towerline Rd).
Caro is usually served a few times a week..from mid morning to mid afternoon..but usually only go as far north at the ethanol plant.
Bad Axe is a crap shoot at times..you should get up there around 8am to see where they head..if they go anyplace at all. The 830 can either go south (torwards Deckerville and Croswell)..north torwards Kinde, or west to Elkton.
Another snag..if you chase them south..besure to catch them at Palms so you know where they go from there..Palms is where the Ruth branch goes north and they will ocassionaly go north.
The 805 (Arthur-Bad Axe) and the 825 (Bad Axe-Arthur) both run in the evening.
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by GTW6401 »

But does anything run over the weekend? I know around the Tri-Cities things are pretty much dead except for the run to Durand Saturday morning. SBS is a better bet to catch something moving on a Saturday.

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JANGAJONGA
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by JANGAJONGA »

oh ok thanks for the info guys!

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by GreatLakesRailfan »

GTW6401 wrote:But does anything run over the weekend? I know around the Tri-Cities things are pretty much dead except for the run to Durand Saturday morning. SBS is a better bet to catch something moving on a Saturday.
Maybe things have changed over the last couple years, but IIRC, they have run to Croswell at night on a weekend before. I distinctly remember them tying a train down in Carsonville coming up from Croswell on a Friday night, which was gone by Monday morning, although that was a couple years back.

railnut0571
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by railnut0571 »

This great info folks. I used too work in Deckerville, and was surprised one night when I got out of work at 11 at night and look south at the crossing and their was a train coming in the fog from way down by Mcgregor. I stopped and waitied for the train too cross at deckerville and it had several cars on it tankers and hoppers. I am assuminng this mite be the time it went all the way down too Croswell at night that was mentioned by another person in this thread. Was nice too see it coming thru Deckerville at night like that. Needless too say I had too follow it too Palms and watch it split off and head towards Bad Axe. I woulda followed it further but I was just too tired....

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by AARR »

Other than the train that works Saginaw all the others seem to be called only as customer service requires them and not on some schedule. At least that's how it appears to me.
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JDavis21835
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by JDavis21835 »

You will find the 800 job tied down South of M81 on Towerline RD. 9712 and another loco are sitting there as of 130pm today, both idling.

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by railnut0571 »

I was lucky enough too catch the train heading to Ruth about 2 weeks ago, and 2 days later I caught it again near Palms,as it turned off and returned too Bad Axe with about 10 cars. Now for the last 2 weeks I have gone too Bad Axe in the morning around 7:00 A.M. and I waited in Wilcox park for any movements, until about 8:30 A.M. and there was nothing just one engine sitting in the yard not running at all. So I headed over too Ubly, and nothing, then I went over too Bay City Forestville Rd, and into Palms and then Deckerville following the line the whole way down the a side road that parralells it. and nothing at all. As I returned too Ruth the elevator had one car there and no train there either. I have done this route 4 times in the last 2 weeks on monday, wed, and friday, and then on the next monday again, and the same thing nothing. Just when I thought i kinda had there operations figured out on the HESR they have seemed too just disapear. I guess I will just keep trying everyday next week and I'm assuming I will catch them leaving Bad Axe around 8 A.M. on at least one day next week I hope. The line too Harbor Beach was also very unpredictable back when it was intact, and it seemed too only run as needed also.

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AARR
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by AARR »

Try calling their office and asking
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...

railnut0571
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by railnut0571 »

The HESR lines out of Bad Axe are realy frustrating me lately. I can't seem find any movements in any direction on that line lately. Someone said they went thru Ubly at 2 A.M. in ther frickin morning the other night. They musta made a run too croswell....

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by railnut0571 »

AARR sounds likes thats my next step. I am gonna just have too call the office and see if they will tell me. I been wastin alot of gas lately going too my strategic locations where i used too be able too find them most times. I think they changed their operartions up a bit.

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by AARR »

AARR wrote:Try calling their office and asking
(989) 797-5100
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...

railnut0571
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by railnut0571 »

I called HESR today and couldnt get thru for some reason they had me put on hold then it would just hang up after waiting along time. And i called the Kinde elevator, and all they would tell me is the train is coming within the next couple days, and they wouldnt tell me exactly what day or an approx time. I'm beginning too think Saginaw or Croswell has all of the engines from Bad Axe held up. I wan in Bad Axe all day today and nothing at all. I bet it will return as I am sitting here typing this now, or prolly later tonite, now that I am back in Harbor Beach.

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by railnut0571 »

In the last 2 days Ive been in bad axe there have been no engines in the yard at all. Lately last week I've noticed they have been returning too bad axe around 7 to 7:30 P.M. but this seems too be hit or miss as well. I caught them 2 weeks ago in Pigeon at around 8:30 P.M. switching the elevator on the section of the old Polly Ann that is left in Pigeon, and then they switched some cars around on the west side of town, and hauled butt over too Sebawaing too the sugar plant. So when exactly do they usualy leave Bad Axe at night I am wondering. And also sometimes they are coming into Bad Axe, and somtimes they are leaving Bad Axe anywhere from about 7 to 1 A.M. in the morning. It is very confusing.

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by AARR »

Keep trying, your patience and persistency will eventually pay off!
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: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by GreatLakesRailfan »

railnut0571 wrote:In the last 2 days Ive been in bad axe there have been no engines in the yard at all. Lately last week I've noticed they have been returning too bad axe around 7 to 7:30 P.M. but this seems too be hit or miss as well. I caught them 2 weeks ago in Pigeon at around 8:30 P.M. switching the elevator on the section of the old Polly Ann that is left in Pigeon, and then they switched some cars around on the west side of town, and hauled butt over too Sebawaing too the sugar plant. So when exactly do they usually leave Bad Axe at night I am wondering. And also sometimes they are coming into Bad Axe, and sometimes they are leaving Bad Axe anywhere from about 7 to 1 A.M. in the morning. It is very confusing.
They might have one or two engines up there, but they do keep them in the engine house until they're ready to use them. I suspect that when there is a single engine sitting around outside, that either the engine house is full. Sometimes there will be a train with two or three units attached, which may be easier to tie down at the end of the run, or could be the result of running out of time when they came back into town.

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by redside20 »

Helena Chemical in Croswell is supposed to come online soon, has anyone seen any progress in that area?
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