The HESR in the thumb.

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Evan
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by Evan »

HESR for the most part doesn't operate on weekends, unless they have an overabundance of coal cars in Essexville, in which case they get a crew and run as X770 Too Durand, the crew is usually dead when they get too Durand however, and the train just sits Lansing road in Durand and usually doesn't get in till evening time.
SBS/LSRC operates whenever from what I've noticed.

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AARR
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

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The new spur to Helena Chemical in Croswell is nearly finished from what I have read. Its anticipated to be ready within a week.
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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SW
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by SW »

Was in the Thumb today and had a chance to drive thru Croswell. Pioneer Sugar looked busy, plant was in operation, sugar beet piles on the side, and about 6 or 7 tankers and 7 covered hoppers on the property along M-90.

Helena Chemical looks like it is just about ready for business and the spur looks complete. But no signage that I could see; and there was one construction vehicle onsite. Barren otherwise.
Northville Steve

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AARR
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

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I read at MIRR.com that the first two cars of fertilizer were delivered to Helena in Croswell
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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SW
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by SW »

Drove thru Croswell yesterday. One hopper at Helena Chemical, one hopper at Pioneer Sugar. Up in Ruth, the Co-op was devoid of any rail cars.

Here's a shot of Helena Chemical:
Image[/url]
Northville Steve

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AARR
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by AARR »

SW wrote:Here's a shot of Helena Chemical:
Looks like a small operation. I was wondering if it would be a local dealer or distribution center and the size of the place answers my question. I'll guess around 21 cars a year (somewhere between 12-30).
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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SW
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Re: The HESR in the thumb

Unread post by SW »

Drove thru Croswell Sunday afternoon - nothing at Helena Chemical. Four tankers and a covered hopper at Michigan Sugar.
Northville Steve

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SW
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by SW »

On Saturday there were 6 tankers at Michigan Sugar and 2-3 covered hoppers - couldn't tell for sure; they were in the back on the NE side of the plant, could barely see them from Howard St. in Croswell.

Nothing at Helena Chemical again, and nothing next to the Co-op in Ruth, but there were a couple of covered hoppers spotted near the end of the line just north of Atwater Rd., near the sugar beet yard.
Northville Steve

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SW
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by SW »

4th of July weekend report -
Croswell: At least one covered hopper at Helena Chemical, 2 or 3 covered hoppers out back at Michigan Sugar.
Ruth: barren
Northville Steve

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SW
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by SW »

Drove thru Ruth today. No cars, and it appeared there was some construction going on at the Ruth elevator. Crane was partly on the mainline.

Nothing at Deckerville.

In Croswell, there was a empty D&M flatcar, #300503, on the siding just south of the station. The sugar plant had 5-6 tankers visible from M-90, along with a covered hopper, and several (half a dozen or more) CHs in back. Nothing at Helena Chemical that I could see from M-90.

The beet loading yards in Ruth and Croswell are both poised for receiving (conveyor equipment looks to be staged), but are currently devoid of beets.
Northville Steve

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AARR
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by AARR »

SW wrote:Ruth: barren
Seems like there could be a joke here :lol:
SW wrote:The beet loading yards in Ruth and Croswell are both poised for receiving (conveyor equipment looks to be staged), but are currently devoid of beets.
I think you meant Ruth and Deckerville :) I too have seen the sugar beet set up at Ruth but I have not yet confirmed they load railcars there.
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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SW
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by SW »

No, AARR, I meant Ruth and Croswell. They don't load railcars at Ruth that I know of (even though HESR track ends right next to the sugar beet yard); I was just reporting on the "status of the harvest". I didn't know about Deckerville's loadout until I got home tonight and did some searching on this site; I was not by the loadout there today, just drove down the main east-west highway to the crossing. I did see the Co-op there, but the siding there was empty. But I will check on the loadout in the future now that I know there is one there. And I was just reporting on the "status of the harvest" at Croswell also at the unloading yard there at Pioneer Sugar.
Northville Steve

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by GreatLakesRailfan »

With the road rally this weekend kicking off in Croswell, there might be more activity to report by Saturday night.

I find it odd that the piling grounds at the sugar plant were empty as I thought I had observed beet harvesting taking place in the thumb a couple weeks ago...

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cnw8835
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by cnw8835 »

MKT_fan11 wrote:With the road rally this weekend kicking off in Croswell, there might be more activity to report by Saturday night.

I find it odd that the piling grounds at the sugar plant were empty as I thought I had observed beet harvesting taking place in the thumb a couple weeks ago...
The beet harvest normally begins in late September/early October. I've been in the thumb for the last few days and have noticed crews working on the piling equipment at Breckenridge, Richville and Caro. The HESR also seems to be preparing for the harvest. Lots of cars used for beets around Bad Axe yesterday and the 825 Job appeared to have brought in another cut of them from the west on Wednesday night/Thursday morning.
On a side note, does anyone know if the HESR is using the old engine house in Bad Axe as a car shop now? Yesterday, both tracks leading into the shop had SGVY beet hoppers parked on them and there was equipment and materials parked around suggesting they are working on rolling stock there.
To make this more of an observations post here are a few notes...
-Wednesday, the HESR was running a ballast extra around Saginaw, mainly dumping in Genesee Yard. At some point they had dumped ballast between Genesee and Mershon. They were using the 3865 for power. The 800 Job was using the 3866 and was working at a later time than normal. At some point in the night, the 805 Job with the 3866 swapped power with the 825 out of Bad Axe. 3866 went to Bad Axe and the 805 came back with the 3037 and 3036. Power for the 810 this week was the HESR 8802. It was parked on the wye in Reese by 6pm.
Thursday- The 830 had a decent slug of beet hoppers and covered hoppers to sort out when they went to work in Bad Axe. I didn't stick around long enough to see what else they had. The 740 Job came south with a combined local train and train for Durand. They set off the 2027 and local cars in the south end of the Zilwaukee siding (lots of cars sitting at the north end of the siding, mostly NOKL CH's). The 740 then headed for Durand with the 2028 and 2029 with just over 60 cars. At some point during the day the 800 Job came up to Zilwaukee and picked up the 2027 and those cars. Later on they had another cut of LPG tanks for storage and spent some time spotting those in LSRC's Saginaw Yard. Lots of LPG tanks sitting around in Saginaw Yard and in the yard out in Buena Vista Township near Nexteer (sp?). During the day, another job worked Wenona Yard sorting out cars with the 2668. It looked like they made cuts of covered hoppers, beet hoppers and loaded ballast cars.

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AARR
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by AARR »

Thanks for the detailed report, cnw! I heard HESR would combine its Bay City-Saginaw/Durand train sometimes but I heard it was 740 that was annulled so you caught when at least in your case it was 702/701 annulled.
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...

GreatLakesRailfan
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by GreatLakesRailfan »

Nice report Jon!

For the record...it was reported on the HESR Yahoo group (for the few following this thread who aren't members of that group as well) that 3866 picked up 10 tank cars in Croswell on Friday.

On Saturday, several of us noted an empty D&M flatcar (tie car) sitting next to the elevator in Croswell. The fertilizer plant's siding was devoid of cars as well, although I didn't note exactly what was present in the sugar plant itself. AARR, did you happen to see anything at the sugar plant?


Just for fun, here's the D&M car:
Image

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AARR
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by AARR »

MKT_fan11 wrote:On Saturday, several of us noted an empty D&M flatcar (tie car) sitting next to the elevator in Croswell. The fertilizer plant's siding was devoid of cars as well, although I didn't note exactly what was present in the sugar plant itself. AARR, did you happen to see anything at the sugar plant?
From the east and west ends I didn't see anything at the sugar plant
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...

GreatLakesRailfan
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by GreatLakesRailfan »

AARR wrote:
MKT_fan11 wrote:On Saturday, several of us noted an empty D&M flatcar (tie car) sitting next to the elevator in Croswell. The fertilizer plant's siding was devoid of cars as well, although I didn't note exactly what was present in the sugar plant itself. AARR, did you happen to see anything at the sugar plant?
From the east and west ends I didn't see anything at the sugar plant
The best view is on the south side. Billy did mention the west end was empty on the way up to the depot.

Funny thing is, I could have sworn I saw beet harvesting taking place a few weeks ago up in the Thumb. I guess I must have been mistaken. :oops:

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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by Robertrains »

I'll be heading out to the Thumb this Thursday (9-26) and spending the night near Caro with a friend! Friday, we'll be checking out Vassar, Caro, Reese, Saginaw/Bay City! Does anyone know when to catch these "Sugar Beet Trains?" I won't be in the Bad Axe area though! Will there be sufficient trains in this area! I am looking for HESR 8802 and the last few HESR Rail America locos! :D I'm sure we'll find something!!!! :D
Robert Jackson (Extreme Railfan/Bluewater and Michigan Transit Museum member)

http://cooltrains.rrpicturearchives.net/

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SW
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Re: The HESR in the thumb.

Unread post by SW »

Drove by Michigan Sugar in Croswell yesterday and today with my dad and production is gearing up with a few piles of sugar beets, smoke coming out of the stack and a few tankers and hoppers in the yard.

Didn't drive by the Helena Chemical siding, but the rails to it south of M-90 look rusted.
Northville Steve

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