GDLK Operations

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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:42 pm

These 2 came from TX. BNSF to Cicero, NS to Elkhart. Supposed to go GDLK - GR - CPMY. The past dozen or so have made it just fine. Tomorrow I get to talk to NS Customer Service from my home office. My day job wants me to work from home. This will be strange after going to work every day for almost 48 years.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby GAP » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:34 am

I'd be interested to hear more of an explanation of the "wrong way" cars. I'm sure it would be interesting. Is there anything you can share on a public forum?
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:05 pm

What I can share is this all started back when GDLK lost trackage rights up the GR west side. Prior to that GDLK and the GR were on the waybills. While the trackage rights were gone the cars went NS - GDLK - CSX - GR. I don't remember if the interchange to CSX was on the waybill. Once trackage rights were restored, the waybills ended at NS, no GDLK or GR. I questioned that and was told "no worries" the destination "Customer in GR Michigan" gets it to where it's going. That has worked for the cars coming NS.
The 2 cars in question made it to Kazoo. Sunday they went back to Elkhart. I had discussion with Watco CS Sunday night, they said NS requested them back since they were mis-routed. And I needed to talk to NS CS.
Yesterday morning I had a nice visit with CS. Lots of "let me check this, oh that's not working, let me check something else, oh that's not making sense, oh I see another "case" on these cars, oh it's closed. Something is wrong." Finally he said let me email you so we can start an email trail on this with CS. Nothing new as of today including no movement on the cars.
NS is opposite of CSX. NS you have to call and rarely do they work it thru with email. I can email CSX on a car issue and get a email reply on the fix or rarely a call if they want to talk. I like email so I have a record. :wink:
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby AARR » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:34 pm

This is why even railfans choose trucks :(
Raildudes dad wrote:What I can share is this all started back when GDLK lost trackage rights up the GR west side. Prior to that GDLK and the GR were on the waybills. While the trackage rights were gone the cars went NS - GDLK - CSX - GR. I don't remember if the interchange to CSX was on the waybill. Once trackage rights were restored, the waybills ended at NS, no GDLK or GR. I questioned that and was told "no worries" the destination "Customer in GR Michigan" gets it to where it's going. That has worked for the cars coming NS.
The 2 cars in question made it to Kazoo. Sunday they went back to Elkhart. I had discussion with Watco CS Sunday night, they said NS requested them back since they were mis-routed. And I needed to talk to NS CS.
Yesterday morning I had a nice visit with CS. Lots of "let me check this, oh that's not working, let me check something else, oh that's not making sense, oh I see another "case" on these cars, oh it's closed. Something is wrong." Finally he said let me email you so we can start an email trail on this with CS. Nothing new as of today including no movement on the cars.
NS is opposite of CSX. NS you have to call and rarely do they work it thru with email. I can email CSX on a car issue and get a email reply on the fix or rarely a call if they want to talk. I like email so I have a record. :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: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Saturnalia » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:12 pm

AARR wrote:This is why even railfans choose trucks :(
Raildudes dad wrote:What I can share is this all started back when GDLK lost trackage rights up the GR west side...

All of the railroads use their own (usually antiquated) software that's not very flexible. Add in that everybody has their own chain of command, and that ground people typically do not get to make routing decisions whatsoever, and you can easily get ping-pong cars.

The larger the yard, the harder it is to get the problems solved often times, as yardmasters are crammed for time and do not have the luxury of time to try and figure out an oddball, so they assume the computer is correct and route it as written. From what I have seen, this is often out of necessity - I've seen YM's say "gosh I'd love to sort this out but I just don't have time to do so and that cut needs to be classed right now". And so it goes...
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby dave989 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:41 pm

Saw 3534 sitting dead next to that WSOR geep. Is the 3534 RIP?
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Plannerdad » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:10 pm

Grand Elk just left Elkhart, per the Railcam. 2 engines 40 or 50 cars (lost count) and no center beams.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:28 pm

So I do some more digging on my own this afternoon. After shipping multiple cars to the customer, the mill used the wrong customer code for these 2 cars.
I just emailed the conclusion of my investigation to NS and the customer to send to the mill. We'll see how long before they move. They are still on my tracking report, just not going anywhere.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby OldBastard » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:50 pm

Northbound GDLK 302 should be just through Three Rivers with an NS Geep leading standard Elk power.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Doktor No » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:57 am

Raildudes dad wrote:So I do some more digging on my own this afternoon. After shipping multiple cars to the customer, the mill used the wrong customer code for these 2 cars.
I just emailed the conclusion of my investigation to NS and the customer to send to the mill. We'll see how long before they move. They are still on my tracking report, just not going anywhere.

As many of you know I USED TO TRACK DOWN CARS and made sure they ended up where they belonged. If you give a dam it gets done on the ground. Too bad no one cares anymore and I ain't there anymore. More then once Jville told me it wasn't my job. That made it all the more fun when I could ANNOY Jville. If worse came to worse I just took em up to GRE when we went up there and handed em over. Someday maybe the paperwork would show up but the customer got SERVED.
No one wants to do customer service anymore but we did have Yardmasters that did and I did too. It isn't hard.
Glad I ain't there anymore....and by the by...railroad ground crews are going to be required to undergo Terrorist Recognition training per FRA mandate according to todays TRAINS newswire. Stay off the property.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby justalurker66 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:45 pm

If the "Terrorist Recognition" is accurate they should not flag a railfan as a terrorist.
But do stay off private property.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Doktor No » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:54 am

So what does a terrorist vs a railfan look like? Expand your hypothesis please. To the trained and untrained they all look the same.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Jetlink » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:57 am

If it is anything like the required TSA training that I'm familiar with it will be a waste of your time.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby justalurker66 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:39 pm

Raildudes dad wrote:So I do some more digging on my own this afternoon. After shipping multiple cars to the customer, the mill used the wrong customer code for these 2 cars.

When the post office delivers your neighbor's mail to your mailbox what do you do?
1) Send it back to the post office marked "delivered to wrong address"
2) Take it to your neighbor's mailbox
3) Take it to your neighbor and hand it to them (pre-COVID)

It seems the old school way would be to deliver the mail to the neighbor. The railroads are going "by the book" and returning it to the post office. Be happy if they can reroute to the correct customer code without sending the cars all the way back to the origin.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:49 pm

The railroads don’t like their neighbors.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Doktor No » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:09 pm

The problem with that lurker is the railroad getting PAID. If da paperwork ain't showing up correctly the bill ain't getting paid either. I just did it for spite. 8-)
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:17 pm

First: I don't know who the customer code is. I will tell you my customer had 3-4 locations with rail service at one time. Now the only one is one they acquired from someone else. A couple years ago, those locations were still listed as open stations even with the track long gone. I'm guessing the route to the GDLK was ok. So in this case, no one knows who the neighbor is, they are 2 railroads away, same as being in a different town.
Since everything is computerized, I'm guessing when the delivery to the GDLK was recognized in the computer, it showed no destination and triggered a return to NS. When I called NS customer service they could not see where it was supposed to go. So based on past experience it goes on a track with others for the yard folks to figure out where the car is supposed to go. With the virus thing and short staff, it might have been there a long time.
I had one car coming CN - NS - GDLK. Since my customer gets 1 or 2 a week I can keep track of them fairly easy. I see one go right past Elkhart to Bellevue OH. Call customer service, oh that's an oops, it will turn tomorrow at Bellevue. Sure enough westward it came. Later another goes past Elkhart. Okay , it will turn, nope, it keeps going east. Call CS, ok yup it's going the wrong way, we'll get it turned. So where does it go? To a terminal in NJ. There it gets constructively placed by a local at the Standard oil refinery on the water. Now this is a loaded centerbeam with a waybill to Grand Rapids. And it sits for a couple days. Hey CS, my car is in NJ in an oil refinery. Oh we don't know how it got there, it will get sent back. Little did I know the instructions I couldn't see on NS said return to sender. So it gets shipped to CN in Chicago and then north. Then I can see it's going back to AB. Gets all the way to northern MN before the mill could stop. Only the mill could "divert" the destination. That's usually the case, only the shipper can change the waybill.
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby justalurker66 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:26 am

Doktor No wrote:The problem with that lurker is the railroad getting PAID. If da paperwork ain't showing up correctly the bill ain't getting paid either. I just did it for spite. 8-)

So - Did GDLK get paid to haul the cars to KZOO and back to EKH? Did they get to bill for those miles traveled and storage in the yard before they were returned?
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby justalurker66 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:40 am

Raildudes dad wrote:That's usually the case, only the shipper can change the waybill.

I have found the same with FedEx and UPS. Unless the shipper allows redirection they won't deliver to an alternate address. The best they can do is hold at a distribution center where one can go pick it up at a customer counter. (Even stuff like "deliver to apartment complex office" can be ignored if the shipper has a no redirect order.) A little hard for your customer to drive to Elkhart and pick up the rail cars. Hopefully the railroads will get this sorted out and your customer isn't in a bind because the loads didn't arrive. (I assume Michigan's COVID shutdowns are also affecting your customer.)
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Re: GDLK Operations

Unread postby AARR » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:18 am

Thank you for the inside info, RDD. What happens to companies that don't have someone like you watching for the cars? Do their cars disappear and never get delivered?
Raildudes dad wrote:First: I don't know who the customer code is...
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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