Lincoln Secondary

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Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby atrainguy60 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:50 am

I was curious what the Lincoln Secondary is like nowadays? Looking at the wiki, CSX runs 13 daily trains (well, counting the Q298 turn twice) between Detroit and Toledo plus some extras (also not counting locals), with all of the autoracks taking the Plymouth route to switch New Boston. That still leaves the two pairs of intermodals and two pairs of manifests. Do any of these use the Lincoln Secondary or is it all locals now?
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby KenB » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:35 am

Usually CSX Q131/132 use the Lincoln Secondary . Sometimes on a Saturday, Q151 will use the Lincoln. That is about it.
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby blueheron13 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:10 am

Besides the intermodal trains that Ken mentioned, Conrail switches the industries on the Lincoln Secondary. To the best of my knowledge this is Monday-Friday. A train called RR-3 (used to be RR-23) will work south during the first shift, and come back as RR-32 during the second shift. When they talk to the CSX RL dispatcher, CSX assigns these Conrail trains different symbols though, which I can't remember off the top of my head.
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:10 am

So this may be a stupid question, but what is the Lincoln Secondary and where does it run between? I get its in the SE corner of the state, but does it tie into the Detroit Sub or the Plymouth Sub? I'm not familiar with this line at all and wish to learn more.
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby SD80MAC » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:18 am

Branches off the Saginaw Sub at Carleton and goes northeast. Ultimately winds up at Sterling yard, former PRR trackage (might be some NYC thrown in there, too).
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby blueheron13 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:54 am

The south end is at Carleton, but the north end is at Ecorse Junction, where there trains can proceed to/from the NS Detroit District (old Wabash line, just west of NS Bridge) or to/from the Conrail Junction Yard Running Track, which runs from the Detroit Line (at YD in River Rouge) to the Michigan Line (at Townline in Dearborn).

The Conrail Sterling Secondary is what runs through Sterling Yard. The Sterling Secondary's south end is at North Yard. The stretch from Scotten (at the junction with the Michigan Line) north to North Yard is the Conrail North Yard Branch.

This timetable might help:
http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/rail ... 1-2013.pdf
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby Doktor No » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:55 am

http://knorek.com/RR/SAA/LincolnSec/LincolnIndex.htm Older site and not TOTALLY up to date anymore but it covers it most excellently. PRR yard/terminal was in Lincoln Park.
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby GTW6401 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:23 pm

The Lincoln Secondary was constructed in the early 1920s and the PRR used trackage rights over the PM and later C&O between Carleton and Toledo. Mileage on this trackage was based from Toledo Junction - located on the Fort Wayne Line in Ohio.

PRR was part of the Union Belt of Detroit, along with the PM/C&O and Wabash. It was 4.6 miles from Delray Junction to Fort Street Union Depot, with each railroad supplying crews and engines on a two month rotation to perform all switching between Delray and FSUD.

They also had additional trackage on the west side of Detroit. P Company in Dearborn is named for the Pennsylvania RR, and is where the Shared Assets branch line goes north toward Fullerton Avenue.

A new coach yard serving the three railroads was built in 1924 extending from 15th to 21st streets. A roundhouse was located at 21st street that served PM/C&O and PRR passenger engines. The Wabash had a roundhouse located near Delray Junction, then shifted operations to Oakwood in 1954.

C&O stopped freight operations at 21st street when they obtained rights through the tunnel in 1955. The roundhouse was closed for good when PRR ended passenger operations to Detroit in 1959.

PRR freight power used the Pennsy Yard in Lincoln Park.

The Lincoln Secondary eventually lost its through traffic after the Penn Central merger as trains moved to the nearby former NYC mainline. It was really spruced up when the CSX/NS split of Conrail occurred in 1999.

Manifest traffic from CSX was at first Q304 and Q305, which operated between Sterling Heights and Stanley Yard.

Q304/Q305 were taken off and Q233/Q234 were later added. Q234 would often run via Plymouth and I saw them use the connection at CP-Lou a few times as well. Q233/234 are now Buffalo-Selkirk trains, with an L234 from Rougemere 3x per week listed on the Wiki page.

I also photographed a few Trenton coal empties using the Lincoln Secondary in 2012. They were routed north to YD first, then southward toward Carleton at Ecorse Junction.
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby C&O Dispatcher » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:47 pm

I was an operator at Carleton Tower 1971-74. PC was still running through trains on that route and it was designated at that time as the Lincoln "Branch" rather than a "Secondary" track. Operation was governed by train orders and an APB block system with classic PRR position-light signals. We copied the orders for the northward trains which read "Eng XXXX run extra Carleton to Penford." The first position-light APB signal was at the north interlocking limits. If for some reason it was displaying a "STOP" indication, the crew had to call Penford Tower on the radio to get permission to pass it. This, of course, tied up the interlocking for a few minutes! As I recall, they only ran one or two through trains a day (some days none at all) and for whatever reason there were more northbounds than southbounds. As was mentioned, the bulk of the traffic between Detroit and Toledo ran over on the former NYC Toledo Branch. When I went to Saginaw in 1976 as a dispatcher, the PC was still using the trackage rights on the Chessie between Alexis and Carleton, but I don't recall many through trains using the Lincoln line by then. I think eventually they were only coming as far south from Penford to the Guardian Glass plant at "Ash."
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby Eric Berger » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:45 am

Years ago, I was talking with somebody who said that the through trains on the Secondary ceased around 1982 or so. Following are some of my own observations...

In 1991, I learned to drive, and my instructor had me driving around Carleton, which meant going up and down Grafton Road. By 1991, the line past Romine Road had gotten pretty decrepit -- overgrown, etc. The crossing was still on Grafton Road in 1991, and the approach signal for southbound trains was still just before the Grafton crossing.

Then, I didn't go to Carleton at all from 1991-1996.

As of 1996, I started going there on a regular basis; by this time, the line past Romine Road had gotten even worse. The Grafton Road crossing was paved over at some point, and the crossing guards removed. Also, I noted that by that time, the signal head was gone, leaving only the mast standing there. At Carleton proper, the Secondary literally ended; the turnout had been removed. It would be like that until 1997.

In 1997, they exposed the rails on the Grafton crossing by cutting ruts into the pavement, and put crossbucks there. The signal mast was removed, and they'd brought some equipment down to clear the years of vegetation along there. Also during that time, they removed the passing siding, which also crossed Grafton Road. Eventually they put a new crossing in, complete with crossing guards, and also upgraded the crossings the rest of the way on that line with bells and gates. A new approach signal for southbound trains was built between Newberg Road and the I-275 overpass. The turnout at Carleton was reinstalled, and by 1998 through trains were going through. During this time they also put signs at crossings on the Secondary which advised of "Increased train traffic."

For about a decade, they did have quite a few through general freights through, but those seemed to gradually decline over the years. By 2011 or 2012, through trains were down to a couple of intermodals each way (Q150 and 151, and Q131 and 132) and a boxcar/truck frame flat (Can't remember the id for it now) as well as an empty E train.

Used to love sitting in Oakwood Metropark during the summer watching the freight trains come through. Now I very seldom hear anything going along that line.
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Re: Lincoln Secondary

Unread postby Eric Berger » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:49 am

I do have one other question about that line.

Does anyone know where the signals were located on that line before the Conrail split?

I remember one at Reeck Road and another at Racho Road (Both for Pennford.) Then the actual signals at Pennford. Seems like there was one near Grix Road, as I kind of remember going along there once and seeing the remains of it lying by the ROW. Then, of course, there was the one at Grafton Road for Carleton.

I don't know why, but I always liked those type of signals the best.
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Around the breakup, they moved the approach signal from Racho Road to Pennsylvania Road; at first they had the original head, then replaced it with the current two-color head that's currently there.
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