Holly Jct Realignment

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Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby MQT1223 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:09 pm

An interesting topic popped up on the Michigan Railfans Facebook Page today that has me thinking (And since I'm sure not everyone is on Facebook). Sounds like there is interest between CN and Lake State of redesigning the junction in Holly? Once the depot is moved however is really the number one variable. Eliminating the Diamond and having a pair of switches with a small portion of shared trackage is the idea, with the ease of maintenance having one less diamond to worry about and one less track at Sherman St.

I remember something in regards to Lake State having the option as part of the lease from CSX to interchange with CN at Holly as well as Flint. Is there interest from Lake State to traverse the Holly Sub to any degree or save the trip to Flint via CN? Maybe a run to Pontiac or Conrail in some way, shape or form? Many possibilities to think about as Lake State continues to expand its presence in Michigan further south.

Has there been any interest in the past to eliminate the diamond in Holly or is this a recent idea with Holly having renewed interest in relocating the depot?
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Re: Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby DaveO » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:25 pm

I doubt CN would want to interchange at Holly instead of Flint.
Being that diamond is an extreme angle, removing it would have a safety benefit. Which makes me wonder if the diamond has movable frogs.
They could do this with the station where it is at now.
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Re: Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby MQT1223 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:27 pm

DaveO wrote:I doubt CN would want to interchange at Holly instead of Flint.
Being that diamond is an extreme angle, removing it would have a safety benefit. Which makes me wonder if the diamond has movable frogs.
They could do this with the station where it is at now.


It doesn't have movable frogs.

Nothing has been interchanged here in decades, before CSX's reign. The whole Holly setup has vastly changed. At least 2 tracks have been removed on CN's side and the interchange track on the SW corner of the diamond.
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Re: Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby SD80MAC » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:46 pm

If they do redesign the junction and replace the diamond with a pair of power switches, they could potentially interchange unit trains there quite easily.
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Re: Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby C&O Dispatcher » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:36 pm

There was talk of replacing the diamond with switches even back when I was still dispatching in Saginaw, but it never went anywhere at that time. I suppose it would be more feasible if the depot is out of the way. Of course, we were still interchanging back then. We interchanged to them on a track off the GTW main west of the diamond, and they interchanged to us on the HW&M and Vinegar Track south of the diamond on our side. GTW controlled the switches and signals, but we also had to code in from Saginaw north or south.
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Re: Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:39 pm

C&O Dispatcher wrote:There was talk of replacing the diamond with switches even back when I was still dispatching in Saginaw, but it never went anywhere at that time. I suppose it would be more feasible if the depot is out of the way. Of course, we were still interchanging back then. We interchanged to them on a track off the GTW main west of the diamond, and they interchanged to us on the HW&M and Vinegar Track south of the diamond on our side. GTW controlled the switches and signals, but we also had to code in from Saginaw north or south.


How much were you interchanging still in those days?
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Re: Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby C&O Dispatcher » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:33 am

It's been a long time ago, so I don't recall exactly how many cars were being interchanged. I'd guess maybe 10-20 cars a day. We were still running the Sag-Holly (turn) local out of Saginaw M-F. Of course, the local did other work on its trip besides the interchange. They tried to switch Delta Tube going back north, but that was often nixed because we had too many trains to run to tie up the main track any longer at Holly. I recall there was one period when they couldn't make the round trip in 12 hours! We had to have them tie-up for the night at Holly and come back the next day. That required a second crew starting out of Saginaw to maintain the daily service in both directions. Seeing the operation today, I know it's hard to imagine how congested the Saginaw Sub was at one time.
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Re: Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby AARR » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:36 am

It seems I recall reading that hot automotive traffic between Chicago and Pontiac was exchanged in Holly. Do you recall that C&O Dispatcher?
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Re: Holly Jct Realignment

Unread postby C&O Dispatcher » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:41 pm

You're probably correct about the auto parts, but I can't speak to the routing directly. As dispatchers, we got a breakdown on the destination of the interchange cars which we gave to the GTW dispatcher (we could ring right onto their dispatchers' line and vice versa), but didn't have a computer back then we could hop onto to look up the actual consist showing the origin, routing or consignee. I do recall there were usually cars for Pontiac -- and for Eames, MI which would have been the Orion facility. Can't recall if any of the auto parts out of Grand Blanc went to them, but quite possibly they did.
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