Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

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Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby MQT1223 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:42 pm

My chase on the Hamilton Branch lead to my discovery of a spur in the small unincorporated community of Fillmore, about halfway between Holland and Hamilton. I had no idea that any other online customers once existed between Holland and Hamilton in recent memory. I was told that this place once received cars into the 90's. Looks like they deal with pallets and scrap wood these days, was this the case then?

How would it work between the Co-op and CSX if another customer wanted to come online to the Co-op owned trackage? Would CSX have to be consulted or would something between the owner and operator have to be worked out?
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby ~Z~ » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:58 pm

Here's the spur in question:
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby SD80MAC » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:54 am

Hmm, that arm looks familiar.
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby Doktor No » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:14 am

When I had the pleasure of wandering that way during my career the spur was used by the local poultry establishment as a siding to get covered hoppers of chicken and turkey feed.
Thrown in the ditch at that location was a PM switch stand, the ones with the semaphore up on top. Wished I had snagged it back then. Who knows..it might still be there!
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:27 am

Doktor No wrote:When I had the pleasure of wandering that way during my career the spur was used by the local poultry establishment as a siding to get covered hoppers of chicken and turkey feed.
Thrown in the ditch at that location was a PM switch stand, the ones with the semaphore up on top. Wished I had snagged it back then. Who knows..it might still be there!


Now you are tempting me to go back :lol:

Did CSX own all the way to Hamilton at the time or was the Co-op the owner?
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby Mike H » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:00 pm

Doktor No wrote:When I had the pleasure of wandering that way during my career the spur was used by the local poultry establishment as a siding to get covered hoppers of chicken and turkey feed.
Thrown in the ditch at that location was a PM switch stand, the ones with the semaphore up on top. Wished I had snagged it back then. Who knows..it might still be there!


I am pretty sure it's gone. I did some work out there about 2 years ago & we parked on that spur. As many times as we went in & out of there I'm sure one of us would definitely have noticed something like that in the ditch, plus if it was in the ditch we would have definitely hit it. That sure is a pretty line though, I really enjoyed the hills & variety of scenery.

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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:51 pm

Mike H wrote:
Doktor No wrote:When I had the pleasure of wandering that way during my career the spur was used by the local poultry establishment as a siding to get covered hoppers of chicken and turkey feed.
Thrown in the ditch at that location was a PM switch stand, the ones with the semaphore up on top. Wished I had snagged it back then. Who knows..it might still be there!


I am pretty sure it's gone. I did some work out there about 2 years ago & we parked on that spur. As many times as we went in & out of there I'm sure one of us would definitely have noticed something like that in the ditch, plus if it was in the ditch we would have definitely hit it. That sure is a pretty line though, I really enjoyed the hills & variety of scenery.

Mike H


Yeah I doublechecked, no dice.

On a side note probably not a good idea that the spur out here is unlocked...
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby Doktor No » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:57 pm

Movements are at Yard Limits Restricted Speed. As in: move expecting derails applied, switches lined against, cars ahead, not exceeding 15MPH ( less out there these days it was always 10 from the late 70's forward) looking out for broken rail.
But yeah, a padlock would be nice.
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:21 pm

Doktor No wrote:Movements are at Yard Limits Restricted Speed. As in: move expecting derails applied, switches lined against, cars ahead, not exceeding 15MPH ( less out there these days it was always 10 from the late 70's forward) looking out for broken rail.
But yeah, a padlock would be nice.


The derail was set, but honestly given the location and speeds I think any vigilant engineer would be able to spot the thrown switch.
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby kd_1014 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:26 pm

Crazy how many switches are left unlocked even here in Grand Rapids, almost all on the old GR&I at the sand place at Fuller and a unlocked one here and there on the GRE.
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby SD80MAC » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:03 am

kd_1014 wrote:Crazy how many switches are left unlocked even here in Grand Rapids, almost all on the old GR&I at the sand place at Fuller and a unlocked one here and there on the GRE.

Switches in yard limits and in industries do not generally have locks.
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:14 pm

Sometimes you still gotta “read the rails”/“read the iron!”
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby J T » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:36 pm

Somewhere in my archives I have a photo of a piece of MOW equipment parked on that spur. It was there for quite a while.
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby J T » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:59 pm

Ahh, there it is. Dated April 24, 2008.

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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby milest303 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:51 am

I've never had too much railfanning this branch. How often and when does the train run, and how often all the way to Hamilton?
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby SD80MAC » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:55 am

milest303 wrote:I've never had too much railfanning this branch. How often and when does the train run, and how often all the way to Hamilton?

They go all the way to Hamilton usually once per week, and the day can vary. Lately it's been on Fridays. They will service customers on the north end of the branch a few days per week.
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby milest303 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:25 pm

SD80MAC wrote:
milest303 wrote:I've never had too much railfanning this branch. How often and when does the train run, and how often all the way to Hamilton?

They go all the way to Hamilton usually once per week, and the day can vary. Lately it's been on Fridays. They will service customers on the north end of the branch a few days per week.


Got it. Thank you, this whole thread has been helpful and an interesting read!
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby C&O6088 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:20 pm

Doktor No is correct....late 1980's early 1990's there was a large area farmer that had feed/fertilizer delivered in hoppers. I recall they kept an old tractor on the conveyor belt used to pull up the feed/fertilizer into farm trucks. Back in the 1950's-1960's I was told by area people that there was a factory on the siding. One story was that it was a mill that cut wood that was shipped to make baseball bats for Louisville Sluggers. I know that in the late 1970's there was a saw mill on the site but not using the railroad spur.

Below is from the Stations/Locations - Allegan County on Michigan Railroads.com
Filmore, also known as Fillmore Center, was first identified in 1849. Around 1870, the railroad line between Holland and Allegan was built through the town and a sawmill was constructed, operated by Telman, Hoffman & Wagenaar. [MPN] The village is located about 3 miles southeast of Holland.

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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby C&O Dispatcher » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:12 am

The October 1987 CSX timetable shows the maximum authorized speed on the Hamilton Sub as 20 MPH. However, between MP 22.7 and MP 22.3 it's 14 MPH if you have hi-cube covered hoppers. But then it says that the whole Sub is "Excepted Track" which restricts all movements to 10 MPH. I call those the "yeah, buts....." To get the real deal in railroading you have to know the final "yeah, but" in order to stay out of trouble! It's like getting an approach medium and then a medium approach to enter a siding -- OK, I can go 30 MPH. Yeah, but the siding is restricted to 10 MPH -- the final "yeah, but!" When I was dispatching we had the rule book, of course. Yeah, but, the timetable special instructions might supersede a rule, yeah, but, a bulletin might supersede that, yeah but a train order might supersede that. Gotta know that final "yeah, but!"
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Re: Spur in Fillmore, Hamilton Branch Q&A

Unread postby Saturnalia » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:35 am

C&O Dispatcher wrote:The October 1987 CSX timetable shows the maximum authorized speed on the Hamilton Sub as 20 MPH. However, between MP 22.7 and MP 22.3 it's 14 MPH if you have hi-cube covered hoppers. But then it says that the whole Sub is "Excepted Track" which restricts all movements to 10 MPH. I call those the "yeah, buts....." To get the real deal in railroading you have to know the final "yeah, but" in order to stay out of trouble! It's like getting an approach medium and then a medium approach to enter a siding -- OK, I can go 30 MPH. Yeah, but the siding is restricted to 10 MPH -- the final "yeah, but!" When I was dispatching we had the rule book, of course. Yeah, but, the timetable special instructions might supersede a rule, yeah, but, a bulletin might supersede that, yeah but a train order might supersede that. Gotta know that final "yeah, but!"

This should be printed and framed on the wall of every railroad break room nationwide! So darn accurate. MOW plays the same game.
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