JAIL Sightings and Questions

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JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby AARR » Sun May 10, 2020 6:16 pm

From MichiganRailroads.com (where I don't have an account even though I've contacted the Administrator and requested one :( )
Posted by Alex on 5/10/2020, 10:26 am

Always been fascinated by the JAIL, and how they kept it going for about 10 years now. 3 Class I connections.

I took a drive to Lansing to do some sight-seeing, and down to the new State Park Meridian Baseline.

On the LSMS branch of the JAIL, it looks like the flasher on the wig-wag @ Isbell drive has been removed. Nothing @ the QD, but a string of coal hoppers either in storage or for repair to the E of MLK drive. The terminus business, where rail cars are repaired, had a caboose and a Conrail boxcar.

On the belt line, nothing in storage near I-696. Also, the old Conrail auto loading fingers, where A&B advertised for storage, looked pretty rough. It looks like not a lot of rail activity down there. Any interchange w/ CN in a while?

Lastly, the elevator in Leslie is still in-place, but a derailer on the spur. Any idea of any future activity here?

Last I heard QD is operated by a new company and still getting a carload of plastic pellets every week or so.

Can someone confirm if there is a rail car repair business located on JAIL?

Elevator in Leslie is owned by the outfit near Charlotte (located on CS). They also own the two elevators in Mason. I've heard one of those elevators in Mason gets fertilizer every now and then. I'm sure JAIL would love to get business from any of the four locations.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby LansingRailFan » Mon May 11, 2020 8:08 am

The plastic jug place formerly known as QD was sold to someone else. Same building.

I’ve been able to track them getting one car in the last six months. The spur from just north of Baker Street to S. Washington is filled w stored coal hoppers as well. They got them from HESR via CN last fall. CITX.

JAIL still interchanges with CN, however the ‘fingers’ are in such bad shape they cannot hold a lumber flat.

The rail car repair business he is referencing is Reid Machinery. There is a video on YouTube of someone touring it.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby AARR » Mon May 11, 2020 8:11 am

Thank you LRF. So Reid Machinery repairs rail cars?
LansingRailFan wrote:The rail car repair business he is referencing is Reid Machinery. There is a video on YouTube of someone touring it.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby LansingRailFan » Mon May 11, 2020 8:36 am

AARR wrote:Thank you LRF. So Reid Machinery repairs rail cars?
LansingRailFan wrote:The rail car repair business he is referencing is Reid Machinery. There is a video on YouTube of someone touring it.


Heavy machinery. Like giant compressors and presses. They aren’t a very “active” customer.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby AARR » Mon May 11, 2020 1:17 pm

Thank you LRF. That's what I thought. I think they get a few cars a year.
LansingRailFan wrote:
AARR wrote:Thank you LRF. So Reid Machinery repairs rail cars?
LansingRailFan wrote:The rail car repair business he is referencing is Reid Machinery. There is a video on YouTube of someone touring it.


Heavy machinery. Like giant compressors and presses. They aren’t a very “active” customer.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby LansingRailFan » Mon May 11, 2020 1:51 pm

I don’t think they receive more than one or two a year tops.

https://youtu.be/5t2Us-WNjlo
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby AARR » Mon May 11, 2020 6:35 pm

Additional questions and the link for those who want to see Bill's responses and the entire string
https://members4.boardhost.com/OtherMichRRs/msg/1589120781.html
Posted by Alex on 5/11/2020, 4:28 pm, in reply to "Re: JAIL sightings and questions"

Hey Bill.
Several cars a week....I'd guess several cars a year.

Do you know the JAIL customers that are interchanged w/ CN?...or is it sporadic?

Is JAIL still interchanging with CSX?

Does CSX & CN interchange thru JAIL? Many moons ago in the early 90's there was a 'wye' connection at Trowbridge.

I think Michigan Packaging gets a few cars of cardboard stock from CN.

Yes, JAIL still interchanges with CSX at Ensel Yard. I hear they're getting coil steel for the place in Holt. Some cardboard stock. Maybe some other steel and scrap steel.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby LansingRailFan » Mon May 11, 2020 9:14 pm

JAIL interchanges with NS in Jackson, CSX in Lansing at Ensel and CN at the western end of West St. And they are down at CN at least once a week, despite Alex’s assumptions. He can bring his Swiffer if he wants cleaner rails.

All of those CITX coal cars stored along Clare Street are from CN. I posted a video in the Adrian & Blissfield fb group a while back of this move.

The box factory in Mason gets cars from CN and CSX. They have Ambassador Steel as a customer from CSX as well.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue May 12, 2020 2:55 am

LansingRailFan wrote:JAIL interchanges with NS in Jackson, CSX in Lansing at Ensel and CN at the western end of West St. And they are down at CN at least once a week, despite Alex’s assumptions. He can bring his Swiffer if he wants cleaner rails.

All of those CITX coal cars stored along Clare Street are from CN. I posted a video in the Adrian & Blissfield fb group a while back of this move.

The box factory in Mason gets cars from CN and CSX. They have Ambassador Steel as a customer from CSX as well.


About what time do they get into Lansing would you say? Been wanting to do a chase of them heading SB.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby penn central » Tue May 12, 2020 10:56 am

I have spent the night at my companies Mason Whse before it's in the old Lear Plant i was woke up about midnight with a southbound J and L train he had 20 something cars if i remember correctly. This was about a month or two ago.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby SD80MAC » Tue May 12, 2020 11:05 am

Seems like when I was working in Lansing regularly back in 2017 the JAIL was always at MA between 8 and 9 am.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby LansingRailFan » Tue May 12, 2020 8:24 pm

MQT1223 wrote:About what time do they get into Lansing would you say? Been wanting to do a chase of them heading SB.


At the earliest they seem to hit MA/Ensel Yard by 9.

You can hear them call a desk 9 for clearance to cross the CN first. Then they go north until they hit the CSX. Then they have to call CSX for permission to run on their track. Dispatchers refer time them as NS as technically they are running on NS-owned track that they lease.

30-45 to switch in Ensel. If they don’t have to run further to Padnos, Alro or interchange w CN they will head back south.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby Dan Cluley » Tue May 12, 2020 9:56 pm

Typically during the week the overnight crew will head south from Mason at midnight plus or minus an hour, and return from Jackson between 6 and 8 am. Usually before 7.

The day crew will start at 8 am. Occasionally they head back south to the box plant south of Mason, but usually head north. Some days only to RSDC in Holt, continuing into Lansing 2-3 times a week.


That has been the pattern for a number of years, but I don't think they are running quite as much these days.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby LansingRailFan » Wed May 13, 2020 7:40 pm

MQT1223 wrote:
LansingRailFan wrote:JAIL interchanges with NS in Jackson, CSX in Lansing at Ensel and CN at the western end of West St. And they are down at CN at least once a week, despite Alex’s assumptions. He can bring his Swiffer if he wants cleaner rails.

All of those CITX coal cars stored along Clare Street are from CN. I posted a video in the Adrian & Blissfield fb group a while back of this move.

The box factory in Mason gets cars from CN and CSX. They have Ambassador Steel as a customer from CSX as well.


About what time do they get into Lansing would you say? Been wanting to do a chase of them heading SB.


The CN Lansing local ran two cars to the JAIL interchange today.

Probably see a pickup tomorrow which is their full northern run.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby MiddleMI » Sun May 17, 2020 4:58 am

The interchange with CN is at New Hollow Yard, right? You can get a quick view of it traveling down the southbound MLK bridge, but that's about it unless you're going to walk the bridge. You can get partial views of Old Hollow Yard, though, from Olds Avenue where it curves eventually becoming Clare at Main/Malcolm X.

BTW, I keep hearing QD has spun off most of their former divisions, including QDC Plastic Container Co., but they still have an active website and it still lists the factory on Mt. Hope (where their headquarters is): http://qdcplastics.com/contact-us/. Have they simply not closed down the website? QD still owns the building, that much I know. They also own their bakery in the REO plant industrial park, though they don't ship anything by rail.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby LansingRailFan » Sun May 17, 2020 11:09 am

MiddleMI wrote:The interchange with CN is at New Hollow Yard, right? You can get a quick view of it traveling down the southbound MLK bridge, but that's about it unless you're going to walk the bridge. You can get partial views of Old Hollow Yard, though, from Olds Avenue where it curves eventually becoming Clare at Main/Malcolm X.

BTW, I keep hearing QD has spun off most of their former divisions, including QDC Plastic Container Co., but they still have an active website and it still lists the factory on Mt. Hope (where their headquarters is): http://qdcplastics.com/contact-us/. Have they simply not closed down the website? QD still owns the building, that much I know. They also own their bakery in the REO plant industrial park, though they don't ship anything by rail.


I’ve never heard it called hollow before.

Regarding QD. They shut down their grocery delivery/warehouse (Hackney now handles), dairy ops (Prairie Farms) and ice cream. QD still makes bag ice and delivers the ice, ice cream and milk. They sold the QDC jug biz and lease the building to the people that bought it. They last took a plastics hopper the same day that JAIL picked up from Friedland. They had to shove all those stored coal hoppers down the line to deliver it.


viewtopic.php?f=3&t=20000&p=427694&hilit=Old+town+Friedland#p427694
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby MiddleMI » Sun May 17, 2020 6:51 pm

I guess they not only stayed at the same location, then, but kept the same company name. I guess that's what's confusing me. Interestingly on the "shipping info" part of the website, they only mention measurements "per truck load." I wonder if that's just a general measurement, or if it mean they aren't getting rail service, anymore.

As for Hollow, that's the only thing I've ever seen those two yards called, at least on the internet.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby Tim » Mon May 25, 2020 9:36 am

It's been called the Hollow prior to when I hired out in '68. The New Hollow Yard refers to the nine stub ended tracks that were built in late '72 and early '73. Supposedly the land belongs to Old's and they were instrumental in having it built. Prior to the Erwin passing track being built in the Old's Plant, standard operating procedure was to kick the set up cars up the hill to the west and then duck into the clear using a facing point switch before they came back down the hill. It usually worked fine however when it didn't the results were quite interesting to say the least! This was done a minimum of three times a day.
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Re: JAIL Sightings and Questions

Unread postby MiddleMI » Wed May 27, 2020 6:33 am

I went and checked the city website parcel look-up, and, yep, General Motors owns New Hollow Yard. BTW, it looks like only 7 of the 9 stubs are in active use these days. The property on which the old Hollow Yard sits is still owned by NS.
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