Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Give us a run down of what you saw, post pictures if you'd like...any info is welcome.

Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Fri May 12, 2017 9:03 pm

From now on I'll collect my videos that I publish as episodes here in this thread for a single catch-all instead of a new topic for each - so check back since the content will vary quite a bit!

TRRS 500: Siemens SC-44 Charger - Michigan Debut Test Train!

29 & 30 April 2017 - New Buffalo, Mich
Siemens Charger Test Train Debuts in Michigan

Passenger service in Michigan entered a new era recently when the brand new Siemens Charger Locomotives began testing in Michigan. The 4611, prominently featuring the Siemens logos and owned by the Illinois Department of Transportation, made a test run on the Michigan Services routes.

These new locomotives are the result of a large order made by a group of states, including Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Washington and California, to provide new power for those state's intercity passenger routes.

While these States have traditionally relied on Amtrak's own power, the new locomotives will replace the aging P42s in the coming year or two, giving Amtrak much needed slack in a very tight P42 roster while providing increased reliability for the growing state-supported routes.

So on the 29th and 30th of April, trains P590 (eastbound) and P955 (westbound) operated over the Pere Marquette Route, with additional runs on the Wolverine and Blue Water slated for the following day.

We picked up the P950 at New Buffalo, in what was likely the first footage of the locomotives ever in the State of Michigan. The 4611 led three passenger cars under the ancient coaling tower, harking back to the days when steam engines hauled passengers on the line until the 1940s.

We'd then catch them again at Riverside, Pullman, Fennville and finally Grandville as they reached Grand Rapids. The next day, we headed out to New Richmond to get a very soggy westbound run as they ran over the Kalamazoo River Bridge.

It won't be long until these are a daily sight across numerous Amtrak routes. This is just the first run of hundreds of thousands these units will make in their lifetime within the State, and it's always nice to see investment in transportation infrastructure.

Consist:
- IDTX 4611 [Siemens SC-44 Charger]
- 3 cars [Horizons/Amfleets]
- AMTK 35 [P42DC]
Location/Time:
- CSX Grand Rapids Sub, New Buffalo, MI, M239 xing, on 4-29-17 at 13:00 EDT
- Riverside, Riverside Rd xing, at 13:40
- Pullman, 106th Ave xing, at 14:25
- Fennville, M89 xing, at 14:47
- Grandville, along Chicago Dr @ 28th St, at 15:40
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Wed May 24, 2017 8:37 pm

TRRS 501: SOO Line SD60 6027: Last of the Hockey Sticks!

01 April 2017 - Columbus, WI
SOO Line 6027 - Last of the SOO Line Hockey Sticks!

The SOO Line remains the US arm of Canadian Giant Canadian Pacific, but quickly fading are the days of a separate corporate image, the most visible of which are its locomotives.

Generations of railroaders and railfans looked upon the distinct "Hockey Stick" livery, which adorned power ranging from GP9s to these SD60s. Today, CP continues to fold everything into their own image, with bright red and the CP image replacing the memorable "SOO" font.

Barreling westward for Minneapolis and beyond and fresh out of Chicagoland, SOO 6027 leads manifest No. 281 through Columbus, Wisconsin.

Immediately preceding it, a local blasts through with a pair of Geeps hustling a dozen mixed for points east. They'd meet the 281 just east of town.

Train No. 1: CP Local Train EB
Consist:
- CP 2309 [GP20ECO]
- CP 3025 [GP38-2]
- 11 cars [Mixed]
Location/Time:
- CP Watertown Sub, Columbus, WI, Amtrak Station/Ludington St xing, on 4-1-17 at 14:52 CDT

Train No. 2: CP Train 281 WB
Consist:
- SOO 6027 [SD60] *Hockey Stick Paint*
- CEFX 1027 [AC44CW]
- CCU [Mixed]
Location/Time:
- CP Watertwon Sub, Columbus, WI, Amtrak Station/Ludington St xing, on 4-1-17 at 14:55 CDT

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to share this video, like and subscribe to Thornapple River Rail Series!

Like TRRS on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/thornappleriverproductions

Videography Equipment:
-Primary: Sony FDR-AX53 4K Camcorder
-Edited with: Cyberlink PowerDirector 13
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby AARR » Thu May 25, 2017 2:17 pm

I like your video's and don't mind your narrations (which you didn't do on these)
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: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Thu May 25, 2017 10:08 pm

AARR wrote:I like your video's and don't mind your narrations (which you didn't do on these)

Thanks, Don! Should be some narrated features coming soon, I know I've been promising but they're next-up on the edit list :lol:

FWIW, the UP series took so long to shove through that other features got pushed back, due to time limitations. The constipation should ease soon...I hope! :lol:
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:10 pm

In the next three episodes, we're making a run to Janesville, Wisconsin, to get a tour around the Wisconsin & Southern's yard and shop facilities!

TRRS 502: SD40-2 Locomotive Overview: WSOR Shop Tour

31 March 2017 - Janesville, Wisconsin
Wisconsin & Southern Roundhouse Tour

Inside the old roundhouse in the WSOR yard in Janesville, WI, mechanical know-how keeps the railroad on the move.

Today, the shop crew gives a tour to the next generation of railroaders from Michigan Technological University's Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC). First up, an overview of an SD40-2, in the shop to have its wheels cut back to the desired profile.

What are the main parts of a diesel-electric locomotive? What makes the engine so robust? Those questions and more, in this 502nd episode of the Thornapple River Rail Series.

NOTE: this film was taken and published with the permission of the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad. All individuals on the tour wore proper PPE and had authorization to be on property - the WSOR and TRRS remind all to NEVER TRESPASS on the railroad. It's dangerous, it's illegal, and it makes the job much more stressful. Don't do it!

Does railroad engineering sound like a career path for you? Check out Michigan Tech's railroad program by following the link below!
www.rail.mtu.edu

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to share this video, like and subscribe to Thornapple River Rail Series!
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:03 pm

TRRS 503: Turnouts Explained: WSOR Yard Tour

31 March 2017 - Janesville, Wisconsin
Turnouts Explained on the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad

Railroads soon figured out that some clever mechanical bits would be needed if they ever wanted to have more than one track. Today, nearly all railroad turnouts, or switches, are of the point type, where a set of points are moved to create the alignment.

In the Janesville Yard on the Wisconsin and Southern, Brent Marsh gives a tour group of Michigan Tech Engineering students the details on turnouts, from how they work to what parts go into them.

NOTE: this film was taken and published with the permission of the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad. All individuals on the tour wore proper PPE and had authorization to be on property - the WSOR and TRRS remind all to NEVER TRESPASS on the railroad. It's dangerous, it's illegal, and it makes the job much more stressful. Don't do it!

Does railroad engineering sound like a career path for you? Check out Michigan Tech's railroad program by following the link below!
www.rail.mtu.edu
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:05 pm

TRRS 504: Railcar Wheel Replacement: WSOR Yard Tour

31 March 2017 - Janesville, Wisconsin
Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Wheel Changeout

Steel wheels on steel rails is a great way to move a lot of freight, but those wheels better be circular! From time to time, wheels must be changed out due to defects, particularity for flat spots. Usually the result of the car being dragged with the brakes still applied, the spots are cause for concern as they can do damage to track and lead to wheel failures.

For this two-bay covered hopper, a wheel impact detector, a high-tech piece of wayside defect detection, caught it leaving Chicago thumping along. So when the car arrived at the Wisconsin & Southern's Janesville yard, it was kicked to the repair track for a new set of wheels.

Watch as the carmen show off the wheel replacement process to the next generation of railroaders from Michigan Technological University's Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC).

How are railcar trucks connected to the cars? What parts make up a truck? How do they swap out wheels? All of those questions and more in this 504th episode of the Thornapple River Rail Series.

NOTE: this film was taken and published with the permission of the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad. All individuals on the tour wore proper PPE and had authorization to be on property - the WSOR and TRRS remind all to NEVER TRESPASS on the railroad. It's dangerous, it's illegal, and it makes the job much more stressful. Don't do it!

Does railroad engineering sound like a career path for you? Check out Michigan Tech's railroad program by following the link below!
www.rail.mtu.edu
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:42 pm

TRRS 505: LS&I Marquette Ore Dock - 2017 Spring Opener w/ Kaye E Barker

25 March 2017 - Marquette, Michigan

The LS&I's storied ore dock, towering above and out into the waters of Marquette's Upper Harbor, stood largely silent from January until this day, the 25th of March, during the wintertime shutdown.

March 25th brings the unofficial beginning of a new shipping season on the Great Lakes. Like Memorial day is to summer, on the 25th the Army Corps of Engineers opens the SOO Locks, connecting Lake Superior to the lower lakes, hailing the start of the new season, including at Marquette.

The first ship of the year is the Kaye E Barker of the Interlake Steamship Company, one of the Lake's foremost transportation companies since 1913. She was the second upbound transit at the locks in the morning, and we first catch her through the lens as she's still several miles off of port.

While this video contains no trains, as viewers of this channel may be accustomed, the ore dock operation is an interesting one and directly tied to the LS&I, whose ore jennies we can see high above on the top deck.

After the KE Barker has come in and the lines have secured her to the dock, the ship's crew begins removing the hatch covers, and the LS&I dock crew begins their first loading ritual of the season: something they'll do approximately 300 times this season.

The loading process itself is rather simple. An operator lowers one of the mammoth chutes down into the hatch covers. When ready, they open the gate to spill the entire pocket into the hold of the ship. Gravity does all of the work, a key feature of these old docks.

Once the pocket is nearly empty, another crewmember jumps one more ore jennie into the pocket to spill into the waiting freighter. This because as ship hold size increased, the dock's pockets did not.

Once fully empty, the operator closes the chute hatch and raises up the chute.

For most freighters, they'll unload every other chute, which aligns with the hatch covers on the vessel, then slide the whole ship up or back one chute, to repeat the process with the other pockets. Many will even be slid farther back, to load still more ore towards the end of the dock.

All told, the Kaye E Barker will load about 26,000 tons of ore, all of it Hematite Flux from the Tilden Mine on the other end of the LS&I, bound for the blast furnaces of the AK Steel Plant in Dearborn, MI. The Kaye E Barker is 767' long and was constructed in 1951.

Kaye E Barker at Marquette
Consist:
- Interlake Steamship Company’s Kaye E Barker arriving and loading the first ore of the season at the LS&I Marquette Ore Dock
Location/Time:
- Marquette, MI, LS&I Ore Dock / Upper Harbor, on 3-25-17 from 16:00 to 18:34 EDT

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to share this video, like and subscribe to Thornapple River Rail Series!

Like TRRS on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/thornappleriverproductions

Videography Equipment:
-Primary: Sony FDR-AX53 4K Camcorder
-Edited with: Cyberlink PowerDirector 13
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby hoborich » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:36 pm

Very interesting video. I've seen the Barker many times while sailing on the lakes. I noticed at the end of the video, with the ship apparently loaded, the bow was only loaded to 16 feet draft. Or were they not done loading? Thanks for sharing. As an aside note, the lake levels are at their highest in many years. This allows the ships to carry a little more cargo, and load deeper in the water.
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:26 am

hoborich wrote:Very interesting video. I've seen the Barker many times while sailing on the lakes. I noticed at the end of the video, with the ship apparently loaded, the bow was only loaded to 16 feet draft. Or were they not done loading? Thanks for sharing. As an aside note, the lake levels are at their highest in many years. This allows the ships to carry a little more cargo, and load deeper in the water.

They weren't done loading. After collecting all the ore from the shore end of the dock, boats get pushed back to load the Lake end to achieve their full balance of ore.
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby hoborich » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:17 am

Thanks. I figured that might be the case. The bow was only 16 feet into the water, at the end of the video.
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:57 pm

Empire's Last Stand | Pure Michigan Trains

The end of an era in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, this is Empire's Last Stand, a special presentation by the Thornapple River Rail Series!

While Michiganders thought at first that the Upper Peninsula was a wasteland, history has borne out the “UP” to be loaded with natural resources and natural beauty.

It didn’t take long for mineral extraction to begin, and the forestry industry was likewise quick to make profit of the bountiful woodlands. While both industries are decades off their zenith, the remaining operations are still the lifeblood of the economy for the upper peninsula.

A Negaunee staple since 1963, the Empire Mine has employed countless people over the years, providing good jobs with steady wages, until the plant churned out its last viceroy flux pellet for the steel mills of Indiana on August 4th, 2016. Despite many shutdowns over the years in periods of weak demand, this shutdown will be permanent.

In this edition of Pure Michigan Trains, we’ll follow some of the last iron ore trains to call at Empire, the CN iron ore jennies of U741 and U743, which ceased to operate in October 2016.

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to share this video, like and subscribe to Thornapple River Rail Series!

Like TRRS on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/thornappleriverproductions

Videography Equipment:
-Primary: Sony HDR-PJ790V HD Camcorder
-Aerial Platform: DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Drone
-Edited with: Cyberlink PowerDirector 13

People:
-Alex C: Creator, Owner and Producer
-Andrew E: Aerial platform owner and operator

Copyright 2017 Thornapple River Rail Series by Alex Christmas, All Rights Reserved
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby AARR » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:30 pm

Well done Saturn. I enjoyed the Empire's Last Stand video :) .
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: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:31 pm

AARR wrote:Well done Saturn. I enjoyed the Empire's Last Stand video :) .

Thanks, Don!
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:32 pm

TRRS 506: Chasing Grand Elk 303 to Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo, MI - 11 May 2017

Grand Elk Train No. 303, with through service from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo, has just departed GR for an evening trot down to the railroad's central yard in Kalamazoo, with four motors and 57 cars in tow.

Our first spot of them is south of town near Byron Center, where they're working a slow order in addition to an uphill climb from the Grand River Valley, along tributary Buck Creek.

Second, we're just north of the hamlet of Shelbyville, where they're again working against gravity on an uphill ascent. The online motors are giving it a good pull, with plenty of classic EMD rumble.

After a successful summit, we catch them again rolling through Martin and shortly thereafter Plainwell. From here it is all downhill to Kalamazoo, as they're now in the namesake Kalamazoo River Valley.

Upon arriving in Kalamazoo, they're got one of the more clumsy moves to complete. They start by rumbling over the Amtrak/MDOT Michigan Line, where until recently Michigan's second-to-last manned interlocking tower stood guard...just a shell now!

Just south of downtown, the conductor and who is presumably a conductor trainee mount the rear end, for the shove around the connector for Gearhart Yard, located to the east of the just-passed diamonds on the Michigan Line.

This backup move is time-consuming, and even frustrating for the people of Kalamazoo, with several major roads tied up each time the railroad works one of these shoving movements.

Consist:
- WAMX 3534 [GP35]
- WAMX 4225 [SD40M-2]
- WAMX 4209 [SD40-2]
- WAMX 4189 [SD40-2] *WSOR Paint*
- 57 cars [Mixed]
Location/Time:
- GDLK RR, Byron Center, MI, Clyde Park Ave xing, on 5-11-17 at 18:40 EDT
- Shelbyville, 10th St bridge, at 19:36
- Martin, Allegan St xing, at 19:50
- Plainwell, Bridge St xing, at 20:06
- Kalamazoo, GR&I Diamond/Willard St xing, at 20:35
- Reversing into Gearhart, onto the AMTK Michigan Line, at 20:50

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to share this video, like and subscribe to Thornapple River Rail Series!

Like TRRS on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/thornappleriverproductions
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:30 pm

TRRS 507: Lake Michigan Sunset with Amtrak #370

St. Joseph, MI | 03 July 2017

It's independence week, or so it seems to be a whole week these days, with everybody flocking to Michigan's western shore for beach days and of course fireworks.

Just after sundown on the 3rd of July, Amtrak's #370 is rolling along the bluff into the station stop at St. Joseph, a scene we capture from the ground as well as from the air above Lake Michigan.

Consist:
- AMTK 36 [P42DC]
- 3 Superliners
- AMTK 90222 [NPCU]
Location/Time:
- CSX Grand Rapids Sub, St. Joseph, MI, along Old Lakeshore Dr, on 7-3-17 at 21:30 EDT
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby Saturnalia » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:47 pm

TRRS 508: Jointed Rail at Track Level - Marquette Rail

Baldwin, MI | 03 July 2017

Jointed rail has always been a reliable way to fasten your rails together, but over time the joints, if not carefully maintained, can become loose and pump mud up through the track structure.

On the north end of Marquette Rail's Grand Rapids Subdivision, the old jointed rail dating back to the steam era still paves the way. While there's nothing wrong with jointed rail, and this track isn't terrible, it is showing its status in places as not the best maintained track ever heard of.

In this track-level shot, the southbound Turn Job pounds this joint as they roll through.

Note that this level of deviation in the track is NOT super dangerous. Vertical flexing is totally normal to begin with, and very little lateral motion is seen. It is curves where one has to worry about bad rail conditions, as the lateral forces are much more likely to spread the rails apart or roll a rail over, obviously putting the train on the ground.

With the track conditions in mind, they're rolling along at a modest pace, where originally the speed limit was all the way up around 40 miles per hour.

Note: Filmed at a public grade crossing, with the ground camera placed several minutes before the train's arrival.

Consist:
- MQT 3407 [SD40-2]
- MQT 3408 [SD40-2]
- MQT 3389 [SD40-2]
- 46 cars [Mixed]
Location/Time:
- MQT Grand Rapids Sub, Baldwin, MI, 72nd St xing, on 7-3-17 at 12:20 EDT

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to share this video, like and subscribe to Thornapple River Rail Series!

Like TRRS on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/thornappleriverproductions
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Re: Thornapple River Rail Series - Episode 500 & Beyond

Unread postby AARR » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:36 am

The sound of a train on jointed rail remains one of my favorite. Nice video, Saturn :)
Saturnalia wrote:TRRS 508: Jointed Rail at Track Level - Marquette Rail
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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