Elkhart, IN on 11/25

Give us a run down of what you saw, post pictures if you'd like...any info is welcome.
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Elkhart, IN on 11/25

Unread post by GP30M4216 »

I decided it was high time to get down to Elkhart this past Friday to catch some action on the former NYC mainline, and also check up on the Robert R Young Yard and Elkhart Depot. Upon my arrival at 9:20AM I was greeted at the station by a westbound CP Rail train, with CP AC unit and CEFX AC leaser on the front - mostly mixed freight. Frozen switches and such would play key on the Water Level Route in terms of traffic..... a whole bunch of trains would go east or west and then it would be dead for a while, presumably because the traffic was being held up for some problem, then it would pick back up again. Between about 9:30 and 3PM, I probably saw at least two dozen trains, mostly being headed by the familiar drab NS D9-40CWs. This included all kinds of Intermodal trains (particularly UPS Express) and mixed freight. I did catch a high hood SD40-2 of CNOTP heritage leading a mixed freight into the yard, and also a lone SD70M on an eastbound waiting for a westbound to clear near the depot. Lots of UP run through power of various models, including an SD40-2, AC something-or-anothers, C40-8, and Dash 9 if I recall correctly. Also saw a few BNSF Heritage II painted 9-44CWs. Depressing was the near complete lack of Conrail locomotives through the day. I only saw two! A Conrail Quality SD40-2 assigned to Yard Service, and a rare C39-8 (8205?) on an eastbound around 3PM.

Amtraks for the day were very very late due to frozen switches near Toledo and Bryan, OH I understand. The Capitol Limited (#29) westbound which is due in to Elkhart at abour 7:04AM did not come through until 12:20PM. They had

2 Genesis
1 Baggage Car (2 door Heritage type)
8 Superliners
1 ExpressTrak Reefer

Not to long after, Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited (#49) came through, also well off their 8:10AM arrival time by getting to Elkhart depot at 1:05PM. They had

2 Genesis (#19 leader)
1 Baggage car (1700 series single door)
1 Crew Dorm-Lounge (Heritage) #2519 Pine Gorge
3 Viewliner Sleepers
1 Heritage Diner #8521 in Phase III paint!
4 or 5 Amfleet cars, I can't remember exactly

The Elkhart Depot seems to be fairing rather well - the Bulletin Boards were all intact and much Amtrak information available to passengers though the depot remains unstaffed by anyone except a volunteer from the National NYC Museum. A few new timetables were posted but the racks were empty (but they did have Baggage Info cars, Guest Rewards Brocheurs and Student Advantage Brocheurs, just no timetables). Two new aerial photos of the Young Yards are mounted in the old Ticket Agent's room, which passengers can see through the glass. I can't wait to find out the number of passengers served through the Elklhart Station for FY2005. Should be an increase from last year again. Thanks to the up-to-date information and other Amtrak and train notes constantly posted in the depot (without Amtrak's help) and the volunteers from the NYC Museum which lock and unlock the building, keep it cleaned, and clear the platform, ridership is building again at this classic 1900-built Prairie and Romanesque inspired depot, which is served by Amtrak's Capitol and Lake Shore Limiteds. As recent moods from Amtrak seem to lean toward a reduction of Long Distance service on the system, I would encourage anyone wishing to travel long distance to the east via Amtrak to utilize the Elkhart depot if possible, to keep these numbers rising.

Not much else new on the rail scene around the Elkhart area, although they've taken down all the CTC poles and lines south of Dunlap toward Goshen. I may have some photos to post on here tonight...

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Unread post by ~Z~ »

thanks for the updates nathan.. every time i think of goshen, i think of a dead body blocking NS trains.. ruined most of my morning nearby there NS wise, so i hunted CSX instead south of there. NS can be monotonous with all those dash 9's, but it's nice just seeing trains run.
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