Mich Line Operations in 2000

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Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby iandt » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:41 am

So, I have a pretty good grasp on the current operations on the Michigan Line, but for a future layout I think I may backdate my operations a bit to 1999-2001, right after the Conrail takeover. I am familiar with the locomotives and rolling stock one might've seen then, but what about operations? Did Conrail's system of train numbering linger a while into the 2000's before NS changed everything? Or is this when the current setup with 38J/39J (38E/39E's predecessor) originated? Were the autorack trains 20V or 27V started then too? I think Amtrak's schedule was about the same, so I'm mostly wondering about freights!
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby Ypsi » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:51 am

Amtraks timetables are easily accessible via the museum of railroad time tables site, as for freight I know a couple people and at least a few on here have a really good idea on the freights, but NS ran a big freight from wayne to elkhart about 3 times a week, and then basically a jackson wayne turn on the days the big train didn't run I believe. Triple crown may have still been out of Willow run too (till 06 I believe), that would add a great deal of interest IMO.


May 99 Amtrak system timetable:
http://www.timetables.org/browse/?group ... 6n&st=0001

Still could model baggage cars and cab cars if you like, which are always neat
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby ConrailDetr​oit » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:13 am

This has info from around 2000 and into the Conrail Years. Lots of interesting pictures and info.


http://knorek.com/RR/SAA/MichiganLine/M ... eIndex.htm
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby iandt » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:30 am

milineamtrak wrote:This has info from around 2000 and into the Conrail Years. Lots of interesting pictures and info.


http://knorek.com/RR/SAA/MichiganLine/M ... eIndex.htm


I forgot about this site, I found it once before but never noticed that he had a complete list of Michigan Line trains on it! Thanks for bringing it to my attention! I guess I would assume that the 48J/49J he lists (Elkart - Jackson) are the equivalent trains to today's 38E/39E?

Also, thanks for the timetable Ypsi! Page 38 lists the Michigan Line Services. I didn't know that Amtrak's on the MI line were divided into the Lakes Cities or Wolverine trains, now they're all just Wolverines. But otherwise, it sounds mostly the same. Modeling Amtrak then would be really interesting, a nice video series called the "Old Michigan Line" shows them having not only more Amfleet's but also F40PH's and a really nice mix of paint schemes.
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby ConrailDetr​oit » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:45 pm

Same traffic only difference is the routing. Back then 38/39E ran to Sterling instead of Wayne until 2009. 38J/39J were Elkhart to Wayne over the Michigan Line.
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby JANGAJONGA » Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:38 pm

I also believe there were sterling-elkhart autorack trains that would run every once in a while up to about 2003-2005.
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby iandt » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:17 am

Alright, that makes sense. I notice at knorek's Michigan Line page, there is no 60T or 63T, or equivalent, listed... were there no unit coil trains on the Michigan Line then?
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby Burb8145 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:21 am

Ypsi wrote:May 99 Amtrak system timetable:
http://www.timetables.org/browse/?group ... 6n&st=0001


Well, since he is planning on setting it in 2000, here's a direct link to what he may be more likely to look for.
http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=20000521n&item=0040
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby Ypsi » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:45 pm

Burb8145 wrote:
Ypsi wrote:May 99 Amtrak system timetable:
http://www.timetables.org/browse/?group ... 6n&st=0001


Well, since he is planning on setting it in 2000, here's a direct link to what he may be more likely to look for.
http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=20000521n&item=0040

since people don't like to read all of the information, here's the rest of it:

iandt wrote:I think I may backdate my operations a bit to 1999-2001, right after the Conrail takeover.
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:54 pm

38J and 39J were known as 48J and 49J until around 2004 sometime. They always had an Elkhart/Kzoo/Jackson routing.

In the good old days, Amtrak:

351/350 - Wolverine
353/352 - Lake Cities
355/354 - Twilight Limited

The late 90s early 00s were a time of great variety in terms of consists: Am-Cabs until '98, the first NPCU cab units, Superliners, Heritage Baggage cars on some trains, various Genesis, and of course no consists matched. Scroll down on this thread to get more specifics: http://railroadfan.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=24266&p=222657
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby Ypsi » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:01 am

^thay thread is a great read for anyone interested in the consist info. Nathan provided a great summary including photos 8)
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby iandt » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:54 am

GP30M4216 wrote:The late 90s early 00s were a time of great variety in terms of consists: Am-Cabs until '98, the first NPCU cab units, Superliners, Heritage Baggage cars on some trains, various Genesis, and of course no consists matched. Scroll down on this thread to get more specifics: http://railroadfan.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=24266&p=222657


WOW, great link! GP30M4216's post about halfway down the page basically provides all the information I'd need regarding equipment and paint. Two things I'm really excited to model: baggage cars and NPCU's. Too bad no one makes an NPCU in HO :( That'll probably be my first project next year at school.

Now I just need to find more information on freights. Any other buried posts like that about freight ops? I once searched through a lot of the daily updates posts from 2009 or so, really clarified for me the line's current ops. Didn't see anything talking about 2001, though.

And yes, to clarify, my period for now is 1999-2001. Basically defined by my desire to run some NS equipment side-by-side with Soo, ATSF and GT autoracks, which have now largely disappeared.
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:16 pm

Some Conrail timetables and other stuff can be found here:

http://www.multimodalways.org/archives/ ... 0ETTs.html
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby JANGAJONGA » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:07 am

There was a sterling-elkhart rack train that ran every so often up until around 2005. NS8401 can confirm this for sure.
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby iandt » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:34 pm

JANGAJONGA wrote:There was a sterling-elkhart rack train that ran every so often up until around 2005. NS8401 can confirm this for sure.


I know that 48/49E was a mixed train that ran between Sterling and Elkhart, but I haven't heard of a solid rack train, I'll have to look into this. As probably the case with most of the Sterling trains though, I believed they used the Chicago Line to Melvindale and ran up the Jct. Yard Branch to Detroit, and don't contribute much to Michigan Line ops.

My curiosity prompted me to purchase "The Old Michigan Line - Volume 1" from Greenfrog, and though the video is not put together very well it does show Michigan Line ops from the early 2000's. As for Amtrak, it confirms what's been said here, that it was a mix of power (with NPCU's, F40's, Genesis's and P32's) and a mix of schemes, which is very interesting.

However, as for freight ops, it confirms my worst fear, that most freights reached Wayne by going east from Jackson in the early 2000's, showing both mixed freights (which I assume are 48/49J) and solid rack trains passing through Ann Arbor and Ypsi. This is somewhat discouraging, since I'd like to focus on operations East of Wayne. The only freight shown east of Wayne is a lengthy Roadrailer, which is neat. But I'm really disappointed that most other freight was handled otherwise.

I found this thread from a while back that discusses 38/39J, and confirms that before 2005, these trains ran east from Jackson to Wayne, after which they adopted their current routing:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=30557

Sounds like my only hope for freight ops is in 2002, when PriorrightsConrail wrote that they attempted running the 38/39E, the Sterling trains, over the Michigan line. Also, it is slightly confusing, for this thread discusses only 38/39J. Was it different when the trains were denoted 48/49J, as is listed on Knorek's page?
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Re: Mich Line Operations in 2000

Unread postby iandt » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:08 pm

So, now my curiosity has prompted me to a different question... does anyone know how long after the Conrail takeover that NS continued running trains based on CR's symbols and schedule? Another user a while back posted videos on Dailymotion showing CR trains (ELDW, ML441) running past Jackson in 2000, with NS power. Though the consists were slightly different than according to CR's methods, they were still mostly the same trains.

Or, perhaps a better question: were NS's operations in late 1999 more similar to their 2003 ops, or were they almost exactly as they were in June under Conrail, simply with more NS power?
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