I just wrote this 531-word description for the Wind Turbine train that went nort on MQT on 4-29-12. This will be my youtube video description (if it fits
On April 28th, 2012, CSX received the first train of wind turbine parts for Ludington, Michigan from the Union Pacific Railway in Chicago. The train on CSX, known as K242, departed Chicago around 20:00 EDT (19:00 CDT). Upon finally making it to Michigan, the train was recrewed north of Benton Harbor at a location the railroad calls Riverside. After that, it was smooth sailing into the Wyoming Terminal, where the fun would begin again.
Upon rolling into Wyoming yard, the train was due for its 1,000 mile inspection. With Marquette Rail rolling though Sparta at that time, yard crews were rushing to get the 51-car consist ready to head north.
At 12:10 Eastern Daylight Time, MQT’s daily-except-Saturday Grand Rapids Turn arrived in Wyoming, and were soon back to the East End to prepare to head north.
It was decided that Marquette would take 41 cars of the 51-car consist north because the final 10 weren’t inspected yet. Next, the TM decided that in order to ensure the wide loads did not hit the Grand Rapids Amtrak Station, the train would have to be shoved out of Wyoming Yard past the Sunnyside Wye the pulled north up the East Leg instead of simply pulling up the West Leg. This setup meant the MQT conductor needed a car to ride on to protect the shove (they are not allowed to ride flatcars for safety). So, MQT was given an empty covered hopper, and Z151 quickly got that car coupled up before heading to the West End of the Consist to get ready to shove the nearly three miles to clear the Westbound Absolute Signal located at the Pleasant Street Interlocking. Due to the train’s length, it needed to get moving after the shove quickly so as to not block the major crossings of Hall & Division streets too long. This is where our video begins.
The first scene was captured from Oakland Street, located just west of the Sunnyside Wye. The Train was on Main Track #2 at that point.
After completing the shove, we see them a short distance away finally headed north around the East Leg of the Sunnyside Wye. Even though the East Leg is straighter that it’s West Leg counterpart, the 89ft flatcars still screeched as they went around. At the speed they eventually settle into, it would take a full 20 minutes for the train to traverse the Wealthy Street Crossing
At the Third Scene, the train has finally cleared the Sunnyside Wye and is headed through the residential area in the northwest side of downtown Grand Rapids. Taken from Crosby Street, the Leonard Street Crossing is visible.
Finally, after 45 minutes of crawling up the west side of Grand Rapids, the train finally clears CSX rails and continues on Marquette Rail Trackage. The Fourth Scene, taken from the hill to the West of the North Park Street Crossing, shows the train as they start to gain some speed (albeit not very much) out of Grand Rapids.
After being recrewed near Kent City, the train continued on to Ludington where it was delivered to Consumers Energy on 4-30-12.
Filmed in Grand Rapids & Comstock Park, Michigan on 4-29-12
Is it long enough?