CR Operations in Lansing?

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CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby atrainguy60 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:00 am

I'm curious about what Conrail's operations were like around Lansing on the current JAIL lines between 1995 and 1999, when NS took over?. Was there just a single local that worked between Jackson and Lansing and took care of all the business along the way, or did they also have yard jobs that worked around the city to take care of the different branch lines and to serve GM and the couple of large plants that used to be located on their branch line on the west side of Lansing?
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby NS3322 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:54 pm

Adding to these questions...what did Conrail use the boxcar for in Saginaw Yard?
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby AARR » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:59 pm

Here is what little I know.

CR was close to abandoning Lansing to Jackson in the mid 1990's. Had the steel coil processing plant not been built they probably would have.

What Lansing business remained (mostly automotive) was going to run over GTW from Lansing to Battle Creek where they would get back on CR trackage.
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:38 am

In the early 90s ELLA/LAEL was the road train between Elkhart and Lansing. ELLA set out at Kalamazoo, Battle Creek (auto parts to the GTW) and Jackson. Around 1995 it became INLA/LAEL. Later, maybe 1998, it was replaced by ELJA/JAEL and a wayfreight handled traffic from Jackson to Lansing. There was at least one yard job based in Lansing into the mid 90s.
According to Conrail's 1994 freight schedules, the GTW auto parts set out by ELLA at Battle Creek were destined for Pontiac and Flint. There was a yard job at Lansing symbol YDLA60 (there may have been more). There is no wayfreight listed out of Jackson or Lansing, so it would appear a yard crew from Lansing would work any customers in Mason and Holt. I don't remember the exact date the steel coil distribution center in Holt was built, but it was right around 1994. It made for quite a boost of traffic.
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby AARR » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:18 pm

1997 is what I'm thinking but without my notes I'm probably wrong :oops:

When the steel coil place opened they were receiving as many as 50 cars a day. It seems like they averaged around 40 per day. Again, I'm going from memory and without my notes.
Ben Higdon wrote:I don't remember the exact date the steel coil distribution center in Holt was built, but it was right around 1994. It made for quite a boost of traffic.
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: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby atrainguy60 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:46 pm

Is this busy steel coil processing place still using rail?
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby AARR » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:00 pm

Yes, but since the recession of 2007 their inbounds have dropped to around 10 per day
atrainguy60 wrote:Is this busy steel coil processing place still using rail?


Edit: My notes indicate it opened in 1997 and averaged 30-50 cars per day. I don't know how long the sustained that many cars but certainly by around 2007 or so it dropped of dramatically.
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: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby Dan Cluley » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:56 pm

YDLA3 was the Lansing job that acted as the local. M-F they started in the morning, and usually were back to the yard mid-late afternoon.

In Lansing they worked the scrap yard on the belt line & the CSX interchange. If needed they would go up the stub of the old main line north of North Lansing to Motor Wheel & the fertiliser plant. They also worked the two remaining pieces of the LS&MS in Lansing if needed.
They bulk of their day was working on the main line through Lansing, usually going to Mason and south to the Leslie elevator occasionally.

I believe there were 1 or 2 additional yard jobs that did the bulk of the work at Saginaw yard as well as switching the GM plants and working the GTW interchange.

In addition to the road trains mentioned above by Ben, I believe there was a short period when the turn was LAAA going to Ann Arbor. This was in the early '90s and didn't last long.

Whatever the road train was called, it normally left Lansing around 5-6 pm, and the northbound would arrive between mid evening and after midnight.
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby jrgerber » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:51 am

I do remember seeing a trio of Conrail GP15s once by Vision Collision near the Ortho Hospital on Pennsylvania by the single light signal that guards the GTW diamond. Wish I had a camera that day. There used to be a Conrail transfer caboose tucked in a siding in Mason near the Mason restaurant that was the old Michigan Central station. Conrail served the Mason elevator nearby and so did NS for a while but service stopped a long time ago. The Conrail trains for Jackson should be set out in the Mason yard in the evening with lots of what looked like auto parts boxcars, scrap gons. This was before the Holt factory was up. Michigan Packaging moved from Eaton Rapids to Mason and got boxcars as well. Don't know if JAIL has them as a customer. It is true that prior to the Holt factory going in Conrail wanted to sell the branch. NS got it and I lived near Dell Rd and even in 2003 I can remember Conrail locomotives during the day doing moves towards downtown and the GM factories. I can remember waiting at the crossing in Mason on Sundays around noon when maybe 2-3 NS six axle locomotives would take strings of coiled steel cars to the plant in Holt. NS slowly moved big six axle units into the area which made no sense to me. There were more bidders than Adrian and Blissfield for the branch when NS wanted out. Not sure who are really the customers now for JAIL. Its sad for me to think how many local jobs that people told me NYC had in town when the line went to Bay City.Was the busiest rail line in Lansing, but losing Motor Wheel, GM and Reo as customers-ouch. I can remember actual cars under Conrail in Cavanaugh Yard and also the yard near the river by the old Oldsmobile plant.
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby Tim » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:22 am

The boxcar at Saginaw Yard was used for storage, primarily the car department, during the CR and NS period. The knuckle is removed on the north end to prevent it being moved.
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby AARR » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:22 pm

Yes, MP is still a customer of the railroad.

I can post a list of JAIL customers later unless someone lese does it first.
jrgerber wrote:Michigan Packaging moved from Eaton Rapids to Mason and got boxcars as well. Don't know if JAIL has them as a customer.
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby Dan Cluley » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:01 pm

The JAIL customers that I'm aware of at this point are; Michigan Packaging & Americhem in Mason, RSDC in Holt, Padnos? scrap on Willow in Lansing, and the Quality Dairy bottle plant on the LS&ME spur in Lansing.

They may still occasionally spot lumber or steel cars on the team track at Jolly road.

In the past they have unloaded stone and coal from the track next to Michigan Packaging, but not recently.

You have anything else, AARR?
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby AARR » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:29 am

I think ALRO (near Padnos) gets some business and there seems to be some crude oil tank car team track business in Mason from time to time
Dan Cluley wrote:The JAIL customers that I'm aware of at this point are; Michigan Packaging & Americhem in Mason, RSDC in Holt, Padnos? scrap on Willow in Lansing, and the Quality Dairy bottle plant on the LS&ME spur in Lansing.

They may still occasionally spot lumber or steel cars on the team track at Jolly road.

In the past they have unloaded stone and coal from the track next to Michigan Packaging, but not recently.

You have anything else, AARR?
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: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby Dan Cluley » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:15 am

Is the oil at Mason in town, or the siding south by Michigan Packaging?

I have not seen anything on the team track by Mich Packaging in quite a while (maybe more than a year?)
Was under the impression that the tank cars that get spotted in town are for Americhem, but I could be wrong about that.
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby AARR » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:14 am

I don't know where the team track business takes place or if it's still active. :?
Dan Cluley wrote:Is the oil at Mason in town, or the siding south by Michigan Packaging?

I have not seen anything on the team track by Mich Packaging in quite a while (maybe more than a year?)
Was under the impression that the tank cars that get spotted in town are for Americhem, but I could be wrong about that.
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: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby jrgerber » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:43 pm

Avery uses to get oil tank cars they are right next to the JAIL yard
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby AARR » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:24 pm

I don't know if the oil business is still active. Seems like they would get 6 car blocks or so several times a week.
jrgerber wrote:Avery uses to get oil tank cars they are right next to the JAIL yard
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Re: CR Operations in Lansing?

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:29 am

AARR wrote:Yes, but since the recession of 2007 their inbounds have dropped to around 10 per day
atrainguy60 wrote:Is this busy steel coil processing place still using rail?


Edit: My notes indicate it opened in 1997 and averaged 30-50 cars per day. I don't know how long the sustained that many cars but certainly by around 2007 or so it dropped of dramatically.


Thanks AARR - I checked their website and it says it was "founded" in Holt in 1998. Maybe I'm misremembering! I thought it had been there longer. A video on their site says they can process 3,000 tons of steel daily. Not sure what they typical steel coil carload weighs.
https://rsdcmi.com/about-us/

Seems like they'd average 25-30 carloads a day on ELLA when it opened.
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