St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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GP30M4216
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St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

Unread post by GP30M4216 »

Does anyone know the scope of work underway this summer at the St Joe CSX swing bridge over the river? The work requires daily work windows and the local job L301 has shifted to night operation at this time to keep this window wider. I was just curious to know if anyone knew what all the work entails. Thanks!

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TSS
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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No idea. I haven’t been listening to the scanner lately, and since maintenance crews submit track time requests electronically, you often don’t hear.

I walked past the bridge the other night and couldn’t see anything obvious. There were three trucks parked over by the boat shed, but nothing else obvious.

I’ll keep my eyes open and let you know if I figure anything out.

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SD80MAC
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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Must not have been much because L301 is back on days this week. That or they're just not planning on going beyond Benton Harbor at all this week.
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Saturnalia
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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TSS wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:31 am
I haven’t been listening to the scanner lately, and since maintenance crews submit track time requests electronically, you often don’t hear.
Are they submitting and receiving them via computer, or are they calling for them via cell phone? Both are common, just curious if you know for certain which is in play these days on CSX.
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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Saturnalia wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:52 pm
TSS wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:31 am
I haven’t been listening to the scanner lately, and since maintenance crews submit track time requests electronically, you often don’t hear.
Are they submitting and receiving them via computer, or are they calling for them via cell phone? Both are common, just curious if you know for certain which is in play these days on CSX.
some class 1s use an app now which connects directly to the dispatcher for T&T.
:roll:

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TSS
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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Saturnalia wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:52 pm
TSS wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:31 am
I haven’t been listening to the scanner lately, and since maintenance crews submit track time requests electronically, you often don’t hear.
Are they submitting and receiving them via computer, or are they calling for them via cell phone? Both are common, just curious if you know for certain which is in play these days on CSX.
Computer. I’ve hear track inspectors and other MOW types call the dispatcher and say things like “I don’t have my tablet today, can we do this on the radio.” Or they will radio the dispatcher to check on train locations and agree that it is possible to get track time, ending the conversation with “OK, I’ll submit that on the computer now.”

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Saturnalia
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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NSSD70ACe wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:43 pm
Saturnalia wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:52 pm
TSS wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:31 am
I haven’t been listening to the scanner lately, and since maintenance crews submit track time requests electronically, you often don’t hear.
Are they submitting and receiving them via computer, or are they calling for them via cell phone? Both are common, just curious if you know for certain which is in play these days on CSX.
some class 1s use an app now which connects directly to the dispatcher for T&T.
Yup I saw that when I was on the UP. Some inspectors even have their own printer in their truck so they don’t even have to copy it. Was just looking for confirmation if this was yet the case at CSX. Thanks TSS for confirming!
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Doktor No
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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Same happens with the Holland yard job. I asked the engineer this past weekend about how they communicate with Rouge and get their paperwork. He said they don't. The cars that arrive are entered and then the cars requested by customers comes and on to printer it goes and VIOLA! Our work for the day. Interesting stuff. I also asked if they are using a hand held reader for the AEI tag. When the car gets delivered the conductor tags the tag with the tablet and it is entered as delivered into the system as such....he said...wait a minute, we just got into the 21st century...don't push it.
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Saturnalia
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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Doktor No wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:19 am
I also asked if they are using a hand held reader for the AEI tag. When the car gets delivered the conductor tags the tag with the tablet and it is entered as delivered into the system as such....he said...wait a minute, we just got into the 21st century...don't push it.
Lol I too have been scratching my head about this for years. The industry built out this great, highly reliable AEI tag system, but has stubbornly stuck to only lineside readers in strategic areas. There's a reason why UPS, FedEx, etc scan their boxes like every 30 seconds: inventory management and routing. Why the hell yards don't have scanners in place for quality assurance of switching and to keep fully up-to-date inventory in the yard is mind-boggling to me.

Obviously you used to document very well how cars would get lost. UPS and FedEx can ship tens of thousands of packages overnight through multiple sorting centers each and lose almost nothing. Yet even in yards with only a few hundred cars per day like Wyoming, they manage to lose "boxes" the size of houses.

But hey, I was all in that freight stuff, but now I'm glad I'm over in passenger land. If we lose a "shipment", it's the "shippers" own fault :lol:
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Doktor No
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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Thats what 36 track was for. Not that the cars were lost, they were in 36 track after all...it was...where does this one go and when did it get here. It usually just took the effort of someone to do its past history and find the LAST LOGICAL input and then one could usually find out what you needed to know. Now just get the MAINFRAME to enter it into the progression of 'things' and the problem car could get switched out and place3d where it belonged.
We almost ALWAYS had problems with Standard Lumber and STANDALE lumber. I would call CLUTCH and find out if it was theirs. Yes or no meant either Grandville or up to GRE.
And the bentonite cars for the driller in St. Louis has been explained here too...the ELMDALE SUB is no more BNSF!.
So it goes.
I wonder who does it now? Prolly no one.
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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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Saturnalia wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:30 am
The industry built out this great, highly reliable AEI tag system, but has stubbornly stuck to only lineside readers in strategic areas. There's a reason why UPS, FedEx, etc scan their boxes like every 30 seconds: inventory management and routing. Why the hell yards don't have scanners in place for quality assurance of switching and to keep fully up-to-date inventory in the yard is mind-boggling to me.
Both systems rely on a box to move to be scanned. Every 30 seconds is not much of an exaggeration when a package is moving through an automated sorting center on conveyor belts. If designed correctly they can at least find where the package went (directed toward what trailer or van) even if the switching was set wrong. If you want to spend a billion dollars fully automating a hump yard you can match the package delivery system. Spend a few million and one could have scanners on each track in the yards (and hopefully enough logic to read "car pulled from track XX y bound" vs "car passed this point").

With PTC the railroads determined that it was cheaper to occasionally wreck trains, kill people and pay the damages than implement a system that could prevent or reduce collisions and derailments. Until PTC was forced the actuaries were happy to pay the costs of an incident. The same applies to setting up full AEI tracking within yards. It is cheaper to lose a car for a couple of days or a week than to install a system that could find lost cars.

UPS, FedEx, etc scanning has a major gap when a package leaves a sorting center. The best they can say is that the package went into a trailer or van (and hope that it actually did). That package won't be seen again until it reaches the next sorting point or is delivered. Railroads AEI does more actual enroute scanning of individual cars. The systems have different black holes where no information is available. (UPS/FedEx can track the trailer or van and assume that the package was loaded - but they are not scanning the package at every intersection.)
Saturnalia wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:30 am
UPS and FedEx can ship tens of thousands of packages overnight through multiple sorting centers each and lose almost nothing.
The almost nothing they actually lose is remarkable. We receive full vans of packages from each carrier each day and the receiver usually takes the word of the driver that all the boxes they are signing for were delivered. There have been multiple times where I have tracked a package and saw it signed for by one of our receivers and found out that it never made it off the truck (and may not have made it on the truck). I had one shipment signed for by a receiver I did not recognize and it turned out that it was delivered to another business 20 miles away in another city. It took a week to retrieve the package and get it to me.

Even with the "scan every 30 seconds" model things can go wrong - often. The more packages one ships and receives the more problems one will see. It would be good to see AEI expanded to track cars in more places, but I don't believe the railroad actuaries (bean counters) would support such an investment. Handheld scanners for conductors to use when a car is dropped or picked up at an industry? The bean counters could probably support that.

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Re: St. Joe Swing Bridge Work

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justalurker66 wrote:
Wed Aug 10, 2022 7:13 am

Even with the "scan every 30 seconds" model things can go wrong - often. The more packages one ships and receives the more problems one will see. It would be good to see AEI expanded to track cars in more places, but I don't believe the railroad actuaries (bean counters) would support such an investment. Handheld scanners for conductors to use when a car is dropped or picked up at an industry? The bean counters could probably support that.
They already have these. CSX calls them "Onboard Work Orders". It allows the conductor to show what cars he is picking up and setting out at yards and industries in real time. It also receives a refreshed list of the train every time the train passes by an AEI reader. AFAIK, these are only carried on switching/local jobs, not road trains.
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