NS Michigan Customers

Anything pertaining to railfanning in Michigan.
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NS3322
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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by NS3322 »

Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:39 am
Thank you for that information. Does NS switch out the customers in Michigan City as well?
I do know that the South Shore switches out those customers, but not sure if NS also does as well.

There's only two:
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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by Dowagiac Train Dude »

NS3322 wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:14 am
Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:39 am
Thank you for that information. Does NS switch out the customers in Michigan City as well?
I do know that the South Shore switches out those customers, but not sure if NS also does as well.

There's only two:
USALCO
Shell Catalysts & Technologies

Viobin should be inactive.
Thanks again for all the info, I really appreciate it.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:20 am
Thanks again for all the info, I really appreciate it.
No problem! I've been fascinated with the freight ops on this line since I was a little kid.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by Dowagiac Train Dude »

NS3322 wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:21 am
Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:20 am
Thanks again for all the info, I really appreciate it.
No problem! I've always been fascinated with the freight ops on this line since I was a little kid.
Yeah me too. My grandparents lived on East Railroad St in Dowagiac so I would always go over there to watch the Conrail come down from Kalamazoo to switch out the industries. They would always come into Dowagiac, sit on the mainline (two tracks) and go eat breakfast at Trackside which was directly across the tracks on West Railroad. They would then head down to Niles and do their work down there and then come back through Dowagiac. I would hear that horn (so much different than the normal Amtrak that came through) and I would drop what I was doing and watch that train come back through. I miss those days.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by Saturnalia »

Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:16 am
Typically it’s about 80-90 cars and four NS loco’s that bring them there.
FWIW it's almost always four engines because they cut in a pair of the ITCS-equipped GP60s from Burns Harbor in front and behind the original mainline power, which is typically a pair of 6-axles.
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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by Dowagiac Train Dude »

Saturnalia wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:33 am
Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:16 am
Typically it’s about 80-90 cars and four NS loco’s that bring them there.
FWIW it's almost always four engines because they cut in a pair of the ITCS-equipped GP60s from Burns Harbor in front and behind the original mainline power, which is typically a pair of 6-axles.
Awesome info, thank you. I usually take pictures of them sitting there waiting for the all the hoppers to get loaded. I have a video of them going through Dowagiac one night on their way back to Burns Harbor. Pretty cool to see a freight train roll through Dowagiac from time to time.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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Saturnalia wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:33 am
Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:16 am
Typically it’s about 80-90 cars and four NS loco’s that bring them there.
FWIW it's almost always four engines because they cut in a pair of the ITCS-equipped GP60s from Burns Harbor in front and behind the original mainline power, which is typically a pair of 6-axles.
That's a lot of work compared to just shoving the original 2 somewhere and hooking up the 2 ITCS units.
I understand the need for an ITCS leader on each end but that's crazy.
Maybe they're afraid the 2 units won't be there when they get back :)

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by SD80MAC »

I don’t think 2 GP60s would be able to handle a loaded grain train by themselves on the line, which is why they always keep the road power with the trains.
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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by Super Chief »

The only other freight NS peddles are Herzog ballast trains for Amtrak. I've caught those under the old coaling tower in Michigan City and parked in Lawton or Decatur.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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Thanks to everyone for the information!

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by Dowagiac Train Dude »

For anyone that is interested, there is a NS “unit” train in Decatur. I just passed through on my way to play softball. It just got there and had three engines. They will be loading at the Cargill plant tomorrow as both of the track mobiles are sitting on the siding. This is the second “unit” train this week. My step-dad told me one came through Dowagiac on Tuesday on its way back south. It had 5 engines leading the way.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:04 pm
For anyone that is interested, there is a NS “unit” train in Decatur. I just passed through on my way to play softball. It just got there and had three engines. They will be loading at the Cargill plant tomorrow as both of the track mobiles are sitting on the siding. This is the second “unit” train this week. My step-dad told me one came through Dowagiac on Tuesday on its way back south. It had 5 engines leading the way.
Thanks for the heads up! I might have to go check this one out. Any idea what time they headed back south on Tuesday?

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by Dowagiac Train Dude »

NS3322 wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 7:03 pm
Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:04 pm
For anyone that is interested, there is a NS “unit” train in Decatur. I just passed through on my way to play softball. It just got there and had three engines. They will be loading at the Cargill plant tomorrow as both of the track mobiles are sitting on the siding. This is the second “unit” train this week. My step-dad told me one came through Dowagiac on Tuesday on its way back south. It had 5 engines leading the way.
Thanks for the heads up! I might have to go check this one out. Any idea what time they headed back south on Tuesday?
You are welcome and I was wrong about the train Tuesday. It was actually yesterday and the picture of the train heading south was at 4:37pm. They waited for the eastbound Amtrak to clear before they headed southwest from Decatur. I have seen one go through Dowagiac after the other eastbound Amtrak goes through around 7pm.
On my way back to Kalamazoo tonight I drove back through Decatur and it’s definitely going to be loaded tomorrow and possibly into Saturday. The engines are sitting there “blacked out” on the northern part of the Cargill spur. I also drove through Lawton past the Welch’s plant and there are at least four tank cars sitting in the covered shed, two on each track.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 10:14 pm
The engines are sitting there “blacked out” on the northern part of the Cargill spur. I also drove through Lawton past the Welch’s plant and there are at least four tank cars sitting in the covered shed, two on each track.
Thanks! Sounds like they are blocked by covered hoppers. I might try tomorrow in the afternoon...

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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NS3322 wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 11:45 am
Dowagiac Train Dude wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 10:14 pm
The engines are sitting there “blacked out” on the northern part of the Cargill spur. I also drove through Lawton past the Welch’s plant and there are at least four tank cars sitting in the covered shed, two on each track.
Thanks! Sounds like they are blocked by covered hoppers. I might try tomorrow in the
afternoon...
You are welcome. Where they are sitting on that spur they should be in clear view unless they are on the outside track of the spur. The track mobile will usually push the covered hoppers on the opposite track so that the engines can do their run around to hook up and head back south once they are fully loaded. Road numbers for those engines are 7147, 9955 and 7149.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by brucey22 »

Michiana Mainlines Youtube has video of CR in Niles street running and just put a historical look with pictures including the French Paper spur.
Amazing how much business was in and near Niles at one time. That local was the WDKZ1 out of Kalamazoo.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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brucey22 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 1:01 pm
Michiana Mainlines Youtube has video of CR in Niles street running and just put a historical look with pictures including the French Paper spur.
Amazing how much business was in and near Niles at one time. That local was the WDKZ1 out of Kalamazoo.
My dad worked at Simplicity Pattern, which is the starting point for the street running to the south. I remember going down there with my mom to take him lunch sometimes and catching the train switching out Simplicity’s spur. It’s crazy but I play softball where the old Tylers Refrigeration plant was located at one time. We park our cars below the old railroad spur that was there. The parking lot is still there but they brought in a bunch of dirt to create the three softball fields. It’s nice to see the Amtrak go by when we are playing.

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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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I hear the ethanol plant near Albion is shutdown until the market improves for ethanol
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Re: NS Michigan Customers

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AARR wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 6:23 pm
I hear the ethanol plant near Albion is shutdown until the market improves for ethanol
Car counts are down on the locals coming east from Wayne and that includes what looks like less Jackson and west cars. Haven’t seen much Anderson’s lately.
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Re: NS Michigan Customers

Unread post by NS3322 »

AARR wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 6:23 pm
I hear the ethanol plant near Albion is shutdown until the market improves for ethanol
Interesting to hear that. Unrelated, but I wonder if the ethanol plant in Riga is also in the same boat (it shut down briefly in 2019)?
ns8401 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 7:06 pm
Car counts are down on the locals coming east from Wayne and that includes what looks like less Jackson and west cars. Haven’t seen much Anderson’s lately.
How is Gerdau traffic since melting and casting operations were idled in 2020?

Meaning to ask, is General Materials in Jackson still using rail? Also, is Chelsea Grain done for good, or has someone taken it over?

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