C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Any historical questions can be posted here. Answers would certainly help as well :)
BamaSubdivision94
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:40 pm

C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by BamaSubdivision94 »

Would you happen to have any documentations of that trains operations on your person? I could use some extra details on it.

User avatar
C&O Dispatcher
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

Other than the trains traversing my territory (usually Sunday evenings loaded and empties back on Thursday afternoon), I don't have any additional information on the trains like consists, etc.

Raildudes dad
Roadmaster
Posts: 4692
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:12 am
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Re: C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by Raildudes dad »

I remember them rolling thru the west side of Grand Rapids. 25mph speed limit Midland to Freeport? TX and return IIRC. I'm pretty sure the details are on the net someplace. Doctor No probably remembers more:)

User avatar
C&O Dispatcher
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

The "Chemical Special" ran track speed 40 MPH Baldwin to Saginaw on the Ludington Sub.

BamaSubdivision94
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by BamaSubdivision94 »

C&O Dispatcher wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 9:28 am
Other than the trains traversing my territory (usually Sunday evenings loaded and empties back on Thursday afternoon), I don't have any additional information on the trains like consists, etc.
Was it considered a high priority train? Did it have a set schedule?

User avatar
C&O Dispatcher
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

It had no "symbol" (like ML18), so was not in the S&C book. Those "schedules" were basically just operating parameters anyway to have a framework for train connections and interchange with other railroads. If crews and power were available, we did try to put trains on duty at the prescribed time each day. I don't know for sure what day it left Freeport, TX or what priority the MP(UP) had on the train. I presume when it left Chicago on Chessie it just got mixed into the flow of other traffic to GR. We got the "dope" on it when it left GR to enter on our train sheet. Like ML18, they stopped and called at the S. Wye Switch at Baldwin to get permission to come around the east wye, get the unlock on the switch and head east. Since on most Sunday evenings they were the only train out there east of Baldwin, I guess you could say they had priority!! They generally set off the whole train at Midland (Dean) and ran lite power into Saginaw. Usually around noon on Thursday, the crew was called out of Saginaw with one SD40 to pick up the empties (there may have been a few loads) and head for Baldwin/GR. Of course manifest trains MP17/ML18, LU75/TL74 also handled Dow traffic. The Ludington Sub never really got "congested." The south end to Toledo often did, so "priority" didn't mean much. You just tried to keep the trains moving the best you could considering that many of them had work along the way.

penn central
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1347
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:07 pm

Re: C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by penn central »

I remember standing on the sidewalk one night in December of 1987 at the Bay Rd grade crossing near Saginaw on the west side of the road and had three trains first was a medium sized mixed frt eastbound i forgot what the symbol was back then this was after the Ludington Sub had been severed as a through route west of Midland and the second train was the (Chemical Special) as C&O dispatcher said he had 70 cars eastbound and the third train was the Dow coal empties i had three trains back to back the Dean Sub today is just a shadow of it's former self this must've been on a Thursday evening to see the chemical empties.

User avatar
C&O Dispatcher
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

penn central wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:45 pm
I remember standing on the sidewalk one night in December of 1987 at the Bay Rd grade crossing near Saginaw on the west side of the road and had three trains first was a medium sized mixed frt eastbound i forgot what the symbol was back then this was after the Ludington Sub had been severed as a through route west of Midland and the second train was the (Chemical Special) as C&O dispatcher said he had 70 cars eastbound and the third train was the Dow coal empties i had three trains back to back the Dean Sub today is just a shadow of it's former self this must've been on a Thursday evening to see the chemical empties.
Everything was in a state of flux around that time, so I don't recall all of the details. At one point in 1987/88 they ran a replacement to MP17/ML18 Dean to GR (maybe Chgo?) via Plymouth. The "westbound" was called the Lake Michigan Flyer (LMFR) and the "eastbound" was the Lake Huron Flyer (LHFR). I recall that was short-lived and they became R333/R332. Not sure how long that lasted. Shortly after I left in Fall 1988, they moved the initial terminal for the Port Huron train, R330/R331 (formerly PH77/SA37) from Saginaw to Midland (Dean), making a set off/pick up at Saginaw. They must have gotten a special agreement for that to be one crew Midland to PH and return, because it was always against the agreements to have any train run through Saginaw without changing crews.

penn central
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1347
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:07 pm

Re: C&O Dispatcher?? Was wondering if you had any papers on the Chessie Dow/Death/Bomb Train?

Unread post by penn central »

Thanks C&O dispatcher for the info.

Post Reply