Do NOT block Ulster Ave.!

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Ralph, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    I found that a street I created for visual interest can increase operational interest as well.

    While trying out some operations schemes on my layout I noticed that I had left a cut of gondolas blocking a street for several minutes in real time...and probably at least half an hour in HO time. :) It occurred to me that this would make for long traffic delays and unhappy commuters in the fictional town of Kings Port.
    I've decided that the City and the Railroad have made an agreement about reducing traffic snarls on this street (Ulster Ave.) so part of the line's operationg rules include comments about not leaving cuts of cars across the road.

    This makes switching cars even more interesting since I have to be mindful of the road and where I stop the train. I might have to make more switching moves to get the job done at times.

    Below is a diagram of the Northbound local on the track from Kings Port Yard (unmodeled..actually a hidden siding) about to pick up four gons loaded with steel coils from the rolling mill.
    The train is stopped so Ulster Ave. is open when the locos separate from the cars to start work.

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  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    This next diagram shows the locos have pulled four gons from the rolling mill and left them just short of Ulster Ave. This is the max. occupancy of the siding without fouling the road. The locos then take the crossover to the main so they can run around the cut of gons.
  3. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Whoops! Forgot the pic! :oops:

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  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    The locos run around the cut of gons and back toward them to push the train together. If I was picking up more than four cars I'd have to shove the train past Ulster Ave. so I could repeat the above manuevers again.

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  5. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Finally assembled, the train is ready to head North (to the right of the pic) and get on the main to West Mill Jct. Any one know how long it would take to check air, brakes etc. prior to departing? Maybe I should push the entire train, locos and all, to the south of Ulster Ave prior to leaving if that would take too long (?)
    Ralph

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  6. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

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    If i remember correctly i've seen it done both ways. I think if nothing goes wrong with the brake check & if he got the signal/block permission it would take about half hour.
  7. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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    Hi Ralph:
    Great post. I haven't seen this mentioned in any of my readings on operations, although i'm just getting started. We experience this phenomenon a couple times a week in my neighborhood. We have a Honeywell plant nearby and an electric coal fired plant. Trains block two of the three crossings coming into my area when they assemble the consists. Learning that they have to "pump up" the break systems has expalined why they just sit there after everything is assembled.

    Regards,
    Ted
  8. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Great stuff, Ralph! :thumb:
    A great idea for adding operating interest to a layout! :cool:
  9. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Shameless bump since I took a couple of pics of the action. :)
    Here's the locos having pulled a cut of four cars and left them just North of Ulster Ave.

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  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    The brakes have been checked, we got the green board, and we're underway!

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  11. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Well, whaddya know! I read about a prototype example of this in the July 2004 TRAINS magazine on page 15. Apparently a UP train was left blocking a grade crossing in Wisconsin for over six hours and incurred fines up to $13,000! The police wrote out a $660 ticket every twenty minutes and then tacked on extra for being a "public nuisance"! The punchline is that the train was positioned where it was to avoid blocking another crossing!

    I don't think the Penn Central could afford that kind of debt too often so my crews have to keep a close eye where they leave a string of cars! :D
    Ralph
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    One U.P. mailine runs right behind our shop and crosses a bunch of streets at grade. I don't know if train cars are being stored on sidings next to the main, or what the situation is, but I've noticed that they break up cuts of cars to keep grade crossings clear.
  13. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

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    UP rule book states that the crossing will be cut with at least 250' on each side of the crossing. Some times that doesn't leave much room for cars. :D
    Greg
  14. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Speaking of Steel Mill operations, I found this while researching yesterday.
    Its a Shot of the USS Duluth Works.In plant switchers(VO 660 and VO 1000,s) were used in the fifties-70's. 0-4-0T and 0-6-0's were used pre WW2.
    The DM&IR served the plant and interchanged at Steelton Yard(just outside the plant area) with the C&NW and the SOO line.There were several mini yards within the plant area itself.An ore yard, a yard for the Wire mill,A yard for the Atlas Cement plant and another recieving and engine service yard.

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  15. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    As you can see in the above photo,the complex included a Coke plant,2 blast furnaces,an open hearth furnace, a rolling mill and several other mini mills for differant products.it also included a cement plant on the south west corner of the property.
    Here is an aerial view

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  16. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    Heres one of the cement plant which recieved much of its material needs from the steel plant complex making it a natural neighbor :)

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  17. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

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    The above picture is the front,this is the back of the cement plant

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  18. pdt

    pdt Member

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    In my neck of the woods, the trains came before the paved roads, so the roadway crosses over the railroad right-of-way. That leaves the railroad with seniority over the crossing and the highway with the right of ingress and egress (to go over and across). In fact, it's incumbent upon the highway (and whatever governing agency that runs the highway) to place signals, even though the railroad maintains them. So, unless the highway/road came first or there was a special arrangement, I can't see the police giving away tickets around here for a train parked over a crossing whether it is six hours or six days.

    Of course, everything's different in Texas...
  19. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Tileguy, cool pics! My memory of Duluth geography tells me I know where these are...I believe you can view remnants of the steel mill area from that great rest area on top of the hill off I-35 just before descendig toward Duluth. (?)

    pdt, now THAT'S how to run a railroad! :)
    Ralph
  20. DougF

    DougF New Member

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    Blocking Crossing

    Recently one of the area railroads had a crew time out before they could get into the yard. The only entrance to an entire area was blocked by the train. It took the railroad six hours to get a replacement crew to the train and move it into the yard. No one could get to or from work, shopping or any of the other daily chores. If there had been a fire or medical emergency in the area the authorities could not have gotten to it.

    I think this was in Toledo, OH. It may have been CSX. They seem to have a lot of trouble this way lately in Toledo. It seems to be the attitude that they don't care about the people that live around the railroad and will do whatever they want, whenever they want.

    The worse part of it is that the engines were just barely clear of the road which was blocked by the cars of the train.

    I haven't heard the repercusions of this but there were a large number of very unhappy people on the news.

    Doug