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Yeah, this train seems to have no problems clearing smaller amounts of snow, but when it gets into the snow belt areas where they have snow as high as the loco then they have a few problems. Looks like what they do is if the train gets stuck they back it out and put it back in and eventually it does it's job. But wow we are talking 6-12 feet of snow, that can stop just about anything.

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I saw a YouTube about a UP rotary that was built in 1936 with a steam engine & is still in use, but now uses a diesel to power it, but still has a steam boiler on board to melt the snow off of it in operation. It has a pair of wings that can move out about a foot to clear a wider path.

The UP foreman said it's only about once every ten years.

The video was from 2009 I think.

 

UP have a few (six or eight) rotaries still in their fleet. When they're in use, the consist is the rotary, a locomotive to power the rotary plow, two or three locomotives for motive power, another locomotive to power a rotary plow, and second rotary, pointing backwards. That keeps the train from getting trapped if there's an avalanche behind it. (An avalanche killed the crew of a rotary plow that was trying to rescue another plow that was trying to rescue a passenger train in 1950-mumble.)

The problem with using them is that once you've started, you got to keep going with them, because the narrow path means a fixed blade plow can't push snow past the cut. They're very expensive to operate, and expensive to keep working (lots of moving parts!). Railroads prefer to use wedge plows, and bulldozers and other maintance of way gear. Dozers, et al, have the advantage of being useful for things in the summer.

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ABC News had a story tonight of a van hitting a bus driving the bus into a house. The impressive thing is the number of bus cam videos documenting what happened.

Holy Moses!!! I was very intrigued that people, including the bus driver was helping each other out. Makes me have some hope for society. I don't even want to go there if this happened on the south or west side.

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Holy Moses!!! I was very intrigued that people, including the bus driver was helping each other out. Makes me have some hope for society. I don't even want to go there if this happened on the south or west side.

I don't think those places are that savage. In Chicago, the more likely thing is that the cameras would have shown 5 passengers before the crash and 57 soon thereafter, all hiring PI lawyers.

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I don't think those places are that savage. In Chicago, the more likely thing is that the cameras would have shown 5 passengers before the crash and 57 soon thereafter, all hiring PI lawyers.

Hell, tell me about it.

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Looks like the Washington Metro had an incident earlier today during the evening rush hour. Some train routes are still partially suspended. News Link

Doesn't say what the cause was, but it sounds like some sort of electrical fire on the train. Also doesn't say what series cars was on the train, but might be another episode of running obsolete equipment.

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Doesn't say what the cause was, but it sounds like some sort of electrical fire on the train. Also doesn't say what series cars was on the train, but might be another episode of running obsolete equipment.

Most likely what you said, but I might keep an eye on this story to find out.

From the pictures, I've narrowed the car types down to the 2000, 3000, and 5000 series cars, as they have that red and blue seat livery (the 6000s also have those seats, but I didn't see the center LED display above the door, nor did I see the spring loaded grab handles attached to the ceiling pole). The 5000s are somewhat new, and although the 2000s and 3000s are older, they have been heavily overhauled from their original build. Of course, there could be older cars in the train set.

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I am currently in DC and I was on the platform while the incident occured. The NTSB is supposed to be looking into it. 1 died and 83 were hospitalized. The train supposedly suddenly stopped and smoke started to fill in, according to eyewitnesses on the train. After crews got down there, passengers were escorted back through the tunnel to the station (L'Enfant Plaza). Metro hasn't reported a possible cause.

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There's been so much melted snow, that the operators have resorted to bringing brooms (like the ones you get with a plastic dust pan) to sweep off the sludge or whatever you would call it. I'm surprised CTA doesn't furnish operators with some cheap broom as this is somewhat of a safety hazard. I've even seen operators take cardboard boxes or a wad of newspapers/sales papers to make a make shift shovel. If it works I guess it's good.

I wonder why bus manufacturers don't direct heat vents to the floor, they seem to come out of the AC ducts which are in the top part of the cabin area. Everyone knows heat rises so why start it at the roof level? Even the new #7900's seem to have this problem with sludge and floors that are pooled with melted snow. Maybe if they had vents on the floor they could dry up some of the water and melt the snow at the same time. Yesterday I was on a bus with so much water it was sloshing around in the bus. I guess I need to bring my flippers next time!! :P

So I wonder what happens at an outdoor facility when the bus is turned off, do the floors actually freeze up and become skating rinks? They might leave the buses running below 32 degrees but that defeats installing a preheater. More reasons to get an indoor facility.

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A little bit OT, but not completely:

The tragic commuter rail accident north of New York City provided a grotesque coincidence with the CTA artic fire last November. The lead rail car burned. Both the train car and the bus carried the same number: 4333.

I was waiting if anyone wanted to comment on that.

The press reports seem unclear whether the fire was started by the gas tank in the SUV or the third rail piercing the railcar. It is kind of hard for me to see that 20 gallons of gasoline could cause that much destruction, but I guess we'll have to wait for the NTSB report on that.

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I was waiting if anyone wanted to comment on that.

The press reports seem unclear whether the fire was started by the gas tank in the SUV or the third rail piercing the railcar. It is kind of hard for me to see that 20 gallons of gasoline could cause that much destruction, but I guess we'll have to wait for the NTSB report on that.

Reports were the SUV driver went around lowered crossing gates. I hope that is not true!

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Reports were the SUV driver went around lowered crossing gates. I hope that is not true!

That wasn't any report I saw or heard. The prevailing report was that the gate came down on the SUV (e.g. Tribune),

I thought you might have had some expertise on how the fire got that big.

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That wasn't any report I saw or heard. The prevailing report was that the gate came down on the SUV (e.g. Tribune),

I thought you might have had some expertise on how the fire got that big.

Well certainly the fuel tank on the SUV wouldve played a big factor, especially if it was a full tank! Fuel tanks on SUVs usually carry a larger amount than most of our cars. The railcar itself, the electrics, the car's interior if they have cloth seats, fiberglass paneling, plastics, all definitely combustible materials that would burn easily. I only heard of the accident from the news radio. I havent had a chance to see pictures from the scene so I dont know what the carbody looked like after the accident. I can only imagine it. I will look at pictures as soon as I get a chance.

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That wasn't any report I saw or heard. The prevailing report was that the gate came down on the SUV (e.g. Tribune),

I thought you might have had some expertise on how the fire got that big.

Yeah that was the report out of NY, the gates came down on her car, she got out lifted the gates off her car got back in her car and drove over into the path of the train. It sounds kind of similar to Fox River Grove as the cross street parallels the track. She probably got stuck in traffic and stuck then in the crossing waiting for traffic ahead at the cross street. Probably the third rail arching helped burn the train especially if there was combustable material, but all you need is a spark and that gas tank ignites. But you would think the gas would fall and maybe just burn the front of the train. I think the gas started the fire and the third rail helped carry it into the train. Probably they had frozen hydrant issues and the fire was not extinguished that fast so of course then that train car is a total loss.

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Yeah that was the report out of NY, the gates came down on her car, she got out lifted the gates off her car got back in her car and drove over into the path of the train. It sounds kind of similar to Fox River Grove as the cross street parallels the track. She probably got stuck in traffic and stuck then in the crossing waiting for traffic ahead at the cross street. Probably the third rail arching helped burn the train especially if there was combustable material, but all you need is a spark and that gas tank ignites. But you would think the gas would fall and maybe just burn the front of the train. I think the gas started the fire and the third rail helped carry it into the train. Probably they had frozen hydrant issues and the fire was not extinguished that fast so of course then that train car is a total loss.

Metro North use a very unusual third rail

The pick up shoe rides the bottom of the rail, pressing up on it, so there's no need for sleet scrapers in winter & the preliminary decision has been that helped the trolley block to lift & "guide" the third rail into the first car & open it up to the car's gasoline, which burned up the car & its passengers.

I assume that was either a New Haven RR or New York Central design from decades ago, when Grand Central was built.

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Metro North use a very unusual third rail

The pick up shoe rides the bottom of the rail, pressing up on it, so there's no need for sleet scrapers in winter & the preliminary decision has been that helped the trolley block to lift & "guide" the third rail into the first car & open it up to the car's gasoline, which burned up the car & its passengers.

I assume that was either a New Haven RR or New York Central design from decades ago, when Grand Central was built.

There are some who contend that this allows covering the top of the third rail, thereby reducing the danger of shocking trespassers, as opposed to the few who get electrocuted by the exposed third rail on CTA surface segments (like Kedie-Brown). You are undoubtedly correct that something like this caused the third rail to get dislodged.

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I missed the last Ashland bus to Irving Park last night and had to take the Ashland bus to the Red Line to get home yesterday early morning. What caught my eye on North Avenue after the Chicago River is this tiny bridge, but more so was the signage that says "Railroad Crossing" no lights or gates though. Just one single track that runs across the bridge and across North Avenue. My bus stopped before the crossing for a second before driving across. That and the yellow sign that says "Caution: Active Rail Yield To Trains" tells me that this line must be used to some extent. My guess is it is a freight line. Anyone know what runs on this line(CP, NS, Soo), how often it runs and is it a traffic stopper(trains that run along it are in excess of 75 cars)?

Just curious because this would be a nice place to railfan for freight trains in Chicago at grade level without going to the far south side or out to the 'burbs. And would be extremely interesting if so, because it would not only be a freight line running along grade level in Chicago, but one without gates or lights!

Location

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Looks like an industrial spur serving industries on Goose Island or Kingsbury St., but I can't tell where it would connect with any mainline railroad. Anyway, if it is in service, all you would probably see is a pusher locomotive and a single or few freight cars.

Tracks like that are real common across Lehigh Ave. in Morton Grove.

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I missed the last Ashland bus to Irving Park last night and had to take the Ashland bus to the Red Line to get home yesterday early morning. What caught my eye on North Avenue after the Chicago River is this tiny bridge, but more so was the signage that says "Railroad Crossing" no lights or gates though. Just one single track that runs across the bridge and across North Avenue. My bus stopped before the crossing for a second before driving across. That and the yellow sign that says "Caution: Active Rail Yield To Trains" tells me that this line must be used to some extent. My guess is it is a freight line. Anyone know what runs on this line(CP, NS, Soo), how often it runs and is it a traffic stopper(trains that run along it are in excess of 75 cars)?

Just curious because this would be a nice place to railfan for freight trains in Chicago at grade level without going to the far south side or out to the 'burbs. And would be extremely interesting if so, because it would not only be a freight line running along grade level in Chicago, but one without gates or lights!

Location

Chicago Terminal Railroad runs this line out of North Avenue Yard on the Union Pacific using EMD SW8 switcher 900.

The bridge was purchased by the City of Chicago in 2008 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_Avenue_Bridge ) and provides the only rail access to Goose Island. It connects with the former Milwaukee Line along Kingsbury and Lakewood Avenues which was part of the Chicago and Evanston, who's north end is now the Red and Purple lines (from west of Sheridan station northwards).

Until 2001 this was connected to the rest of the Milwaukee system by the Bloomingdale Line which is being converted to a linear park - the 606. Service was then transferred to UP North Ave yard. CP sold the operation to Chicago Terminal in 2007. Service was provided north along Lakewood Avenue to Diversey Ave, south along Kingsbury Ave to Division/Halsted and south over Cherry St Bridge onto Goose Island then along Cherry St and North Branch to Halsted. The lines along Kingsbury and Lakewod have been abandoned leaving only service to Goose Island.

Rail service is infrequent (once or twice a week) and usually only a few freight cars.

A map is on the Iowas Pacific website ( http://www.iowapacific.com/pdf/ChicagoTerminalRailroadNorthAveArea.pdf )

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Chicago Terminal Railroad runs this line out of North Avenue Yard on the Union Pacific using EMD SW8 switcher 900.

The bridge was purchased by the City of Chicago in 2008 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_Avenue_Bridge ) and provides the only rail access to Goose Island. It connects with the former Milwaukee Line along Kingsbury and Lakewood Avenues which was part of the Chicago and Evanston, who's north end is now the Red and Purple lines (from west of Sheridan station northwards).

Until 2001 this was connected to the rest of the Milwaukee system by the Bloomingdale Line which is being converted to a linear park - the 606. Service was then transferred to UP North Ave yard. CP sold the operation to Chicago Terminal in 2007. Service was provided north along Lakewood Avenue to Diversey Ave, south along Kingsbury Ave to Division/Halsted and south over Cherry St Bridge onto Goose Island then along Cherry St and North Branch to Halsted. The lines along Kingsbury and Lakewod have been abandoned leaving only service to Goose Island.

Rail service is infrequent (once or twice a week) and usually only a few freight cars.

A map is on the Iowas Pacific website ( http://www.iowapacific.com/pdf/ChicagoTerminalRailroadNorthAveArea.pdf )

That Chicago Terminal map has a mistake as there isn't a connection at the south end of the Grand Ave. Yard to the north leads to Union Station anymore, although they did leave a single track opening in that apartment building on Canal, just north of the grade crossing to reconnect at a later date.

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Chicago Terminal Railroad runs this line out of North Avenue Yard on the Union Pacific using EMD SW8 switcher 900.

The bridge was purchased by the City of Chicago in 2008 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_Avenue_Bridge ) and provides the only rail access to Goose Island. It connects with the former Milwaukee Line along Kingsbury and Lakewood Avenues which was part of the Chicago and Evanston, who's north end is now the Red and Purple lines (from west of Sheridan station northwards).

Until 2001 this was connected to the rest of the Milwaukee system by the Bloomingdale Line which is being converted to a linear park - the 606. Service was then transferred to UP North Ave yard. CP sold the operation to Chicago Terminal in 2007. Service was provided north along Lakewood Avenue to Diversey Ave, south along Kingsbury Ave to Division/Halsted and south over Cherry St Bridge onto Goose Island then along Cherry St and North Branch to Halsted. The lines along Kingsbury and Lakewod have been abandoned leaving only service to Goose Island.

Rail service is infrequent (once or twice a week) and usually only a few freight cars.

A map is on the Iowas Pacific website ( http://www.iowapacific.com/pdf/ChicagoTerminalRailroadNorthAveArea.pdf )

If/When a short freight train runs through this area, how does it run past North Ave. here? Does the train run 15 mph or less while alerting motorists with it's horn, or does it stop at the crossing and a engineer flagman gets out and stops traffic while the train passes the crossing?

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