New Castle district

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Indianadon

New Castle district

Post by Indianadon » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:26 am

During the early ninties before I finally got stopped by a small town cop I managed to walked the entire district from Muncie to Ohio in a couple of summers. I walked about ten or fifteen mile sections a weekend. Down by Richmond it is an incredibly senic railroad. It really surprised how beautiful and well engineered piece of railroad it really is. Lots of cuts, trees, and wide open spaces. I really miss doing this, but i know that these times are over. I really give credit to the NS for building such a first class main line and maintaining it to degree of perfection that they do.

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rrnut282
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Post by rrnut282 » Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:29 am

The section from New Castle eastward was ex Pennsy, "the Standard Railroad of the World". I remember heading home from Cincy via the scenic route back in the early 90's and coming out of a town I paced side-by-side with a C39-8 pulling a coal train for several miles.
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Wayne Gest
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Post by Wayne Gest » Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:54 am

You must have been on old Route 127.

Don't know about well engineered, that section between New Castle and Richmond was built prior to the Civil War, PRR avoided running large trains on it by running them up the GR&I to Ridgeville. When the N&W bought that railroad, the old heads from the PRR said they'd never be able to run big trains on it. Well, they don't run big coal trains on it, that's for sure.

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Post by OhioTom » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:39 am

What's the train freqency like on this line???

OT
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Indianadon

Heavy trains

Post by Indianadon » Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:38 pm

They did run heavy trains, so heavy that back in the nineties they used to "double" the hill at Hagerstown. When they had a meet at Millville they let the heavier train hold the main and let the other train pass on the siding because of the grade coming out of the siding. What used to be 444 could be up to 130 cars. Millville was a great train watching spot in the glory days. I have seen occasional coal trains passing through Muncie, although very infrequent. They run very heavy grain trains through here too, although they turn left toward Alexandria.

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Post by Wayne Gest » Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:23 pm

Never doubled the hill at Hagerstown but have crawled up it more than once. Have had more trouble with the hill out of Richmond towards Campbellstown.

Grain trains going west or north are empty, generally, the loads go south. Back in N&W days and earlier NS, grain trains were either 100 cars or they didn't run, but nowadays, they might be as small as 45 cars.

The only coal train they've ever ran successfully averaged about 90 cars, both the western-bound coal trains ran toward Frankfort in the early to mid-nineties and the few they ran from somewhere down south in the late eighties that went on toward Chicago out of Fort Wayne.

Indianadon

Heavy trains

Post by Indianadon » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:08 am

Well there was some trains crews who lied to me about doubling the hill them.

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Post by rrnut282 » Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:15 am

Wayne, I forgot to put the :roll: after the "Std RR of the World" in my earlier comment. Wasn't it was built by a railroad that was taken over by the Pennsy? If so it wasn't built to their standards, or it was only built as a branchline, so it follows the lay of the land more. The north end of the NCD was definitely a former branchline. You can stand almost anywhere and look down the line and see little dips and humps. Had the line been built for today's usage as a high-speed intermodal route, it would have taken very little work to give it a flat profile most of the way.
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Re: Heavy trains

Post by Guest » Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:45 pm

Indianadon wrote:Well there was some trains crews who lied to me about doubling the hill them.
They didn't lie, I'm sure, but I sure don't remember it happening very often and I've been a longtime participant. I do remember leaving an underpowered train blocking Route One on the other side of the hill before the Hagerstown passing track was built and taking the head end to Campbellstown, then returning for the balance.

444 usually wasn't that big a train, 196 used to be bigger most of the time.

All the New Castle District was built in pieces, most of it that was PRR was built before the Civil War, the railroad between Richmond and Hamilton was built in the 1850's and was once part of the CH&D, operated as a CH&D branch to Richmond.

I've no idea what the LE&W might have ran prior to the NKP takeover in 1923 on the north end but it was nothing but a branch after that and a tree-infested nothing between the Bluffton quarry and Ossian or Yoder in the 1970's.

Iindianadon

New Castle District

Post by Iindianadon » Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:59 am

Operating nightmare, poor design it doesn't make any difference to me. I don't own the railroad, nor do I have to operate trains over it. To me to watch a heavily used mainline railroad built from the ground up over an existing railroad that would have been abandoned was quite an experience for me. I been interested in trains all my life and interest just started peaking in the early eighties and I had just discovered trains magazine and for some reason I never heard of the line being rebuilt from Fort Wayne to Cinncinnati. I was coming home one day from work and suddenly discovered signals standing at the sixth street interlocking here in Muncie, they were turned to the side but they were there and to use the term "it blew me away" because I knew something big was happening here althought I hadn't figured out what. Then leaving the Muncie mall I saw an incredibly long freight, heading toward Fort Wayne, incredibly long because that was the first train I seen in my life using that line. Finally I found a small news item in a copy of trains magazine and finally explained to me what Norfolk Southern had did to the line and the reasons why. From that day on I was a Railfan althought for some reason I don't like that term. I bought a scanner, met some fellow train watchers who gave a timetable for the district and list of train symbols. That was it, I realized I was in the middle of a new heavily used main line that happened to be running through my town and I thought I was the luckiest person on earth To me this railroad has given me alot of joy, made me search for more knowledge that continues to this day. This railroad is an old friend and after I walked most of it we got to know it very well. I also walked the railroad throught Bluffton, Montpeilier, Eaton, and Hartford city before I politely was asked to leave by the small town cop and never come back. This railroad is a part of me and I thank Norfolk and Southern, they unknowingly provided me with many hours of enjoyment and I hope alot more. To me this is a incredible piece of railroad.

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Post by Hotbox » Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:02 pm

It is amazing how much the volume has grown on this route compared to years ago.

Here is an interesting link on the NCD, for anyone interested

http://www.k8dti.com/cincy/prrftwayne.htm

Bet that bottom picture looks familiar to you Don?

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Post by CIOR » Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:38 pm

The railroad from Muncie to Campbellstown, Ohio is very hilly. I had to double Hagerstown 2 times, both on the 444. One evening they gave use a 4100 series and about 5,000ton. After a long argument with the terminal at Cincy, we were told to go or get pulled OOS. We made it to Hagerstown, and JCM put us in the siding. After telling him several times we wouldn't make it, we stalled. We doubled to Millville and hogged. Other time was a dead engine got us.
444 got to be a big heavy slush bucket train in the mid-late 90's. Especially after they put the Muncie Relief Pool on.
Coal was almost always a NO NO northbound (sorry, westbound). Those SP trains they ran in the mid 90's were about it for loaded coal. via Frankfort.
New Castle is a grade both directions, Hagerstown both but the biggest is westbound, Greensfork, Richmond eastbound.
When they built that siding at Hagerstown, it must have been a design contest in stupidity. To put a 9,000ft siding on the top of a hill, brains I tell ya.

Indianadon

444

Post by Indianadon » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:10 am

I knew 444 was in trouble when started running the leased Amtrack units in the consist. Am I right in that 444 used to be so long that they had trouble finding a siding to fit in for a meet. Couldn't 444 reach ten thousand feet at times? Does anyone remember the semaphore that still guarded the Conrail crossing at Walnut street for a few years after the rebuilding?

Dave M.

Post by Dave M. » Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:32 am

CIOR wrote:The railroad from Muncie to Campbellstown, Ohio is very hilly. I had to double Hagerstown 2 times, both on the 444. One evening they gave use a 4100 series and about 5,000ton. After a long argument with the terminal at Cincy, we were told to go or get pulled OOS. We made it to Hagerstown, and JCM put us in the siding. After telling him several times we wouldn't make it, we stalled. We doubled to Millville and hogged. Other time was a dead engine got us.
444 got to be a big heavy slush bucket train in the mid-late 90's. Especially after they put the Muncie Relief Pool on.
Coal was almost always a NO NO northbound (sorry, westbound). Those SP trains they ran in the mid 90's were about it for loaded coal. via Frankfort.
New Castle is a grade both directions, Hagerstown both but the biggest is westbound, Greensfork, Richmond eastbound.
When they built that siding at Hagerstown, it must have been a design contest in stupidity. To put a 9,000ft siding on the top of a hill, brains I tell ya.
Don't know how you made it that far with a 4100, 5000 tons is better than double the rating for that old goat must have had another engine

Indianadon

I knew it would happen

Post by Indianadon » Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:11 am

I'm not a railfan, I am observer, I like to watch trains and occasionly take pictures. I don't know every train symbol, engine class, schedule, nor do I care, its too much work, I have other interests in life to take up all that time learning the "fine details." But there are people out there who do and thats fine with me too. But if every T isn't crossed and every I dotted when you enter these forums you don't know what you are talking about. I do own a scanner and I listen every day so I can honestly say that I know a liitle more than the average person whatever average may be to some. But as soon as I said they doubled the hill at Hagerstown then came the reply "they never doubled the hill, might have crawed up it a few times." But you were wrong, weren't you? Here we have a member of a train crew that said he doubled the hill not once but twice. And then came the reply," that must have had another unit because a 3100 is only rated for half the tonnage" that man's train was. Any half informed person knows that you're not going to pull a 5,000 ton train from Cincy with a 3100, so what was that remark for anyway. I praise all of your work and apparently all the time you put into to it, because its too much for me. But apparently you're missing something here you're not right all the time nor am I. Just realize other people who join this forum don't take the time you do to learn every engine number, every train symbol, every route. But the people who don't aren't exactly stupid either.

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