Frequency Help,Wabash, In.

New train symbols, routings, reroutes and such.

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Mark
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Location: Fort Wayne

Frequency Help,Wabash, In.

Post by Mark » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:33 am

What is the radio frequency for the North-South line through
Wabash, In.

T.I.A.

Mark

joemcspadden
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Post by joemcspadden » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:11 am

Mark--The line is called "the Marion Branch," and the
frequency is 161.070.
Until last spring, the line was part of the Dearborn
Division, and dispatching duties were handled by the
Kankakee Line dispatcher in Dearborn, MI.

It has been transferred to the Lake Division, and is now
dispatched by the Chicago District dispatcher in Fort
Wayne. However, the frequency has remained the same.

Regards, Joe
lifelong railfan in Wabash, IN

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rrnut282
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Location: M.P. CF161.8 NS's New Castle District

Post by rrnut282 » Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:40 pm

I hear the what sounds like the New Castle District Dispatcher talking to trains between Marion and Alex.
rrnut282
(Mike)

joemcspadden
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Post by joemcspadden » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:45 pm

Mike--that does happen from time to time. The reason is that
the New Castle District dispatcher also dispatches the Frankfort
District between Muncie and Frankfort. Coordination is necessary
because almost all the trains that head south from Marion leave
the Branch at the Alex connection and head east toward Muncie on
the Frankfort District. (Even the L89, which is a Marion-Frankfort
turn must go through the connection heading east before it can
go west because the only wye at the Alex diamond is in the
northeast quadrant).

Both districts are unsignalled and operated under TWC. So,
in effect, you have two different dispatchers that must issue
warrants in order for a train to get from Marion to Muncie.
Communication between the two dispatchers and between
both dispatchers and the trains is vital.

Once a train goes through the wye at Alex onto the Frankfort
District, the crew switches to the New Castle frequency (160.440)
but there are times when verbal communication takes place
prior to that switchover.

For long-haul trains that utilize this Elkhart to Muncie route,
there are no sidings between Gilman, which is a few miles
west of Muncie, and Speicherville, which is five miles north
of Wabash. So planning and coordination are vital.

The main point is that the track warrants for trains travelling
between Marion and Alexandria are both issued and cleared
by the Chicago District dispatcher, and it is he/she that has
the final responsibility for this stretch of track.

Regards, Joe
lifelong railfan in Wabash, IN

Rob
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Post by Rob » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:08 pm

The poor Chicago district dispatchers all have a hard time still calling themselves the Marion Branch dispatcher, and Toledo West talks to alot of trains all the way down here in Warsaw with his plans for northbounds.
Rob

joemcspadden
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Post by joemcspadden » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Yeah, Rob--but let's face it--even after four years, the Kankakee Line
dispatchers never did refer to themselves as Marion Branch dispatchers
when this line was part of Dearborn.

This line is sort of a step-child for NS. With the bottleneck at Goshen,
street-running in Warsaw, the steep grades at Wabash, an awkward
connection to Goodman Yards in Marion, and only three short sidings
(all interrupted by road crossings) at Leesburg, Claypool, and
Speicherville--it's a tough line to operate.

But it is an important line for NS, and it is maintained to 45-50 mph
standards with all-welded rail, etc. When Conrail owned it, the line's
primary function was as a connector between its yards at Elkhart
and Avon (plus a few trains between Elkhart & Columbus, etc.)

Now that the line between Anderson and Indy is part of CSX, the
branch serves a different set of purposes:

1) The NS connection between Elkhart and Chattanooga (via the
turnoff at Alexandria)

2) The NS connection between Elkhart and Decatur (via the
interlocking at Wabash)

3) The servicing of just an awful lot of retail business on the
line--including all that business in the nexus of Marion-Tipton-
Frankfort-Kokomo-Elwood, etc. Having Goodman Yards in
the northeast corner of this "nexus" and Frankfort Yard in the
southwest corner--this just provides two really good outlets
for a lot of local business. Plus, the line still serves Anderson
for northbound traffic, takes grain from the Indian Creek, and
serves the west side of Hartford City via the ex-Panhandle
Redkey line. A daily local also works Hawthorne Yard in Indy
using CSX trackage rights.

4) An important alternate line to the southeast in case of disruptions
or emergencies involving Fort Wayne, the NCD, the Chicago Line, etc.

So, somehow, despite the difficult topography, the line seems
to be a survivor. And that's good, because it is a colorful and
scenic example of old-fashioned work-a-day railroading.

Joe
lifelong railfan in Wabash, IN

Rob
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Post by Rob » Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:52 pm

It is also interesting in the fact that there are few overpasses/underpasses on it, I count 2 major roads(us 24 and us30)and I only know of one minor road that was more incidental than convieneit down in Marion net to the rivier bridge?
And of course my favorite railroad location to see a train at in Indiana, The huntington Dist crossing in Wabash. (gotta love the way northbounds sound going up that hill through the cut!)
Rob

joemcspadden
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Post by joemcspadden » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:10 pm

I agree--and because northbounds have just come down the south hill,
it's not unusual to hear ear-splitting brake shoe screeches at the same
the engines are starting to power up the north hill.

Joe
lifelong railfan in Wabash, IN

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