Bad Economy Means Bad Railfaning.

DRGW_hero Feb 16, 2009

  1. DRGW_hero

    DRGW_hero TrainBoard Member

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    In the past month I've noticed the two Class one's i see, UP and BNSF. Thy have cut most of the power that we railfans love to see. For instance, I haven't seen a Single SD40-2 in Over a Month. I know they must Cut some of the older power to save on work and Fuel costs. But when they assign Dash 9's to my local. Thats too far. Lately the only thing interisting that passes me are SD75M's and C40-8W's. Is this true across the nation?
     
  2. Scott Stutzman

    Scott Stutzman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Trains are short and far between out this way. I've cut back on my rail fanning for that reason. Been working on the layout....should be good rail fanning there most of the time!:tb-smile:
     
  3. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I thought loads were up?
     
  4. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    A guy I know who works for one of the local shortlines says that their main N-S train they run under contract has been shortening from about a mile long to more like 3000 feet.

    A crummy economy translates into fewer railcar-miles, and I am seeing fewer locos on some of these trains, too.

    The crummy economy has really wreaked havoc on some of these tourist operations, as we have seen in other threads on this board.
     
  5. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    A good tell tale or indicator of how well or bad our economy is doing can be seen in the increase or decrease in rail traffic. Or another way to say it: A drop or increase in the number of trains over any of the mainlines or transcons. If the economy is slow, so are the trains. You can depend on this being a dependable measure and usually the first indicator that somethings up.
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    With some exceptions, it's generally a good picture of present events.

    Boxcab E50
     
  7. SimRacin14

    SimRacin14 TrainBoard Member

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    At this rate,I'd be glad to see anything on the main lines. Living near the CSX line that serves the Ford plants doesn't guarantee much,especially with the way things are now.

    Only trains I've seen on the former L&N Main have been mixed freights.
     
  8. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Is there any website (government, transportation, for example) that reports ton-miles per month, containers per month, cars moved per month, etc.? Or do you have to go to the private company website to see this? I expect that might be reported in a quarterly financial statement. Certainly it would be reported annually.

    What about countries besides the USA? Canada?
     
  9. TrainMaster1

    TrainMaster1 TrainBoard Member

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    Try RailwayAge Magazine - Home. I remember this magazine from my days as VP of operations. They would track all kinds of info on carloads showing comparisons year to year and month to month. They even broke out types of traffic (TOFC vs Coal vs Autos) etc. Also a ton of related links and info available on their industry links. And it's all free. That's a nice stimulus package.
     
  10. TrainMaster1

    TrainMaster1 TrainBoard Member

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    Try RailwayAge Magazine - Home. I remember this magazine from my days as a VP of operations. They tracked all types of carloads and traffic by category and various time frames. Like Coal, Autos, TOFC from year to year as well as month to month. This should give you an idea of who is moving what and where. As for here, we're getting a steady diet of Dash-9 wide cabs from NS. Turns out Henry Ford was right. As long as you want want black, your color is in stock. Thankfully CP is still running SD40-2s in and out of Philly.
     
  11. Jolly

    Jolly TrainBoard Member

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    Last time was past the Brigham Yards it was full of SD40s. there was a time when it was all GP38s and I have even seen a few tunnel motors onthe local, but latey its been SD40 type power.
     
  12. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    The UP has 15-20 locomotives " in storage " here in El Paso right now. They have been here for 2-3 months. I have not counted but appears to be 15-20. There are all makes and models including switchers.
     
  13. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    I live near the Abbeville Sub just northeast of Atlanta. Their is a noticeable dip in trains. In fact, even my kids are saying "that signal is never green any more" when we cross the tracks near the house. I have also noticed the dedicated autorack trains each way are gone (or reduced) and now a few autoracks are tacked onto the end of manifests instead. Jamie
     
  14. SteveM76

    SteveM76 TrainBoard Member

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    CSX traffic in Louisville is heavily dependent upon the auto industry with Osborn yard being the auto hub for the whole system. That coupled to the fact that there are 2 Ford plants here makes for extremely light traffic now. Ford has been shut down for quite a while. CSX has over 100 transportation employees furloughed in Louisville, around 70 in Cincinnati, and many more elsewhere. 400 locomotives are stored right now with plans for an additional 100 that might already be in storage. Every siding on the old B&O from Cincinnati to E.StL. is packed with storage cars and I'm sure there are many more at other locations because 1/3 of the car fleet is in storage. Those are HUGE numbers. It just keeps getting worse every day with jobs being cut like crazy.
     
  15. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Interestingly, the KCS Gulfport (MS) Branch appears to be alive and well with no change in traffic that I can see. KCS runs six trains a week, three northbound and three southbound, each with a four unit mix of GP38s and GP40s, and 60-75 cars. The major customers are the Port of Gulfport, DuPont's titanium dioxide plant, and the largest USN CB base in the country. This past Thursday the southbound train had about 25 empty DODX and TTXD piggy-backs, I assume to stage for a movement of CB equipment. This was in addition to at least 20 Chlorine and Sodium Hydroxide tanks for DuPont, a couple dozen covered hoppers loaded with who knows what, and a like amount of boxes, all loaded.

    Apparently folks here in south Mississippi don't listen to or believe everything the talking heads are spouting, and try to continue their lives business as usual.
     
  16. Glenn Woodle

    Glenn Woodle TrainBoard Member

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    Try the AAR website

    Association of American Railroads

    Don't know if the Carloading figures are used in the business section of your local paper?
    You can bet if carloading is down 10% some units will be stored. BTW I hear the Corvette plant in KY should be back after 2-3 months downtime.
     
  17. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    No, they are not. The AAR figures are an average of the Nation's loadings as a whole. I'm sure the Gulfport Branch is barely a blip in that figure, if it's considered at all.
     
  18. SteveM76

    SteveM76 TrainBoard Member

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    They don't ship complete autos by rail though:tb-sad:
     
  19. Jeremy

    Jeremy New Member

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    Hello Hytec, I just PCSed here to Biloxi from Tucson. I live near Keesler, so we hear the freights all times of the day. My 3 year old is totally fascinated with the freights moving through. Whenever she hears the whistle, she stops what she's doing and says, "Dad---shoo, shoo!"
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jeremy-

    Welcome to TrainBoard!

    Boxcab E50
     

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