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Roadrailers

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Roadrailers
Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, October 5, 2019 7:25 PM

I watch a lot of live rail webcams.  Intermodal is as common as dirt but until today, I never saw a Roadrailer. 

Bowser makes HO Roadrailers.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, October 5, 2019 8:52 PM

BigDaddy

I watch a lot of live rail webcams.  Intermodal is as common as dirt but until today, I never saw a Roadrailer. 

Bowser makes HO Roadrailers.

 

Amtrak used to run a bunch of 'em.

I've got video of a couple dozen sitting in Sandusky Bay, (Ohio) that were blown off the causeway track during an episode of high wind.

Another time some were "stringlined" going around a curve onto the NS also near Sandusky.

I run some behind my Amtrak trains when the mood strikes. The Bowser ones track pretty well and I put a Ring Engineering EOT on the tail end.

Neat stuff, Ed

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, October 5, 2019 10:34 PM

And today Roadrailers is history(2013?) and the Bridge tender job was abolished in 2006/2007? 

Where the Crestline(Oh) Triplecrown terminal was is now a big grain co-op that ships grain by rail.

It was odd seeing the roaders backing around the connector  from the Columbus line to the old Pittsbugh Line in order to head West on the Ft.Wayne line. The Eastbound would back around the connector to get on the Columbus Line then head North on the Cleveland  Line.  

The Track South of the crossing diamod was the Columbus line and after the train cross  the diamond it was on the Cleveland line.

Back in Conrail days Crestline was a very busy place and on a good Friday night you could see up to 60-70 CR trains and 4 Amtrak trains. 

The Crestline RR YMCA restaurant was open 24/7.

A lot of Friday nights the members of the Galion HO club would head to Crestline after the club meeting  for a snack and some Friday night railfaning. Some of us diehards would stay until 3-4 AM!

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, October 5, 2019 11:27 PM

We used to see a lot of them on the Ft. Wayne line when railfanning at mp.41.

This view, though, was in Rochester, PA....

...not sure where this is....could be East Palestine...

Despite the monotony, I always liked seeing them....just seemed to be a more efficient way to do things.

Wayne

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, October 6, 2019 12:32 AM

doctorwayne
Despite the monotony, I always liked seeing them....just seemed to be a more efficient way to do things.

Here's some interesting "how-to" video:

The concept really goes back to the 1920s. C&O (Pere Marquette) made an effort in the mid-late 1950s with their Railvan system.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1281031

 

Regards, Ed

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, October 6, 2019 7:27 AM

BRAKIE
And today Roadrailers is history(2013?)

I hate to disagree with you Larry, on anything railroad, but the date on my video is from this past Friday

Triplecrown is still in business

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Track fiddler on Sunday, October 6, 2019 8:23 AM

Too cool.  This is a new one on me.  Thanks for the tour Henry.

 

TF

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, October 6, 2019 8:39 AM

I think there's one service lane left for roadrailers? 

 

Good riddance when they do stop running them.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by caldreamer on Sunday, October 6, 2019 9:25 AM

BNSF ran roadrailers for a while.  Do not know exactly when they stopped running them.  They are still listed in the BNSF phase 4 system special insturcions which is the current version.

    Caldreamer

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Monday, October 7, 2019 6:27 PM

What part of the country did you last see them?

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, October 7, 2019 6:32 PM

ATSFGuy
What part of the country did you last see them?

I'm not sure who you are asking but my video was Kansas City MO.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, October 7, 2019 7:16 PM

BigDaddy

 

 
BRAKIE
And today Roadrailers is history(2013?)

 

I hate to disagree with you Larry, on anything railroad, but the date on my video is from this past Friday

Triplecrown is still in business

 

Detroit - Kansas City is the only lane left running the RoadRailers.  The rest of the network seems to be direct NS intermodal services now. 

https://www.triplecrownsvc.com/sites/default/files/newsletters/NS%20News%20Release%20-%20TCS%20Restructure%202015-09-18.pdf 
 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, October 7, 2019 9:35 PM

jeffhergert
Detroit - Kansas City is the only lane left running the RoadRailers.

Jeff,Thanks for the information.Thumbs Up

The TripleCrown terminal in Sandusky,Oh is now a bulk transload  facility operated by Watco.  I'm not sure when Watco took over Norfolk Southern's  Thoroughbred Bulk Terminal (TBT) operation. 

 

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by OldEngineman on Monday, October 7, 2019 10:46 PM

gmpullman wrote of the RoadRailers: "I've got video of a couple dozen sitting in Sandusky Bay, (Ohio) that were blown off the causeway track during an episode of high wind."

The video says: "Conrail RoadRailer wreck in Sandusky Bay".

That ain't the way it happened. Conrail isn't part of the story.

The wreck happened after Norfolk Southern took over that portion of the railroad.

Prior to NS ownership, there was a warning system installed there to warn and stop trains from going over the bay when the winds were over 50mph.

A friend who worked Amtrak's Lake Shore said there was some kind of warning device in Dearborn that had a light that came on a buzzer that sounded when winds hit 50. No trains were allowed over the causeway for five minutes afterwards.

Well, NS took over and they disconnected the light and warning system. Guess what happened? The video tells the story.

I'm told that NS decided to RE-connect the warning system afterwards!

This is what's known as "the railroad way of doing things"...

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Posted by fmilhaupt on Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:00 PM

jeffhergert

Detroit - Kansas City is the only lane left running the RoadRailers.  The rest of the network seems to be direct NS intermodal services now. 

 

Yup- Detroit-KC is the last.

I frequently see these Roadrailers along I-94 at the Southfield Freeway NS overpass in Detroit suburb Allen Park in the early morning, waiting to get into Oakwood Yard. I've seen them there around 7am twice in the past week.

-Fritz Milhaupt, Publications Editor, Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.
http://www.pmhistsoc.org

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Posted by Attuvian on Monday, October 14, 2019 11:35 PM

First time I've ever seen these are curious gizmos.  Guess we live sheltered lives out here in the NW. Are each of the trailers fitted out with air lines and something corresponding to glad hands?  I'm also wondering about the very narrow gap between trailers.  How does the lead end of each trailer attach to the roadrailer and negotiate the narrow radii of turnouts?

Patience, guys, I'm starting from scratch here!

John

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:16 AM

Attuvian
Patience, guys, I'm starting from scratch here! John

Have you watched the Tracks Ahead video I posted above? Some of your questions are answered there.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Attuvian on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 2:07 AM

gmpullman
 
Attuvian
Patience, guys, I'm starting from scratch here! John

 

Have you watched the Tracks Ahead video I posted above? Some of your questions are answered there.

Regards, Ed

 

 

Thanks, Ed.  I hadn't played that one yet before I asked my questions.  It certainly answered them.  There was mention of a Swift Trucking Company train that ran (does it still?) between LA and Portland.  Have been here in Portland since '86 but never have seen it.  Then again, my 1:1 viewing is always circumstantial.  I'd hardly classify as a rainfan.

 John

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:28 AM

All the discussion about Road-Railers got me itching to get mine out for a spin. Been a while.

 Bowser_R-R4 by Edmund, on Flickr

The Bowser HO design is very clever and well engineered. When you slightly lift the rear of the trailer it raises the pin so the nose-hitch can engage.

 Bowser_R-R2 by Edmund, on Flickr

 Bowser_R-R1 by Edmund, on Flickr

The Trailermate is another clever design, too.

 Bowser_R-R3 by Edmund, on Flickr

I was experimenting with the Ring Engineering EOT. A neat little gadget. I have it on the wrong end of the Roadrailer actually, the trailermate actually is in the lead.

[edit] Actually, I just came across a photo of a coupler-mate on both ends of a string of RoadRailers Yes

I have to rig it up on this end.

 Bowser_R-R by Edmund, on Flickr

Bowser has another run of these coming out soon already. One of my friends likes to run these in forty and fifty car trains. Generally he has no problems. One trick is to add a little weight to the cars toward the head end and lighten them as they progress to the rear.

             Thank you, Ed

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:48 AM

gmpullman
I was experimenting with the Ring Engineering EOT. A neat little gadget. I have it on the wrong end of the Roadrailer actually, the trailermate actually is in the lead.

Ed,I recall seeing CR conductors  riding the trailermate during reverse moves at Crestline in the mid-90s.

My thought is the trailermate was being used as a shoving platform for those moves.

At that time (the mid 90s) a Mile Post crew van would  return the conductor to the headend. He would get off the engine and then get on the trailermate to protect the shove as it rolled by.

IIRC those trailermates may have been equipped with a caboose air whistle due to the numberious street crossings.

Added: Ed,I found a video on you tube showing this operation.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:21 AM

Thanks, Larry Smile

Actually I just found a photo showing a trailermate/couplermate at the rear of a Roadrailer.

 141024_7_altoona by lmyers83, on Flickr

Photo by LR Myers

This one is marked DO NOT RIDE, no safety appliances but I'm sure there were cases where the full trailermate with railings and stirrups, like my photo, were used, too, like in your video. That's good news. Now I can keep the EOT on there like I have it in my photo.

I wonder if they would haul them like that to "rebalance" the roster if they needed them someplace and had too many someplace else, like the Flexi-Van bogies?

There ya' have it.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by tcwright973 on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:16 AM

I really do miss the Triple Crown trains we used to see on Norfolk Southern's Fort Wayne Line. I thought the concept was very interesting. 

Tom

Pittsburgh, PA

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