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Jamestown, NY (Erie, EL) Yard Classification and Sorting

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Jamestown, NY (Erie, EL) Yard Classification and Sorting
Posted by olson185 on Saturday, March 18, 2017 5:26 PM

Jamestown, NY had two rail yards connected by two, parallel thru-tracks.  I'm calling the yards "west" and "east".  https://gyazo.com/152a0152a41a30e3b5053b711a0e6bac

The east yard was adjacent to the passenger platform.  The west yard was curved.

With such an "hourglass" shaped yard would one or the other be assigned for all eastbound arrivals, westbound arrivals, eastbound departures, and westbound departures? 

For example, eastbound arrivals be taken to the east yard for sorting and departure and westbound arrivals be taken to the west yard for sorting and departure? 

Or, alternatively, would arrivals just go to whichever yard had the most room even if both yards had room enough?

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Posted by cuyama on Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:12 PM

olson185
With such an "hourglass" shaped yard would one or the other be assigned for all eastbound arrivals, westbound arrivals, eastbound departures, and westbound departures? 

It would really depend on the location, the operating patterns, other nearby yards, etc. Note that topo maps are not always very accurate for railroad trackage.

One (or both) of the yards might also be an industry support yard, which might be used differently than a general classification yard.

A historical society for the railroad might have more information.

 

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, March 18, 2017 10:39 PM

Probably none of the above.  I would think maybe one was a classification yard and the other was an industry support yard.  The classification yard would switch and block trains ahdn then the local industry business would be taken to the the industry yard and switched up for the various local industry jobs.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Sunday, March 19, 2017 10:31 AM

Given their small sizes and what they are located next to, my instinct would be that the west supports the power plant and the east supports the passenger station. 

Even a small coal fired plant would have a decent sized place to store in and out bounds. That those other tracks are directly opposite from the platforms makes me think they have some utility to the station. Express and mail? MOW? 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, March 19, 2017 1:02 PM

I agree with NittanyLion.  In the topo maps the OP shows, there is a track that comes from the West yard, that crosses the river, right to the power plant.

A current Google Earth image and street view image show the unused bridge. Nothing is left of the former yards

Mike.

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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:18 PM

www.history-map.com has a aerial drawing of Jamestonw from the 1800's and the yard to the left appears to be a general freight yard in the picture.

This postcard shows the yard near the depot, but doesn't show any cars in it, passenger or freight.

http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tubbs/ErieLackawanna/174-05.JPG

In another postcard there was a boat landing near the left yard and it looks like there was a lot of lumber transfer, river to rail or vice versa. 

To me it looks like the yard on the left predates the power plant and was the general switching yard (at least originally),  the right yard could have been a coach yard, but it didn't have any lead (at least on the east end), based on the postcard so that means it probably wasn't a classification yard.

 

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Posted by NittanyLion on Sunday, March 19, 2017 6:59 PM

Wikipedia (the only source I found easily) says that the Jamestown station had three tracks.  Isn't it possible, or likely, that the "yard" is actually the station itself?  They're only like 750 feet long, which is pretty short for a yard, but doesn't seem too short for platforms. Even a short passenger train could be pushing 600 feet long.

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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, March 19, 2017 8:21 PM

The postcard doesn't show platforms between the tracks or spacing between the tracks to accomodate platforms.  At most the right yard is a "coach" yard for storing excess passenger equipment.

Having said that, the question then becomes what era is to OP modeling.  If he is modeling the 1950's the question becomes what passenger trains terminate there?  If there are thru passenger trains, how much time is allowed for a station stop.  If its only a couple minutes, then that probably isn't time to swap out cars and would the town be big enough to warrant cars setting out and picking up?

It might have been a coach yard in 1900, but an industry support yard or a storage yard in 1950.

I'm pretty certain the left most yard is a classification yard. 

Other questions, unless Jamestown is a crew change point or the boundry between subdivisions, the probablility is that Jamestown yard is just an industry support yard for whatever locals or switch engines serve the immediate area.  Thru freights would set out or pick up cars.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Sunday, March 19, 2017 10:42 PM

The station in that postcard picture is a different station. Jamestown got a new station in 1931 and is the one that would have been standing when that topo map was drawn up.

https://binged.it/2ncjqF2

It looks like there's some remains of the island platform north of the tracks and that yard area is more offset from the station than I'd realized.  Its definitely not a very big area though.

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Posted by olson185 on Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:18 PM

NittanyLion

Wikipedia (the only source I found easily) says that the Jamestown station had three tracks.  Isn't it possible, or likely, that the "yard" is actually the station itself?  They're only like 750 feet long, which is pretty short for a yard, but doesn't seem too short for platforms. Even a short passenger train could be pushing 600 feet long.

 

The "west" yard mainline thru track is about 1,878' long; the "east" yard mainline thru track is about 1,679' long (measured between first/last switch).

Passengers would access a single platform (in the "east" yard), via an overpass, with trackage on each side of the platform.  At one time, I was told, the overpass escalators to the the platform were the tallest in NY State.

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Posted by olson185 on Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:31 PM

dehusman

Probably none of the above.  I would think maybe one was a classification yard and the other was an industry support yard.  The classification yard would switch and block trains ahdn then the local industry business would be taken to the the industry yard and switched up for the various local industry jobs.

Ok, that would make sense from what I know so far (which includes childhood memories and photos of freight in both yards).  Until I come across info. that would suggest something differently, I'll go with your premise.  In fact, by doing so, I can get a sense of how to fill-in the missing trackage and switching scheme. Thanks.

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Posted by olson185 on Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:20 PM

dehusman

Having said that, the question then becomes what era is to OP modeling.  If he is modeling the 1950's the question becomes what passenger trains terminate there?  If there are thru passenger trains, how much time is allowed for a station stop.  If its only a couple minutes, then that probably isn't time to swap out cars and would the town be big enough to warrant cars setting out and picking up?

It might have been a coach yard in 1900, but an industry support yard or a storage yard in 1950.

I'm pretty certain the left most yard is a classification yard. 

Other questions, unless Jamestown is a crew change point or the boundry between subdivisions, the probablility is that Jamestown yard is just an industry support yard for whatever locals or switch engines serve the immediate area.  Thru freights would set out or pick up cars.

You make several points that I'll keep in mind while selecting which LDE's to model.  Your post reminds me to learn something about passenger traffic, even if I don't model much of it (what little remains in early 1960's).

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Posted by olson185 on Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:34 PM

I have to double-check the conversion of 1mm = 7'4" on my copies.  This is the most detailed info. I have re: the "west" yard.

https://gyazo.com/1128eda16abd6c804cfcfea3f518c0a6

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:42 PM

The one photograph I referenced in the book "Remembering the Erie Lackawanna Railroad" has a view of the west yard, showing a single string of coal hoppers, and then the rest boxcars and covered hoppers. The east yard, in the background, looks mostly empty, save for a couple strings of, what appears to be, coal hoppers. 

The Fenton History Center Museum & Library in Jamestown NY has a collection of photographs of the railroad, if you find yourself there.

Really can't help much more than that right now.

Although, the referenced bing map is way out of date! Lots is changed in the station area now... Including the addition of comedy park.

Ricky W.

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Posted by olson185 on Friday, March 24, 2017 11:17 AM

ricktrains4824

The one photograph I referenced in the book "Remembering the Erie Lackawanna Railroad" has a view of the west yard, showing a single string of coal hoppers, and then the rest boxcars and covered hoppers. The east yard, in the background, looks mostly empty, save for a couple strings of, what appears to be, coal hoppers. 

The Fenton History Center Museum & Library in Jamestown NY has a collection of photographs of the railroad, if you find yourself there.

Really can't help much more than that right now.

Although, the referenced bing map is way out of date! Lots is changed in the station area now... Including the addition of comedy park.

Of all the times I used Fenton's research library, none were re: the railroad.  Depending on how motivated I become to do so, I probably should schedule a return visit, as well as, make arrangements to use the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society's archives in Buffalo. http://www.erielackhs.org/

I live 450 miles from Jamestown now so research won't be so easy.

It really depends on how I feel balancing proto-realism vs modeling expediency.  Tracks and switches can always be relaid if, for some reason, doing so will improve operations.  Just the presumption that the east yard is primarily for blocking local set-outs/p-up's (of which I already have a sense of what they would be) helps me make certain assumptions.

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