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Ft. Madison virtual railfan camera

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Ft. Madison virtual railfan camera
Posted by greyhounds on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 12:12 AM
OK, I just started watching this site.  It’s downright amazing.

 

1)       The high number of long trains going through

2)       What they are carrying:

 

   a.       LTL (A whole lot of FedEx, ABF, Estis, Yellow, etc.)

   b.       UPS

   c.       Reefers (gotta' love that)

   d.       Truckload intermodal 

   e.       Some other stuff

 

3)   The bridge over the Mississippi River

4)      The former CB&Q parallel line with frequent coal trains

 
It’s good.  (Except for the barges.  I strongly dislike barges.)
"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 12:18 AM

greyhounds
(Except for the barges.  I strongly dislike barges.)

Yes, but many of the towboats have locomotive engines in them... fun to listen to.

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Posted by rdamon on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 6:39 AM

The powered derails before the bridge are pretty cool as well.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 8:08 AM
 

greyhounds
OK, I just started watching this site.  It’s downright amazing.

 

1)       The high number of long trains going through

2)       What they are carrying:

 

   a.       LTL (A whole lot of FedEx, ABF, Estis, Yellow, etc.)

   b.       UPS

   c.       Reefers (gotta' love that)

   d.       Truckload intermodal 

   e.       Some other stuff

 

3)   The bridge over the Mississippi River

4)      The former CB&Q parallel line with frequent coal trains

 
It’s good.  (Except for the barges.  I strongly dislike barges.)
 

Why the dislike for river tows?

 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by diningcar on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 8:58 AM

There have been incidents where barges did not clear pier that guides them and halted all rail and river traffic. The Coast Guard, who has control of river traffic, penalized the barge owners and the (sometimes drunk) operators if they were determined to be at fault. 

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 9:43 AM

There's been a cam at Fort Madison for quite a few years (15?).  At one time it was user controlled, as opposed to today's moderator control.

I used to watch it quite a bit.  I have a bit of a tie to Deshler now, so that's where I spend most of my time.

There were several cams that were user controlled.  Galesburg, and some steel fabricator elsewhere in Illinois for two.

The idea has really spread - it's popular with the boating community as well.  I like watching Port Huron, MI.  Saw a yacht there yesterday that passed up the St Lawrence last week.  Nice boat, too.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 3:23 PM

I have been watching it some today - I must say BNSF puts more power on their trains than I was accustomed to seeing on CSX.

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 11:42 PM

The La Plata MO cams are west of Ft. Madison and are pretty interesting as well. There are two fixed cams at the Amtrak station, one looking east and one looking west (railwise, anyway, as the tracks are actually pointing 15° north of true east, roughly, at the depot. The third camera is controlled by a moderator and sits on a bridge abutment where the Wabash crossed the Santa Fe east of the station. Lots of action, with some UP trackage rights trains adding to the mix.

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Posted by MP173 on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 9:45 AM

Larry (Tree) turned me on to the Deshler VR site earlier this year.  The train log is pretty cool.

Berea, Oh railcam and scanner are my go-to for home railfanning.  The cam and scanner cover both the NS and CSX mainlines.  I also have the Fostoria VR site and train log.  Interesting to see certain trains march across Ohio such as the hot intermodals.

Listening in to the scanner allows one to start to understand the operations involving the railroads.  I will say this...both NS and CSX run very reliable operations, particularly on their intermodal trains.  While one cannot set one's watch exactly, the daily consistency of operation is impressive.  

Ed

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Posted by rixflix on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 11:15 AM

The hot new site on Railstream is Atlanta. Red hot 'lanta!

I prefer the locations where signals can be read to see if it's worth sticking around for a while. Also Amtrak's status mapping and arr/dep times clue me on their conductors' "wave to the camera" activity at Horseshoe Curve. I like to wave back.

Rick

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 11:34 AM

Some of the same people who maintain the Deshler log are involved with the Fostoria log.  

The chat on the cams can be very informative in and of itself.  Many of the regulars have a good handle on what's going on.

Of course, there always those who pop in and want to know "when's the next train?"

A standard answer is usually on the line of "when it gets here..."

LarryWhistling
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Posted by greyhounds on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 12:17 PM

SD60MAC9500
Why the dislike for river tows?  

Barge tows are unfortunately subsidized by general tax revenues. 
 
This distorts economic efficiency and reduces the overall general welfare.  Some people, of course, do benefit from the subsidy and they influence the politicians to keep the subsidy.  To the detriment of everyone else.
 
I have no objection to the Mississippi River being kept in shape for commercial navigation.  I realize that no private entity can own the river.  So, the government must provide the upkeep.  Lock and dams, dredging, etc.  But it should be paid for by tolls on the barge traffic.  Not from general tax revenues.
 
Adam Smith wrote correctly of government provided transportation infrastructure.  It’s sometimes necessary but needs to be funded by user fees, AKA tolls.
 
"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 12:35 PM

rixflix

The hot new site on Railstream is Atlanta. Red hot 'lanta!

I prefer the locations where signals can be read to see if it's worth sticking around for a while. Also Amtrak's status mapping and arr/dep times clue me on their conductors' "wave to the camera" activity at Horseshoe Curve. I like to wave back.

Rick

 

 

Thanks for the ATL heads-up.  I have ATCS set up for Kansas City and Barstow to know when to look.

I also enjoy seeing signals knocked-down :)

 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 5:09 PM
 

greyhounds

 

 
SD60MAC9500
Why the dislike for river tows?  

 

Barge tows are unfortunately subsidized by general tax revenues. 
 
This distorts economic efficiency and reduces the overall general welfare.  Some people, of course, do benefit from the subsidy and they influence the politicians to keep the subsidy.  To the detriment of everyone else.
 
I have no objection to the Mississippi River being kept in shape for commercial navigation.  I realize that no private entity can own the river.  So, the government must provide the upkeep.  Lock and dams, dredging, etc.  But it should be paid for by tolls on the barge traffic.  Not from general tax revenues.
 
Adam Smith wrote correctly of government provided transportation infrastructure.  It’s sometimes necessary but needs to be funded by user fees, AKA tolls.
 
 

I can agree with that. 

This was considered back in the late 70's. You might remember this. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1977/06/23/us-waterway-tolls-approved-by-senate/042a3818-abe0-4f4d-bb4e-ac3f87fc7e7f/

 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by blhanel on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 10:25 PM

Whenever I access a VRF site, it's most likely Fort Madison.  Occasionally I will participate in the chat as well, and bring up ATCS and let folks know when something's coming.  Watch for Papa Brian...

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Posted by greyhounds on Thursday, July 1, 2021 12:49 AM

SD60MAC9500
I can agree with that.  This was considered back in the late 70's. You might remember this. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1977/06/23/us-waterway-tolls-approved-by-senate/042a3818-abe0-4f4d-bb4e-ac3f87fc7e7f/  

They eventually managed to impose a user fee on the barges.  The last time I checked it was $0.25/gallon on the fuel they use.  That covers about ½ the cost of maintaining the lock and dams along with the dredging.  So, the barges (read ADM, Cargill, etc.) still get a significant subsidy from the taxpayers.  That’s really bad economic policy.  But it was an improvement over charging absolutely nothing.
 
It got much worse.  The Transportation Act of 1920 gave the ICC power over minimum rail rates.  The ICC used this nonsense power to protect barges from rail competition.   In the 1960s railroads tried to reduce their charges on moving aluminum from Pennsylvania to Kentucky in order to be competitive with a barge movement.  The government said the rails couldn’t reduce their charges because it would disadvantage the barges.  This was incredibly dumb.  It prevented the US logistics system from configuring to its lowest cost structure.  It hurt our economy and our people.  (It’s commonly called “The Ingot Mold Case”.)  The Ingot Mold Case was instrumental in destroying the last vestiges of credibility the ICC had.  The barge charges were not regulated.
 
I don’t like barges because:  1) they get a nonsense subsidy and, 2) my past grievances regarding their legal actions against rail competition.
 
Barge tonnage on the upper Mississippi has declined significantly.  When freed to compete the railroads took a lot of the business.
 
 
"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Thursday, July 1, 2021 9:18 AM
 

greyhounds

 

 
SD60MAC9500
I can agree with that.  This was considered back in the late 70's. You might remember this. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1977/06/23/us-waterway-tolls-approved-by-senate/042a3818-abe0-4f4d-bb4e-ac3f87fc7e7f/  

 

They eventually managed to impose a user fee on the barges.  The last time I checked it was $0.25/gallon on the fuel they use.  That covers about ½ the cost of maintaining the lock and dams along with the dredging.  So, the barges (read ADM, Cargill, etc.) still get a significant subsidy from the taxpayers.  That’s really bad economic policy.  But it was an improvement over charging absolutely nothing.
 
It got much worse.  The Transportation Act of 1920 gave the ICC power over minimum rail rates.  The ICC used this nonsense power to protect barges from rail competition.   In the 1960s railroads tried to reduce their charges on moving aluminum from Pennsylvania to Kentucky in order to be competitive with a barge movement.  The government said the rails couldn’t reduce their charges because it would disadvantage the barges.  This was incredibly dumb.  It prevented the US logistics system from configuring to its lowest cost structure.  It hurt our economy and our people.  (It’s commonly called “The Ingot Mold Case”.)  The Ingot Mold Case was instrumental in destroying the last vestiges of credibility the ICC had.  The barge charges were not regulated.
 
I don’t like barges because:  1) they get a nonsense subsidy and, 2) my past grievances regarding their legal actions against rail competition.
 
Barge tonnage on the upper Mississippi has declined significantly.  When freed to compete the railroads took a lot of the business.
 
 
 

True in all points you made. The good ole' fuel tax which doesn't cover cost of operation.. Sounds very familiar...... I definitely agree on tolls/charges for vehicles using public RoW: Waterborne, Air, and Highway.

Reading your information and some research myself. I think I might put on my tinfoil hat for this.. It almost appears as if there was some sort of conspiracy to keep the Railroad industry somewhat weak in certain regards.. I could be wrong.. Could be right. I just find it odd all the restrictive rates, and market restrcitions the ICC placed on the operation of our Rail network to reduce competition.

On a related note. I was looking at some old photos of NYC and Pennsy LCL containers from the 1920's and 1930's. Even then Railroads understood the much better economics of containerized freight. However the ICC stopped that in its tracks..

 
 
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by adkrr64 on Thursday, July 1, 2021 10:17 AM

greyhounds
Barge tonnage on the upper Mississippi has declined significantly.  When freed to compete the railroads took a lot of the business.

The "great" state of NY continues to maintain the enlarged Erie Canal, aka Barge Canal, which runs the length across upstate NY. There is almost no commercial traffic on it anymore - it is mostly a recreational waterway now. I don't know what, if any, toll regimen exists for users. There are still caretakers that let people through the locks. The whole thing falls under the NYS Thruway authority, which still collects tolls on I87/ I90. So it's probably the motorists using those roads that subsidize the canal.

A couple years ago, there was an interesting cargo move down the canal of some brewery tanks that were otherwise too large to move by road or rail.

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2017/05/30/commerce-erie-canal-gets-lift-huge-genesee-brewery-tanks/354879001/

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, July 1, 2021 11:13 AM

Airports often have landing fees, but who pays for the air traffic controllers and their equipment???

LarryWhistling
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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, July 1, 2021 9:02 PM

tree68

Airports often have landing fees, but who pays for the air traffic controllers and their equipment???

 

This has been covered before in these threads.  The airlines pay the majority for air control, and more than their share.  Apparently general aviation and the military pay little or nothing.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 1, 2021 9:29 PM

MidlandMike
 
tree68

Airports often have landing fees, but who pays for the air traffic controllers and their equipment??? 

This has been covered before in these threads.  The airlines pay the majority for air control, and more than their share.  Apparently general aviation and the military pay little or nothing.

I believe the military has their own traffic control system and manage THEIR OWN air lanes.

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Posted by Psychot on Sunday, July 4, 2021 8:44 AM

This might be my new favorite railcam. I love watching the trains approach from the distance on the other side of the river, execuate an s-turn across the river, then snake along the other side.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Saturday, July 24, 2021 9:53 PM
 

Another great cam is BNSF Belen, New Mexico. Currently 4 WB's waiting to go. Apparently a CP (Control Point) nearby lost power and backed up traffic across the Gallup and Clovis Subs.

 
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!

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