Semi-official Rochelle webcam discussion thread

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Posted by cefinkjr on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 10:55 PM

Ladder1

Reason for the UP coal train stall yesterday afternoon.  A female took a walk on the tracks downtown.  Didnt make it. 

Suicide by train?

I imagine that's hard for the engineer to live with.  I was involved with a near-miss with a school bus at a grade crossing 40+ years ago and it still gives me chills.

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:58 AM

Ladder1

Reason for the UP coal train stall yesterday afternoon.  A female took a walk on the tracks downtown.  Didn't make it. 

 
We get that a lot out here, seems like every week or two these days.  Since there are mostly passenger trains on the LOSSAN corridor, the incidents become a real headache.  Just had another late last week.
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Posted by Paul of Covington on Monday, February 19, 2018 2:30 PM

   Does anybody else out there look at all that intermodal traffic and wonder--Who on earth needs all that stuff?

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Posted by AgentKid on Monday, February 19, 2018 2:36 PM

Paul of Covington
Does anybody else out there look at all that intermodal traffic and wonder--Who on earth needs all that stuff?

Yes, very often.

I keep expecting to see stories in the news about unexpected changes in elevation in parts of the US as stuff either arrives or leaves en-masse.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, February 19, 2018 2:43 PM

AgentKid
 
Paul of Covington
Does anybody else out there look at all that intermodal traffic and wonder--Who on earth needs all that stuff? 

Yes, very often.

I keep expecting to see stories in the news about unexpected changes in elevation in parts of the US as stuff either arrives or leaves en-masse.

Bruce

And just imagine all those boxes on I-80 and I-90.

         

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Posted by AgentKid on Monday, February 19, 2018 2:47 PM

BaltACD
And just imagine all those boxes on I-80 and I-90.

I don't know where that is, but I will take your word for it.

And then of course there is all the coal that was moved in your part of the world over the last century and a half.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, February 19, 2018 3:13 PM

AgentKid
I don't know where that is, but I will take your word for it.

Interstate highways I-80 and I-90 are two major east-west thoroughfares in the northeast US.

I-90 is the Massachussetts Turnpike, the NYS Thruway, and the Ohio Turnpike, among others.  I-80 and I-90 are one in the same in portions of OH and IN.

I-76 should probably be included in there, too.

Altogether, these are some of the primary highway routes funnelling goods into the northeast from Chicago and the midwest.  They're already pretty busy.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, February 19, 2018 3:39 PM

I've wondered what is left of Wyoming after seeing thousands of 18,000 ton coal trains over the years coming through the Chicago area. Multiple 100 + car trains daily going East on BNSF, UP, plus a few on CN (ex IC). Got to be some BIG hole(s) out there. It has been a while since I was in Wyoming. I hope they are getting and banking, some good extraction fees for the state to reclaim the area. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, February 19, 2018 3:51 PM

Electroliner 1935
I've wondered what is left of Wyoming after seeing thousands of 18,000 ton coal trains over the years coming through the Chicago area. Multiple 100 + car trains daily going East on BNSF, UP, plus a few on CN (ex IC). Got to be some BIG hole(s) out there. It has been a while since I was in Wyoming. I hope they are getting and banking, some good extraction fees for the state to reclaim the area.

Coal trains have been dug out of West Virginia for 150 years or more - going to the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean ports as well as hundreds of coal fired power plants.

West Virginia is still there!

         

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Posted by cefinkjr on Monday, February 19, 2018 10:20 PM

tree68
Interstate highways I-80 and I-90 are two major east-west thoroughfares in the northeast US.

You understate the case, Kid.  I-80 and I-90 both go all the way to the West Coast.  I just checked Google Maps; I-80 winds up in San Francisco and I-90 in Seattle.

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:40 AM

cefinkjr
You understate the case, Kid.  I-80 and I-90 both go all the way to the West Coast.  I just checked Google Maps; I-80 winds up in San Francisco and I-90 in Seattle.

Indeed - Just relating to personal experience.  

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Posted by MKT Dave on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 10:36 AM

You also have I-40 which crosses the middle of the states, and I-20 across the south. It ends at I-10 in west Texas, I-10 continues to the coast.

I-40 parralells BNSF through New Mexico, Arizona, and California, Ends at Barstow and goes to I-15. Barstow has huge yards for the BNSF.

I-15 goes over Cajon (Cahon) pass and parrallels BNSF, And UP, and is three tracks. I've sat for hours there watching trains up and down. lots of places to park.

I-10 parralells UP, (was SP)  through New Mexico, Arizona, and California. On one difference. I-10 east of Los Angles, is bumper to bumper trucks. Both ways, seems to be all the time. to Phoenix AR.

I was stationed in San Diego and railfaned ATSF, then BNSF, and drove home about every six months to Oklahoma. Got to know both routes very well. I-8 out of San Diego was never as bad as I-10 probably because of it's little hill. goes from 5000 ft above sea level to 50 ft below sea level... in eighteen miles. And you don't get wet. The Imperial Valley is mostly below sea level.  There is a RR, SDAE (San Diego Arizona Eastern) goes from San Diego to El Central where it meets the UP. or did. This road also has the worlds largest wooden trestle, also called the Goat Creek Trestle.

sorry for the lenth, got to rambling... nuff said

...
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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:31 PM

Been watching the Horseshoe Curve cam!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmCkBPm7ICk&feature=youtu.be

Operationally, it has Rochelle beat hands down.  It is live stream to YouTube and anyone can call it up, it doesn't time out.  A night it is lit, in one view, - while you can't see much more than the reflectors that are on the engines and cars, you can see something moving.  With the location, you can hear trains before they enter the field of view - either from the engines under load climbing the grade or dynamic brake cooling fan whine as trains descend the grade.  You can head a nearby Hot Box Detector activate, however, I have not heard any Road Channel radio communications other than the HBD.  There is also a chat room that is a part of the YouTube channel.

The camera can be paned by the organization that operates it and it can follow a train from the entrance to the curve to it's exit.  One view of the cam graphically illustrates the grade difference from one end of the curve to the other.

I don't know how much Trains has invested in the Rochelle cam set up which brings up the question - would the YouTube form of cam be more economical?

         

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Posted by rdamon on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 8:41 PM

Wow ... Thanks Balt!

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Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:53 AM

Looks like they are getting ready to replace the diamond in Deshler, Ohio

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:23 PM

rdamon
Looks like they are getting ready to replace the diamond in Deshler, Ohio

When the replacement is made, it most likely will be over a weekend..

         

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Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:25 PM

Probably need to do a little drainage work as well ..

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Posted by cefinkjr on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:06 PM

BaltACD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmCkBPm7ICk&feature=youtu.be

Thanks for posting this link to the Horseshoe Curve webcam, Balt.  I've gotta say though that it's a little sad for those of us who recall the Curve in the heyday of four busy tracks and a K4s on display instead of a weather-beaten GP-7 (-9?).

Two things leapt off the screen at me:

  1. How many places one can look THROUGH a modern Diesel.  If you're looking from the right angle, the derned things almost look transparent!
  2. How boring it is to watch containers pass with very little variation or any indication of their origin, contents, or ultimate destination.

Edited to add:

NS engineers aren't afraid to "flog dem hosses" as they charge up around Horseshoe.  Back in the PRR-PC-CR) day, one could freqently keep up with WB traffic, even passenger trains, on foot.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:47 PM

cefinkjr
How boring it is to watch containers pass with very little variation or any indication of their origin, contents, or ultimate destination.

Better being bored in watching the boxes pass than to try to dodge all of them on I-80,

         

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:04 PM

BaltACD

 

 
AgentKid
 
Paul of Covington
Does anybody else out there look at all that intermodal traffic and wonder--Who on earth needs all that stuff? 

Yes, very often.

I keep expecting to see stories in the news about unexpected changes in elevation in parts of the US as stuff either arrives or leaves en-masse.

Bruce

 

And just imagine all those boxes on I-80 and I-90.

 

Or even on I-40,

Johnny

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Posted by cefinkjr on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:07 PM

BaltACD
 
cefinkjr
How boring it is to watch containers pass with very little variation or any indication of their origin, contents, or ultimate destination.

 

Better being bored in watching the boxes pass than to try to dodge all of them on I-80,

Excellent point, Sir! Bow

Chuck
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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:39 PM

BaltACD
The camera can be panned by the organization that operates it and it can follow a train from the entrance to the curve to it's exit.  One view of the cam graphically illustrates the grade difference from one end of the curve to the other.

One reason for not having a panning camera at Rochelle (it's been discussed in the past) is that there are numerous residences in the area.  It might be a little disconcerting to learn that someone could be looking in your window, or to see it yourself on your computer (as "someone" looks over your shoulder).

There was a camera in Flagstaff overlooking the BNSF main there.  It could also pan, but that feature was shut off at night, for the same reason.

The Fort Madison and Galesburg railcams also had pan, tilt and zoom.

I would go along with some lighting at Rochelle.  I'm sure it would be possible to install an LED light on a pole near the apex of the park in such a way that it would cast light on the passing trains but not on the neighboring homes.  Clearly the neighbors aren't a problem at the Curve.

As an alternative to a panning camera at Rochelle, it would be possible to have several cameras (two might do) so that trains approaching behind the existing camera could be seen.  They could be set up as insets to the main image.

I've long thought it would be handy to have insets of the signals approaching the diamond, as it would help give an indication of oncoming traffic.

Both "solutions" would likely require more bandwidth than is currently used there.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:52 PM

tree68
Both "solutions" would likely require more bandwidth than is currently used there.

I find the YouTube 'bandwidth' of Horseshoe Curve to be much easier and 'consistant' to access than the current EarthLink access at Rochelle.

I know a number of sports organizations have taken to showing their events on YouTube streaming channels rather than going through commercial television.

I don't know the economics of EarthLink vs. YouTube for streaming.

         

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Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:41 PM

I like the "replay" that you get with the YouTube feeds .. I can hop on a camera and see what has passed during the day.

I am not a big fan of PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) cameras as I may not want to see what the controller does, like following the lead engine zoomed in on the engineer. 

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Posted by xjqcf on Sunday, February 25, 2018 12:55 PM

I have been watching the Virtual Railfan Horseshoe Curve Youtube webcam since November, and it has pretty much replaced Trains Rochelle cam for regular viewing. Much of what Balt has related I concur with. Contributing to my almost total replacement of Rochelle was the contemporaneous failure of the Northern Illinois Railroads scanner feed on Broadcastify, which was really the only way I could get any hint of what might be getting near and for getting wind of problems and interpreting "strange" movements on the cam. The chat feature is really nice and a community of friendly (mostly) people participate. There are moderators and administrators who are either on the chat or who can be summoned to clean up problems that arise.

 

Among the regulars is someone who is an Altoona resident who hosts both a scanner feed and an ATCS feed. The latter is part of scheme to capture and "narrowcast" radio code line data to end users having special software that provides track occupancy and controlled signal status on a simplified dispatcher screen display. This gives a "heads up" for westbound movements. A second scanner feed and webcam are located at The Station Inn at Cresson PA (not part of VR), which is west of Horseshoe Curve gives some warning of eastbound moves.

 

Incidentally concerning Larry's suggestion about improving the Rochelle cam by adding views of the signals there is something almost as good: the above mentioned ATCS program (if you have a Windows computer). There are packages for both the UP Geneva subdivision and BNSF Aurora Subdivision, plus a special Rochelle package that covers both railroads in the local vacinity. I've tested them but find the UP coverage is very weak causing the display to show much misleading data making it to me mostly frustrating and worthless; the BNSF package, on the other hand, is very good, I'd stay 80-90% accurate and is what I've used the few times I've had the Rochelle cam up. It's fun to trace follow trains from Aurora and Savanna and see meets (and the occasional pass!) set up and executed. You do get a little warning of UP since their signals at the diamond are present as well as one track circuit on each approach.

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, February 25, 2018 2:42 PM

Railfan ATCS originally came directly from the radio feed that the railroad used.  It probably still does, so if the UP information is wrong, it may have something to do with the reliability of the radio signal to the server.

Early iterations of railfan ATCS involved modifications to scanners to pull off the information.  Then local users started setting up servers that allowed fans to pull the same information via the 'Net.

In some places the railroads have moved from terrestial radio to satellite.  The Deshler feed suffered that issue when the intermodal yard opened, causing a hole in the coverage.

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Posted by MKT Dave on Monday, February 26, 2018 11:06 AM

I watched the cams from Deshler OH, La Plata MO, La Grange KT, Flagstaff AZ, and Ashland VA. I still like Rochelle. I only wish one thing, that the Rochelle Cam had a volumn control. I could care less for the chat. I detest having to deal with Google, so I stay logged out.

My problem with the dual cams is they are not in sync, sometimes as much as two minutes.

They also don't want anyone mentioning trains on other cams, especially Rochelle, or the Trains.com cams.

...
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Posted by cefinkjr on Monday, February 26, 2018 12:13 PM

BaltACD

Did I thank you for tipping us to the Horseshoe web cam?  Can I take that back?  My productivity has gone down the tubes.

Chuck
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Posted by tree68 on Monday, February 26, 2018 12:58 PM

MKT Dave
My problem with the dual cams is they are not in sync, sometimes as much as two minutes.

I've switched cams at Deshler a few times only to find that the train going by on one is no where in evidence on the other.  Taking a look at the progress line at the bottom of the screen usually shows that the video is several minutes behind.  Simply clicking on the far right end of the progress line brings it up to date.

While there's plenty of traffic on the Curve, I like Deshler better, as there is variety, and I can walk away from my computer to do other things, returning when I hear a horn.

Some sort of shielding on the mics would be nice, though.  It was very windy in Deshler yesterday, and the noise was distracting.

OTOH, I'm looking forward to a live look at the diamond replacement when it occurs.  I was in Deshler when they replaced one track over Main Street.  I didn't sit and watch it, but it was quite the operation...

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Posted by phkmn2000 on Friday, March 02, 2018 3:22 PM

Camera down? All I get is white screen. (Chrome browser)

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