Semi-official Rochelle webcam discussion thread

201136 views
3085 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 8,503 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Friday, August 04, 2017 8:13 PM

Quoting Balt: "After the first cold night of the season the track circuits would diminish as the physical plant becomes accustomed to cold weather." That sounds as though the track circuits were flesh and blood.

You did mean "...the problems of the track circuits woul diminish..." did  you not?

Johnny

  • Member since
    April, 2007
  • From: Iowa
  • 2,684 posts
Posted by Semper Vaporo on Friday, August 04, 2017 8:48 PM

Deggesty

"Firing crowbars"?Laugh 

What in the world could the system have meant?

Where I worked we had some power supplies that had a feature known as a "Crowbar"... if the power supply recognized an over Voltage or over current state, to save the circuit it was supplying power to, it would Short Circuit the output of the power supply... the term "Crowbar" came from the action being similar to laying a "Crowbar" (yes, a big metal wrecking tool) across the output of the power supply.

I assume the "Firing crowbars" may have been something similar... a means to protect the traction motors from over Voltage/current, or to immediately remove any power to the motors to bring them to a stop quickly.

Semper Vaporo

Pkgs.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,501 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, August 05, 2017 7:49 AM

Deggesty
Quoting Balt: "After the first cold night of the season the track circuits would diminish as the physical plant becomes accustomed to cold weather." That sounds as though the track circuits were flesh and blood.

You did mean "...the problems of the track circuits woul diminish..." did  you not?

In CTC territory when a train occupys a track segment, it 'turns on' the track occupancy light that corresponds to that track segment on the Train Dispatchers model board or other display.  The track occupancy light is commonly referred to as a 'track circuit'.  Broken rails and pull-a-parts, among other defects, also turn on 'track circuits'.

The normal chain of events is that a train operates over a track segment and goes onto the next track segment.  The track occupancy light for the original track segment stays lit, even though there is not a train occupying it.  The Dispatcher notices the 'track circuit' staying lit and reports it to Signals and MofW.  Signal maintainer and/or Track inspector inspect the territory covered by the track circuit and discover the reason it stayed on - in cold weather it is more likely a broken rail or a pull-a-part.  Once the defect is properly repaired, the track circuit display on the model board goes out.  To the Train Dispatcher, the experience of seeing unexplained track circuits is akin to feeling a flesh and blood occurence on 'HIS' railroad.

Another frequent cause of a track circuit staying on is a 'broken bond wire' - a wire that is welded directly to the rails where joint bars join the rails together.  The bond wire insures the electrical connection between the rails and doesn't rely on the metal to metal connectivity of all the parts that constitute the joint bars, as over time all those parts will develop a rust surface and rust does not a good electrical conductor.

My statement was meant to infer was that once the weather turns cold and stays cold - through a variety of actions - the components of the track structure adjust their stresses and defects that are caused by temperature change diminish.  By the same token, the first hot day of Spring will present it's own issues account temperature change.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: wilsonville, or
  • 35 posts
Posted by schmaltz on Friday, August 11, 2017 11:31 AM

I believe that many trains hstill have cabooses at the end. They are just shaped like full sized locomotives now.

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Saturday, August 12, 2017 2:12 PM

Well this is impressive.

The sixth train, a EB UP has just crossed the diamonds alternating with BNSF trains just like any traffic light in any city. No muss, no fuss, no waiting.

schmaltz
I believe that many trains hstill have cabooses at the end. They are just shaped like full sized locomotives now.

I think so.Smile Sure seems like it.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Saturday, August 12, 2017 2:19 PM

Or, to put it another way, both the UP and BNSF dispatcher's "Big Pictures" must have been in focus.

Maybe they have a new sync app.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,501 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, August 12, 2017 2:58 PM

AgentKid
Well this is impressive.

The sixth train, a EB UP has just crossed the diamonds alternating with BNSF trains just like any traffic light in any city. No muss, no fuss, no waiting.

 

 
schmaltz
I believe that many trains hstill have cabooses at the end. They are just shaped like full sized locomotives now.

 

I think so.Smile Sure seems like it.

Bruce

Remember - where trains get stopped (because of road crossings) because they don't have a 'straight shot' across the diamonds are out of view of the camera - by upto several miles.  What you are seeing across the diamond may not be all that fluid and well timed as it seems.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • From: Muskogee Oklahoma
  • 154 posts
Posted by MKT Dave on Friday, August 18, 2017 1:06 PM

Two Engines One Container car just crossed the diamonds EB... Very heavy can???

fumble fingers me couldn't get a picture of it.

...
  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 1:19 PM

An unremarkable EB BNSF intermodal train just crossed the diamonds at 1310 CDT, but...

On the third of four units there must have been a particularly unacceptable piece of graffiti on the side. At which point someone applied what had to be the most slapdash looking white coverup paint job I have ever seen. Somewhere between rapid brush work and throwing a couple of cans of paint at the problem. No doubt a story to be told there.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 17,337 posts
Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 7:12 AM

MKT Dave
Two Engines One Container car just crossed the diamonds EB... Very heavy can???

I've seen that a couple of times on the CSX Chicago line through Utica.  Either a "hot" can or some sort of contract requirement...

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    April, 2007
  • From: Iowa
  • 2,684 posts
Posted by Semper Vaporo on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 9:07 AM

Might have been a light power move to get a heavy train and that car needed to get to that same place (for repair, or maybe had been repaired and needed to catch up to the rest of the train), so it was tacked onto the end of the light power move.

Semper Vaporo

Pkgs.

  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Marietta, GA
  • 865 posts
Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 12:18 PM

Doing more work on the BNSF Siding ..  looks like the gravel pile on the far side is gone as well.

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:48 PM

UP just had a WB mixed consist train clear the diamonds at 1536 CDT with some very interesting tank cars.

These things were huge. The diameter was way bigger than what looked like typical DOT-111 cars which were next to them. This had to be testing the limits of clearance definitions. They had what were probably normal sized domes on top, but on these cars they looked like pimples. Interestingly, they didn't look any longer than the cars next to them. I imagine that was a backwards compatabily concession to allow loading and unloading of cuts of cars at existing facilities.

I wonder where we could find more information.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,501 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 9:55 PM

AgentKid
UP just had a WB mixed consist train clear the diamonds at 1536 CDT with some very interesting tank cars.

These things were huge. The diameter was way bigger than what looked like typical DOT-111 cars which were next to them. This had to be testing the limits of clearance definitions. They had what were probably normal sized domes on top, but on these cars they looked like pimples. Interestingly, they didn't look any longer than the cars next to them. I imagine that was a backwards compatabily concession to allow loading and unloading of cuts of cars at existing facilities.

I wonder where we could find more information.

Bruce 

If you can catch a car number it can be looked up in UMLER

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Thursday, August 24, 2017 11:56 AM

BaltACD
If you can catch a car number it can be looked up in UMLER

The unfulfilled dream of all Rochelle Cam viewers.

I was pretty vague in my statement. I guess what I would like to see is a site somewhere between endless lists of Reporting Marks and car numbers, and a compendium of Car Builder press releases. Something like a who and why they need it, of the more uncommon types of cars we see.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    June, 2001
  • From: Lombard (west of Chicago), Illinois
  • 12,943 posts
Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, August 24, 2017 8:23 PM

That's kind of up my alley.

I have no idea what was seen, but, given a reporting mark and number, I might be able to help.  If it was on UP, this is pretty much home territory, and I probably have seen something similar.  And if I haven't...well, man, it sounds interesting!

I'm no longer privy to origins or destinations (and I miss that aspect of my job--at least having it available to me), but tank cars are often commodity-specific.

Now, if it looked like it was the same size as surrounding tank cars, and in a decent string of same, it may have been one of the rebuilt cars with head shields and jacketing added.  That would require major changes to the ladders and other appliances that are/were alog the sides, and possibly new requirements for manways and outlets as well.

Carl

Railroader Emeritus (practiced railroading for 46 years--and in 2010 I finally got it right!)

CAACSCOCOM--I don't want to behave improperly, so I just won't behave at all. (SM)

  • Member since
    September, 2007
  • 148 posts
Posted by MrLynn on Friday, August 25, 2017 9:21 AM

REMINDER (shameless self-promotion):

If any readers missed the dramatic DIAMOND REPLACEMENT at the end of May, I wrote a blog post about it, complete with screen shots.  See HERE.  It doesn't happen very often.

/Mr Lynn 

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Allen, TX
  • 1,152 posts
Posted by cefinkjr on Friday, August 25, 2017 11:38 AM

MrLynn

REMINDER (shameless self-promotion):

If any readers missed the dramatic DIAMOND REPLACEMENT at the end of May, I wrote a blog post about it, complete with screen shots.  See HERE.  It doesn't happen very often.

/Mr Lynn 

You are hereby forgiven for the sin of self-promotion; in fact, I want to thank you for writing this blog post in the first place and then telling us about it in this thread.  VFW activities surrounding Memorial Day took me away from the web cam at the critical time and my travels afterward apparently made me miss any previous links to your blog post.

Thanks again for a great job of documenting the diamond replacement.

Chuck
Allen, TX

  • Member since
    September, 2007
  • 148 posts
Posted by MrLynn on Friday, August 25, 2017 1:29 PM

cefinkjr

 

 
MrLynn

REMINDER (shameless self-promotion):

If any readers missed the dramatic DIAMOND REPLACEMENT at the end of May, I wrote a blog post about it, complete with screen shots.  See HERE.  It doesn't happen very often.

/Mr Lynn 

 

You are hereby forgiven for the sin of self-promotion; in fact, I want to thank you for writing this blog post in the first place and then telling us about it in this thread.  VFW activities surrounding Memorial Day took me away from the web cam at the critical time and my travels afterward apparently made me miss any previous links to your blog post.

Thanks again for a great job of documenting the diamond replacement.

Thanks, Chuck.  I was thinking of starting a separate thread in the General forum, but didn't know if it would be permitted.  I figured a lot of folks might have missed the diamond replacement because of the holiday.

And thanks for your service.

/Mr Lynn 

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Friday, August 25, 2017 2:36 PM

Looks like BNSF let their executives out of their holding pens(offices) for a EB road trip on the Private Car fleet that crossed the diamonds at 1429 CDT. A very big train, with many different types of passenger cars and one car that looked like it was full of equipment. Possibly a power car or test car.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Friday, August 25, 2017 2:56 PM

CShaveRR
Now, if it looked like it was the same size as surrounding tank cars, and in a decent string of same, it may have been one of the rebuilt cars with head shields and jacketing added. That would require major changes to the ladders and other appliances that are/were alog the sides, and possibly new requirements for manways and outlets as well.

If it was jacketing, it would have been very thick. There were about a half dozen or so cars, one group of three next to what you would call "normal" sized DOT-111 cars and the rest sprinkled throughout the consist. There didn't seem to be any room around the dome for any kind of safety railing and still stay within the clearance tolerances.

I didn't mention it yesterday, but the ends were unusual. I don't know what the right terminology is, but the ends seemed almost flat, and joined the sides in what seemed almost a square joint. Like a flat screw top lid on a glass food jar.

I now wonder if the extra size was thick insulation to keep some fluid either very hot, or cold, which would also explain the very small exposure of the dome.

The kind of mystery I like.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • From: Muskogee Oklahoma
  • 154 posts
Posted by MKT Dave on Sunday, August 27, 2017 7:15 PM

Approx 1846, an orange vested 'person' stood by the track, and a EB BNSF coal train, pulled up within a couple hundred feet of the diamonds track #2, shut down. Approx 19.00 it's lights came on, with it crawling at 1 to 2 mph, it crawled across the diamonds. Still crossing now at 19.15 highballing at 5 - 10 mph.

...
  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • From: Muskogee Oklahoma
  • 154 posts
Posted by MKT Dave on Sunday, August 27, 2017 7:16 PM

MKT Dave

Approx 1846, an orange vested 'person' stood by the track, and a EB BNSF coal train, pulled up within a couple hundred feet of the diamonds track #2, shut down. Approx 19.00 it's lights came on, with it crawling at 1 to 2 mph, it crawled across the diamonds. Still crossing now at 19.15 highballing at 5 - 10 mph.

Just as I hit enter, a maintenance truck pulled up to the diamonds.

 

...
  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Marietta, GA
  • 865 posts
Posted by rdamon on Monday, August 28, 2017 6:55 AM

Looks like some new / additional PTC antennas near the BNSF signal bungalow

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • 165 posts
Posted by xjqcf on Monday, August 28, 2017 12:31 PM

Westbound BNSF Officer's Special due shortly

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • 165 posts
Posted by xjqcf on Monday, August 28, 2017 1:33 PM

xjqcf

Westbound BNSF Officer's Special due shortly

 

By at 1:30; 60 axles with one GE T4 and 12 cars

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Monday, August 28, 2017 3:27 PM

MKT Dave
a EB BNSF coal train, pulled up within a couple hundred feet of the diamonds track #2, shut down. Approx 19.00 it's lights came on, with it crawling at 1 to 2 mph, it crawled across the diamonds

I was watching for quite a while yesterday afternoon and several times WB BNSF trains crawled across the diamonds. Every time though, it was met by a EB train. Once most of the EB was by, the WB would begin to speed up. I'm not sure what the crossover situation is like west of the diamonds, but it looked like the type of thing you would see at a meet on a single track line.

I wonder if it was all part of the same construction mentioned above.

I can't believe I saw the back windows of the office train disappearing behind the trees when I first logged on today.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Champaign, IL
  • 183 posts
Posted by DennisHeld on Monday, August 28, 2017 6:53 PM

Was able to catch it crossing.  Thanks for the heads up!

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 17,337 posts
Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:18 PM

AgentKid
I'm not sure what the crossover situation is like west of the diamonds, but it looked like the type of thing you would see at a meet on a single track line.

Except for the stretch through Rochelle, the BNSF line is single track.  The double track runs from about 5 miles SE of Rochelle (Steward) to 3 miles NW of Rochelle (Flagg Center) - probably 8 miles, total. 

There's a short siding at Chana (west of Rochelle), and one east of Rochelle at Shabbona.

 

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,144 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:33 PM

The MOW people did their jobs well yesterday. An EB UP coal train just crossed the diamonds at 1226 CDT, on the near track, at track speed, steady as she goes.

Only one car in the entire train emitted that squeaking bed spring sound as it crossed the diamonds, and not very much at that.

Hope it stays that way.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

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

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy

Search the Community