News Wire: UP operates passenger special to New Jersey

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Thursday, May 31, 2018 10:59 AM

CHICAGO – Union Pacific dispatched its business train from Council Bluffs, Iowa, eastward on Wednesday towards Croxton, N.J., via Chicago. The special, symbolled PCHCH3 30 departed early in the morning of May 30, according to a source close to ...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/05/31-union-pacific-operates-passenger-special-to-new-jersey

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Thursday, May 31, 2018 9:33 PM

Link to a really good video of the train going around Horseshoe Curve, from one of the comments to the News Wire article:

"Gorgeous Office Car Special at the Curve"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl6NE8VZqC0 

Well worth the 6:04 it takes to watch it all.  Notice the young future railfans, too!

- PDN. 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, June 01, 2018 10:21 AM

Thanks.  I was surprised by it coming through the Chicago western suburbs several days ago, albeit moving considerably faster.  It was so quiet compared to the often poorly maintained Metra trains (old engines needing retirement, rattletrap cars) and UP freights (some engines need rebuilding, many flatspot wheels on freight cars, etc).

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Posted by sandyhookken on Friday, June 08, 2018 2:52 PM

What's the difference between the UP and NS cab signals? Is it totally different operating systems and hardware, or similar hardware with different proprietary software?

Would it be possible to run UP thru on NS (and Vice-versa) with a switch in the cab to change systems, or is it more comlicated?

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Posted by oltmannd on Friday, June 08, 2018 5:53 PM

sandyhookken

What's the difference between the UP and NS cab signals? Is it totally different operating systems and hardware, or similar hardware with different proprietary software?

Would it be possible to run UP thru on NS (and Vice-versa) with a switch in the cab to change systems, or is it more comlicated?

 

Not sure about the particulars of the UP system, but I'd guess the fundamental difference is the carrier frequency.  NS uses the old PRR 100Hz system.  Pretty much everyone else uses (or used) 60 Hz.  The carrier is the thing that gets chopped into the "beats per minute" for the four aspects. 

Amtrak used to (and probably still does) have multi-system cab signal system on their locomotives, so it is "switch flippable" at some level of complexity.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, June 08, 2018 6:43 PM

No surprise they're coming east to New Jersey.

Where can you find a decent pizza in Council Bluffs?

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, June 08, 2018 8:49 PM

Firelock76
No surprise they're coming east to New Jersey.

Where can you find a decent pizza in Council Bluffs?

Don't think the UP business train depend upon on call ahead food service like Amtrak would desire to implement.

         

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, June 08, 2018 8:50 PM

BaltACD
Don't think the UP business train depend upon on call ahead food service like Amtrak would desire to implement.

But they were in Croxton.  It'd be a crime if they didn't get some real pizza.

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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, June 09, 2018 6:29 AM

Firelock76
Where can you find a decent pizza in Council Bluffs?

Can't speak for Council Bluffs, but sometimes you'd be surprised...

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, June 09, 2018 6:57 AM

zugmann
 
BaltACD
Don't think the UP business train depend upon on call ahead food service like Amtrak would desire to implement.

 

But they were in Croxton.  It'd be a crime if they didn't get some real pizza.

 
Croxton is a long way from Chicago.
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Posted by CShaveRR on Saturday, June 09, 2018 8:50 AM

Thanks, Paul--I was going to point out that Council Bluffs is no longer the eastern terminus of the UP.  And we have a couple of places a short walk from Proviso that offer fantastic pizza!

Also, I had some "New York" style pizza (one huge slice).  They cook it and dump the ingredients on top!  Maybe not in that order, but it's not at all integrayed as a good pizza should be.

Carl

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 09, 2018 10:35 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
 
zugmann
 
BaltACD
Don't think the UP business train depend upon on call ahead food service like Amtrak would desire to implement.

 

But they were in Croxton.  It'd be a crime if they didn't get some real pizza.

 

 

 
Croxton is a long way from Chicago.
 

Well, that's if you folks in the Chicago area want to call what you've got out there pizza!

Relax, my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek!  It's all good.

Besides, those folks on the UP business train might also be coming east to sample the Jersey bakeries, diners, and burger and hot dog joints!

And in that vein, and on a sad note, RIP Anthony Bourdain.  Why, Tony?  Why?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, June 10, 2018 3:12 PM

Firelock76

 

 
CSSHEGEWISCH
 
zugmann
 
BaltACD
Don't think the UP business train depend upon on call ahead food service like Amtrak would desire to implement.

 

But they were in Croxton.  It'd be a crime if they didn't get some real pizza.

 

 

 
Croxton is a long way from Chicago.
 

 

 

Well, that's if you folks in the Chicago area want to call what you've got out there pizza!

Relax, my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek!  It's all good.

Besides, those folks on the UP business train might also be coming east to sample the Jersey bakeries, diners, and burger and hot dog joints!

And in that vein, and on a sad note, RIP Anthony Bourdain.  Why, Tony?  Why?

 

Sad.  There is probably some back story here than we may never know.

Does anyone know when the return trip is/was?

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, June 10, 2018 3:16 PM

charlie hebdo
Does anyone know when the return trip is/was?

Last Monday.

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Posted by oltmannd on Sunday, June 10, 2018 3:43 PM

Did anyone ever find anthing official from UP about why they ran the train?

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 4:17 PM

In all seriousness this time, that's probably for them to know and for us to find out.

It may be something big and unexpected.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 6:11 PM

This was a special for the Harriman familly, which is still a major stockholder in Union Pacific. They were celebrating 125 years of ownership of Union Pacific. The special ran up the Southern Tier (former Erie) to Harriman, New York for an event. The first EHH - Edward Henry Harriman (who went by "Ned") - bought numerous railroads that were in financial trouble and turned them around, including the Illinois Central, the Union Pacific and the Erie among others.

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/660026/

If you head over to railpictures.net and search for locomotive type "SD70ACe, railroad "Union Pacific", and key word "1943" you will pull up numerous photos of the UP Office Car Special.

I am hoping it is a precursor to a Coast-to-Coast run of the Big Boy to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, June 10, 2018 7:47 PM

kgbw49
I am hoping it is a precursor to a Coast-to-Coast run of the Big Boy to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

I've heard horror stories when they brought the challenger to the east all those years back.  Stranger things have happened, but I won't bet a full box of donuts.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 8:13 PM

The UP brought the Challenger east back in the 90's per CSX request (My, how times have changed!)  for use on the CSX/Clinchfield "Santa Train."  Actually it was a good fit, the Clinchfield did run Challenger types back in the old days.

Where the problem came from was CSX didn't check the clearances as carefully as they should have resulting in damage to the Challenger.  Nothing crippling, and nothing that couldn't be fixed, but the UP steam crew were hopping mad over it.

IF the Big Boy does a coast-to-coast run, and there's no reason why it can't, you'd better believe clearances will be checked, double checked, and triple checked.  If that Big Boy gets damaged someone's likely to be pummeled beyond recognition!

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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, June 11, 2018 9:45 AM

Firelock76:  Note: On that trip of 3985's to participate with CSX in the annual Clinchfield RR's Santa Train.  It was in the Fall of 1992, and the 3985 [under the giuse of CRR#676] came off its run via St.Louis, and into Memphis.    It was in Memphis that she blew out  the forced draft fitting in the bottom of her smoke box[ a small cast iron piece that weighed much less than a pound (?)].   Long and short of it, was she spent  2 days parked [at site of the old Lenox ST. Station, nee; L&NRR]at the very east End of the UP's track [nee; MoPac] in Memphis; while the steam crew cooled her down enough to open, and ;get in the smoke box for the repair. 

  For those of us who watched[ a one point i looked around and there were parked pick up trucks from every other railroad in town, not to mention also several of the management types, as well]  the whole' show' it was really interesting.               As 3985 was used to switch-out the cars in her train to get her to a fire plug for water, and close to where the fuel tanker could do the refueling.  Then moved the steam generator car up close for the 're-start'.           It was not often, one sees an engine that large used to 'switch' cars.

The 3985 then went to Bruceton, Tn. [nee: Div. point on L&N] eventually, to the CSX shops at Huntington WVA. Where she was morphed into CRR 676. 

The incident you described where the engine was damaged was over on the CRR line. Apparently, some coal cars were spotted too close to a  switch, and the running board on 3985 had several feet damaged and removed by the crew.  The trip was very successful, otherwise. We were told in Memphis, the reason and rationale for the whoe trip was  an anniversay of the CRR's Santa Train, and at the behest of the Transportation Dept(?) at Kingsport's(Tn.); Eastman(Kodak?) Chemical Plant(?). Not to mention another aspect, was that at some point, about that time there were [supposedly,] some sort of 'discussions'(?) taking place bwtn CSX and UPRR(?)..

Anyway, that was 'the story' being told in Memphis....IIRC Whistling

As for the UPRR Steam Crew...We were told they had made inspection trips {Hi-Rail?], allong the whole route that 3985 was to travel; done so there would be no 'whoopses'. Apparently, a CSX switch crew 'failed to read the memo'?  I know trips like that are definitely problematic; for an engine that large in strange territory. I do know she set off every ' high height warning device' around Memphis, as she moved across town to Leawood Yard.

linked here is a video of part of that 1992 trip to East Tenn. @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlwDB-vCFVY

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, June 11, 2018 10:01 AM

Yes, Sam, Tennessee Eastman was a division of Eastman Kodak. I do not know what all was done there, but I do know that various dyes were developed there (and one of my college classmates held the patents for the many dyes that he developed).

Johnny

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:17 PM

Well thanks for that Sam!  I knew there was some trouble and damage to 3985 but wasn't aware of the "whys and wherefors."

Some CSX guys didn't get the memo.  Hmm, remember that saying we had in the Marines?

"There's always some poor ******* that doesn't get the word!"

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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 9:59 AM

Firelock76

Well thanks for that Sam!  I knew there was some trouble and damage to 3985 but wasn't aware of the "whys and wherefors."

Some CSX guys didn't get the memo.  Hmm, remember that saying we had in the Marines?

"There's always some poor ******* that doesn't get the word!"

Thanks, Wayne[Firelock76]:

As Paul Harvey, was known to have said"...The rest of the story..."

  Here is  a little more solid informational resource, and help with this tale. Whistling     **The UPRR's 3985's (as CRR's #676)journey  to pull the 50th Anniversary [1992] version of CRR's annual 'Santa Train' : story by Ron Flannery

[The following information was published[and was excerpted from] TRAINS magazine in December of 2005.   RON FLANARY, of Big Stone Gap, Va., is a frequent contributor to TRAINS and CLASSIC TRAINS. He rode his first Santa Claus Special in 1982, and has ridden several times since.]     

 It was a pretty extensive article on the history and functions of this annual Appalachian area event.  If one can get a copy, and has an interest in CRR or that area of Tennesse, Kentucky, and Virginia...It is a good read IMHO.  [Thanks to a good friend for his help on this.] Bow

From Ron Flannery's TRAINS article "...In 1988, a group of local fans (including the author) arranged with Steve Lee, head of Union Pacific's steam program, to disguise UP Challenger No. 3985 as "Clinchfield 675." The Clinch had acquired six identical, UP-designed 4-6-6-4s second-hand in 1947; the articulateds had operated on the Denver & Rio Grande Western during the late years of World War II, but the D&RGW had no use for the "UP" engines. With stick-on lettering, cardboard numerals for the number boards, and a wooden number plate, the 3985 briefly assumed the identity of a Clinchfield Challenger late one evening beside UP's backshop in Cheyenne, Wyo. A year later, a semi-serious suggestion from David DeVault, then Eastman Chemical's manager of rail services, to CSX's Jerry Davis--a former Union Pacific man with close ties to UP chairman Drew Lewis--yielded an agreement to bring the 3985 to Tennessee for the Santa train's 50th anniversary.

 

It was a logistical chore for CSX and UP to steam the big engine from Wyoming to Kingsport and back, but they pulled it off. The Challenger sharply overhung the Clinchfield's 14-degree curves, and during the southbound ferry run, she sideswiped an empty hopper train in the siding at Boody, Va. CSX's Erwin shop crew tackled the damage--a bent running board--and fashioned a replacement that night, enabling the engine to leave the next morning. At Kingsport, though, the 4-6-6-4's huge pedestal tender couldn't negotiate the tight radius of a seldom-used wye, requiring a 110-mile backup move to have the engine in place to pull the Santa train. Employing the 3985 was difficult, and it was expensive, but all agreed it was a landmark event that netted more positive press than ever before. .."

 So there you have it!  Big Smile

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:12 PM

sandyhookken

What's the difference between the UP and NS cab signals? Is it totally different operating systems and hardware, or similar hardware with different proprietary software?

Would it be possible to run UP thru on NS (and Vice-versa) with a switch in the cab to change systems, or is it more comlicated?

 

I found out last night that the UP1943 was modified to operate on NS cab signals. The modification is more than throwing a switch, probably changing out electrical cards to be able to read the different carrier frequencies.  

On the return trip once again on home rails, it still was set up for NS signals.  It couldn't lead from Chicago to Council Bluffs.

While I believe PTC is in use all the way across Illinois and Iowa, trains still are required to have an ATC/cab signal equipped leader in case PTC fails.  Currently trains operate either with PTC or cab signals.  If the leader has operative PTC, it is used and cab signals are cut out.  If the PTC isn't operative or the unit isn't equipped, then cab signals are used.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:27 PM

Could you build a locomotive with both systems, and then install a switch to select between two?

Or have a separate breaker for each system, and only turn on the one you want.

Would make run-throughs a lot simpler.  Of course if everyone is going to be using the same I-ETMS PTC system this may be a moot point.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:46 PM

Sure you could.  UP engines built since a few years before the CNW merger have dual cab signal systems.  UP's four aspect coded cab signal and former CNW's two aspect automatic train control.

Jeff 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 4:35 PM

jeffhergert
Sure you could.  UP engines built since a few years before the CNW merger have dual cab signal systems.  UP's four aspect coded cab signal and former CNW's two aspect automatic train control.

Jeff 

That leads to the bigger question - I suspect PTC is being installed on the territories where the UP Cab Signals and the CNW Cab Signals are currently installed.

With the installation of PTC will those Cab Signal systems be retained?

         

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 6:07 PM

BaltACD

 

 
jeffhergert
Sure you could.  UP engines built since a few years before the CNW merger have dual cab signal systems.  UP's four aspect coded cab signal and former CNW's two aspect automatic train control.

Jeff 

 

That leads to the bigger question - I suspect PTC is being installed on the territories where the UP Cab Signals and the CNW Cab Signals are currently installed.

With the installation of PTC will those Cab Signal systems be retained?

 

I think the CCS will be retained, for a while anyway.  I look for the ATC, because it is a more restrictive cab signal system, will go away fast.  UP has long wanted to get rid of  the ATC.

Jeff 

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