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Chatterbox Summer 2016

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Posted by BOB WITHORN on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 6:23 AM

MS,

DOGs, they're great as long as they belong to someone else, kind of like grand children, at some point it's nice to see them go home.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 7:14 AM

Got back from my vacation late last week on Amtrak's Northern Rail Experience package.  It was really nice except that an extra day in Seattle would have been appreciated.  Our hotel in San Francisco was near Fisherman's Wharf at the turnaround for the historic trolley route (F line).  It was pleasant Yes to watch and photograph PCC cars from my window.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 10:40 AM

CShaveRR
One has to remember that poodles can be large dogs, too.

I'll be watching my daughters's standard poodle next week.  She's a real character.  All black.  Her predecessor was named "Rosie" and did have a pinkish tinge to her coat.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by JoeKoh on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 4:51 PM

evening

eastbound frieght and westbound stacker when I left work.work still busy.Maybe rain on Friday according to the guessers.Chores to do.

stay safe

Joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").

 

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:42 PM

No rest for the weary department:

Been trying to get my truck inspected.  It failed on a tire and the emergency brakes.  Got the new tire today.  Going in tomorrow morning for the brakes.

Tomorrow afternoon it's a trip to the daughter's house to pick up their dog, which I'm sitting for the next 10 days.  That trip will include supper out - they head out on their vacation Saturday.

But wait!  There's more!  Just got a phone call from one of our chiefs.  Seems the local TV station saw a picture of our old fire engine with said chief's son riding along on FB.  He's about 5 and a huge fire buff.

So, between the work on my truck, and the trip for the dog, I get to do a TV interview and show off the truck.  

Who says retirement is easy? 

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Mookie on Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:49 PM

tree68
I'll be watching my daughters's standard poodle next week.

What is her handle?  

She who has no signature! cinscocom-tmw

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:54 PM

Mookie
What is her handle?  

Zoe.

Just as black as night, and a character to boot.  

Should be an interesting week.

But she's been here before.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, July 28, 2016 4:51 PM

Retirment is not easy, Larry...doesn't help when advancing age gets in the way.  I thought I had things all figured out, but sh...tuff happens.  (I'll bet you wish about now that the dog was a dalmatian!)

This week, for example:  medical appointents Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Tuesday was for mowing the lawn.  That leaves Thursday for train-watching.  That was today.

Just a couple of drawbacks...the weather called for scattered thunderstorms.  It wasn't raining when I walked to the station, or when I got off the train in Elmhurst, but it started up soon afterwards.  I later went east to Oak Park, then came back west to Elmhurst, before returning home.  I was able to dodge most of the storms, and had my umbrella available for when the rain was heavy enough.

Second...it's Lollapalooza weekend in Chicago.  That means that all morning the inbound scoots were packed, and the crowds will continue well into the evening.  Oh, yes...this evening also holds a game between the Cubs and the White Sox at Wrigley Field (last game of a four-game series).  The agency at Elmhurst is staying open until suppertime tonight, later in the afternoon tomorrow, and has Saturday and Sunday hours as well.

Anyway, my train was late into Lombard, due to accommodating passengers.  It pulled up to the point where the first three cars--presumably full--were off the platform.  I remained in the vestibule as about 50 or more other passengers searched for seats.  There was a goodly crowd waiting to board at Villa Park, too, and Elmhurst had to have had well over 100 people wanting to get on an already-crowded train.  I got off, ready to forego the trip into East Proviso...I mean, Oak Park.  

One reassuring sign was an empty westbound scoot consist going through Elmhurst without stopping--I suspected that I'd see this one coming east again, and soon.

An hour later, the next inbound scoot was running late due to accommodating boarding passengers.  And there were long lines in Elmhurst--at the ticket window, at the bathroom door, and on the platform.  The announcement was then made the inbound scoot was filled to capacity, and would be expressing from Lombard in to Chicago (this was later changed to omit the Lombard stop as well, and express from Glen Ellyn).  It would be followed by an extra scoot to pick the rest of the people up.

Before too long the original scoot came through, and I got a very good impression of what "filled to capacity" meant...the vestibules were packed, people were standing in the aisles, and many of the seats had more than two people in them.  This train had crossed over in Lombard, and went through Elmhurst on Track 2, staying away from the platform.  

I decided to board the extra scoot, in spite of there being a lot of other people with the same idea.  Most people were standing by the station, which became more crowded when the rain began to fall.  I was up to where I could board toward the front of the train.  I shared my umbrella with an appreciative young lady (I'd surmised that she also was not going to Lollapalooza, since she wasn't dressed like a lot of the folks).  This worked until the rain came down too hard, and we moved under the canopy to wait with the crowds.  When the train came, I walked her to a coach of her choice, then moved on to the lead car, which was--surprisingly--nearly empty.

By Oak Park, the rain had stopped, and I got off and went to lunch (there were Five Guys that I had an appointment with, but I only ever saw three of them).  The fact that the train I'd gotten off was not on a regular schedule meant that I had plenty of time for lunch, instead of having to bring my food back to the platform to catch the next scoot. 

I saw an eastbound manifest freight before I got back to the platform (I'd have been up there for more of it had it not been for a cute little guy in a stroller who'd waved back to me!).  And when I'd gotten to the proper platform, it was gently raining again...not quite hard enough for the umbrella.

We got to Elmhurst in time to see another crowd of Lollapalooza guests get onto an already-crowded train for the city.  It was still raining, but I was able to get in a walk to the store and back.  And, as the signals and lack of headlights were telling me, it wasn't worth lingering much longer, so I caught the next scoot to Lombard.  When our train got to Villa Park, the skies unloaded again.  At Lombard, I took note of the rooftop dining my favorite local eatery is putting in (not sure yet whether it will offer me any advantages in train-watching), then went to the drug store for my surgical stuff (the rough equivalent of a mom-to-be packing a bag for the trip to the hospital).  Pat picked me up from there, and now (well, soon!) I'm working on some of the neat sightings I got today.

Carl

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Posted by JoeKoh on Thursday, July 28, 2016 6:21 PM

evening

ns had an eastbound when I left work.Matt and I went into town.Csx had 2 eastbounds waiting back to back at FC.A westbound stack train came by as we left.Stopped in an Ice cream place because when you bought ice cream they donated proceeds to Children's miracle network.Going to go enjoy our treat for hard work finished.Glad tomorrow is Friday.

stay safe

Joe

ps got our new "Trains" to ponder over as well.

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, July 29, 2016 6:52 AM

Carl, I noticed a similar increase in passengers on my line.  I usually catch the 5:18 out of CUS on the Southwest Service.  The consist usually arrives at the platform on an inbound run at 5:04 with about 20-25 passengers in the one working car.  Yesterday, it arrived at about 5:10 with around 80+ passengers.  And we still departed on time.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by JoeKoh on Friday, July 29, 2016 3:53 PM

afternoon

work is done.Ns was clear when I left work.Working on projects around the house.(where does that list end??) Mother nature sent us a shower.Will mow the swamp tomorrow morning.Mamma and Matt are playing cards at G+G house.I told Matt not to cheat.

stay safe

joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").

 

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Posted by CShaveRR on Friday, July 29, 2016 8:19 PM

Just imagine if all of those folks had decided to drive, park, and otherwise navigate in the city!  Even if the transit service requires government support for days like this, it's probably worth it just to avert the economic disaster that would result if the city were tied up in knots!  It might even have been worse than the Bilandic Blizzard.

They did it again--I was lucky enough to see empty exra trains running west on both UP West and the BNSF today.  Since the one I saw on BNSF was later in the day than the one I saw on UP, I suspect that it was not their first of the day.

And again, the rain came.  Here we got 0.4 inches today instead of the two inches plus of yesterday.  We're still above water.

And again, signal problems on the south side of Union Station.  Glad you didn't get caught by that today, Paul!

Carl

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, July 29, 2016 8:46 PM

Truck fixed and inspected - check.

TV interview done - check

Dinner with daughter and family - check (the baby warmed right up when I started playing with her).

Dog here and settling in - check.

Bed - next.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, July 30, 2016 6:58 AM

CShaveRR

And again, signal problems on the south side of Union Station.  Glad you didn't get caught by that today, Paul!

 

 
If you meant the signal outages on Thursday, I was caught in that.  The 5:00 departure was delayed so I was able to board that and we didn't leave Union Station until about 6:00.  So I was about 45 minutes late from my usual departure time.  Friday went smoothly.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by JoeKoh on Saturday, July 30, 2016 9:21 AM

Mother nature sent a little shower overnight.Trimmed a bush and mowed the swamp.Matt was rented out for the day.Chores to do inside here at home.

stay safe

Joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").

 

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Posted by switch7frg on Saturday, July 30, 2016 11:25 AM

Smile Joe, with all the new signaling in place system wide, is the Crestline tower still active??

Y6bs evergreen in my mind

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Posted by JoeKoh on Sunday, July 31, 2016 4:46 PM

went west to wander.Saw a loong train climb Hicksville hill on track 2 westbound.Also saw a local come out of Garrett to service the steel mill near Butler Indiana.CSX has trackage rights on NS' former wabash line.I know "F" tower is closed.I will look up when Crestline was closed.Work tomorrow.

stay safe

Joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").

 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Sunday, July 31, 2016 5:01 PM

JoeKoh

went west to wander.Saw a loong train climb Hicksville hill on track 2 westbound.Also saw a local come out of Garrett to service the steel mill near Butler Indiana.CSX has trackage rights on NS' former wabash line.I know "F" tower is closed.I will look up when Crestline was closed.Work tomorrow.

stay safe

Joe

 

  Interesting Joe:  Whistling  Nice day around here, starting to warm up after a couple of days of the monsoons (2.1/4 " in rain gauge- n abt 30 hrs).  The neighbors started friday night... There was a late unit coal train move (to TX?) then  couple of EB double stacks (1JBH and an Import Dbl Stacker).  Morning brought a WB Sand train,  and today a WB Auto Rack (W/ NS, as second engine). Couple of EB  Stackers(1 JBH and an Import ) with both having a string of reefers TOFC and the usual compliment of YRC pups...And an empty ethanol unit train... Saturday was unit grain train day... I guess the warnings from the Ag folks about not having enough capacity to hold the current wheat crop has got them moving(?).   Everyone have a safe week end and a good start to the rest of the week.

 

 


 

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Posted by JoeKoh on Sunday, July 31, 2016 5:17 PM

switch

from what I have seen Crestline tower has been closed even while conrail was still conrail.I will ask the train experts for a certain date.

stay safe

joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, July 31, 2016 6:29 PM

Flash flooding in Ellicott City, MD has CSX's Old Main Line shut down

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, July 31, 2016 7:01 PM

BaltACD
Flash flooding in Ellicott City, MD has CSX's Old Main Line shut down

I saw info about the flooding on a fire website.  I checked Acme Mapper to get a better idea of exactly where the problem was and noticed a rail line between the river and Ellicott City's Main Street (which appears to have suffered a lot of the flooding).  I'd imagine they'll need some fill...

There was a civilian rescue of the occupant of a car.  They made a human chain and got the woman out before her car washed away.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by CShaveRR on Sunday, July 31, 2016 8:26 PM

Something like six inches of rain in two hours, and it went down almost as fast as it came up.  That had to be wild.  Bt sad for the families of two who lost their lives, and upsetting for those who lost possessions, livelihoods, etc.

Joe we wandered west, too.  Pat thought I deserved a good train-watching trip after a week full of appointments, so we headed toward Rochelle after church, stopping for dinner in DeKalb.  The Culver's in DeKalb is right by the tracks, and we had a pair of stack trains blow through there (and one more just before we got there).  "Blow through" is not entirely accurate...although the track speed for stack trains with car restrictions is 70, they don't blow for any crossings.  The trains we saw were doing very well, speed-wise.

At Rochelle there were two empty hopper trains in rapid succession on the UP, followed by a loaded crude-oil train on BNSF.  That was it for a while--Pat got some book read and some sweater knit.  

We then headed south to Mendota before heading east toward home again.  I was surprised to have no action on BNSF while we were along it, from Mendota to Yorkville.  I was able to get data off some interesting BNSF ballast cars (converted from Santa Fe open hoppers, best I can tell...they have tarps to cover the load).  

From Yorkville we headed back north to UP country, meeting the Overland Route in Elburn.  Caught a CN crude train in West Chicago, which was holding up a westbound train of empty former Com Ed gons.  That train started west, and a scoot headed east.  We caught the scoot again by County Farm Road, but it left us for good at Wheaton.  By the time we got to Finley Road, another train had a clear signal to follow him through Grace on Track 1.

Carl

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Posted by blhanel on Sunday, July 31, 2016 9:17 PM

CShaveRR

The Culver's in DeKalb is right by the tracks, and we had a pair of stack trains blow through there (and one more just before we got there).  "Blow through" is not entirely accurate...although the track speed for stack trains with car restrictions is 70, they don't blow for any crossings.  The trains we saw were doing very well, speed-wise.

Were they eastbound?  If so, I wonder if they were the same two trains I saw as we left for Des Moines this morning to pick up our grandson for the week- I crossed over the tail end of the first one while southbound on IA-13 (one of my train-watching spots where you got to see the meet, remember?) and crossed over the second one while westbound on US-30 near the east end of Beverly.

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Posted by mudchicken on Sunday, July 31, 2016 11:52 PM

Carl: The ballast cars you saw the old ATSF 177000 series cut down process(silica) sand hoppers (round hatches and roofs cut off)with MK or Miner doors grafted onto the bottom. There were 850+ of them at the end...17800 Class were their big 3-bay brothers that had oblong holes cut in the top so you couldn't overload them. The hated 76000 Class were modified coal cars with ratchet/ chain gates that once opened, could not be closed (until the cars were empty, then they would be able to be closed-up....you didn't dare open one of those rascals around switches, open deck bridges or road crossings)

There were things we did with the 177000's that you just didn't try with the bigger, heavier cars. IR has a bunch of 177000's roaming around OmniTrax. Amtrak wound up with a bunch when the SSB-1200s and CF-7s traded for SDP40F's  At one point, there were more than 1000 of those rascals, so some cars found themselves in the 176900's....

 

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by CShaveRR on Monday, August 1, 2016 10:38 AM

blhanel
 
CShaveRR

The Culver's in DeKalb is right by the tracks, and we had a pair of stack trains blow through there (and one more just before we got there).  "Blow through" is not entirely accurate...although the track speed for stack trains with car restrictions is 70, they don't blow for any crossings.  The trains we saw were doing very well, speed-wise.

Were they eastbound?  If so, I wonder if they were the same two trains I saw as we left for Des Moines this morning to pick up our grandson for the week- I crossed over the tail end of the first one while southbound on IA-13 (one of my train-watching spots where you got to see the meet, remember?) and crossed over the second one while westbound on US-30 near the east end of Beverly.

Brian, of the three at DeKalb (this was around noontime), two were eastbound and one westbound.  The second eastbound had lots of Hub Group (green) contaners.

MC, those cars sure looked like open-top hoppers, due to the placement of slope sheets., end arrangement, etc.  The class on one of them ("GA-168") shows that it came from that rascally 76000 series.  The outlets were modified from the original (I found a couple of pictures of the cars in the original series) to somehing more controllable (and the cars had a screen on which a solar panel could be mounted...or perhaps solar panels have evolved in design).  The cars I saw were numbered in the low BNSF 914000 series; they had previously been in the 908000 series, same last three digits.


As is typical of these trips, I don't ever think I did too well while out in the field, but once I get my data home, wow!

Carl

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Posted by CShaveRR on Monday, August 1, 2016 2:13 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 
CShaveRR

And again, signal problems on the south side of Union Station.  Glad you didn't get caught by that today, Paul!

 

 

 
If you meant the signal outages on Thursday, I was caught in that.  The 5:00 departure was delayed so I was able to board that and we didn't leave Union Station until about 6:00.  So I was about 45 minutes late from my usual departure time.  Friday went smoothly.

 
I had gotten update reports on both Thurday and Friday for the south side of Union Station.  I knew Thursday was a killer, and I presume that Friday's probably happened later and was easier to fix.  This is the release that was sent to me on July 29, at 6:28 p.m.:
 
Amtrak is experiencing signal problems that may affect tonights rush hour on the BNSF Railway, Southwest Service and Heritage Corridor. Crews are working to restore the signal system. Metra will provide updates as more information becomes available.
 
I never did get any updates.

Carl

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Posted by JoeKoh on Monday, August 1, 2016 2:45 PM

afternoon

work not so busy today.Ns has empty cars uptown.Chores here at home.

stay safe

Joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").

 

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Posted by switch7frg on Monday, August 1, 2016 3:59 PM

Smile Joe, thanks for your time and effort to answer.  Have a safe "day" at work and look both ways before crossing the tracks.

                                                       Respectfully, Cannonball (switch7frg)

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, August 1, 2016 4:18 PM

Well another CSX muck up here, 5 unit meet on our short siding. An engineering single unit north bound, then a 4 engine light move, and a manifest all trying to clear on main.  A southbound intermodal followed by a long manufest.  Both south bounds too long for siding.  the 3 northbounds stacked tightly on main and when soth bounds cleared they proceeded north enguneerun unit on a green and next 2 on restricting to clear blocked suto crossings.

Now about the engineering unit.  Marked only  "GMS 2"  right fronts  CSX on right rears.

1.  A single car with 2 two axel powered end trucks. Truck wheels only about 1-1/2 ft from #5 holder.

2.  Approximately 50 ft long and height of a covered hopper including AC units on each end.

3.  Appeared very boxy with only about a 10 degree slant on  each end with no crumple zone.  Ends were identical in every way except coupler.

4.  Had three amall single axels between end trucks.

5.  Had in front of each end what may have been a cab signal inductor holder.

6.  Did not have a standard Janey coupler or separation levers.

7.  On one end had what can only describe a a non operating solid knuckle much like what one would see on a cheap model RR car.

8  # 7 attached to unit by a double piece of steel that coupler unit end slides into then attached by a pin.  Much like a tow bar set on a lawn mower. 2  pieces of steel with about 2" holes for coupler pin. 

9.  Did not have any apparent air hose connections however it had a closed doors on each end that may have had some kind of connections or just access panel doors.

10  Finally only markings were  GMS 2 without any prefix.

 

BALT ? 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, August 1, 2016 4:51 PM

blue streak 1

Well another CSX muck up here, 5 unit meet on our short siding. An engineering single unit north bound, then a 4 engine light move, and a manifest all trying to clear on main.  A southbound intermodal followed by a long manufest.  Both south bounds too long for siding.  the 3 northbounds stacked tightly on main and when soth bounds cleared they proceeded north enguneerun unit on a green and next 2 on restricting to clear blocked suto crossings.

Now about the engineering unit.  Marked only  "GMS 2"  right fronts  CSX on right rears.

1.  A single car with 2 two axel powered end trucks. Truck wheels only about 1-1/2 ft from #5 holder.

2.  Approximately 50 ft long and height of a covered hopper including AC units on each end.

3.  Appeared very boxy with only about a 10 degree slant on  each end with no crumple zone.  Ends were identical in every way except coupler.

4.  Had three amall single axels between end trucks.

5.  Had in front of each end what may have been a cab signal inductor holder.

6.  Did not have a standard Janey coupler or separation levers.

7.  On one end had what can only describe a a non operating solid knuckle much like what one would see on a cheap model RR car.

8  # 7 attached to unit by a double piece of steel that coupler unit end slides into then attached by a pin.  Much like a tow bar set on a lawn mower. 2  pieces of steel with about 2" holes for coupler pin. 

9.  Did not have any apparent air hose connections however it had a closed doors on each end that may have had some kind of connections or just access panel doors.

10  Finally only markings were  GMS 2 without any prefix.

BALT ?

Self propelled engineering test vehicle - requires a Engineer pilot only for operation and can operate on Signal Indication in non-Train Control territory.  In Train Control territory it operates with a MofW pilot on track car authority.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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