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Western Railroad Discussion > More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison


Date: 11/19/20 14:23
More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison
Author: Lackawanna484

I've noticed that BNSF and UP trains seem to be getting longer, and more likely to block the grade crossing to the park / marina.

It's not unusual to have the tail end up on the bridge as the westbound crew change happens. I see one most afternoons. Three trains blocked the crossing in the last hour.

Earlier thread on the distances involved.

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,5103792,5104015#msg-5104015

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Date: 11/19/20 14:55
Re: More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison
Author: winstonhill

There's a lively informal betting competition on whether a given train will or won't block the grade crossing when it stops for its crew change.

Winston Hill



Date: 11/20/20 08:48
Re: More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison
Author: mapboy

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've noticed that BNSF and UP trains seem to be
> getting longer, and more likely to block the grade
> crossing to the park / marina.
>
> It's not unusual to have the tail end up on the
> bridge as the westbound crew change happens. I see
> one most afternoons. Three trains blocked the
> crossing in the last hour...
>
Are they mostly intermodal trains, mostly the low priority "S" trains with all international containers?  TIA!

mapboy



Date: 11/20/20 09:03
Re: More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison
Author: Lackawanna484

mapboy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I've noticed that BNSF and UP trains seem to be
> > getting longer, and more likely to block the
> grade
> > crossing to the park / marina.
> >
> > It's not unusual to have the tail end up on the
> > bridge as the westbound crew change happens. I
> see
> > one most afternoons. Three trains blocked the
> > crossing in the last hour...
> >
> Are they mostly intermodal trains, mostly the low
> priority "S" trains with all international
> containers?  TIA!
>
> mapboy

Looks like a mix of international boxes from Matson, COSco, etc and lots of JB Hunt, Amazon, England, Etc. Trailers, too.

I'll take a closer look later today 2.30 until about 5 CT tends to be very active.

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/20 09:46 by Lackawanna484.



Date: 11/20/20 09:38
Re: More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison
Author: genevasub

4 x 3 x 1 WB just stopped for a crew change. Was blocking the crossing and still long enough to stretch back across the bridge and back around the curve. Probably the longest stacker I've seen in at least 2 weeks of watching this camera for long stretches ("thanks", Covid).

Posted from Android



Date: 11/20/20 10:14
Re: More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison
Author: randgust

I don't know if it is casual observation, choice, or policy, but the UP trackage rights stackers tend to run longer than most BNSF at FMD, more likely for DPU's, and take about twice as long for crew change as BNSF does.

I've heard that UP is limited by an STB-agreed maximum train count of like 6 per day which could be part of it, but FMD is a real dispatching headache between all the current BNSF traffic, UP rights, Amtrak, and now start the fall barge traffic runs that throw a wrench in the works with the bridge open as river barge traffic has priority on this crossing, not the rail movements.

It's like 9000' from the existing FMD station back to the park crossing, and further to the bridge, and probably 20% of the westbounds that are doing crew changes are blocking the park crossing and about 5% long enough to still be on the bridge - which is going to give some towboat captain a real headache on a downbound long tow that can't get the bridge clear.   Hasn't happened yet, but that's what makes FMD one of the most interesting sights to watch out there.

And although the locals seem to deal with it OK, that park crossing situation with the short queue outbound spacing to a stop-sign intersection, and three REALLY hot bidirectional tracks makes my Operation Lifesaver nerves twitch uncontrollably.    Now get people impatient with some long blocks due to crew changes.....



Date: 11/20/20 11:28
Re: More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison
Author: genevasub

Maybe its just me but it seems like the barge traffic has picked up significantly to the point where I'm seeing more than one go through per bridge opening. Don't recall seeing that on a regular basis.

Posted from Android



Date: 11/20/20 11:33
Re: More long BNSF trains at Fort Madison
Author: Lackawanna484

Barge traffic seems to have grown substantially. And more barges per tow. Yes on multiple barges on one opening.

Posted from Android



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