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Western Railroad Discussion > The Beulah Turn


Date: 11/21/20 14:11
The Beulah Turn
Author: bmarti7

While not the glamorous, high-speed action, a railroad's branch line can add much revenue to its bottom line. Such is the BNSF's Zap Sub which runs 90 miles northwest from Mandan. Several hundred carloads per week originate on the Zap. The "Beulah Turn" runs six days per week, w/b M-W-F, e/b T-T-Sat. Today's edition will have 105 cars, after a pickup in Stanton, to take to Mandan.

At Beulah, the train is in three sections due to yard size and keeping crossings open. Certainly not all of the moves are chronicled, but here's some. Thanks for riding along.

Bismarck Bill

1. The Beulah Depot, at MP 72.7 on the BNSF Zap Sub. The pumpkin in the distance is attached to the third section of the train 
2. predawn quiet, as track warrants are received-looking east from the depot. The temperature is a balmy +11F. The second section of the train can be seen in the yard.
3. the BNSF 5249 is the leader as the conductor prepares to uncouple the power from the lead section of the train 
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Date: 11/21/20 14:21
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: bmarti7

4. With warrants issued, the brakeman throws the mainline switch at East Beulah (MP 71.17)
5. 2 miles west, the 7387 and the third section of the train awaits the arrival of the headend power 
6. the light power approaching from the east 
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Date: 11/21/20 14:29
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: bmarti7

7. The brakeman makes the connections between locomotives while the engineer programs the unit
8. Now connected with air, the brakeman moves to release the hand brakes on the first cars of section 3
9. After the move eastbound to join the other sections, the brakeman restores the mainline switch at MP 73.0 to normal 
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Date: 11/21/20 14:36
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: bmarti7

10. After checking the Fred, the brakeman will observe all of the car's brakes for set. Then he watched for all brakes released as the train departed east. When clear, the brakeman restored the mainline switch and then a quick trip to the depot to retrieve an updated wheel. Then a van trip to Stanton to add 5 more cars and rejoin the train.




Date: 11/21/20 15:10
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: 3rdswitch

Good to hear about good traffic branches.
JB



Date: 11/21/20 15:45
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: Ritzville

Very interesting branch story with pictures! Feels like it's getting COLD there. It was a balmy 26 this morning in the backyard.

Larry



Date: 11/21/20 16:54
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: EricSP

Do most of the cars come from Dakota Gasification?



Date: 11/21/20 17:00
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: bmarti7

EricSP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Do most of the cars come from Dakota Gasification?

many but not most. Today's train had 45 cars of coal for the MDU power at Mandan; several rock cars, many tanks with 1267 (crude oil); also small shipments of grain from local elevators (ADM Hensler is the only grain terminal on the Zap that can load unit trains)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/20 18:09 by bmarti7.



Date: 11/21/20 17:20
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: misty1

See you had some Bears in that one pic. Bill do they still run to Zap?

Ed



Date: 11/21/20 17:30
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: bmarti7

misty1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> See you had some Bears in that one pic. Bill do
> they still run to Zap?
>
> Ed

yes-10 mph west of Beulah 



Date: 11/21/20 17:35
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: misty1

When I was Chief of Police there they used to come thru at night.

Ed



Date: 11/21/20 18:54
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: SCKP187

Sounds like a good productive branch.  Really like your chase shots and explanations. Branch locals are really cool to follow
Brian Stevens



Date: 11/22/20 06:57
Re: The Beulah Turn
Author: EricSP

bmarti7 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> EricSP Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Do most of the cars come from Dakota
> Gasification?
>
> many but not most. Today's train had 45 cars of
> coal for the MDU power at Mandan; several rock
> cars, many tanks with 1267 (crude oil); also small
> shipments of grain from local elevators (ADM
> Hensler is the only grain terminal on the Zap that
> can load unit trains)

Thanks

I see there is a crude oil and sand transload at the end of the branch just past the long spur to DGC, a few grain elevators, another transload, 3 coal power plants, and the Marathon oil refinery at Mandan.



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