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Eastern Railroad Discussion > FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks


Date: 03/21/20 19:32
FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: rbenko

Well, thankfully "sheltering in place" isn't mandatory in Florida (yet?), but if it does happen, I'll still be able to scratch that railfan itch just by going out on my balcony.  Today's 202, which ran a bit later than normal, made an appearance past "MH" Tower (Milepost 300) around 6pm.  Saturday's addition of 202 oftentimes has additional power tagging along behind the usual contingent of the GE LNG set (for power balancing purposes), and today was no exception.  Here it is with two GP40s hitching a ride north, #414 painted in the latest 4-axle color scheme, and #425, one of two painted up in the Susan B Komen breast cancer awareness scheme. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/20 19:35 by rbenko.




Date: 03/21/20 19:32
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: rbenko

Here's a closeup of the pair crossing Okeechobee Blvd.  Crossing guards were there since the ungodly hour of 5am to protect the numerous crossings in downtown WPB while they are being adjusted.  I had the "pleasure" of listening to multiple long-long-short-longs for each train all day long - normally it's a quiet zone.  Those Brightline Charger engines have EXTREMELY loud horns (especially when you're situated almost directly above them), and most of their engineers really lay it on when they have the opportunity.  Not only did they run their slightly less than normal contingent all day (they reduced the schedule this week), but they ran a test train back and forth for several hours.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/20 19:34 by rbenko.




Date: 03/21/20 19:33
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: rbenko

Thanks for viewing.

Rob Benkovitz
West Palm Beach, FL



Date: 03/21/20 19:46
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: calsubd

who was flagging the intersection ? TIA

Ed Stewart
Jacksonville, FL



Date: 03/21/20 20:29
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: rbenko

calsubd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> who was flagging the intersection ? TIA

Not sure who TIA is - they definitely are from some sort of "rent-a-flagman" company.

Unfortunately they are STILL flagging all crossings in downtown West Palm Beach - just had a meet right in front of my apartment building with a northbound Brightline and a southbound intermodal (107?) - almost blew me off my balcony!!



Date: 03/22/20 05:28
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: ns1000

I like Pic 1!!



Date: 03/22/20 06:51
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: Lackawanna484

Love the pictures. Keep them coming!

That stretch of FEC has a "wall" of high rises on the west side of the tracks, and many tall buildings on the east side.

Lots of echoes in some places.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/22/20 08:59
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: stevelv

Nice photos.  I'm not a fan of the current scheme on the 414.  I like the old FEC blue better.



Date: 03/22/20 10:07
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: BCutter

Pretty sure that TIA is a TLC for "Thanks In Advance" in ths case!



Date: 03/22/20 11:27
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: rbenko

calsubd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> who was flagging the intersection ? TIA

The company seems to be called AWP - Area Wide Protection.  As of 2:30pm Sunday, they are STILL flagging all crossings.  Was awoken several times during the night for freights blowing at the numerous crossings.



Date: 03/22/20 14:54
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: Erierail

Thanks, great pictures.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/22/20 23:43
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: LooseCaboose

Rob,

I'm guessing you haven't lived at your current home with that lovely view for too long? Down here in Fort Lauderdale the quiet zones went into effect about a year ago (May 2019) though I believe the ones north of Boca went into effect a bit earlier.. so it hasn't really been that long since every train whistled through every intersection.

I live about a mile from the tracks and got woken up in the wee hours many times before the the quiet zones went into effect - especially this time of year when I would normally keep the windows open! So a year ago I couldn't wait for the quiet zones to go live (they were delayed by, I dunno, I think it was two years past when they were originally promised) but now that the horns are mostly gone, I really miss them (and can no longer blame them for my continuing insomnia!)!

:-)
LC
(wide awake at 2:40am..)


rbenko Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> calsubd Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > who was flagging the intersection ? TIA
>
> The company seems to be called AWP - Area Wide
> Protection.  As of 2:30pm Sunday, they are STILL
> flagging all crossings.  Was awoken several times
> during the night for freights blowing at the
> numerous crossings.



Date: 03/23/20 16:36
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: rbenko

LooseCaboose Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm guessing you haven't lived at your current
> home with that lovely view for too long? 

Moved into my apartment in January '19, which was several months after the quiet zone went into effect here in West Palm Beach.  

I think the main issue with my apartment and train horns is that we're almost directly above the tracks and right next to a double crossing (divided highway with two distinct crossing gates).  When trains traveling in either direction are blowing their horns for the crossings, we get a tremendous earful.  I've talked to people who have lived here for years - some never even realized how loud it could be before they moved in (remember, before Brightline you'd basically have one or maybe two trains tops pass the building between 9am-5pm).  One friend says she cried for weeks after her first night sleeping here - of course she got used to it, as I guess I eventually would if I had to, but for three nights every passing train woke me up.

I've always loved the distant sound of train horns in the night, especially on cold winter nights growing up on Long Island, NY, where I could hear trains blowing for a crossing a mile or so away.  Being right on top of the tracks by a crossing is definitely another matter.  I'm very thankful for the Quiet Zone here in West Palm Beach, and definitely feel it (literally!) when it isn't working.

I've included a short cell phone video taken from my balcony this weekend of a Brighline train with horns blaring.  Hard to convey how loud it really is over a video, but you might get the idea.

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Date: 03/23/20 17:54
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: Lackawanna484

I seem to recall the Quiet Zones required construction of the quad gates or dividers to be completed first. Then the towns had to apply for QZ.

Boca Raton waited until all its crossings were ready before applying. I don't recall how the others handled applications.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/24/20 04:42
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: LooseCaboose

I worked for a while at an establishment that was right next to a crossing here in Fort Lauderdale, so I know how loud the horns are! (I admit I wasn't right above the crossing -- even though the locomotives' horns arem't pointed skyward, I'm sure the top surface of the loco acts as a reflector and focuses a lot more of the sound upward than really needs to be..  but even on the ground, they were startlingly loud - which I suppose is the point of them, right?)

And I fully agree - there's a point at which the need for sleep overcomes the love of trains and being near the railroad becomes a nuisance rather than a positive. (I considered living in a lovely neighborhood closer to the tracks but the volume - and frequency, the multiple trains per night - of the horns kept me farther away.)  So yes, I miss the sound of the trains during the day but I'm grateful for the quiet zones at night, both for myself and for the tens of thousands of my extended neighbors (like you, Rob) who live near enough to either the FEC or the CSX/Tri-Rail line that they had been losing sleep over it.  

We still hear horns a few times a week (to alert the odd trespasser along the R-O-W, I imagine) which is just enough to make me happy.. (Hahaha, perfect timing, I am hearing a train horn right now Tuesday morning, 7:28am)

(I wonder if there have been more trespasser strikes since the horns stopped being blown automatically at every crossing -- I would rather doubt it. If anything, the horns being an occasional and exceptional thing would make them MORE effective as a warning when the engineers do use them.)

And as to Mr Lackawanna's comments: they kept telling us for a long time that before the QZ could be implemented, crossing modifications had to take place to make them safer.. And one promised deadline after another came and went and I never saw any modifications taking place.. Finally they simply declared it was time for the QZ to go into effect (and still I hadn't seen amy crossing modifications!).. so I don't know what the long delay was all about!

Now if we could only get rid of the a55holes who ride around in cars with speakers mounted on the OUTSIDE and broadcast their "music" at the approximate volume of artillery fire, life would be so much better!!. (apologies to Dave Barry..) 

quietly yours,
LC

p.s. to Rob - many thanks for the photos you've been posting from your balcony - I'm jealous of your view!!

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/20 13:57 by LooseCaboose.



Date: 03/24/20 06:16
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: rbenko

LooseCaboose Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Now if we could only get rid of the a55holes who
> ride around in cars with speakers mounted on the
> OUTSIDE and broadcast their "music" at the
> approximate volume of artillery fire, life would
> be so much better!!. (apologies to Dave
> Barry..) 

They are horrible - being right on Okeechobee Blvd (main drag into downtown WPB and Palm Beach), it is a constant nuisance, especially weekend evenings.  Probably one of the few good things about the pandemic is that it has drastically cut down the "a55shole" number passing my apartment!!



Date: 03/24/20 13:17
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: 3rdswitch

What a great view. I sometimes wish they would make our little crossing here in Palmer Lake a QZ. It's amazing how little it takes to make one. Simply an island or in a few cases I have witnessed, rubber cones tweny or thiry feet before the crossing gates. MOST engineers here have no regard for the hour of day when blowing ridiculously for our crossing even only making ten mph and no one in sight at the crossing. As a retired engineer, there are MANY ways to comply with two longs a short and a long! The long doesn't have to be a have to be ten to twenty seconds long, only longer than the short! Timing is every thing.
JB



Date: 03/24/20 14:07
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: Lackawanna484

In the Stuart area, at night, some FEC engineers are often very light on the horn. Precisely compliant, but not heavy handed.

But, every once in a while, they will use the jackass button to enhance the horn. Often when a jackass goes under or around the gates...

Posted from Android



Date: 03/24/20 14:13
Re: FEC: Today's 202 with lots of rocks
Author: LooseCaboose

3rdswitch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What a great view. I sometimes wish they would
> make our little crossing here in Palmer Lake a QZ.
> It's amazing how little it takes to make one.
> Simply an island or in a few cases I have
> witnessed, rubber cones tweny or thiry feet before
> the crossing gates. MOST engineers here have no
> regard for the hour of day when blowing
> ridiculously for our crossing even only making ten
> mph and no one in sight at the crossing. As a
> retired engineer, there are MANY ways to comply
> with two longs a short and a long! The long
> doesn't have to be a have to be ten to twenty
> seconds long, only longer than the short! Timing
> is every thing.
> JB

I kinda wonder if some of the engineers don't sometimes figure "I have to be awake at 3am, so everyone else should be too!". I think a lot of us in the older generation were taught well by our parents to be considerate of others, but that no longer seems to be too important to a lot of people. 

Maybe your mayor or another town official could be persuaded to seek Quiet Zone status for your crossing? I figure if it can be done here, it can be done anywhere. (Ok, this is probably a crusade best left for *after* the pandemic..)

Good luck!!



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