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Eastern Railroad Discussion > CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions


Date: 03/26/20 00:59
CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions
Author: Soo715

I was doing some social distance armchair internet railfanning and trying to figure out operations at CSX's Fairburn intermodal terminal, which seems to have completely taken over as the Atlanta area intermodal hub for CSX. First, are there any good spots to hang out on public property along the wye mainline connection southwest of the yard? I've heard that this is the spot for train action and that all (or almost all) departures out of Fairborn leave out the southwest lead and then, at the wye (is there a name for that wye?) can go either northbound or southbound. However, looking on google maps, there is also a lead out of the northeast end of the yard that connects to the mainline (but without a wye so no connection to depart or enter the yard from the south). That northeast connection to the main also looks very difficult to access withouth just parking right across the mains on Roosevelt/Highway 29.  So the southwest wye really seems like the place one would want to be. Anybody have a favorite safe spot to spend a few hours in that area?  Also, is it really true that most departures (and arrivals?) at Fairburn are out of that southwest end and thus coming through that wye?  If you were there, would you miss some trains using that lead on the northeast end of the yard?  Or is it basically operated as a stub yard from the southwest?  Also, do some trains just stop out on the mainline between the highway and McLarin Road and do pick ups or set outs off the front end instead of bringing the whole train off the main and into the yard to work it there?   Lots of detailed operations questions I know but I'm particularly interested in how yard operations work as opposed to just getting photos out on the main and would appreciate any response from people familiar with operations out there. Thanks in advance for any info!



Date: 03/26/20 06:13
Re: CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions
Author: MattW

There isn't really a good place to "hang out" but a lot of the roads around the south wye are public roads, stopping momentarily, especially if the crossings are active shouldn't be a problem. Creekwood rd is about the only place with decent views of the yard itself and it's pretty lightly trafficked and pretty remote so there shouldn't be any problems there stopping and taking a picture with a long lens. I don't know exactly what goes in/out the north end, but I'm pretty sure C709/C710 (Fairburn-Chatsworth) and Q197/Q198 do. Q198 usually departs before 9am and Q197 would arrive sometime after 10pm. I don't know about the C trains. Beyond that, I think everything else goes in and out the south end.



Date: 03/26/20 08:43
Re: CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions
Author: ShortlinesUSA

Thanks for that info, Matt.  I wasn't sure how the Chatsworth traffic would be handled.  Now I know!
 



Date: 03/26/20 08:59
Re: CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions
Author: CFI_85

There is a small paved/gravel parking lot just compass west of that McLarin Rd-Gullat Rd intersection that you could park and watch trains enter into the south entrance to the ramp. Recent expansion of the yard has created views at the north end of the ramp along Creekwood Rd too. As mentioned, it has light vehicle traffic.
Trains would sometimes leave cars on the siding as they picked up or dropped off cars at the ramp. I’m not sure if they still do it this way since the ramp expanded it’s capacity last year. So trains doing setouts or pickups might go all the way into the ramp now. Both entrances at the north and south sides of the ramp see trains enter/exit those way. It depends on where the train is coming from or going to as to which side of the ramp it enters in. The South end entrance should see more trains since that is how the 6 extra BNSF handoff trains route into and out of the ramp. Also the BNSF power is usually staged at that south entrance next to the TTX repair yard there. That wye at the south entrance was used to park the yard locos that moved well-cars around the ramp. Intermodal trains never use that route since it ties into into the Fairburn house track that is occupied with cars for the local trains (A741 & A748) that originate there. There aren’t really any intermodal trains that bypass the yard without going into it, so any intermodal symbol you hear on the scanner is likely going to stop there. If you understand signals, then you’ll know when something is lined into the ramp by looking at the North End or South End Fairburn signals and seeing a “Restricting” aspect. Both signals are easily seen from the seat of your car either by driving along HWY 29 for the South End signal and Bohannon Rd or HWY 29 for the North End signal. Also the South End signal for south bound trains out of the yard is seen at the Gullat Rd crossing, so you’ll know if anyone is lined out. It’s the signal at the far left in this photo.

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/636414/



Date: 03/26/20 10:38
Re: CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions
Author: Soo715

Thank you, very helpful info!



Date: 03/27/20 00:55
Re: CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions
Author: NSSpike

Fairburn Trains from about 3 months ago. Not certain what changes have been made but should be close.

Fairburn Trains South End  (Southwest)
Q028 Fairburn, GA - Chicago 59th St, IL daily
Q029 Chicago 59th St, IL - Fairburn, GA daily
Q155 Memphis,TN(ZLAME) - Fairburn,GA Su-Th
Q181 East Thomas,AL(BNSF) - Fairburn,GA Mo, We, Fr
Q182 Fairburn,GA - East Thomas,AL(BNSF) Su
Q183 East Thomas,AL(BNSF) - Fairburn,GA Th-Tu
Q184 Fairburn,GA - East Thomas,AL(BNSF) Tu, Th, Sa
L184 Fairburn,GA - East Thomas,AL(BNSF) Mo, We, Fr
Q185 East Thomas,AL(BNSF) - Fairburn,GA Fr-We
Q186 Fairburn,GA - East Thomas,AL(BNSF) Tu, Th, Sa

Fairburn Trains North End  (Northeast)
Q197 East Savannah, GA - Fairburn, GA daily 
Q198 Fairburn, GA - East Savannah, GA daily 

Locals
A743 Atlanta, GA - Montgomery, AL daily
A744 Montgomery, AL - Atlanta, GA daily
NSSpike
 

Phil Maton
Villa Rica, GA



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/20 01:28 by NSSpike.



Date: 03/27/20 07:30
Re: CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions
Author: MattW

So is everything out of Fairburn except 197/198 a BNSF train? What about Q028 and Q029? Also Q142/Q143? Do Q541/542 still work Fairburn?



Date: 03/28/20 01:32
Re: CSX Fairburn Yard (Georgia) operations questions
Author: NSSpike

MattW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So is everything out of Fairburn except 197/198 a
> BNSF train?
>
What about Q028 and Q029?  Added these my error
>
Also Q142/Q143? Do Q541/542 still work Fairburn?
As far as I know  all 4 of these don't go to Fairburn.

Phil Maton
Villa Rica, GA



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