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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Reverse autorack train in Fort Wayne this morning UP2694 engine

Date: 10/21/21 07:04
Reverse autorack train in Fort Wayne this morning UP2694 engine
Author: kurt765

For some time now there has been a periodic autorack train that does a big maneuver through Hugo interlocking in Fort Wayne that is reminescent of the way the steam program used to turn trains in the 1990's. It goes like this:
Autorack train heads south on Newcastle main across the diamond at Hugo. It stops, blocking the diamond and the area roads presumably so the conductor hops off. It then proceeds and clears the diamond and stops again so the conductor can hop onto the end of the train. The train then reverses around the curve onto the Huntingon District double track main towards downtown Fort Wayne. I dont' know where it goes from there, but the train at one point stops for a couple minutes during it's back up run before continuing on. On this morning another train came up along side from Huntington District.
My quesiton is simple. What is the purpose of this maneuver? This sort of thing was done in the 1990's with steam trains to turn the train in a huge wye operation, but I cant' think of any reason why an autorack train would need to be turned. So, can anyone here with knowledge of these periodic autorack trains shed some light on what they are doing? Area road crossings are blocked for a LONG time when they do this. Anyway, just curious.

Video of the autorack train finally clearing Nuttman Ave with second manifest on the other main.

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Date: 10/21/21 10:29
Re: Reverse autorack train in Fort Wayne this morning UP2694 engi
Author: jbohdan2

Interesting.  I've not seen this move, but its also been many years since I have hung out around Hugo to shoot.  It is just a guess, but perhaps it is a train that comes down from Chicago or Elkhart destined for the GM Plant at Roanoke.  If the racks were empty that would make sense.

Date: 10/21/21 17:19
Re: Reverse autorack train in Fort Wayne this morning UP2694 engi
Author: kurt765

Yeah that does make the most sense. It really, really screws up car traffic in the area when they do this, which was at 8ish in the morning today. I it's somehow easier to do this instead of run around the train with the engine by going downtown by Piqua or East Wayne or something. Each time the conductor is hopping on or off the train seems to come to a full stop blocking the roads for a few mintues.

Date: 11/17/21 12:33
Re: Reverse autorack train in Fort Wayne this morning UP2694 engi
Author: wabash2800

I got to experience this first hand last week in the evening during rush hour! Traffic was backed up on a number of streets for miles along the right-of-way. I moved west from Brooklyn which was backed up both ways and went down Nutman that was also blocked. I finally made a U turn and headed west, and that didn't do me any good either. The motorists were furious, because not only was the train backing up, it was starting and stopping. It would seem that with the many railroad connections in the Fort Wayne area, Norfolk Southern could do better. Furious and impatient drivers make unsafe drivers. It's makes them more likely to run crossing gates the next time.

This was done during Penn Central days in Kendallville, Indiana until the RR built a new wye connection in the southwest quadrant where the the Grand Rapids Branch (GR&I) crossed the former NYC Toledo Division mainline. Elkhart-Fort Wayne trains would back through town utilizing the old northeast wye and tie up Main Street***. The mayor and the citizens were furious. Add a broken air hose or something else to halt the trains, and things could get really dicey. The derailment at the main street crossing one day was icing on the cake. Autorack cars rolled over on their sides just missing motorists at the crossing. Mr. Hazen, one of my high school teachers, was sitting at the crossing that day. It's a wonder he didn't wet his pants. <G> And then there was the flat car of lumber that caught on fire and was set out in Kendallville! You can't make this up!

Ah, the good old Penn Central days. Norfolk Southern, you can do better than that even if your poor dispatchers are located in an ivory tower in Atlanta, Georgia.

***Edit: I forgot to mention that the backup move in Kendallville would also block highway 6 in town where the old Burger Chef was located. 


Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/21 17:29 by wabash2800.

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