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LSRC Railfan
01-09-2010, 01:18 AM
Hello Everyone,

I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Pennsylvania and needed some info on some shortlines. Most of the information I found on these shortlines was very outdated, so I figured the experts could help.

How often does the Southwest Pennsylvania come into Connelsville? Do they come in on a regular schedule?

What can I find on the W&LE in the Pittsburgh region nowadays? I heard traffic was way down.

Does the Allegheny Valley Railroad run on a set schedule now or do they run on an "as needed" basis?

Where can I find info on the Gettysburgh and Northern? I'd like to know their rough schedule. What time can I find CSX in Gettysburg?

And while not in Pennsylvania, I heard that the South Branch Valley railroad lost its major customer. Are they still running on a daily basis? If so, do they have a schedule?

Thanks in advance,
Jim

Cameraman
01-09-2010, 02:01 AM
Getty runs M-F with the train departing about 8:30 to 9:15 most mornings. The do not run all the way to the north end every day, turning back at the last customer switched on the off days.

CSX often shows up after the Getty has gone north. Train D795 heads west in the AM. A return train, D797 hits "the Burg" about 7-8PM.

Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
01-09-2010, 02:11 AM
Getty runs M-F with the train departing about 8:30 to 9:15 most mornings. The do not run all the way to the north end every day, turning back at the last customer switched on the off days.

CSX often shows up after the Getty has gone north. Train D795 heads west in the AM. A return train, D797 hits "the Burg" about 7-8PM.
Cameraman pretty much gave you everything regarding traffic around gettysburg.

The October 2008 Railpace has a great article on the Gettysburg ops with a lot of AMAZING photos. ;-) If are interested and can't find one, PM me.

D795 usually hits Gettysburg around 9AM. Like most lines, this depends amount of work to be done east of town.

ShortlinesUSA
01-09-2010, 02:45 PM
I have heard nothing of SBVR losing its major customer, Pilgrim's Pride, at Moorefield, WV. PP did file for bankruptcy protection last year, and has emerged from Chapter 11 protection as of 12/28/09. It also appears that they have been bought out by JBS of Greeley, CO. But searches for any reductions or closure of Moorefield came up empty.

The SBVR typically runs M-F, with an on duty time of 0700 at Moorefield. However, the train does not start at Moorefield necessarily, only the crew. The train is left at Green Spring or Moorefield on alternating days. So, if you are around Green Spring, WV over the weekend and see the SBVR power sitting on their line just south of town, you can expect they'll be moving south probably between 0800-0900 to allow for time for the crew to drive to the train from Moorefield. They will run south to Moorefield, work Pilgrims and then tie up for the day. Tuesday would find them running from Moorefield to Green Spring, then back south Wednesday, and so on.

They have scant few customers other than Pilgrim's Pride. There is a plastics producer at the south end of the line in Petersburg that gets some covered hoppers, and possibly an odd carload customer or two in Moorefield. This line would be virtually non-existent without the feed mill.

However, in some recent news from the WV Rail Authority (state operator of the SBVR), they did say they were building a spur into a business park in Romney, which would be great news for some more business other than the plant. They also stated that SBVR would be getting a "new" locomotive at a cost of $369,000. While likely not brand new, that must be one heck of a rebuild, as a fully rebuilt GP38-3 with microprocessor control could be had for about $250K last time I checked. We'll see what comes out there.

ShortlinesUSA
01-09-2010, 03:03 PM
You are right on WLE around Pittsburgh taking a hit-- there is very little traffic there these days. The overhead grain trains ended a couple of years ago, with NS now handling the traffic to Shenandoah all online. There have been some overhead coke trains to Sparrows Point in Baltimore on occasion.

The only regular move of which I am aware is the Monessen coke trains. If the schedule remains the same, they will run east to Monessen with empty coke hoppers in the late afternoon out of Rook Yard in Green Tree. They'll pick up loads and return to Rook in the early hours of the morning. Around 0500, a job will take the loads west to Mingo Jct., and then return to Rook with empties.

There is a local run to Connellsville on an as-needed basis, though I have no idea how often this job is running.

SWP to Connellsville is pretty frequent in the M-F time frame. They may only go to Connellsville, or continue on down their line to Uniontown if needed. This is typically done a couple of days a week if ops remain the same as I know.

Best bet for catching the SWP if you can't find them running to Connellsville is to head up to Mt. Pleasant, PA. They have a huge transload facility there at the old VW plant area north of town along US 119 and it's a safe bet they will be working up there, especially in the afternoons. The run to Connellsville is typically made in the morning.

AVR is very busy these days, and they have daylight jobs from their yard in Glenwood to the NS at Island Avenue and down to Washington, PA. I unfortunatey do not know exact call times for these, but if memory serves correct, it is 0700 for the job to Island Ave, which I believe is AVR-1. This is the most frequent and reliable. The job to Washington may be M-W-F, but I am just really not sure. The original AVR job in the industrial section at Verona still works in the evenings.

Hopefully someone else can kick in some information for you, and I'll dig around a bit to see what I can find on call times and days of operation of the AVR jobs.

ShortlinesUSA
01-09-2010, 03:10 PM
Here is a link I was able to find, and his summary of the jobs seems to be very close to what I have seen over the last several years of the AVR's expansion in the Pittsburgh area.

http://www.lundsten.dk/railfan_pa/avr/index.html

I still have another thing to check for some verification on call times, but am having no luck getting access at the moment, so hopefully an update later.

UPDATE: His call times look good, though it appears the Washington line is only a couple of days a week now, with T-Th being the best bet. The Island Ave and Washington jobs are your only daylight moves this time of year.

Lastly, best of luck with your trip!

PLEzero
01-09-2010, 07:23 PM
Traffic on the W&LE east end can be very difficult to catch. As stated above, the grain trains have been gone for about 3 years now. The information about the coke trains, however, is wrong. About two years ago you could set your watch W-F to the crew starting its work in Rook at 1700. Unfortunately, those days are now gone. The future of the Monesson plant is uncertain but it is my understanding that they will eventually start back up. Rook is still active with trains coming from Mingo Jct. into Rook for connection with CSX in Connellsville and connection with the AVR in Bruceton.

Your best bet is to post on this message board when your much closer to your trip to find out the current operations.

http://members.boardhost.com/WLERailway/


AVR runs M-F from AVR Glenwood Yard to NS Island Ave Yard. You can catch it anytime from 0900-1500. Most often between 1100-1300. They call the NS dispatcher for permission onto the NS and for yard instructions. Sometimes they can turn around in 30 minutes and sometimes they have to wait 3 hours for the NS local to set off its cars. They will also request permission for a signal to leave the yard and return to AVR trackage at CP Bloom so you will know when they are on the move. This train is known as AVR-1 on home rails and KC-32 on NS. The AVR to Washington I believe runs M-W-F might that might be wrong. You can usually catch them heading south around 0900.

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/unofficialavrswp

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LSRC Railfan
01-09-2010, 08:37 PM
Thanks for the help guys, it's really appreciated.

Andrew, if I can't get my hands on an issue I'll be sure to email you.

-Jim

ShortlinesUSA
01-09-2010, 09:52 PM
Brad,

Thank you for the update. I was under the impression that Monessen had restarted and assumed the schedule was similar. You know what they say about assuming. Is there anything reliably going on at Rook these days? Sounds like east of Mingo is next to dead, and Mingo took a pretty big hit when they closed down Steubenville. Unfortunately, a lot of the industries WLE was tied to in this general area have taken a big hit in this recession.

PLEzero
01-10-2010, 06:33 PM
[QUOTE=ShortlinesUSA;107288]

It is difficult to name the traffic on the east end. My personal opinion is that is seems to be just as busy as ever, just a lot different than it was 3 years ago. I would guess to say that about 3 times a week a hopper train comes out of Mingo and heads to Connellsville. Usually with 3 SD's for power.

Also, Rehobeth Spur has undergone a lot of maintenance for what I would assume be some type of new customer. This is the spur on the east end of Rook. I guess time will tell whether or not that is true.

There is also a daily ( about 6 days a week) local that does work in Bruceton at the AVR connection as well as in Mifflin with the URR. There are also cars that need to be moved to CSX in Connellsville and the SWP. They also seem to work the industry at Rook randomly. Trains don't necessarily work all these connections each day, but any of the 7 days of the week are a legitimate day to catch something.

PArailfan
09-25-2010, 11:17 PM
As of 09/25/2010, W&LE east to Connellsville is only running an occasional local train with just a few railcars that they get from CSX. The coal/coke trains are nonexistant, since last winter.

SWP action can be found on any given weekday. The best thing you can do is go park by the station in Scottdale early in the morning and then just wait for them to take their locomotives out for the day, and see where they go. I've been able to get some good coverage of them:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjb19772009/sets/72157623332640398/