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ShortlinesUSA
12-03-2010, 01:43 AM
Work took me to Atlantic City Monday, and I unexpectedly found myself staying in a hotel along the NJ Transit/SRNJ main. I knew it was close, but not where I could actually see and hear trains going by behind the hotel in Galloway, NJ.

I was awakened by what was certainly a freight train at 0300 Monday morning, but it was too dark to see anything. I figured I'd run through Pleasantville before my 10am meeting and see what I could find.

Sure enough, my ears didn't fool me-- the train was already in town unloading rock at AC Stone. Power was O&W painted M420W 800 and the SRNJ painted 803. CN painted 3578 and SRNJ GP10 102 were also in town, but sitting out on the branch on another cut of cars.

Another crew relieved the morning crew at noon, and a brief conversation found they'd spend the rest of the day unloading stone and not return to Winslow Jct. until after dark.

I am unsure if this is how they are running all the time now. A friend well versed in their operations said working like this is only typical if NJT is doing trackwork during the day, or there is a need for them to be unloading stone first thing in the morning. It may have just been one of those two situations happened to be while I was in town. I was also told it is not uncommon for them to run south one day, unload stone, tie down and start at Pleasantville the following day for the return to Winslow.

With the SRNJ operating on the NJT, there are only a few windows they can use if they don't run in the middle of the night as they did Monday. One would have them out of Winslow around 0630 and into Pleasantville about an hour later, the next around 0900-0930. They also cannot operate on the NJT between 1600-1900, so that limits the return trip, as well.

M420s are a personal favorite, so this last minute trip was a welcome surprise, and catching them working on a sunny November morning was that much better. Definitely worth the trip if you're in the area.