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Cameraman
06-14-2013, 04:51 PM
For a first time visitor to Georgia Central can anyone give a little operations overview, including days off, times etc?

I know one of the trains runs, or did in the past, to a certain point and meets its counterpart.

Specifically what are the west end operations like, but would be intereted in the whole operation?

nikos1
06-14-2013, 06:40 PM
5 days a week. West end Y101 runs pretty much guaranteed Tuesday and Thursday, as needed rest of the week. east in the morning west in the evening, so perfect for chasing. Swaps with L782 in Dublin. I'll find the rundown I typed up.

Cameraman
06-14-2013, 10:40 PM
Thanks and I will look for the write up when you can post.

Is there anything moving at all on the weekends?

ShortlinesUSA
06-19-2013, 02:19 PM
I can't say with certainty, and hopefully Nikos can confirm either way, but I believe the woodchip shuttle from Savannah to Meldrim and return does operate on weekends. I saw this train operate last week, and they were at the large paper mill shortly after 0700 putting together a string of 24 empty chip hoppers. They hit the diamond at Alabama Jct (just south of the Amtrak station) around 0830, and were back across eastbound at 1050.

Photo ops on this train are pretty limited. The woodchip yard is just east of Meldrim and there is no public access. Some days they run around their train in downtown Meldrim, others they may use a loco on each end. The switch faces west, so if both units are on the head end, chances are they will pull west to the siding at Meldrim before heading east for Savannah.

Not many photo ops, but if a weekend day is all you have, it's something (possibly) moving to get shots of. This segment of the line doesn't have nearly the scenery the west end does.

Depending on what your schedule is, I would highly recommend Nikos' suggestion of the Y101 chase. In my opinion, the best scenery on the line (and most open shots) are between Dublin and Dry Branch. You can do nice shots on just about any portion of the line, but I found that segment to be the most productive.

Joe the Photog
06-19-2013, 02:55 PM
I saw a light engine move in Savannah a few weekends ago on a Saturday around noon. I don't know the area that well to really even pin point where I might have been, but I never caught where they had been. Later, they were tied down intheir normal spot... blocking the ex-Ohio Central unit and Conrail slug.

nikos1
06-19-2013, 04:09 PM
Found the rundown of the Macon end, send me a private message with your email address and I will send it to you. Y101 basic thing is to be at the yard by 8 and then flip back and forth between them and NS till GC starts doing anything. With the 10 mph restrictions on most of the line it is an all day chase. One note is that they are now normally swapping with L782 at East Dublin siding which is unfortunate as when they swapped at West Dublin you were able to get 3 different units leading versus two now. The reasoning for this I have heard is because Y101 runs with two crews and L782 with only one. L782 is really overworked nowdays, they really need two jobs out of Lyons but I doubt they have enough power for that.
For Savannah end L783 (Savannah - Meldrim/Groveland/Collins) is M-W-F, with intermodal on Mondays and Wednsdays which is interchanged with the HOG. Normally departs Savannah around 2, switching in Meldrim can waste alot of time though, G&W is about the only railroad that switches slower than a class 1 (no kicking cars) After the stop in Meldrim its a straight run to either Groveland or Collins to meet 782, Collins is preferred since the west switch of Groveland siding is out of service. 782 will then take the train to Vidalia where it will set out the intermodal before taking the empty woodracks to Atlantic Wood. HOG may or may not run in daylight, its always a gamble. On Fridays 782 will only run to Lyons and cut off the power and go to the shops.

No idea if chip train runs on weekend, but its worth checking out. Personally I would avoid weekends for GC, a Monday-Tuesday tuesday trip would be ALOT more bang for your buck. Don't forget you can also do Sandersville or GASR in the morning before 783 runs.

ShortlinesUSA
06-21-2013, 05:05 PM
Joe, if you were east of the CSX main and generally southeast of the Amtrak station, there is a pretty good chance that could have been the chip train returning from the paper mill after spotting the loads from Meldrim.

I thought it was great to see GC moving those chips to the mill. I'd say the distance from the woodyard at Meldrim to the paper mill in Savannah is probably all of 15 miles. But that's as many as 75 to 100 truck trips a day (and double that if you count the empty returns) that aren't rolling through Bloomingdale and Pooler on US 80.

You just don't see short haul traffic like this nearly as much as you used to.