Old 03-26-2014, 01:18 AM   #1
WMHeilman
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Default Georgia Central Ops

Since I know we have at least a few people from around the area on here, I figured I should post this here. I will be in Georgia from May 13th-19th on vacation. One of the main goals is to shoot the GC. I know nothing about their operations, so any information on that is helpful.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:41 PM   #2
troy12n
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Which part of the GC? Their ops are distinct areas: Savannah locals, Macon locals, Macon-Vidalia and Savannah-Vidalia, Savannah-Riceboro.

Huge geographic area there... They run a few days a week Savannah to Vidalia, working the line on the way and return the next. A separate train runs from Macon to Vidalia and return, there's a siding and a wye they use to interchange there with the Macon crew and with the Heart of Georgia which runs the rest of the line to almost Americus. There's a yard crew which goes on duty around 9am in Macon on days which they need to work, they interchange with NS, spot a few cars, make up the train to go to Vidalia and go home. Same thing happens in Savannah. I have no idea about schedule of the road trains. There used to be a guy on Trainorders who would give updates, and going back before G&W bought them, you could just call the dispatcher on the phone and ask they if anything was running, a lot of time they would tell you.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:51 PM   #3
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Railroad is broken up into three districts: Macon - Dublin, Dublin-Collins, Collins - Savannah. Riceboro Southern is not part of GC though they do normally use GC power (1 unit)
Macon train Y101 is on duty 4-5 days a week in Macon to go to Dublin to swap with L782. Train will normally make a turn, sometimes a one way run. Departure used to be consistently 9-10 AM but it can be as late as 12 or 1 nowdays. Westbound trip is sometime after dark.
L782 will normally start the day in Vidalia and will take the previous days train west to Dublin and swap with Y101 and then run back east to Collins to swap with L783, then return to Vidalia to drop off intermodal for HOG (Mon and Wed)
L783 runs MWF from Savannah to Collins or Groveland and swap with L782 then return. On duty sometime after 12, usually you will find it going through Meldrim around 1:30-2.
Railroad has become very unpredictable with the intermodal and general increase in traffic, used to run like clockwork now they are all over the place.
The U23B's have very limited time left, hopefully they will last until May.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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Crew that switches Savannah will normally bring the westbound train out to Kelly Hill Rd (3204'54.4"N 8110'11.6"W). At some point the L783 crew will come on duty at that point. They use switchman in a truck in addition to the train crew. He usually shows up before the train crew and kindly let us know when they were leaving. This seems to be sometime between 11:00AM to 1:00PM. The crew usually has to run around the train to switch some industries in Meldrim, which provides an opportunity for lots of shots. Train may run days other the MWF. Usually one unit left at big mill in East Dublin, in good light. Riceboro Southern not worth the trouble. Crew friendly, but mill is not. Very jammed in etc. Shops at Lyons in excellent light in early AM. I have gotten permission to shoot there several times. I have had luck politely asking at office at to what is going on that day.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:30 PM   #5
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Just to provide a quick motive power update on the GC, it does appear the roster will be comprised of a number of older EMD GP units. The roster is now about 50-50 GE and EMD units, with solid GE lashups mostly gone, with the exception of L783 out of Savannah. This train is not guaranteed to be all GE, but is your best shot at it. This information is compiled from very recent visits from a number of friends.

While I don't have an exhaustive list of which GEs are still active, one of note that is: GC 1004, the only surviving ex CSX U23B from the original batch of Georgia Central GEs. As of a few weeks ago, 3911, 3928, 3965, and 3968 were still active. Reports from the area indicate a few GEs will likely last into 2015. Traffic is very heavy, and sidelining the GEs all at once would virtually shut down the railroad.

Known EMD power on the line and paint schemes:

AZER GP20 2170 (at Lyons being painted into G&W colors)
AZER GP20 2171 (AZER dark blue)
MMID GP9 202 (MMID blue and orange)
GC GP10 1706/MT-4 slug 1006 (G&W, now relettered from Rail Link to GC)
LTEX GP30u 2413 (ATSF colors, Santa Fe lettering marked out)
LTEX GP30u 2435 (ATSF colors, Santa Fe lettering marked out)

There are also a number of possible units under going work at Lyons which may join the roster, or could simply be units for other G&W operations. Those include GP10 7594, SW1500/MT-4 1003 paired, and a few other switchers.

To sum it up, solid GE lashups are now hard to get, but still can be seen, particularly on the Savannah end, and the Y103 E. Dublin switcher still uses a single U23B at last report. Fans of older EMD geeps should be happy with the new additions, but those seeking matching consists of painted units are going to have to wait a while.
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