Dispatcher Road TripHere are a few pictures for you dispatchers to show you what the west end of Sheridan Yard looks like since they won't let you take road trips.
Here we are sitting on number 2 track looking west. The depot is in the distance on the right.
At the far left the the Fort Line curves away from the mainline. It is accessed off the main via a hand throw non-electric lock switch at the crossover on the left edge of the picture. Because it is not equipped with an electric CTC lock the yard engine cannot legally clear on this line.
The 2nd track from the left is the main line then number 1 and 2 yard tracks. The west yard lead angles away off the lower right corner showing the #3 track switch.
The near double red CTC signal guards the east switch of the Sheridan CTC siding, known locally as "the coal siding", which diverges off to the left of the main.
Having moved down number 2 track I am stopped just short of the depot. From left to right are the Coal Siding, the mainline, number 1 track and number 2 track. Number 1 and 2 join together at a hand throw yard switch just before the CTC signals on the bracket post at West Sheridan Yard. The coal siding rejoins the mainline at a CTC switch a half mile beyond the I-90 overpass.
The power for my 9 unit local, M-DENBIL. We had 10 units but had to set one out at the Sheridan roundhouse. I hope I have enough horses left for my train! As you can see it was quite a mix of locos. In addition to the Grand Trunk and the Canadian National units on the rear, the 4th unit from the headend is a PRR (ex-Conrail, now Norfolk Southern) unit.
On board the CN 5773 shown above you can see the conventional vertical control stand instead of a desktop. I really wish our BNSF widenose units were like this.
We are still waiting for traffic to clear so we can depart. The SD40-2 is my M-DENBIL lead unit and the coal empty with the elephant style matched MACs is getting a mainline crew change in front of the depot.
Great Falls powerOn a cloudy snowy day at Laurel I snapped this pic from my second unit showing the four units next to me ready to head north to Great Falls, Montana. The BNSF line to Great Falls, officially the Laurel Sub, sees a lot of 4 axle power. Today it will be 4 BN green GP40s. I am glad that I got the SD40s.
Make it HeavyOn another day at Laurel I got one of those BNSF SD40-.5 that were rebuilt from Canadian National units. Here we see a steel(?) weight welded along the catwalk. Many of these former CN units have had these weights added for for ballast. There is an identical one on the other side of the unit but because the traction motor cooling air duct raises the catwalk on that side the weight is located inside the hood. BNSF 7336.
GP40XFebruary 28, 2001. I am stopped at Dunmore on the P-MEMSSE (Memphis to South Seattle) to await MOW forces working ahead. The lead unit is a bit unusual. It looks like a GP40 at first glance, until you notice the flared radiators. It is a GP40X. An early GP50?? The FRA blue card said 3500 HP but the wheel report said it was 3600 Hp? Judging from the way we came up Parkman Hill I'd say it is 3500 at the most. I certainly hope we don't have to couple onto anything with the front of the 3032. It would be quite a chore to chip all that packed snow and ice out of the coupler and hoses.
The second unit is an LMX B39-8. These units used to be very common on all our freights through here but I seldom see or get one any more.
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