Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Progress Report 12.08.10

Progress has been slow lately.  I ran a solo op session to test out equipment, learn all the jobs, etc.  It was quite informative and of course fun.  We'll mark that up as field research.

I still have a few problem areas that bother me.  The yard ladder at Davenport and the crossover at West Davenport are the worst offenders.  I'm considering replacing with handlaid turnouts in these areas.  It would be an investment, but considering the traffic volume, I think it would be well worth it.  I could possibly use the turnouts for the Davenport engine shop area.

Majority of the remaining turnouts operate well.  Only a few need minor tweaking. 

Tonight, I wired up the Davenport Industrial Park.  I had dropped feeders here, but failed to connect them to the bus.  David realized this when switching for the first time.

I loaded buckshot into the coal hoppers, two Atlas 2-Bay covered hoppers and the woodchip hoppers.  The other BLMA and Exactrail covered hoppers are pretty close to the proper weight.  I checked a few of the 50' box cars, but they too are pretty close to the proper weight.  The 40' cars feel too light though.  I will need to get some stick on weights for those.  It will be interesting to see how the weight affects future train performance.  Specifically, I'm curious as to how it could affect power requirements eastbound on the ovalix.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Industry Update 12.05.10

Industry update:
The golden era of moving produce across the rails has come to an end.  After numerous complaints of rotten/damaged produce due to excessive delays and derailments, the "melon" industry has dried up.  CRI&P crews did an excellent job moving the freight to the best of their ability, but deferred maintenance and questionable dispatching tactics by management was too much for the Melon Express.  Foreclosure notices were posted by local authorities at Kohr's Cold Storage in Davenport, Johnson Grain & Produce in Rock Island, and the large Markham Produce facility in Stockdale.  Grocery store chains were so disgusted by the poor quality of produce delivered to Chicago Wholesale Foods many canceled their contracts.  Foreclosure proceedings were filed this morning in Chicago.

CRI&P management reports that it will be auctioning off the fleet of 40' reefers as soon as possible.  Buyer commitments have ten of the cars already spoken for.

In more uplifting news, CRI&P management has already received interest in the aforementioned foreclosed properties. 

Johnson Milling Co. - new owners plan to open a bulk flour facility in the former Johnson Grain & Produce facility.  They will receive grain utilizing a shared storage track at Sunrise Feed Mill.  They will ship enriched bulk flour in pressureaide covered hoppers.

General Mills has expressed interest in the former Markham Produce facility in Stockdale.  A grain elevator/flour production building will be constructed at the former Markham Produce site.  A second track will be added for receiving of grain.  Bulk flour will be shipped via pressureaide covered hoppers.  General Mills will also open a Cereal production plant nearby that will ship boxed cereal to grocers via 50' box cars.

Also in Stockdale, new construction of a small fabrication shop and small factory are in the works.

Proctor & Gamble Co has expressed interest in the Chicago Wholesale Foods warehouse.  The facility will be expanded for the manufacturing of various household products.  Dry kaolin and vegetable starch will be received via covered hopper.  Household items for distribution at stores will be shipped via box car.

Iowa Ready Mix Co. has expressed interest in the former Kohr's Cold Storage facility.  They will receive sand and gravel via barge on the Mississippi river and ship cement via rail using ACF 2970 2-Bay Covered Hoppers.

Train Line-up Changes
Blue Island Local
A new local was created which will be assigned solely to Blue Island.  Call time is 8:30am

Stockdale Local
The Stockdale local will now work Joliet and Stockdale, IL only.  The local will be adding four new industries to its switchlist.  New call time is 11:30am

Peoria Local
The Peoria local will pick up one new industry in West Davenport.  Call time will be pushed back an hour to 10am to ease some of the congestion caused by the Grain and Peoria locals working in close proximity.

Grain Local
The Grain Local will pick up two new industries in Rock Island and Stockdale.  Call time remains the same at 8am.

The Melon Express has been annulled.  First class and through freight trains remain the same.