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Thread: Where can I find freight train schedule info?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Puget Sound
    Posts
    349

    Default Where can I find freight train schedule info?

    My boat's new home is now adjacent to the BNSF mainline that runs thru downtown Tacoma, WA. I get to watch all the neat trains slowly rumbling by all day long.

    This evening I saw a 90 car southbound containter train headed by an SD45(??) and four (4) SD70Ms. There is almost no elevation change between here and Portland and not even that much headed west thru the Columbia River gorge. The train could not have been headed over either Stampede or Stevens Pass because they would have to head north from Tacoma.

    So - I got to wondering why did a 90 car container train need all that power?

    Is there somewhere I can visit on the WEB to get schedule and service info. I know the BNSF site shows all the trains leaving Tacoma southbound and the scheduled time, e.g. 109 hours to Chicago or 208 hours to Kansas City. But the schedule does not show when the train is scheduled to leave nor the route it will take.

    How can I figure out what train I am seeing?

    Why would a train running on pretty much level terrain for the next 150 - 500 miles require that much power?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    940

    Default RE: Where can I find freight train schedule info?

    Having lots of power is pretty nice when you have the chance. Once I saw the Southwest Cheif with 6 P42's all online.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Belfast, Antrim, Ireland.
    Posts
    714

    Default RE: Where can I find freight train schedule info?

    Have you considered the fact that the train may be arriving in Tacoma from the north?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Augusta, Ga, USA.
    Posts
    4,610

    Default RE: Where can I find freight train schedule info?

    I believe one of (or several) BNSF's trains is Chicago to Portland via Marias Pass and Stevens Pass.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
    Posts
    2,472

    Default RE: Where can I find freight train schedule info?

    Since 9/11 schedule information is much harder to come by. AEI detectors used to be a very easy way of checking for train numbers on the web or phone (punch in the car numbers). But even not being in the area I can offer a possible explanation of the power issue.

    Many times the power you see may be active, but alot of time they are shut down and are part of the consist itself. In flat terrain a power transfer is probably the likely reason why you would see so much power. If the power is newer (or even old) it could be a transfer or pruchase from a factory to railroad (in the case of old railroad to railroad).

    There may be an inbalance in revenue (loaded) train in one direction where as epmty trains would run less or infrequent. Then what happens is you have alot of engines that go one direction but don't return because there is no train for them. On shorter distances or switching lines you may have light power (no freight) return, but usually on longer distances the extra engines will be powered down as trailing units to re-supply the next set of outbound trains.

    Your best bet is to post as you have and hopefuly someone from the area more familiar can give you more information. Sometimes a google search can find you people outside of train-sim community. Getting a scanner, or listenting into an audio server from your area over the web will give you more info on train numbers so at least you know what you could be seeing.

    Thanks

    Sean

  6. #6

    Default RE: Where can I find freight train schedule info?

    A lot of the time when you see more then 3 units in a consist, the additional units are in tow, and simply being moved from one terminal to another...it's cheaper to tack a few units here there on a train already running from one terminal to another than it is to send a special engine "lite" move. Don't know about the BNSF, but on the NS it's against the rules to have more than 3 6-axel units online, using only 2 of them for dynamic brakes. On certain tonage trains (loaded coal or grain), you can have up to 4 under power.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Perth, WA, Australia.
    Posts
    3,228

    Default RE: Where can I find freight train schedule info?

    The most locos Ive seen on a train powering has been 8! That was NICE!!

    All EMD though! BAH!

    >Mike Forster<
    Perth, Western Australia

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...lipboard01.jpg

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