CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

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CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby Toppysager » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:01 pm

Hello everyone! Next week at some point I will have the opportunity to travel to Saugatuck for a family vacation, and given its proximity to the CSX Plymouth Sub, I plan on spending a day trackside between Holland and Benton Harbor. I know most of the traffic, but details for me are scarce much beyond this. I was wondering if anyone could offer any assistance.


First:
Other than E800, E801, N800, N801, D700, Q326, Q327, P370, & P371, what else, if anything, runs this section of track? Are there any extra movements or unit trains that occasionally use the line? Are there any days the coal trains don't run??

Second:

D700. I see that its profiled to run as far as Sawyer, MI, but I noticed that sometimes it turns at Holland. I hope to go out on a day where it works South/West of Holland. Does anyone know the best day to catch it running West of Holland? Any additional details on this local's movement would be helpful as well

Finally:


Are there any really good spots to shoot along the line? I know the bridge at New Richmond over the Kalamazoo River, but is there anything else worth making an effort for?

I appreciate all the help here. I know alot of you hail from this region, and would have significanlty more information than I could gather myself. Thanks!
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby SD80MAC » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:15 pm

That would be the Grand Rapids Sub. And aside from the trains you mentioned, there are virtually no extras. Coal trains are as needed, but you can typically see at least 1 loaded train and 1 empty train on any given day. D700 runs Tuesday through Saturday, often times they'll turn at Holland on Wednesdays and Fridays. Be up early as even on days they do go to Sawyer, they're back in GR by around 12-1 pm. They go on duty in GR at 5 am.

The swing bridge at St. Joseph/Benton Harbor is great for pictures. There are also lots of easily accessible spots for pics along most of the line towards Holland. There's crossings in roughly the middle of Saugatuck Hill and at the summit if you really want to catch some trains down on their knees pulling.
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby justin_gram » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:18 pm

Just like Jon said, those trains you listed pretty much sum up what you’ll see. Light power pushers will come down from West Olive to Wells as D800, D801, or D802 whenever coal loads or a heavy Q326 is on the way. Lately Q326 has been going thru St. Joe at around 09:00, and Q327 meets Amtrak 370 on the double track in Benton Harbor. Coal trains are random, but are usually daily. D700 seems to go long days it’s necessary between Tuesday and Saturday to work Hartford and/or Sawyer. Just watch the train location updates thread and you should be all set!

Saint Joseph is a photogenic area too, with the swing bridge and rails along the lake by Old Lakeshore Drive.

Also, St. Joe to GR is pretty much covered by the super scanner and the St. Joe feed. Also love webcams are on YouTube for Pullman and Bangor.

SJ feed https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/26249

Super scanner https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/22783/web
Last edited by justin_gram on Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby Toppysager » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:31 pm

SD80MAC wrote:That would be the Grand Rapids Sub. And aside from the trains you mentioned, there are virtually no extras. Coal trains are as needed, but you can typically see at least 1 loaded train and 1 empty train on any given day. D700 runs Tuesday through Saturday, often times they'll turn at Holland on Wednesdays and Fridays. Be up early as even on days they do go to Sawyer, they're back in GR by around 12-1 pm. They go on duty in GR at 5 am.

The swing bridge at St. Joseph/Benton Harbor is great for pictures. There are also lots of easily accessible spots for pics along most of the line towards Holland. There's crossings in roughly the middle of Saugatuck Hill and at the summit if you really want to catch some trains down on their knees pulling.


Alright awesome, this is helpful information. I will plan on going on a Tuesday which should ensure that I get the local down South somewhere. Also, do they ever run ANY grain traffic, like ever? I was just wondering if anything was interchanged in GR. Thanks
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby Toppysager » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:34 pm

justin_gram wrote:Just like Jon said, those trains you listed pretty much sum up what you’ll see. Light power pushers will come down from West Olive to Wells as D800, D801, or D802 whenever coal loads or a heavy Q326 is on the way. Lately Q326 has been going thru St. Joe at around 09:00, and Q327 meets Amtrak 370 on the double track in Benton Harbor. Coal trains are random, but are usually daily. D700 seems to go long days it’s necessary between Tuesday and Saturday to work Hartford and/or Sawyer. Just watch the train location updates thread and you should be all set!

Saint Joseph is a photogenic area too, with the swing bridge and rails along the lake by Old Lakeshore Drive.

Also, St. Joe to GR is pretty much covered by the super scanner and the St. Joe feed. Also love webcams are on YouTube for Pullman and Bangor.

SJ feed https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/26249

Super scanner https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/22783/web



Thanks, I appreciate the assistance! Might I ask where Wells is? Also, I have seen reports of Y106s and other yard jobs in around the Holland area. How far do these jobs operate?
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby justin_gram » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:38 pm

Wells is the siding just west of Fennville, milepost 41-43ish. I’ll post a link to a map of the line I have later, gotta get it off my computer.
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby trnwatcher » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:44 pm

Toppysager wrote:Thanks, I appreciate the assistance! Might I ask where Wells is? Also, I have seen reports of Y106s and other yard jobs in around the Holland area. How far do these jobs operate?

Wells is the siding south of Fennville. DD is at 44.3 just south of this siding. 100 numbers are 1st trick, 200 symbols 2nd and 300 are 3rd trick. Y106 is the local that runs east of Wyoming Yard out to Elmdale\Alto. Y121\221 are the Holland locals. Y297 does the west side of GR usually in the early evening. Y290 is a yard job at Wyoming. Not sure what the other Wyominng yard jobs are designated. Symbols have changed over the years.
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby SD80MAC » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:46 pm

Toppysager wrote:
SD80MAC wrote:That would be the Grand Rapids Sub. And aside from the trains you mentioned, there are virtually no extras. Coal trains are as needed, but you can typically see at least 1 loaded train and 1 empty train on any given day. D700 runs Tuesday through Saturday, often times they'll turn at Holland on Wednesdays and Fridays. Be up early as even on days they do go to Sawyer, they're back in GR by around 12-1 pm. They go on duty in GR at 5 am.

The swing bridge at St. Joseph/Benton Harbor is great for pictures. There are also lots of easily accessible spots for pics along most of the line towards Holland. There's crossings in roughly the middle of Saugatuck Hill and at the summit if you really want to catch some trains down on their knees pulling.


Alright awesome, this is helpful information. I will plan on going on a Tuesday which should ensure that I get the local down South somewhere. Also, do they ever run ANY grain traffic, like ever? I was just wondering if anything was interchanged in GR. Thanks

All grain traffic is primarily east of Grand Rapids on the Plymouth sub. The grain trains that do run to GR to be interchanged to Marquette Rail come in from Toledo (east). There are occasional potash trains from the CP that run over the GR sub, but only a few trains a year.
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby Jochs » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:42 pm

There is some parallel parking along Whitwam Dr. in St. Joseph (CSX "Benton Harbor" signal is in the St. Joseph city limits.) You can park there to shoot trains crossing the Paw Paw River near Graham St. The tracks parallel Whitwam Dr. between Graham Ave. (Riverview Dr.) in Benton Harbor and Upton Dr. in St. Joseph.
Here are some photos taken along Whitwam Dr:
Image
Image
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby Toppysager » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:42 pm

SD80MAC wrote:
Toppysager wrote:
SD80MAC wrote:That would be the Grand Rapids Sub. And aside from the trains you mentioned, there are virtually no extras. Coal trains are as needed, but you can typically see at least 1 loaded train and 1 empty train on any given day. D700 runs Tuesday through Saturday, often times they'll turn at Holland on Wednesdays and Fridays. Be up early as even on days they do go to Sawyer, they're back in GR by around 12-1 pm. They go on duty in GR at 5 am.

The swing bridge at St. Joseph/Benton Harbor is great for pictures. There are also lots of easily accessible spots for pics along most of the line towards Holland. There's crossings in roughly the middle of Saugatuck Hill and at the summit if you really want to catch some trains down on their knees pulling.


Alright awesome, this is helpful information. I will plan on going on a Tuesday which should ensure that I get the local down South somewhere. Also, do they ever run ANY grain traffic, like ever? I was just wondering if anything was interchanged in GR. Thanks

All grain traffic is primarily east of Grand Rapids on the Plymouth sub. The grain trains that do run to GR to be interchanged to Marquette Rail come in from Toledo (east). There are occasional potash trains from the CP that run over the GR sub, but only a few trains a year.



Oh okay, I see. K831 and K832. That'd be lucky! Thanks
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby Toppysager » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:44 pm

Jochs wrote:There is some parallel parking along Whitwam Dr. in St. Joseph (CSX "Benton Harbor" signal is in the St. Joseph city limits.) You can park there to shoot trains crossing the Paw Paw River near Graham St. The tracks parallel Whitwam Dr. between Graham Ave. (Riverview Dr.) in Benton Harbor and Upton Dr. in St. Joseph.
Here are some photos taken along Whitwam Dr:
Image
Image
Image



Looks like a good spot, I dont know if I'll make it in daylight, but I'd like to try a long exposure of P370 there. Thanks
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Re: CSX from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor

Unread postby Toppysager » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:33 pm

SD80MAC wrote:
Toppysager wrote:
SD80MAC wrote:That would be the Grand Rapids Sub. And aside from the trains you mentioned, there are virtually no extras. Coal trains are as needed, but you can typically see at least 1 loaded train and 1 empty train on any given day. D700 runs Tuesday through Saturday, often times they'll turn at Holland on Wednesdays and Fridays. Be up early as even on days they do go to Sawyer, they're back in GR by around 12-1 pm. They go on duty in GR at 5 am.

The swing bridge at St. Joseph/Benton Harbor is great for pictures. There are also lots of easily accessible spots for pics along most of the line towards Holland. There's crossings in roughly the middle of Saugatuck Hill and at the summit if you really want to catch some trains down on their knees pulling.


Alright awesome, this is helpful information. I will plan on going on a Tuesday which should ensure that I get the local down South somewhere. Also, do they ever run ANY grain traffic, like ever? I was just wondering if anything was interchanged in GR. Thanks

All grain traffic is primarily east of Grand Rapids on the Plymouth sub. The grain trains that do run to GR to be interchanged to Marquette Rail come in from Toledo (east). There are occasional potash trains from the CP that run over the GR sub, but only a few trains a year.


A K831-13 is profiled over the GR late tonight
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