Old 11-22-2011, 04:40 AM   #26
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Reading's 4 track main to Jersey City ran past the location where I currently live, but now it's CSX /SEPTA, two tracks and about the only time I take note of the line is when the crossing gates are down. 'Course, I'll make a few exceptions:

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Old 11-22-2011, 08:33 AM   #27
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In the mid - late 80's I used to live in a house where the back garden was right next to the line from Didcot - Oxford in the UK.

At this time there was lots of passenger traffic (still is), heavy coal traffic to the nearby power station (no longer goes via this route), and many intermodals as well. The best memories though, were of the overnight stone trains working north during the period that a new motorway was under construction north of Oxford. These were mainly worked by Class 56's which you could hear 2 miles or more away as they accelerated after clearing Didcot North Junction. By the time they came past the house at full bore the noise was epic and it would feel like a mini earthquake with the vibration - magic

Never had a problem sleeping there, the trains were just part of the background noise. Much better than living near a busy road with the constant roar, even at a distance.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:29 AM   #28
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1/4 Mile from the CN main 200' from a Iowa Northern Branch. 3 by me the last 2 hours but after sun up unlikely see one.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:44 PM   #29
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My office here in Nashville is surrounded by tracks. I can hear CSX trains clearly on two different lines, as well as the Music City Star commuter train, and the occasional Nashville and Eastern freight run. I'm also about a 1/2 mile from the Tennessee Central Railway Museum and can hear them messing around from time to time.

I do miss the "clickety clack" of the old sectioned rails though. These new smooth welded tracks with concrete ties just sort of "sing."
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:50 PM   #30
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I live on an island with maybe a hundred miles of tracks on it with some of the busiest rail junctions and some of the greatest densities of rail traffic in the world...and 95% of it is underground. In heavy weather I hear Metro North trains as they use the horn on enter/exit of the oldest (circa 1850's) working railroad tunnel in the US, the Park Ave.

I am about a mile from the tunnel's entrance on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Cm'on, Dennis! We all know that that transit stuff aint real trains!
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:12 PM   #31
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J took some feisty pills.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #32
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Lightbulb Where you live.

I live with in 2-3 miles of the BNSF TransCon and since we live on a hill, I can hear horns from Atwood to Acacia Street.

The sound is at a low level so it is not disturbing (the fireworks at Disneyland are louder) and when the clouds are low, you can hear the horns and the rattle rather well.


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I live three blocks from the ocean in one of the nicest towns in America (amazing public schools, extremely robust police force that is a part of the community, some of the most successful shopping centers in the country, the largest Little League in America, huge PTA, huge AYSO, great houses of worship, 4th of July parade, oh, and lots and lots of movie stars).
Ya, but too bad it is in LA County.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #33
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I live a mile south of CP's Toronto Yard in Agincourt. Though the freeway beside me conceals a lot of the noise, I can hear the odd horn and on quiet nights, the sound of the wheelers squealing through the retarders.

Fortunately, I'm upwind of the engine terminal!
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:46 PM   #34
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Our home in Big Stone Gap is located beside a nursing home (....I'm on out-patient status at the moment.... ). Behind it is the NS Appy District main (over which CSX has trackage rights)---about 250 feet from our house. The nursing home blocks the view, but we can certainly hear trains as they go through "furnace dip" (eons ago, there was an iron furnace on the opposite side of the tracks; another example of how names from the past don't die off).

Just around a curve past the nursing home (a quick walk from the house), this is the scene:

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Traffic is down from a few years ago, but I would say we get a dozen to 16 trains a day here. The sound of big power throttling up for the 1.7 percent climb out of the "dip"---punctuated by the whistling for the 19th Street crossing just over the ridge---is a tonic at night.

I couldn't imagine living out of earshot of a railroad. How could one go on living?
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:05 PM   #35
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The sound of big power throttling up for the 1.7 percent climb out of the "dip"---punctuated by the whistling for the 19th Street crossing just over the ridge---is a tonic at night.

I couldn't imagine living out of earshot of a railroad. How could one go on living?
Can you imagine it during the heyday of steam?
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:26 PM   #36
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Ya, but too bad it is in LA County.
You mean to say that there are other counties in California? Why? What purpose do they serve?

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I couldn't imagine living out of earshot of a railroad. How could one go on living?
It's awful!
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:44 PM   #37
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I can hear the horns of trains blowing for grade crossings on CSX's S&C sub at my house. I work about 2 blocks away from where the line runs through Somerset (PA) and can clearly hear them blowing for the East Main Street crossing. Unfortunately I can't see them because of the way our building is situated.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:26 PM   #38
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Can you imagine it during the heyday of steam?
I can. Southern used simple and compound 2-8-8-2s on this line, and they were limited to a mere 26 loaded 50-ton cars. This is one tough piece of railroad!

Today, CSX and NS trains (usually 90 to 110 loaded 100-tonners) have two or three big six-motor units on the point, and either a manned two or three unit helper, or (in NS' case), DPUs. When the road units go through the "dip," they're usually making the transition from dynamic to power----but when the rear units go by, they're WFO!

During the early diesel transition period, regular power was either a four or five unit set of F-units. Two examples:

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Yes, the sound of four or five F-units at full throttle on a loaded train was glorious! I was also fortunate to ride them on this route a few times.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:34 PM   #39
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You mean to say that there are other counties in California? Why? What purpose do they serve?

If you ask anyone from the northern half, we exist to provide you with water and food.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:26 PM   #40
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If you ask anyone from the northern half, we exist to provide you with water and food.
Thanks, but we don't need it. We have supermarkets for the food and the Arrowhead man for the water.

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Old 11-22-2011, 10:49 PM   #41
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I suppose some water comes from the north (still?), but most of it comes from the east. That is why Arizona exists.

And all those other states in the Colorado River watershed!
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:57 PM   #42
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I see dead trains!!

It's like they don't even know!!!!!

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Old 11-22-2011, 11:18 PM   #43
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I hear CSX from my place...on just the right day I can hear the actual train, or the hum of a struggling EMD.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:51 PM   #44
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My laneway is at a fork in the road - the main road is north-south and the sideroad is sorta west-southwest. The CN Newmarket Sub intersects both those roads, about 1/3 mile away on the sideroad and 3/4 mile away down the main road. Down by the main road crossing I also own 160-odd acres of land and the railroad RofW forms a good portion of the property line. On a good day I can hear trains coming from a fair distance if I'm working out in the yard and go meet them somewhere that has good light depending on the time of day. My "summer job" as an engineer, mechanic and more-or-less Jack of All Trades on the Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway is just about 6 miles from my home, and if I stay off the highway I can follow the CN line pretty much the whole way into town. If the northbound Northlander is on time I stand a good chance of being able to catch him on my way into work and if the southbound is running a few minutes late in the afternoon I can also catch it on my way home. I'm quite sure at first the crews would see me in my engineer's overalls and cap standing at the side of the road and think I was some pathetic old railfan fart gone completely nuts (only partially true), but I think they pretty much know I'm just on my way to or from work these days! I used to know a few of them personally, one conductor would email me from the train 1/2 hour before they passed my place and tell me if they were on time and/or what unit was leading but he retired earlier this year. When I used to live in Oakville I could watch trains on the CN Oakville Sub all day and night from my balcony, and my place of employment was right beside the tracks.

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Old 11-23-2011, 12:22 AM   #45
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Traffic is down from a few years ago, but I would say we get a dozen to 16 trains a day here.
Try 46-50 on a CSX Line and 20 on an NS line.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:48 AM   #46
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I feel like expanding a bit on my previous post

I was born and raised in Pence Springs, WV 85 feet from the C&O Alleghany Subdivision. I grew up standing on the back of the couch watching those blue, then yellow, then gray engines pulling trains back and forth. That hooked me for life. I now live atop Big Bend Tunnel in Hilldale, and from my house I get several minutes of notch 8 roar as two GE's struggle up the .34 percent grade with 20000 ton 150 car coal trains. The roar goes suddenly silent as they slip into the 6188 foot tunnel. 8-12 minutes later, a loud woosh and another roar as they exit the tunnel, still pulling with all their might as they blow for two crossings, and wind off through the Greenbrier Valley.

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Old 11-23-2011, 01:42 AM   #47
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J took some feisty pills.
Underneath the intersection of 34th St and Sixth Ave there are, four transportation agencies, four levels, and 14 tracks.

It is one of the busiest railroad junctions in the world.

Metro North and the LIRR together carry about 16 million riders a month.

The New York City Subway carries over 5 million people a day.

Perhaps country person J doesn't know that railroading can have more than one track or train at a time.

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Old 11-23-2011, 01:51 AM   #48
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Underneath the intersection of 34th St and Sixth Ave there are, four transportation agencies, four levels, and 14 tracks.

It is one of the busiest railroad junctions in the world.

Metro North and the LIRR together carry about 16 million riders a month.

The New York City Subway carries over 5 million people a day.

Perhaps country person J doesn't know that railroading can have more than one track or train at a time.


Well, in Pittsburgh, from where he hails, in the late 1970s, a "subway" was an ancient PCC car painted to look like a Heath bar.

I rode the PATH to 33rd and 6th daily for about six years. It is crowded down there.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:55 AM   #49
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On a hill overlooking Cincinnati Union Terminal, NS Gest Street Yard and the south end of CSX Queensgate Yard. At night the distant squeal of the retarders at Queensgate certainly makes for a distinctive soundtrack to summer.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:20 AM   #50
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Well, in Pittsburgh, from where he hails, in the late 1970s, a "subway" was an ancient PCC car painted to look like a Heath bar.
Those PCCs were awesome!

Dennis, I'm not sure what yunz have in them thar big city places, but the PCC went through a JUNCTION and so on, and there were SWITCHES, and even, yep, a maintenance shop.

And a TUNNEL, Dennis, a TUNNEL! And then a bridge! All LIGHT YELLOW! Same guy who did you Hells Gate Bridge, only this one is purdy! Way more than yours!
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