Trains Trains Trains
Day 7: Copperhill Special
[05-Nov-2016] Took the Copperhill Special train along the scenic Hiwasse River from Etowah, Tn to Copperhill, TN via the Hiwassee Loop. The town of Copperhill is a shared town with McCaysville, GA on the other side of the river. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway runs to the town also and we met that train there. Had lunch and rode the train back.

Drove home. Arrived about 1am.

Day 5: Parthenon, Hermitage, Distillery
[03-Nov-2016] Started at the reconstruction of the Parthenon. Actually had breakfast, walked around the CSX yard, the old depot and then stopped for the big L&N steam engine in the park since the Parthenon didnt open till 9am first. Parthenon was short. Other than the statue of Athena no need to go inside.

Spent most the morning at Andrew Jacksons Hermitage. Still early when we got done there and it was only a 2 hour drive to Chattanooga so stopped at the Jack Daniels Distillery for the dry tour. Ended the day in Chattanooga.

Lucky catch of carnival train
[25-Oct-2016] Was hitting pokestops at railroad square when I heard a train. Caught it a the station. looked like Q606 and it had a CN loco as the third engine. It was pulling to a stop took some photos and waited. Good choice the approaching train was the Strates Carnival train for the year. Pictures are horrible because it was dark by then but saw it. Then the pokemon Halloween event started.

[18-Apr-2016] You can not make it from Capitola to Drifton before a train. You can barely make it to Aucilla however. Chased a coal train out there to get shots of the 3rd locomotive a NS one. Coal trains typically only have CSX locomotives. Though we see UP locomotives frequently NS ones are rare. Also was trying to kill time til the weather cleared and could inspect the bees. Still didnt get great shots. Got there just in time to not get out of the car. Locomotives shot though the window, then got out for the rest of the train.

More unusual stuff
[16-Mar-2016] Federal work train (W009-15) overnighted on the engine track. E003 blocked the running track all night. There were some other interesting operations last night here because of the blockage. Local M743-14 coming south on the Bainbridge sub was held at the GF&A until after Q606-14 passed and M746-15 left. M746 pushed its consist of about twenty hoppers north to Adams St to switch from the running track to the main before heading south now with the engine in the lead to Quincy. M746 left a caboose as a shoving car for M743 at Sterns St. Once M746 headed south past the GF&A M743 came down the main to the north end to collect the shoving car and work in the yard. Usually M743 would only work at the south end. There was and engine swap by M743 also. More to come.

Olustee 2016
[15-Feb-2016] Had to wait for a train to cross before going in. At least the have a CSX person there now that stopped it at the signal before the crossing. Gave a lot of info on the train to some British tourists that were interested.

Sutler numbers seemed down. Grass was high and they are really letting the trees in the pyrotechnics are grow up. South left the field entirely at one point in the battle. It seemed like there was some lack of direction for some reason.

Lining them up
[07-Feb-2016] Went inside to get something while working in the yard yesterday to find a train in town. Was barely able to catch Q179 at the GF&A but didnt get any pictures. Behind it a grain train was pulling into the yard, and behind that Q609 was stopped just short of Meyers Park. This was the closest Ive seen them run trains all going in the same direction. Q609 was almost exactly 3 miles behind the grain train and moved forward as soon as it did. All the grain was waiting for was Q179 to get further down the track.

Burst of activity
[03-Feb-2016] There were two trains this afternoon. The last Q609 stopped in the yard about 4pm and sat there twiddling their thumbs. At about 9:30 there was a burst of activity. A train (Q606) showed up at the GF&A headed north, at the same time M746 left the other end of the yard also northbound. As Q606 passed the GF&A M743 came south asking permission to get on the sub and go into the yard. Dispatcher told M743 to wait on Q606 (which had already passed) the he had to get M746 to pull over at Drifton so Q606 could pass. By 10pm Q606 had passed Capitola and everything went back to quiet.

Q609 sat around for no apparent reason till 11:30.

The new radio has been working well. Even with tonights rain I could just make out M743 when they entered the south end of the yard about 11 miles away. Less static would be nice but it so much better than the portable that didn't pick up Q606 a mile down at Chaires when I was at Baum.

New Sanner and Antenna
[26-Jan-2016] The new antenna is up for the more powerful scanner in the house. Managed to break the rain sensor for the sprinkler system, one of the cups of the anemometer (now on the new mast) and the stand for the anemometer solar panel in the process. Cable is routed through the giant preexisting hole in the back window screen until I can get it run properly through the attic. Antenna is grounded but needs to be done better. Cable is loose. Also have to fix all the stuff I broke.

The scanner is a 4 channel Motorola M1225. The 4 channel is very different from the 20 channel which is what everyone talks about. And you have to pay attention to but the right 4 channel to get the right frequencies. Such a pain. Managed to find a program to program it. Had to use an old XP box since it only runs in 32bit and uses a special usb-scanner cable. Even then it fails half the time. Thankfully the Tallahassee sub only uses 3 channels. Getting the stupid thing to scan rather than listen on one channels means you have to have the mic in the clip, even though I have all the transmit functions disabled.

The new setup lets me frustratingly get static from all the transmissions at the yard, but not be able to quite make them out. I did manage to confirm that they are running a local Southbound on at least Tuesdays. It goes out to the Quincy Mine and runs as M746, which is the same train that runs MWF Northbound maybe as far as Lake City.

S Line
[17-Jan-2016] Found an unexpected train on the way down to Brooksville along the side of the road.

One the way back from Brooksville drove the long way back up 301 to Ocala hoping to catch trains. Caught the tail end of 2 both southbound then spent a good hour driving around the mess Ocala has become before catching Q604. Saw Q604 again on the Folkston webcam 4 hours later as it went through there. Also saw this thing at Wildwood. Maybe for ballast? Cant be for snow.

S Line
[17-Jan-2016] Found an unexpected train on the way down to Brooksville along the side of the road.

One the way back from Brooksville drove the long way back up 301 to Ocala hoping to catch trains. Caught the tail end of 2 both southbound then spent a good hour driving around the mess Ocala has become before catching Q604. Saw Q604 again on the Folkston webcam 4 hours later as it went through there. Also saw this thing at Wildwood. Maybe for ballast? Cant be for snow.

Rock Train
[10-Jan-2016] Went to see a train at Chaires. It turned out to be unusual, a loaded rock train. Missed the symbol so went towards the yard where it was pulling in. Caught it at Gadsden. Since I was down there went to the yard to catch the northbound train that this one was pulling off for. Barely caught S609 (not Q609 but same train) going northbound. Then K781, got the symbol finally, went south. I went out toward Midway to hear the Defect detector give the length. Got there but no train. Waited about 10 min, still no train. I could not have beat it by that much. Went back and found it just over the Ocklocknee bridge stopped. He was dropping the back half the train.

He moved up past the Brickyard crossing then backed up into some sidings. Repeat twice because the siding was only long enough for half the train he bright forward. Then he went back and got the rest and went on south.

Other unusual events today were an S606-08 and then a Q606-08 with a UP lead.

Rail grinder
[13-Dec-2015] There was a rail grinder in town today. Did not see it grind only what it had already done. It went back to Midway and should continue tomorrow. There is video of both units.

Rail grinder
[13-Dec-2015] There was a rail grinder in town today. Did not see it grind only what it had already done. It went back to Midway and should continue tomorrow. There is video of both units.

Girl tries her best to get hit by train
[11-Dec-2015] There was weirdness going on Friday night. An empty coal train came through without DPU I caught it at Farms rd way east of town. By the time I came hoe it was at the yard bypass and headed west. Some thing else occupied the yard lead, and something else the GF&A. All the tracks were occupied. This was really weird. Trains dont run on the GF&A except one local after 9pm and only a few days a week. It was only 7pm. I went too look.

L180 was in the yard setting off or picking up cars. He was a long train extending the length of the yard to just short of Mabry. There was a pickup truck sitting at the west entrance (which is odd it self since it pitch black there but I figured it was someone helping the car swap). This didnt answer what was on the GF&A. I started following them looking. Drove all the way to Hartfields and saw nothing. Coming back there was some MOW vehicle under the Pensacola overpass sitting at the signal where the GF&A unites with the main line. Could only see the flashing tow truck like lights in the dark from the top of the overpass.

L180 had permission to leave but was still in the yard. Stopped at the Eisenhower St crossing to wait for the MOW. MOW train got permission to move forward. Minutes later a silver car comes down Eisenhower and turns left, right onto the tracks. She stopped about 10ft down them, car would not move. Girl got and and I called 911. MOW arrived slowly, they could see the headlights as soon as she turned onto the tracks and thought it was their supervisor messing with them.

Talked to the MOW guys and the cops arrived a few minutes later. Then the pickup from the yard (who was the manager fr the MOW) arrived also. Spent an hour looking at the car blocking the tracks before a tow truck came. Apparently the same MOW guys had been stopped by the [shooting on Fred George]( a couple of days ago. They really hate Tallahassee.

MOW was semi-truck roadrailer pulling about 9 cars with old ties in them and an excavator. Eventually they got to move. Then 180, and the the local from Tallahassee.

Traffic Jam at midnight
[27-Nov-2015] On the way home from Craigs thanksgiving. Went by yard because there was a westbound train coming. Watched it pull into yard and stop. Wait for another train to come eastbound on the bypass. That train went to Chaires and had to manually throw the switch and go onto the siding so E013 westbound could come into Tallahassee and stop outside the yard because the other train was still there. Then Q180 came into the by pass eastbound, once it cleared SE Tallahassee the first train could go west so E013 could go into the yard clearing the tracks so Q180 could go east. E013 stopped in the yard however because another train was coming from the west. I gave up at 2am to many trains and not enough sleep. It was the busiest Ive ever seen Tallahassee and all after midnight.

Trains all the time
[19-Nov-2015] Spent the day in Folkston at the Folkston Funnel watching trains. It was rainy and slow. The MOW guys tied up track number one all day but still managed to see 13 trains there with a 2-3 hour lunch trip to the Okefenokee.

Giant circle
[19-Oct-2015] Went driving Sat. Went to Chattahoochee for the arsenal (not worth any pictures) and the train yards. Then went down to St. Joe for the AN Yard which is pretty much abandoned. There is a 2ft pine tree growing in the tracks on the way into it. Stopped at the Constitutional Museum which unexpectedly had a train outside. Tried to stop and find the geocache I placed years ago but it wasnt stored in my phone and no service to get the coordinates.

Pretty sure I saw the back end of the Black Florida Panther that doesnt exist. Couldnt have been any other animal, tail too long for a black bear, size too big for a small cat. It was right at where the AN crosses the road to Sumatra.

Trains have made up for it.
[10-Oct-2015] Last night and this morning had made up for the rest of the week. Videoed a train at lunch. At 5pm Q606 was sitting in the yard within sight waiting for Q606 and immediately afterwards N013 to pass before heading westbound itself. Later went back to the yard to catch L180 but got diverted as the 2 yard locos headed east for Lee as M746. L180 got into the yard before I could get there but said they would only be there 29ish minutes. I think it was about 35. Watched L180 at Railroad just like had I just done for M746. By the time I got home it was clear M746 was coming back but I was tired.

This morning checked on one hive, grabbed Grimm and caught 2 trains at the Tallahassee Station. Q606 was sitting yards down from the end of the platform when we arrived waiting on E013 to clear the S. Adams street switch. Which took forever. E013 was a long train. As soon as E013 was past the switch, and even before it was passed the station Q606 started creeping forward. Got pics and video of Grim.

Today got a Bluetooth transmitter for the scanner so I can wear a head set and stop fiddling with wires. With luck when the better antenna arrive I can also leave the scanner in the car.

The railroads are messing with me
[08-Oct-2015] 2 trains yesterday just at 8am, just so I couldnt see either. Then nothing. Absolutely dead all day so dead i questioned if the software was working. 1 train at 3pm, garbled so I cant hear details but can understand what is going on so no numbers. Then dead again. Dead until 8pm. 9pm a train shoots out of the yard from no where. Go to Weems to see it despite the fact its dark. I get one photo, the train is 2 locomotives and one car, going full speed. He goes all the way out to Lee then onto the siding in what must have been record time.

A GFA train at 10 (other side of town no way to get to see it). Another train comes in from the west at 11, he get authorization to go through Tallahassee to Chaires. So back to Weems. The train however sits at the west end of the yard, and sits, and sits. I give up at 11:45 and go home. The train at Lee is now on the way back. The shunt him onto the Chaires siding at 12:45 presumably so the other train can go by. Which is still sitting on the west side of town. No radio calls from Chaires which is weird. Bed time. Leave the scanner and software on. At 3am get an alert that wakes me up of another eastbound. The others are gone. Logs say that the train on the west side of town sat there till 1:45, meanwhile the guy at Chaires also waited till he passed. Never heard anything on the scanner from anyone after 9pm.

Left everything at home today. They are clearly running most trains at night not during the day and I get mostly static during the day anyway. Might go sit closer to the yard tonight where I can hear.