1. CSX 3470-931 have 200-car T209 westbound passing Ivel on 05-20-2020. This train loaded at McClure VA, on the old Clinchfield. Those modern tubs on the right are stored in the passing siding. Ivel KY.
2. CSX DPUs 216-3117 are coupled ahead of the second cut of 100 cars. This was the first 200-car double train that I was able to photograph. Although CSX runs them frequently. Ivel KY.
3. CSX 3470-931 T209 passes Lancer (Bull Creek on the railroad). 05-20-2020. Lancer KY.
4. Tyler Gentry joined me at this point, and we railfanned the rest of the day. The spur to the old Bull Creek tipple (remember the red “Black Hawk” ex-C&O GP9) has been removed on the right. I figured CSX would leave the short stub in, as they frequently parked track equipment there. It was a power switch with a dwarf and lock. CSX 3118-216 DPU. Lancer KY.
5. Within a few minutes CSX 3020-915 rolled by w/b with DKPX empties. Trains following this close is a rarity these days. Lancer KY.
6. And that wasn’t all! Another w/b empty train was following that was going to Martin. CSX 88-456 have left their train on the 2 track, returned up 1 (main) from EM Cabin, and are going through the crossover at Beaver Junction (Dwale, KY).
7. LE dispatcher in JAX has lined up the signal for CSX 88-456 to return to their train around the curve. View 2. Beaver Jct KY.
8. CSX 88-456 are now on the Big Sandy Extension (CTC controlled by LE) to Martin. Before the crossovers were moved this would have been the beginning of the Elkhorn & Beaver Valley SD. The E&BV east of Martin is now under control of the dispatcher that has the EK (old L&N in Hazard area). Beaver Jct KY.
9. CSX 88-456 arrives Martin Yard with HPJX empty hoppers. Martin KY.
10. CSX 88-456. Another view. Martin KY.
11. We hoped they would change crews and go on to the mine, but this was not the case. The crew tied the train down and were taxied to Pikeville for rest. CSX 88-456. Martin KY. 05-02-2020.
12. CSX 7201 is on the front of Q692 and CSX 3393 heads ethanol empty train K428-16. Shelby KY. 05-17-2020.
13. CSX 7201 is the former 207. It has received upgrades and now called a “CM44AH.” Shelby KY.
14. Q692’s DPU 854 is coupled to K428-16. Now we will have 21 loads/162 empties, 8,664 tons with a length of 11,530 feet (over 2 miles)! CSX DPU 854 3393-3424-335. Shelby KY.
15. After considerable time was spent putting this land barge together with the air test and taxi ride to Fords Branch for the conductor, the combined Q692/K428 rumbles toward Russell. CSX 854-3393-3424-335 work as DPUs. But CSX has saved money by not using a crew! Efficiency! Shelby KY.
16. As soon as Q692/K428 got out of the way, grain train G726-15 behind CSX 3096-903-4574 came in with 90 loads, 11,567 tons and a length of 5,574. I think a Kingsport crew was ready to take him on south as soon as the Russell crew climbed off. Shelby KY. 05-17-2020.
17. CSX 3096-903-4574. View 2. Shelby KY.
18. PMRX 74074 brings up the rear. This train contained several “fallen flag” cars plus defunct shipper cars now all in lease fleets. More on those later. This was certainly not a dull train! Shelby KY.
19. CSX 3449-136-2762-700-5216 depart Shelby on 05-23-2020 with Q692. This days' train has 24 loads/42 empties. Shelby KY.
20. The next day, 05-24-2020, Q692-22 approaches Coal Run Junction behind CSX 7010-8368. Trees are taking over here. Coal Run Jct KY.
21. CSX 7010-8368. View 2. Coal Run Jct KY.
22. CSX DPU 961 sounds like it is doing all the work! Coal Run Jct KY.
23. Q692-29 departs Shelby with 40/20, 6,198 ton, 3,675 feet behind CSX 3270-867-420 on 05-31-2020. Shelby KY.
All for now.