Monday morning bright and early, found me headed toward Brookville to shoot photos for the next edition of The Missing Conversation. Swinging past the shingle plant and seeing no rail activity or even any cars, I continued on south down Route 52.
My best-laid plans came to a screeching halt when I passed the northbound train just a few miles south of town. He was ambling along at a blistering ten miles an hour, which gave me plenty of time to turn around and scout ahead of him for a photo location. My choice wasn’t the best but knowing the area, it had to suffice.
Having gotten a so-so shot, I drove back to Brookville and parked near the Robert’s Mill site for another round of photos. Once he passed, I loaded up again and proceded back to the shingle plant, my objective having changed from a photo shoot of track details to watching him switch the yard.
With operations so sporadic on this line, watching them spot cars for the plant is something I’ve never witnessed. With the simple track arrangement, one could make educated guesses about the moves but first hand knowledge is always better than conjecture.
Arriving in the yard, the train pulls up shy of the fence around the plant and a crewman goes in to consult with the manager about what goes where. The work outlined, the Genset locomotive made his run-around of the cars and commenced sorting them into spot-order. With only a handful of cars, this didn’t take long. When ready, he made his shove into the plant moving very slowly. In fact, I was surprised at just how slow and deliberate this move was.
Once the inbound cars were positioned a plant worker came out and fired up the trackmobile for final spotting. At this point I headed out, but not before seeing another surprise. Each hopper had a tag on the side identifying the color of the aggregate. This has to make life easier for the trackmobile driver when shuffling things around.
This was my first encounter with a Genset locomotive and I was surprised at how quiet these things are. The is no revving sound as you expect with an internal combustion engine. When he moved there was just the constant whirring sound heard when idling. I had to move on due to time constraints but I have a clearer picture of the work at the plant and of the line as a total package. Every tidbit of knowledge helps.