Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Herzog Ballast Train

The Herzog ballast train worked its way east on the CN (ex-CFMG) Mont-Joli subdivision to Campbellton this afternoon and evening, and is currently in Campbellton. Tomorrow (Thursday) it will work back west. It ran as train 906 today. It has two engines at each end, running in DPU mode as the first DPU train ever on the Mont-Joli subdivision.

Herzog calls it a PLUS train - Programmable Linear Unloading System. Basically the locations to dump ballast are preprogrammed, and the train uses GPS to determine its location and automatically dumps ballast at the correct locations. No ground personnel are required (unlike an ordinary ballast train) so it can operate 24 hours a day in any weather. Herzog operates the train itself, perhaps with a pilot from the host railroad.

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