Friday, July 08, 2011

Load Shift

I was heading home on Tuesday, June 28 when I noticed a train heading east on the Rivers subdivision. I was not able to photograph the head end, but it was CN 840 on the north track. They stopped short of Waverley Street.

I waited for 311 but I heard that someone doing an rollby inspection of the train reported that something was amiss with the tenth car. They stopped to do an inspection and determined that it was a load shift and carried on.

I saw them cross Kenaston Boulevard with lone unit CN 2634 working hard to bring the train back up to speed, and the conductor gave a nice wave as they passed by.
CN 2634 in Winnipeg, MB

After the engine was a beat up old CN gondola, then two flatcars with an odd dimensional load.

Dimensional load

This is probably why CN 840 had to stop. There are rules for how two trains can meet/pass when one train has a dimensional load. I found some rules in these CP GOIs. It depends on the width of the load. In many cases one train has to stop and the other may pass by at a slow speed such as 10 MPH, and I think that's what happened here.

After these two flat cars were three bulkhead flat cars full of pipe, another gondola, then two flatcars with these giant pieces of steel.
Dimensional loads of steel

Here's the offending car, ICG 295420, with a shifted load of pipe.
ICG 295420 in Winnipeg

You can see the load did shift to the rear, and whomever was inspecting the train was concerned about the pipes getting loose and puncturing the tank car behind it. The conductor checked it out and was satisfied that there was no danger of that, so they carried on.

This is why trackside inspections are done!

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