Friday, September 7, 2018

A Day on PDX-2: Part 2 - East Haddam & Deep River

East Haddam is a busy place on the Valley Line, second only to Middletown in importance. The railroad presence consists only of a main track and two double-ended sidings, a freight house, and a bulk loading area. But this is where the north end and south end Valley locals exchange cars, typically using track 6 (the center track) for swapping. Track 8 serves as both the bulk track and the house track, just as on the prototype.

Since any cars left on track 6 are most often destined for consignees south of East Haddam (or headed toward either Fort Yard or Cedar Hill), PDX-2 typically enters East Haddam by heading into track 6 and coupling onto the cars left there.

East Haddam is also an order station, so be sure to sign the train register before checking for any work in the bill box.

As you can see, there's a lot of work for PDX-2 to do in East Haddam. In addition to delivering a car from Fort Yard to the bulk track, we also have to pick up two cars for delivery back to New London (Fort Yard), one car for delivery to the transload track at Deep River, and two cars that have to go back with us to Cedar Hill Yard in New Haven.

Though it looks deceptively simple, that's a lot of switching. Here are some photos of some of the different moves required:

PDX-2 continued north on track 6 to clear Bridge Street, uncoupled from its train, and is here pulling the cut of cars south on the main (track 1) that it had coupled to on track 6.
Here we've broken the train to be able to deliver PRR boxcar 45939 to the bulk track.

Having picked up all the cars we need to, we're now switching them all together for the southbound train.

Best practice is to use the track real estate we have up here to sort & block the cars for efficient delivery to consignees on the southbound trip.

We don't have any cars heading further north that we have to leave for the Valley Local (HDX-7), so track 6 is empty and we've assembled our southbound train on the mainline, track 1.

With our train all assembled, and having orders in hand authorizing the return trip south, we whistle off and head back down to Deep River.
As we saw before, all the sidings in Deep River are facing point northbound, so we work those sidings on the southbound trip.

We know from the paperwork we already have that we have 4 cars in our train destined for Deep River customers and we discover when we check the bill box at Deep River that the two empty cars sitting here have to be picked up and taken with us to Cedar Hill.

First step is to spot the flat cars at the transload track. The 2nd Baldwin Bridge over the Connecticut River was being built during my modeling era, and many of the construction materials were transloaded here to barges and floated down to the construction site.

Next, we spot the gondola of poles at the bulk track (though we have to remember to pick up the boxcar sitting there first).

We also have a Southern boxcar to spot at the feed store (represented here by an old school house model).

With the 4 cars spotted and the 2 cars picked up and added to our train, we head south to Essex. . .
For more information on operations, be sure to check out the website at
and clicking on the "Operations" link on the left side of the homepage.

No comments:

Post a Comment