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Operations

The CR&E  operates with a group of 6-8 regular crew members, many of which have seniority back to 1996 when it all started.  New crew members are added occasionally, but the challenge is always to maintain a manageable crew size so the layout isn't crowded and so people don't have to stand around waiting a long time for assignments.  Sessions typically last about four hours and represent two eight-hour shifts.  

 

Although a 4:1 fast clock is used for reference, trains are generally called in sequence as crews become available.  The beginning of an operating session can be hectic, so crew calls are spaced out initially so as to not overload the railroad or the dispatcher. We tend to start a session about where we left off, so trains can be found in various places on the road at the beginning and end of a session.  Off-duty crews are permitted to be in the railroad rooms observing or socializing with others.  With a limited crew size, it doesn't get too crowded and everyone seems to stay rather focused.  Our goal is to operate the railroad realistically, but to be able to socialize and have fun at the same time.

 

Our crew is comprised of a trainmaster who oversees the session (generally me), a dispatcher and Lewisburg Yardmaster  for each shift, and several train crews.  We'll sometimes double people up on assignments, but generally each person serves as a train crew.   The assignments for train crews include local trains, mine shifters, merchandise trains, coal and empty trains, and pusher operations.

 

Crews use Digitrax throttles (corded or  radio) to run their trains.  They communicate with the dispatcher, who sits in another room away from the railroad, via FRS headset radios.  The dispatcher controls traffic using the CATS computerized Centralized Traffic Control (designed by Rodney Black) and some verbal Track Warrant Control.  The mainline is fully signaled with CTC, but branch lines are "dark territory" dispatched verbally. 

 

Occasionally there are opportunities for guest operators.  Sometimes special sessions are held for organized operating events such as NC RailRun or for groups of people who cannot attend on a regular basis. 

Scheduled trains

The following through trains operate regularly on the CR&E.  These trains are supplemented by coal and empty trains (extras) that run as needed.

Train ID Origin-Destination Notes
NS 136 Columbus, OH-Linwood, NC Originates from Conrail CODI at Dickinson, WV
NS 137 Linwood, NC - Columbus, OH Becomes Conrail DIIN at Dickinson, WV
NS 358 Charleston, WV - Roanoke, VA Connections to/from Conrail and CSXT locals from CSXT South Charleston and Conrail Dickinson Yard at Charleston, WV
NS 359 Roanoke, VA - Charleston, WV Connections to/from Conrail and CSXT locals from CSXT South Charleston and Conrail Dickinson Yard at Charleston, WV
NS 456 Charleston, WV - Roanoke, VA Connections to/from Conrail and CSXT locals from CSXT South Charleston and Conrail Dickinson Yard at Charleston, WV
NS 457 Roanoke, VA - Charleston, WV Connections to/from Conrail and CSXT locals from CSXT South Charleston and Conrail Dickinson Yard at Charleston, WV

Local Trains

Train ID Origin-Destination Notes
NS C41 New Castle-New Castle New Castle Switcher.  Works industries west to McFalls/SJ Tower and east to Catawba.
NS C48 Lewisburg-Fenwick

K&N Local.  Works non-coal industries on Kessler & Northern District.

NS C54 Lewisburg-Lewisburg New Castle Turn.  Delivers and picks up local cars to/from Glace, Paint Bank,  and New Castle for local switchers to work.
NS C60 Gauley Bridge-Lewisburg Road local. 
NS C61 Lewisburg-Gauley Bridge Road local.
NS C62 Glace-Glace Glace Switcher.  Works industries west to Caldwell and east to Paint Bank.
NS C72 Lewisburg-Fenwick K&N North End Shifter.  Delivers empties to CSXT/NF&G at Raders Jct. and CSXT/B&O at Fenwick, WV.  Works loadouts between Sam Creek Jct and Fenwick.
NS C73 Fenwick-Lewisburg Return of C72.  Delivers loads from CSXT at Fenwick and Raders Jct. Works loadouts between Fenwick and Sam Creek Jct.
NS C74 Lewisburg-Sam Creek K&N Sam Creek Shuttle.  Handles raw coal to Sam Creek Prep Plant and related empties to loader.
NS C76 Lewisburg-Sam Creek or Clear Fork Unit train empties/loads to and from Sam Creek or Clear Fork loadouts on K&N District.
NS C77 Sam Creek or Clear Fork-Lewisburg Unit train loads/loads to and from Sam Creek or Clear Fork loadouts on K&N District.
NS C78 Lewisburg-Kessler K&N South End Shifter.  Works loadouts between Meadow Bluff and Kessler.
NS C80 Lewisburg-Lewisburg First Hill Run.  Handles coal to Paint Bank and New Castle, empties to Lewisburg.
NS C82 Lewisburg-Lewisburg Second Hill Run.  Handles coal to Paint Bank and New Castle, empties to Lewisburg.
NS C84 Gauley Bridge-Lewisburg Coal Shifter.  Works loads and empties from Gauley Bridge, Fayetteville, Meadow Bluff.
NS C85 Lewisburg-Gauley Bridge Coal Shifter.  Workds loads and empties from Meadow Bluff, Fayetteville, Gauley Bridge.
NS C91 Glace-Glace First Glace Pusher
NS C92 Glace-Glace Second Glace Pusher
NS C93 Glace-Glace Third Glace Pusher
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© Marcus Neubacher. This is a personal website with no affiliation with Norfolk Southern Corporation, CSX Transportation, or any other railroad, company, or organization.