Tuesday, February 03, 2009

idle assets

What happens on the railroads when the economy goes in the crapper? Well, when traffic slows down enough, we start parking stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Like this collection of more than 50 SD40-2 locomotives seen in Wichita Falls in December...

FURX deadline - Wichita Falls, TX

A year ago, these diesels were powering trains all over the western 2/3 of the country. Now, they might never run again...

Meanwhile, this small yard on the edge of downtown Ft Worth has been empty for years. Now, it's crammed full of stored boxcars and gondolas awaiting their next loads.

Stored boxcars in Ft. Worth

BNSF's competitor Union Pacific is by no means immune from the downturn, either. Witness this dead line of GE and EMD locomotives, some of them less than 15 years old, in Ft Worth TX. Will their next move be on a revenue train, or en route to a scrapper?

Stored UP locomotives in Ft Worth - Feb. 2, 2009

All those stored cars and locomotives obviously result in fewer trains moving across the country, and across each individual dispatching desk.

Not every day is like this (a slow day in northern Illinois on the Saturday after Thanksgiving), but they have definitely slowed down...

All we can do is be thankful for our jobs. And wonder how much worse things will get before they begin to improve.


np: Lemonheads - "Rudderless"

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Blogger BEK said...

About looked like my territory this morning, Whiskey. . .400 miles and not a single train for over three hours. Of course, now we're not able to take digital cameras to work and be able to record these events without the possiblity of being fired, so you'll have to take my word for it.

4:42 PM  

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