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running schedules

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ive been googling for schedules of the freights in my area but cant find anything. i know some railfans have that stuff on lock but i cant find anything. i have a rough estimate just from being out there and benching and seeing when things come but its not always the same. just was hopeing for some help with the rolling benches. thanks.

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freight trains dont run on a 'schedule' like you may think. its more like a real time schedule than a pre determined schedule. like ok we need to put all these cars together according to this manifest, bring them to the outbound track, bring the engines over hook it up, inspect the breaks, wait for clearance, ok lets go....or something to that affect. if your near a classification yard you may want to invest in a scanner and befriend a couple of railfans so they can show you what to listen for and how to use it. if you trying to know when the train is going to come so you can meet it there....well, good luck with that.

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yea i was hoping to catch lines traveling through. my yard is only 4 tracks and they switch things up between 5 and 6 everyday but weekends. i got that part down. i guess the rest is hit or miss. thanks

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trains arent on a schedule, a strict one at least. everyday trainmasters/dispatchers can add/annul trains, delay crews, recrew, there is a myriad of shit that can fuck up schedules

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like everyone else has said there are no "set" schedules and if there were no train would ever be on time. the best you can do is just keep an eye out like your doing and eventually you will get an idea for what trains comes thru at approximately what time of day.

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the closest ive come to finding schedule just had the days the lines pulled/cars arrived.

it was all classified by car type and destination.

 

but just keep hunting. but theyre spontanious, depending on your line.

but i know places where a line pulls through town everyday between 4-4:30 PM.

you just need to find a good benching spot, learn it and proceed from there.

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freights dont have schedules. a few do here and there like the train USUALLY leaves around 5 but nothing is set in stone. intermodals kind of leave on time sometimes.

if you spend enough time around a yard youll have an idea when a train might be leaving day to day. for instance i know when im in houston that 3 specific trains will be rolling by the place i stay at between like 11-3 am because ive spent a million hours around the location and hopped these trains at the yard several times so i have an idea when they get built and are ready to roll.

in a nutshell: you gotta put in lots of overtime.

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Our reality today is dawning on a rapid technological change that is affecting all of our lives. Information is becoming more and more accessible through a global communications revolution that gives us access to information at the tips of our fingers, 24 hours a day. When we begin to imagine the possibilities, almost anything goes. As culture embraces technology, we must stand back and take a look around, and realize what is to come. As contemporary Hip-Hop culture and traditional rail culture fuse, a pattern of old tradition remains, and new ones begin. As writing and riding on the rails continues into the next century, technology will play an important role, affecting the writers, hobos, railfans, employees of the railway, and many others.

 

Here's an interesting statistic: There are over 1.6 million freight cars rolling about North America. This includes boxcars, gondolas, hoppers, bulkhead flats, tankers, autoracks, refrigerated cars, and many others that roam over the hundreds of thousands of miles of track. Multiply that by 2 (two sides to every boxcar) and you have 3.2 million panels. In order for a writer to achieve fame on the lines, he or she must hit a multitude of trains. In order to be up on just 1% of the entire roster, a writer would have to hit over 32000 trains. Some of the most prolific writers in North America are attempting to hit as many as humanly or inhumanly possible, day & night, over and over again. Presently the most up graffiti writers on the lines are averaging under 600 burners on trains, which is a lot of time, risk, dedication, and paint fumes. When William "Upski" Wismat wrote about all the trains being hit by next summer, I think I said...dream on brother.

 

One hobo by the name of Herby had his name and drawings on more than 70,000 cars. With over 1.6 million cars x2, it seems unlikely to be seen on a regular basis, but there are ways to improve the chances of being seen. One way (Besides hopping a freight with a bag full of streaks and paint) is to be selective about which type of care you choose to paint. There are well over 2,200 different initials assigned to these trains, so choose well. The first criteria for trains are whether they are short lines (local line usually only traveling under a few hundred miles). There's a unique practicality in hitting a short line as you will be seen over and over again. A good strategy for being seen on the regular would be to you travel to different parts of the continent and hit shortlines. That way, your pieces or monikers stay in a particular area. Mostly every train yard has trains that come back on regular occasions. These are usually woodchip cars, rock carrier gondolas, and pulp related lines, as well as some chemical cars, depending on the local businesses serviced by the railway. Knowing which cars are bound to stick around, and which ones are not can improve your chances of being seeing more often.

 

There is a rule that assigns specific initials to certain regions of North America that will always, after long travels, eventually have to go back to their home regions. Some initials are so abundant that it is hard to tell where they are from or destined for. This is where the second part comes in. In an initial that is commonly used like BN or UP, a different method is used. There are thousands of cars marked simply BN, but how many of them start with he same three numbers? Usually only several hundred or more. For example tjere are series of cars used for the same purpose. CP 203111, CP 203222 and 203333 are usually headed for the same place, leased from the same company. Paying attention to the numbers in a fleet can help you know what is what. By using the Automated Shipment Location Systems provided by the railways, writers can study the patterns of these cars, and even particular series of cars, to determine what cars are going where. This would involved hitting several of the same type and series, and comparing the trace data, and waybill record. This does not give a total knowledge of the destinations, but it can help you understand what is happening in the complex world of moving freight.

 

Knowing the commodity and priority of the freight can also be useful. Intermodal trains (Twin stacks or Piggybacks), and Autotracks (Holy-Rollers) have more priority than boxcars and gondolas. These trains will make more trips, more often. By being selective, and by choosing a diverse number of initials, it is possible to archive more exposure at great distances. A burner from Alaska could be spotted in Mexico and come back with another burner on the other side. If someone from Kansas City hits a Canadian wheat train, it will eventually come back to Canada, and maybe never return to Kansas City at all. Flat boxcars may not always be the jewel in the yard. It's all in the initials and series, not the dimensions of the car.

 

There is also another way to determine a car's general destination. Take a car like RBOX. They own 12,997 cars. They do not have any track or locomotive equipment at all. They are a company that leases a fleet of railcars out to different railroads, like Conrail or CN. There are many companies that do this. One way to tell a company like this is if the last initial of the car is X. This indicates that the car is not owned by a railway. but rather a private company. This is almost always an assurance that eventually that car will leave and never come back. Sometimes this happens with entire fleets. For example an entire fleet of Canpotex hoppers (ex Santa Fe hoppers) were being used in the 80's down in Texas, but were eventually moved as a fleet to move potash in Canada. The graffiti markings form the 80's were still there, along with the newer Canadian markings when the fleet was eventually moved somewhere else years later.

 

Another method to figure out a railcar's movements are smaller RR markings on the car. Near the load limit stencils is sometimes another little stencil that tells us whom the car is leased by. Other times it may be stenciled in the top left corner, above the ladder. I hit a DWC (Duluth Winnipeg and Pacific), which is owned by Canadian National, but leased from the International Bank of Miami. A week and a half after marking it, I traced it to Florida.

 

In the world of freight riding, technology also plays an important role. To tell which direction a train is heading out of a yard, a rider finds where the FRED (Flashing Rear End Device) is located. This tells us which end is the rear of the train, and thus which general direction it is headed. The Automated Shipment Location Systems can also help us to know the destinations of a particular car or fleet of cars, with estimated time of arrivals and scheduled interchanges. This method could also help to determine a particular car's final destination.

 

What we are trying to accomplish is so extraordinary. We, the writers, hobos and railworkers, are contributing to the largest art gallery in the world, which is constantly moving around, almost randomly and chaotically. In that uncertain randomness, in that chaos of probabilities, we thrive for a taste of sychronicity and the bliss of seeing a marked freight roll by. We live to hear about someone seeing our designs somewhere in another far off place. It leaves us with such wonder and amazement; our souls traveling everywhere...

 

Take5

 

Body Soul Mind

Burning America

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Here's an interesting statistic: There are over 1.6 million freight cars rolling about North America. This includes boxcars, gondolas, hoppers, bulkhead flats, tankers, autoracks, refrigerated cars, and many others that roam over the hundreds of thousands of miles of track. Multiply that by 2 (two sides to every boxcar) and you have 3.2 million panels. In order for a writer to achieve fame on the lines, he or she must hit a multitude of trains. In order to be up on just 1% of the entire roster, a writer would have to hit over 32000 trains. Some of the most prolific writers in North America are attempting to hit as many as humanly or inhumanly possible, day & night, over and over again. Presently the most up graffiti writers on the lines are averaging under 600 burners on trains, which is a lot of time, risk, dedication, and paint fumes. When William "Upski" Wismat wrote about all the trains being hit by next summer, I think I said...dream on brother.

 

There are not 3.2 million panels. Hoppers are the abundant car on the rails, at around 600,000 i believe, which means there are 1.2million hopper panels. These are cars that people avoid mostly, why? I still don't know, hoppers are some of the best cars, in terms of travel and panel size/look.

 

Then you have boxcars, which includes reefers and such. Yes, they have two sides.

Tankers, flats, ore cars, bottle cars, weird helium cars, track maintenance cars, all of these dont have panels, and therefore could not be included in the 3.2mil panels, drastically reducing the amount of cars that can be painted.

 

 

One hobo by the name of Herby had his name and drawings on more than 70,000 cars. With over 1.6 million cars x2, it seems unlikely to be seen on a regular basis, but there are ways to improve the chances of being seen. One way (Besides hopping a freight with a bag full of streaks and paint) is to be selective about which type of care you choose to paint. There are well over 2,200 different initials assigned to these trains, so choose well. The first criteria for trains are whether they are short lines (local line usually only traveling under a few hundred miles). There's a unique practicality in hitting a short line as you will be seen over and over again. A good strategy for being seen on the regular would be to you travel to different parts of the continent and hit shortlines. That way, your pieces or monikers stay in a particular area. Mostly every train yard has trains that come back on regular occasions. These are usually woodchip cars, rock carrier gondolas, and pulp related lines, as well as some chemical cars, depending on the local businesses serviced by the railway. Knowing which cars are bound to stick around, and which ones are not can improve your chances of being seeing more often.

 

This isnt true either, putting herby and his numbers aside, as I already said why those numbers are incorrect, we'll move on to the next subject.

There are many, many yards that only see the same cars over and over again, and many, MANY yards that will never see the same cars twice(and if they do, its coincidence.)There is no need to travel to different parts of the country to paint short line cars. If you paint cars on a shortline, that never leaves, you have two or three, or ten or twenty cars now, that are on this short line, that will never leave these rails. They will always be around, and this usually means in some bumb fuck town with 3000 people, none of whom are writers, not in some town like chicago, where everyone is a writer and will see your cars. Your best bet is to paint system cars, or TTX owned cars, but Ill get to that.

 

There is a rule that assigns specific initials to certain regions of North America that will always, after long travels, eventually have to go back to their home regions. Some initials are so abundant that it is hard to tell where they are from or destined for. This is where the second part comes in. In an initial that is commonly used like BN or UP, a different method is used. There are thousands of cars marked simply BN, but how many of them start with he same three numbers? Usually only several hundred or more. For example there are series of cars used for the same purpose. CP 203111, CP 203222 and 203333 are usually headed for the same place, leased from the same company. Paying attention to the numbers in a fleet can help you know what is what. By using the Automated Shipment Location Systems provided by the railways, writers can study the patterns of these cars, and even particular series of cars, to determine what cars are going where. This would involved hitting several of the same type and series, and comparing the trace data, and waybill record. This does not give a total knowledge of the destinations, but it can help you understand what is happening in the complex world of moving freight.

 

Though this is generally true, you of course have exceptions. Companies lease cars from a railroad, for specific use, or any other reason they like. Could be the bulkheads, they like them, could be the shape, the color, they could think they fit more commodity in this specific car, any reason a company wants a specific car, they can usually assign it to their own pool. So a customer no where near BNSF could be leasing 10 BNSF cars for their private use to be loaded by them, shipped to someone else, not on BNSF, and shipped right back to them to be loaded again, Never placing the car near BNSF.

 

 

Knowing the commodity and priority of the freight can also be useful. Intermodal trains (Twin stacks or Piggybacks), and Autotracks (Holy-Rollers) have more priority than boxcars and gondolas. These trains will make more trips, more often. By being selective, and by choosing a diverse number of initials, it is possible to archive more exposure at great distances. A burner from Alaska could be spotted in Mexico and come back with another burner on the other side. If someone from Kansas City hits a Canadian wheat train, it will eventually come back to Canada, and maybe never return to Kansas City at all. Flat boxcars may not always be the jewel in the yard. It's all in the initials and series, not the dimensions of the car.

 

Think about it logically though. If you have a reefer that will always, ALWAYS be used to ship frozen goods, its going to go to maybe a few hundred locations to be loaded/unloaded, never leaving those specific routes, it has no need to. Now take a general boxcar, that can be loaded with bags of grain, turned around and loaded with paper, turned around and can be loaded with lumber, it is now going to hundreds more places. So in fact, the gems of the yard, assuming you care more about exposure and travel than make up of a car, are general service cars, gondolas, boxcars, hoppers. These cars have the ability to be loaded with myriad different loads, opening up their possibility to go more places.

 

Whereas you have grain trains, that will always roll in 100 car sets, 50 car sets, bottle cars that will always go from spot a to spot b, both in the same town, or tankers that will always be loaded with eynthinol and will never carry anything different. Limiting where those will go.

 

There is also another way to determine a car's general destination. Take a car like RBOX. They own 12,997 cars. They do not have any track or locomotive equipment at all. They are a company that leases a fleet of railcars out to different railroads, like Conrail or CN. There are many companies that do this. One way to tell a company like this is if the last initial of the car is X. This indicates that the car is not owned by a railway. but rather a private company. This is almost always an assurance that eventually that car will leave and never come back. Sometimes this happens with entire fleets. For example an entire fleet of Canpotex hoppers (ex Santa Fe hoppers) were being used in the 80's down in Texas, but were eventually moved as a fleet to move potash in Canada. The graffiti markings form the 80's were still there, along with the newer Canadian markings when the fleet was eventually moved somewhere else years later.

 

TTX cars are general purpose cars, owned by TTX. TTx however, is a company jointly owned by the class 1 Railroads, which are BNSF, KCS, UP, NS, CSXT, CN, and CP. This company is a nationwide pool of cars available to these railroads for use. However, Railroads will lease cars permanently from this company for their use. Although these cars do tend to travel, they are still in the same league with other system cars.

 

Another method to figure out a railcar's movements are smaller RR markings on the car. Near the load limit stencils is sometimes another little stencil that tells us whom the car is leased by. Other times it may be stenciled in the top left corner, above the ladder. I hit a DWC (Duluth Winnipeg and Pacific), which is owned by Canadian National, but leased from the International Bank of Miami. A week and a half after marking it, I traced it to Florida.

 

This is generally true, but does not mean that these cars will not get out. CIRR for example has Hundreds, if not thousands of boxcars that go to ever state in the continental us. They do get returned to CIRR in Georgia when empty, usually. But if a customer unloads their car, and wants to put another load and ship it somewhere else, then they are able to do that, which means that car is going to travel to another place, before making it back home. So don't exclude cars because of their home. GVSR is a good example, everyone has seen a GVSR somewhere that's not Galveston TX, though that is their home base.

 

 

In the world of freight riding, technology also plays an important role. To tell which direction a train is heading out of a yard, a rider finds where the FRED (Flashing Rear End Device) is located. This tells us which end is the rear of the train, and thus which general direction it is headed. The Automated Shipment Location Systems can also help us to know the destinations of a particular car or fleet of cars, with estimated time of arrivals and scheduled interchanges. This method could also help to determine a particular car's final destination.

 

I just have to comment, no one calls these FREDs they are EOT, end of train device. It has taken the role of the caboose, read up on them, they are very interesting. If you can not figure out where the front/back of trains are, you should probably take up sword swallowing or something that will rid the world of you.

 

What we are trying to accomplish is so extraordinary. We, the writers, hobos and railworkers, are contributing to the largest art gallery in the world, which is constantly moving around, almost randomly and chaotically. In that uncertain randomness, in that chaos of probabilities, we thrive for a taste of sychronicity and the bliss of seeing a marked freight roll by. We live to hear about someone seeing our designs somewhere in another far off place. It leaves us with such wonder and amazement; our souls traveling everywhere...

 

Take5

 

Body Soul Mind

Burning America

 

There you go, my two cents, or 8 cents, some amount of cents.

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I forgot to mention as well, to be UP on trains, having one car on a train is enough. I see a kerse panel on every train almost, which makes him up. So out of 100 car train, one panel on the side of the bencher is enough to make that person up.

 

Not to mention, with the interweb these days, one dedicated bencher near where you are painting, or in the direction your cars are going, can make anyone look like a king. If i paint 100 grain hoppers, and someone catches all 100, that makes me look like im way up, when in fact, i have 100 cars, all hoppers, and only this one person sees and benches them. No one else ever see's anything of mine because i dont do anything but hoppers, does that make sense?

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In my own personal experience we nailed their so called schedule in our yard down to the days and times not to say that everybodies is the same way. Give or take a few hours, but we caught on to the pattern. Not to say it will not change, but for now we have it down. It has been the same pattern for the last year. There are certain days they lay the layup fat and not so on the other days. Do your homework and you will find some pretty koo and interesting things out if you haven't yet. I'm still on an everyday research of other yards in the city, but no luck with those.

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amtrack runs where i bench and it is very rarely "on time". close, as in you know the SB is coming in the morning and the NB is coming in the evening - but never on time.

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the best way to start figuring out a bench schedule (it was in my location anyways) besides hanging with the often creepy railfans was to figure out the high priority through traffic (Amtrak, IM, Reefer lines in this order) and figure that all the GM lines will run opposite or in between these. I realize that this is pretty vague info. but as im sure you have gathered to this point there are a shitload of variables that can mess up whatever resemblance of a schedule there may be. time and patience are the key to doing anything that has to do with trains. at this point I have been able to narrow down a timeframe of 4 hours that more often than not GMs roll through my bench spot, so as i said if you dont have a decent amount of time it can be tough...but i still am constantly 'just missing' all kinds of good cars so it goes to show that luck plays as big a part in benching as knowing whats up.

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amtrack runs where i bench and it is very rarely "on time". close, as in you know the SB is coming in the morning and the NB is coming in the evening - but never on time.

 

Its like clock work at my bench.

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As i haven't spent much time out in the mid atlantic, i don't know how useful this. i would like some feedback, positive or negative on if this is at least semi-accurate.

 

http://www.pacerfarm.org/wta.htm

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