Retirement gathering of employees for Sid Baldwin's last run, Binghamton, NY June 2015 OK folks, it’s that time again. Time to survey the scene and report on recent doings along the NYS&W the past several months. It certainly hasn’t been a quiet year along the railroad, to be sure, so sit back, relax and I’ll try to decipher all of the activities. OPERATIONS What better place to start than to recap the day to day dealings of the railroad. To start with it was announced after the last issue went to press that the NJ Transportation Trust Fund would be supplying a grant of $4.3 million dollars for the replacement of the iconic drawbridge just east of Bergen Turnpike crossing (MP 10.73) in Ridgefield Park. The bridge, nearing the century mark in terms of age, handles roughly 25,000 cars per year for the NYS&W (DOT figure), and is long overdue for repair/replacement and is a vital structure for the railroad. And speaking of repair and upgrades….. This summer saw the delivery of more welded rail to the Southern Division, which by now has been installed. The welded rail was installed primarily east of Butler and west of Sparta Jct, making the railroad close to 90% welded rail on the mainline. Included was installation east of the aforementioned drawbridge as well as towards 83rd Street in North Bergen. The rail installation has been supplemented with ballast tamping and regulating. Also included in the capital improvement projects this summer and fall was several grade crossing upgrades as well as tie replacement in various locations on the main as well as in the “MC” yard in Ridgefield Park/Bogota. The MC yard is also slated to get some of its stick rail replaced as well, though it’s not believed to be welded rail; just heavier and newer stick rail. Also among the improvements is the installation of a “pit track” at Ridgefield Park, on the “house track”. The installation of this will allow for underside inspections of locomotives, particularly the traction motors, which must be done as part of a periodic 92-day inspection. This would allow the full 92 day inspections to be done at Ridgefield Park, instead of sending home road units to Binghamton for the inspections. Currently NS and CSX leased units are inspected by their owners either at Selkirk NY or Enola PA. As for day to day operations, on the Southern Division at least, it would seem that things are busier than ever. There are several “WS” jobs every day, plus the SJ-1 based at Sparta Jct. It’s not uncommon during the work week to hear on the radio 3-4 yard crews all fighting for radio space. Add to the mix the SU-99 the days it runs, plus the CSX crews that come over (Y-120 and Y220, plus the occasional Y-337 at night), and it can get downright colorful on the radio, though no one has gotten hurt and most times crews TRY to respect each other’s airspace (assuming they can be heard by others). There really hasn’t been much of a change in terms of assignments from my last column earlier this year. A few starting times may have been tweaked here and there but for the most part is still the WS-1 and WS-2 early mornings, with the WS-3, 4,and 5 all mid to late afternoons and the SJ-1 still on at 430 PM Ron Updike and Sid Baldwin prior to his last trip west June 2015 13 (revised from 4pm), and all working pretty much MondayFriday, supplemented by extra crews on weekends if need be, and the occasional extra crew for Sparta, sometimes running from Ridgefield Park under an LF-1 symbol. A good barometer is the North Bergen Industrial, which runs east from Little Ferry to Jersey City where the railroad interchanges with NS. This stretch of track, while not wide, has seen significant development over the years with (Continued on page 14)

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