Local Info

Grand Rapids Terminal Subdivision

September 21, 2009 16:57 EDT

Obviously, Grand Rapids is the primary focus of the website. When it comes to railroad action, Grand Rapids is second only to the Detroit area in railroad action. Here, there is two main yards, CSX's Wyoming Yard, and NS's (now Grand Elk Railway's) Hughart Yard. CSX's is much larger that GERy's, but they both have their fair share to see. GERy's is much easier to see, paralleling US-131 for a ways. GERy's line terminates in Grand Rapids, coming up from the south, whereas CSX's line comes from Detroit and continues southwestward to Chicago. Other lines that interchange with the CSX or GERy include Grand Rapids Eastern (part of RailAmerica) and Marquette Rail.

Grand Rapids Subdivision

September 21, 2009 17:15 EDT

Hudsonville

My home town. Not much here besides a passing siding longer than the town is wide. Formerly, there was a farmer's co-op with a siding, but after the co-op burned down in 2000-2001 (?), the tracks were torn up, leaving the head-block ties of the switch as all that remains. If you know where to look, there are plenty of opportunities for photography (especially due to the passing siding).

Zeeland

My former home town. There are a few industries that are served by a local out of Waverly Yard (qv), including a plastics manufacturing business, a feed mill, and lumber yard. Just outside of town is a large natural gas power generation station. On some days, the cooling grids next to the track run, exhaling a large plume of steam in whichever way the wind's blowing.

Holland

A main point of operations on CSX's Grand Rapids Subdivion, there are three routes in and out: east to Grand Rapids; south to Chicago by way of NS's Chicago Line in Porter, Indiana; and northwest to Consumer's Power's J. H. Campbell power generation plant, and to other points north (Grand Haven, Muskegon, and ending in Freemont). There is also a branch through downtown Holland to Padnos' Scrap, among others. The yard in Waverly is nearly inaccessable to the outside public, but I have seen some interesting pictures taken along the track just before the yard.

Train List

January 26, 2009 15:42 EST

Here's my first try at cataloging all the trains you can see in a day. Bold names indicate nearly every day.

Railroad Train Number Depart/Arrive Notes
CSX Q334 Chicago/Grand Rapids/Detroit/Toldedo As of January 25, 2011, CSX revised its plans for trains in Michigan, combining Q326/327 and Q334/335 into one train running from Chicago to Toledo via CSX's Chicago and Plymouth Subs. Traffic west of Grand Rapids will remain at its previous level, but traffic east of GR will loose one train each way (326/327).
CSX Q335 Toldedo/Detroit/Grand Rapids/Chicago
CSX Q195 Chicago/Detroit This train is CSX's experiment into Intermodal between Detroit and Chicago (and it seems to be working), as well as a replacement for CP's X500. The standard motive power for this train is anything you'd expect on any other CSX intermodal train, including C40-8s, AC44CWs, ES44s, and SD40-2s. Q195 runs on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; Q196 runs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
CSX Q196 Chicago/Detroit
AMTK P371 Grand Rapids/Chicago Amtrak's Pere Marquette; usually has a P42 with Horizon/Amfleet cars, but can sometimes have a B32-8WH or Superliners.
AMTK P370 Chicago/Grand Rapids
CSX D700, D704, D707, et. al. Grand Rapids/New Buffalo/Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Sub's own local, usually run by GP38-2s or the occasional SD40-2, but sometimes get anything they have in the yard.
CSX Q326 Chicago/Detroit As of January 25, 2011, these trains have been annuled. This was the train that could have some variety, but usually this was just CSX C40-8Ws or SD40-2s. I had seen it with a BNSF B40-8 or a NREX SW1500, CSX AC44s, or whatever else they have available.
CSX Q327 Chicago/Detroit
BNSF D800, D801, D802, D900, D901, et. al. Grand Rapids/West Olive Run as needed coal trains off the BNSF's Powder River Basin via Chicago. Sometimes D802 operates as pushers (from Fennville or so) on the line to West Olive. Same usual power as E945 et. al. I think that the E trains bring it to Grand Rapids, and the D trains then bring it to West Olive.
CSX Y103, Y106, Y201, Y221 Grand Rapids Yard jobs based out of CSX's Wyoming Yard.
CSX Y121 Holland Yard job based out of CSX's Waverly Yard, including switching Zeeland.
CP X500 Detroit/Chicago Formerly every day; usually had a CP AC44 or ES44AC leading with a decent train of intermodal equipment. As of September/October 2010, this train does not run any more.
CSX N900, N903, N904, N905, N910, N912, N914, N919, N920, N923, N956, et. al. Appalachia/West Olive These are the CSX powered trains for/(from?) the J.H. Campbell Power Plant in West Olive. Typical power: CSX AC44s/ SD70MACs with the occasional AC6000, ES44AC, or SD70ACe.
BNSF E945, E949, et. al. Grand Rapids/Cicero, Illinois BNSF powered empties headed west. These usually have GEVOs, SD70MACs, or ACes.
MQT Z151, Z152 Grand Rapids/"Up North" Marquette Rails train going "up north" (I'm not really sure how far; the farthest I've seen them is White Cloud). Z152 is the Sparta Local on days that there is a Z151.
GDLK Z738, Z739 Wyoming Yard/Hugart Yard Transfer between CSX's Wyoming Yard and Grand Elk's (former NS) Hugart Yard.
CSX K908 Thornton, Illinois/Lansing A while back, CSX ran unit gravel trains out of a gravel yard (Conrad Yelvington Distributers) located within the Grand Rapids yard limits as well as in Lansing. I don't know whether they still do, but these were usually SD40-2s and C40-8Ws.
CSX K911 Lansing/Thornton, Illinois
CSX K909 Lansing/Thornton, Illinois Pretty much the same as K908/K911.
CSX K910 Thornton, Illinois/Lansing
CSX K700 Detroit/Chicago As needed Salt loads. Can't say I've ever seen this train...
CSX K356 Chicago/Detroit Usually composed of coal/coke hoppers powered by CSX SD40-2s or C40-8W.
CSX K357 Detroit/Chicago
CSX G010 Grand Rapids/Plymouth/Grand Rapids Grain train that goes between Grand Rapids and Plymouth. Like Q335/334, I'm not that familar with it.
CSX G063 Walbridge, Ohio/Grand Rapids Grain train from Ohio. Like G010, I'm not that familar with it.
CSX G741, G745, G749 Tampa, Florida; Oglethorpe, Georgia; Ambrose, Georgia/Grand Rapids Grain trains from the south. Like G063, I'm not that familar with them.