Trains on the Pokey today. (NW Mailing List)

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Apr 8 13:36:06 EDT 2009

> Group,


> I have some questions about current NS operations on the Pokey. For

> eastbound coal from Williamson to Bluefield I have heard that in the past 3

> locomotives take the train to about Farm where 3 helpers are added, then the

> train goes to Flattop. At Flattop a Bluefield helper set of 4 locos is

> added and the tonnage is filled out and the train continues to Bluefield.


> Is this still the case or have operations changed? How many cars are in the

> train and # of Locos, etc.


> On the mercandise trains moving between Williamson and Bluefield what is the

> standard practise now? Are helpers used? What is the normal train length

> and motive power? I guess the trains are probably about 75% loads and 25%

> emptys.



> Thanks for your help,


> John Rhodes

Prior to 10-08, two DC traction GEs up front... three DC traction GEs on the rear from Farm to Bluefield... after 10-08, to DC GEs up front, two AC traction GEs on the rear Farm to Bluefield.
Prior to 2001 or so (before the newer GE's took over the helper pool), they used four-unit sets of older EMD and GE power (SD40/40-2,C30/36-7), with two newer DCs up front.
Before newer GE's (C39-8s etc) took over leading (mid 1980s), standard power set was three SD40/40-2,C30/36-7s up front... with four on the rear.
If helpers are needed on a manifest, they rate one unit... either they get one unit, or a regular set of helpers operates with just one unit online... wouldn't surpise me if the newer ES44ACs operate with the CTE software enabled as well when pushing a manifest...

Robb Fisher


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