Tuesday, June 23, 2015

MoW: Georgetown and Herzog Dump (Conveyor, Belt) Trains

(Update: the washouts caused by the South Platte flooding in 2019 produced more photos of belt trains in action. Also, Aaron found one in the Bluefield, WV yard. You can tell when a technology is still new because the industry has not settled on a name for the technology. One reason is that different manufactures use different names for the same thing because of copyright issues. I don't know if an accepted generic name has been adopted yet for these conveyor-based material handling trains.)

GREX DumpTrain, 7th picture
I thought I had done a posting on the GREX (Georgetown Rail Equipment) DumpTrain when someone posted a picture on Facebook of a couple of the units being pulled through Joliet, IL. But I can't find that posting. Bummer! So I'll try again.

Video1, video2, and video3  illustrate that the railroads haul material cross country by pulling a couple of the units in a regular train. The videos also provide closeup views of the hopper cars. The hopper cars are permanently connected with drawbars and a single conveyor runs the full length of the unit. Each unit is self-propelled so that a single track worker can unload the 1500 ton capacity at 1000 tons per hour. The transfer conveyor pivots 210 degrees horizontally and 30 degrees vertically and can deliver material up to 52 feet from the center line of the the track. (intra-focus) Robert Pierce has a nice overview photo and explains that Ned Snead invented the Dump Train in 1986. Ned founded GREX in 1993 (GREXhistory). Barbara McHatton explains that the initial market for the Dump Train was hauling limestone aggregate from a quarry to the vicinity of road construction projects. But in 1993 Union Pacific used a Dump Train to help save its line from the Mississippi River Valley flood. Since then, GREX has developed additional solutions for the rail industry. Barbara also provides the tidbit that the conveyor built is 2100 feet long.

Update: Jim Furtick posted the following sequence with the comment "Unit ballast train southbound thru Tupelo, MS lead by BNSF 8129 & 3901 on Saturday at 10:20 am, 1-23-16."

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Michael Bandy U-CAKTLY8-20B 32 loads 4240 tons 1840 feet. I had it Tulsa to Springfield. 3901 was along for the ride .

I don't know if this is a Georgetown product, but the train has at least a couple of self-unloading ballast cars.
Mark Hinsdale posted this as one of three photos
Josh Fullbright Yep grex gravel train
Dennis DeBruler It looks like it has at least two self-unloading ballast cars. There is a conveyor under each yellow unit that moves the ballast to the next one until it gets to the blue unit that would have a long conveyor that can be raised and swiveled to the side to deposit the ballast where needed.
John Pospepny posted
Any idea where this MOW train is going? Caught him on my walk.
Joseph Robert LeMay U CHSTL8 20B. Going to St. Louis.David Selby Alot of work on the Cuba sub
[The Cuba sub is between St. Louis and Springfield, MO]
Given the washouts (scroll to the bottom for a map) that BNSF has had around Springfield, MO, it makes sense that trains carrying in replacement ballast would be some of the first operating in the area. This are some of the photos posted by Jonah Hemingway of action in the Springfield, MO area.


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Herzog also makes an "automated conveyor train."
Herzog after doing some mouse-clicking that I don't know if I can recreate.
[The website had other photos of this washout they are filling.]
David Doering posted four photos with the comment:
GREX "Dump Train" at M.P. 21.7 on BNSF's Beatrice (Nebraska) Subdivision between Dewitt and Hoag Nebraska on May 29th, 2015, unloading ballast after high water from both Turkey Creek and the Big Blue river caused flooding and washouts.
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Aaron Bryant posted five photos with the comment: "A loaded eastbound HERZOG train on Norfolk Southern rails in Richlands, Va., en-route to the yard in Bluefield, W.Va. I'm not sure what the destination will be, after it leaves there. Photos taken on 3/8/19. My apologies for the snow streaks on the photos."
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(new window)


Screenshot
One of the applications is to fill washouts. It also looks like they are raising the tracks in a yard to get them above a flood level.

Dave Kolarik posted five photos of a UP train in DeKalb, IL, with two dump trains. It looks like the first one is the first generation where it has one long belt. The second one looks like the later generation where each car dumps into a hopper in the next car, which allows them to dump material when the cars are on a curve.
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Brian Nemechek posted
BNSF Ballast train works as it's dumping a load of ballast at the junction up and along the Strong City Subdivision. Abilene Ks.
[Belt trains are normally used for planned MoW projects.]
Randy Sk Getting ready to install a new diamond!
Terry Chaney That may be a BNSF engine in front, but money says that the conveyor system and ballast cars behind it were a Herzog design.
Taylor Ellis Terry Chaney or GREX
Brian Nemechek You would be correct Terry Herzog!

Kyle Burch posted
Kyle Burch posted
Chris Rhoads GREX Belt train!
Bruce Murray Stock piling track Ballast , used for track construction.

Matt Lang posted three photos with the comment: "GREX Ballast Train dropping ballast along the loops just outside Asheville NC (1-18-2021)"
Matt Lang shared
Jeff Feehan: That belt is a million dollars. My boss broke one. [Several comments talked about one continuous belt. That was the original design. Given the slant of each car, it looks like this is a more modern design where the belt in one car dumps onto the end of the next car. This allows them to operate around curves. And I have now learned that it makes replacing a broken belt cheaper.]
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An lmyers83 Flickr photo shows that Amtrak owns their own Plasser American dump train.

A video of a rock train taken from a Metra train.

Closeups of a full GREX train




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