Cab Ride to Samoa
In the cab of Timu Western Train MOPP31 from Montreal to Pago Pago
A Green Bay Route Production
A Companion to "Between us, No Mountains, Canada to Samoa by Rail"
We start or cab ride at Timu Western's locomotive shops at Timu Jct. Our train's motive power is SD90MAC #6021, AC6000CW #6047, and GP40-2 3984. The 2nd Locomotive has the "Operation Lifesaver" logo on it's sides. This is #6021's maiden voayge. She was delivered last week with sister's 6022-6024. This #6047's 2nd voyage to Samoa. We climb aboard the huge AC locomotive. The cab is clean, including the floor. The floor is so clean, you can eat a meal off it. This was a standard practice on the Duluth, Missabi, and Iron Range in Michigan. Everything in this locomotive is run by computers. We pull out of the ready tracks, passing SD90MAC #6001 and 6000, and one of the 2 SW1500 locomotives, #2. We are head south on the main line running light (No cars) towards 16th street yard, 5 miles north of the shops. Once there, we are "Wyed" to turn or locomotvies around. We leave the GP40-2 on the south leg of the wye, as it's motor failed on the way to the yard, the 3rd unit of today's train will be CSX SD70MAC #701. We back down the yard lead to connect to our train. Today's MOPP31 is a loaded coal train to Pago Pago, to serve the power plant there. A FEC GP40-2 (#425) is sitting next to us as we couple onto our loaded coal train. After a mandatory air break test, we head out onto the mainline. We blast the horn to warn the railfans, and we see them quickly getting their cameras out. Leaving the yard, we pass several locomotives in that the yard from different Roads, Norfolk Southern, CSX, Guilford, New England Central, Union Pacific, BNSF and Amtrak. There's even a Ferromex AC4400CW that has traveled all the from Mexico City. We are rolling along at 25 MPH headed south to Timu Jct. Once at the junction, we stop in order to let a Canadian Pacific freight pass. Once clear, we turn west onto the CP, we are stopped 500 ft later, to let a Canadian National freight and Via Rail's "Flying Samoan." Once they clear we are switched on to the Canadian National. We pass Earnhardt Tower, witch controls the area. We pass the grain elevator, and then we are switched on to the line Pago Pago. There is a speed restriction, and we decelerate to 15 MPH in order to pass through the occurrence. After 60 sec, we enter Samoa. We are doing 55 down the main headed to Pago Pago. We blast the horn several times for the multiple road crossings. We pass one of the numerous siding, on one of them is a Union Pacific C44-9W, #9711 and NS SD70 8179. The NS SD70 was set out in the siding 2 days ago with generator failure. This unit will be tied onto the PPAL23 tomorrow and head to Atlanta via Chicago. The UP Dash 9 will be pulling the Commuter train that has been taken hostage, about 25 miles down the line. A few miles later, we pass by a AMT commuter train with St. Louis Metrolink cars #1010, 1012, and 1020. Coming to a crossing, we are briefly scared as a car tries to beats the train. We blast the horn several times, and we just barley miss the car by 2 feet. The engineer radios this to the local Police. We race pass stations at about 60 MPH, nearly knocking down waiting passengers and the Division Chief. Next, we pass PPMO31 from Pago Pago, with the 2 SD70MAC's owned by the Timu Western, #7000 and 7001 and CSX AC6000CW #699 on the point. We slow down in order to get onto the East bound main to pass a commuter train that has been taken hostage. (See Between us, no Mountains, Chapter 3) We pass by slowly. We look into the windows and we see some sign's in some of the windows that say "HELP!" We then speed up again, only 50 more miles to Pago Pago. We are race across Pago Pago viaduct over the harbor. We blow the horn as their are fishermen on the bridge. We can just think of the sound of us on the bridge. All sorts of boats are in the water, and several people are waving to us as we race to our destination, We are cruising at about 65 MPH. We slow down as we near the power plant. When we reach the power plant, we cross the switches at 35 MPH. We back our train into the track, and the plants own SD40-2 set comes out and takes the train. We head to the Maoga yard in a suburb of Pago Pago. We park the 3 units, and tie them up. Ending our ride on the MOPP31. The units will head to Albany tomorrow with train PPAL23, with 7 sets of articulated intermobile cars.
Signaling on the Timu Western
Since TWR's inception on July 15th, 2005, The Road has used 3 Types of signaling on our 4 Divisions. The Samoa Division, The Montreal Division, Albany Division and the Ottawa Division. Every one of our locomotives, Weather it be our 2 SW1500 yard switchers, Ex Green Bay and Western Alco's, or our Brand New GE and EMD AC locomotive, have cab signals. the cab signal has been around since the day's of the Pennsylvania Railroad, when they used them in their K4 Class steam locomotives. Only one division is using the old CTC from 1945. That is the Ottawa Division. The Albany divsion signaling system is an Advanced Micropresser 2 Dispatching developed by Union Pacific Technologies of St. Louis Missouri. An interesting problem on our Samoa Division, That is "Dark Territory" for TWR dispatchers. The Dispatching and Signaling for that division is taken care of by Canadian National in Montreal. The units we own have cab signals for each division, but before a unit can come off one division, the engineer must change from the division he or she was on, to the division that he or she will be going on.
Lines to Timu Jct.
Only 2 Railroads own lines to Pago Pago. Canadian National's "Samoan Sub" and Timu Westerns' "Pago Pago Division" 15 diffrent railroads run to Pago Pago. New England Central runs north from Vermont, and it merge's with Timu Western 20 miles south of the Jct. They have trakage rights between N Jct to 16th Street yard. The CSX Transportation Joins the 1 mile before 16th Street yard. The Canadian Pacific has their own line, they relocated their Toronto to Halifax line from North Montreal to South Montreal, They run 6 trains to and From Pago Pago (3 each way) Timu Western is a Big Player in Montreal to Samoa Rail Service. Their shops are at Timu Jct. With large Repair and Maintance shops there. They are the only "Unplugged" Line to Pago Pago. GTW enter's TWR Property in Chicago. Were the TWR has leased a Line from Chicago to Albany. They run trains with GTW Motive Power, mainly their SD40's. Norfolk Southern has Trackage rights from New York City to 16th street yard. BNSF and Union Pacific runs between Vancuver and 16th Street Yard. over Canadian National. Amtrak runs on the TWR from New York City to Pago Pago. Guilford has built their own own line to 16th Street yard, and they run 2 trains each way between 16th Street Yard and Pago Pago.