Switching Ops. May 14, 2023

Cars spotted at The Terminal Corporation’s logistics warehouse in Baltimore on a very rainy day in May.

The photo above, taken yesterday in Baltimore, illustrates how just a single turnout and judicious industry selection can provide a platform for an interesting operating scenario. Because this is a logistics facility, you can’t just dump cars anywhere. Each car goes to a specific door. Heated phone calls would be made if the boxcar was spotted where the reefers are. Although not visible, there are two tracks here. You have the slightly elevated industry in the back. In the front, obscured by the guardrail, is a stub-ended sorting track to help with blocking and organizing the cut. If the boxcar and reefers weren’t blocked in the yard, they’d use the sorting track to get them in correct sequence. Five reefers came in, but they only had room to spot two of them at the loading bays. That means the three on the right needed to be placed “off spot” until room frees up. Once the two reefers in the back are unloaded, the switcher will pull them (and likely the boxcar), and put the two loaded offspot reefers at the doors. Tom Klimoski made some phone calls to industry insiders and they believe the reefers are probably carrying potatos. My guess is from Idaho. I have a track plan for this scene in my latest book, 8 Trackplans For Modern Era Switching Layouts.

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