An overcast morning at CSX's DeWitt Yard in East Syracuse, NY

 The kids wanted to go and see an Amtrak train, so we headed out to East Syracuse, NY., to catch Empire Service Train 284 at DeWitt Yard. The morning was heavily overcast, but we the outing sounded fun, so off to DeWitt Yard we went. We had been to DeWitt Yard once before, a few days previously, but didn't have much luck seeing any trains. Today's outing was a bit better. 

AMTK 713 leading Empire Service Train 284

After waiting about 15 minutes at the Tractor Supply parking lot, at the east end of East Manlius Street, AMTK 713 (a GE P32AC-DM) came around the curve at the west end of DeWitt Yard and led Train 284 through CP285. CP285 has a part A and a part B. The two sets of block signals are at CP285 "A" (MP QC285.97). Just to the west is CP285 "B" (MP QC285.98).

Empire Service Train 284 at CP285
Empire Service Train 284 at CP285

The train is traveling east on Track 2 of CSX's Syracuse Terminal Subdivision. Track 2 and Track 1, the main through tracks, are on the south side of the yard. 

AMTK 713 leading Empire Service Train 284
AMTK 713 leading Empire Service Train 284

New York Central coal loading towers at DeWitt Yard

In the two photographs above you can see an old coaling tower that still stands from the days of the New York Central's steam era. Originally, the towers look to have had four tracks running underneath that could load coal into the tenders of steam locomotives. 

NYC coaling towers at DeWitt Yard
NYC coal loading towers at DeWitt Yard

Some of the original structure is missing. In photographs at this link (alternate link at Internet Archive) you can portions of the structure that facilitated the unloading of coal from coal cars to be loaded into the towers.

CSX Train Q009-26 and CSX Train Q161-27

While we waited for AMTK 713 and Train 284, we saw CSX train Q009-26 switching in DeWitt Yard, at CP 285, by Bridge Street. CSXT 3110 and CSXT 5378 are on the point and are shoving the train backwards in the yard. The train was picking up and setting out cars before departing west. Q009 is a priority intermodal train, and runs from Port Newark, NJ., to Bedford Park, IL. Bedford Park is in the Chicago, IL., area.

Q009-26 switching in DeWitt Yard
Q009-26 switching in DeWitt Yard


Intermodal cars on Q009-26 snake through CP285
Intermodal cars on Q009-26 snake through CP285

While Q009-26 switched in the yard, and eventually left, Q161-27 made an appearance. Above, CSXT 3328, CSXT 3128, and CSXT 795 are switching and putting together intermodal train Q161-27. Train Q161 runs daily from Syracuse, NY., to North Baltimore, OH. This train wouldn't depart until much later in the day. It rolled through Fairport, NY., at 9:05 PM, and Fairport is only an hour west of Syracuse, when driving. When Q161-27 did depart, CSXT 3128 had been removed, and CSXT 795 had been repositioned as a mid-train DPU.

Q161-27 switching in DeWitt Yard, with CSXT 3328, CSXT 3128, and CSXT 795
Q161-27 switching in DeWitt Yard


Photographs taken on August 27, 2021, at East Syracuse, NY.

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All images/photographs are copyrighted © by Tom Gatermann. All rights reserved.

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