Switch subtraction adds operational benefit

Collaboration between the Belt’s Engineering and Mechanical departments recently resulted in a value-added project.

After analyzing data, three crossovers that connected shop’s inbound tracks to the Thoroughfare were deemed counterproductive. In response, the first crossover was removed in April, and the 412 pocket and 6 East crossovers, which were respectively located to the shop’s west and east, were removed in August. 

The project, which supports safety by reducing potential exposures, decreasing opportunity for derailments, and lessening wear and tear on infrastructure, was the brainchild of Roadmaster Jeff Mateyack and Diesel Shop Manager Pat McCarron.

“I’m proud of them for coming up with a great idea that’s a win-win for all involved,” Chief Engineer Scott Schiemann said.

  To remove the last two crossovers, the shop’s inbound tracks were temporarily taken out of service, but the outage was minimized thanks to the Engineering employees’ quality work. 

“Jeff and his team were fantastic,” McCarron said, noting the interdepartmental communication was exemplary. “The project was absolutely a success.” 

In addition to the other benefits, the project has increased parking space for locomotives.

A view of the inbound tracks and Thoroughfare before the removal of unneeded crossovers