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Thread: CN Schedule?

  1. #1
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    Default CN Schedule?

    What's the best way for a person to know when trains are coming/going in the modern age?

    I work in Oshkosh, WI next to the Fox River, our offices are in the old Park Plaza mall. I have somewhat of a good warning system in watching the bridge over the Fox River. During boating season, it's usually up, unless a train is coming -- which gives me *some* warning...and there's a signal by the bridge where I can drive down there and, judging on if it's green or red, know which direction the train is coming from...but is there a better way to know exactly what is moving when?

    Of course in the winter, the bridge is always down and I have no clue.

    Railroad is the CN.

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    Your options are a scanner that monitors AAR channels, or a PC that monitors the ATCS sites. Not all railroads use ATCS, so coverage is limited.

    A scanner will let you know when a train has passed a nearby detector, for example.

    You can also go to a railroad radio website, privately owned, and stream specific subdivisions

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    If you just want to jump out and catch trains on your lunch break, then the bridge position or signals are still the best indicators.

    There is ATCS Monitor coverage on the line, as far as I've seen, from near Chicago to at least Neenah, and likely up to Stevens Point and beyond. However, to use the program you need to join a Yahoo Group and then download and configure the software on a Windows-based computer. Then you'll need to feed it data, either through the internet or your own radio setup. So that's not really practical to use at work unless you have a really understanding boss and IT department.

    Despite what you will hear elsewhere, a lot of freight railroading is still scheduled the problem is that those schedules are rather loose and not publicized. So it's easy to know, as a made up example, that there's often an intermodal train around dinner time or a manifest freight around lunch. Knowing that, you can plan railfan outings fairly easily, figuring that certain trains will often show up within a four hour window each day if everything is running smoothly. If you use a radio scanner regularly, you'll start to pick up on the patterns.

    One advantage to having Canadian railroads in Wisconsin is the coverage of the Canadian Trackside Guide. https://www.bytownrailwaysociety.ca/...rackside-guide It lists locomotive rosters, train symbol origin and destination pairs, sidings, method of operation, radio frequencies, and more. To get the most out of it, you'll really want to start to use a radio scanner as that will help you correlate the train symbols with what you see. Since there was a printing error in a recent issue, there are replacement pages available for download on the site that make an excellent sample for prospective buyers.

    There's also value in networking. There used to be a group of fans that hung out at Bell Street in Neenah, but I'm not sure that still happens. It might be worth a stop there after work a few times this summer to see if you can meet any other like-minded people with information to share.

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    Nice, thanks, RailOhio! Where are you in WI?

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