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Things that didn't really fit in anywhere else.

    This page is devoted to all the misfit pictures and bits of information that didn't really fit in anywhere else.

Radio Frequencies

160.230 MHz          Guilford Rail System                    Police Car to Car
161.160 MHz          Guilford Rail System                    Districts 2-4 Dispatcher to Train
161.235 MHz          Guilford Rail System                    Police Repeater
161.370 MHz          Guilford Rail System                    Districts 2-4 MOW
161.400 MHz          Guilford Rail System                    Districts 2-4 Yard
161.520 MHz          Guilford Rail System                    Districts 2-4 Train to Dispatcher

You need a sort of police scanner to monitor these bands. To be honest I just run mine on the marine band (which 160 and 161 MHz are a part of) and when there is some activity it finds it. Generally speaking you usually hear the train give out a district 4 message saying where they are, if you even get that. There is also a hot box detector in Zoar about 1/2 mile before the road the goes up towards Rowe center (just a stones throw east of the mile marker 411).You can find out what the source and destination of a train is through the messages they broadcast. Please remember this: if you have a 2 way radio with these frequencies it is flagrantly illegal to broadcast on them! The FCC licenses these channels for a reason!

Understanding the sources and destinations

It can be a bit tricky understanding the four letter source/destination codes. This should help you out both on the radio and on the internet.

East Bound:
MOAY - Mohawk Yard, NY - Ayer, MA
MOED - Mohawk Yard, NY - East Deerfield, MA
SEED - Selkirk, NY - East Deerfield, MA

West Bound:
EDMO - East Deerfield, MA - Mohawk Yard, NY
AYMO - Ayer, MA - Mohawk Yard, NY
EDRJ - East Deerfield, MA - Rotterdam JCT, NY

You can probably figure out that the four letters are really two groups of two. There are other combinations as well occasionally you may hear something with PO, that stands for Portland Maine.

 

Pictures


A train emerging from the East Portal on November 6th 2005. I didn't get the four letter code for this train. Actually I didn't even take this picture, my friend Mike Iwanowicz did! I was hiking up the hill in Rowe with the intent to hang a giant blue tarp at the old Rowe Neck alignment tower site. I hadn't quite crested the hill when the train passed, which was a huge disappointment. I did hear it though, and Mike kept me informed with our 2 way radio. A few hours later a westbound train came blasting up the hill. That was an exciting day. Trains seem to travel about 30 mph through Zoar, but they always slow to about 10 mph through the tunnel.


A road sign at the end of Depot St in the mighty metropolis of Monroe Bridge MA (pop 120). I was surprised to see a sign advertising the location of the Hoosac Tunnel.


An old postcard from what is now Rte 2 in Florida MA. The text at the bottom of the image is wrong, this isn't in Charlemont. There is no marker in this area today, but it is located a few hundred feet east of a few power lines which are about a mile east of Whitcomb Summit.


An old Postcard from 1909 advertising a Hoosac Tunnel excursion. (courtesy Peter Miller.)


Hotbox Detector. This little guy, located in Zoar near the old station sends out a message when a hot box passes by (a wheel experiencing high friction). I believe this thing can also detect dragging cargo. This device broadcasts a message on the same as the Guilford Dispatch Channel 161.1600 Mhz. It will give you the temp and axle count, and if there are no defects, you will hear it say, "no defects, no defects". Afterwards the train will acknowledge the message on 161.520 Mhz (Thanks to Mike Rubino for telling me that).


The Grinding machine used to add a few inches to the bore back in 1997. If you ever go into the tunnel you will notice a 10 foot wide notch on the roof. This machine made that notch. (photo by Tom Freeman).


An old image near the old Hoosac Tunnel Station from 1934 depicting some rail fans lurking around some parked trains. Notice the interesting catenary wire arrangement above the engines.


An electric engine at the shop in North Adams.


ED, that's "East Deerfield". About 35 miles east of Hoosac. This picture is taken upon a road bridge commonly known as "rail fan bridge".


A drill hole profile at East Portal. I have a secret fetish for taking pictures of drill holes in rocks! Its always somewhat exciting finding these, especially in the spoilage piles. There are tons of these drill marks inside the tunnel itself.


An old catenary tower. This thing lies on the Rowe side of the East Portal trestle, at the trailhead for the old Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington grade. There is all sorts of Tunnel treasures over here including old refuse padding used in the first couple hundred feet of the tunnel.


The "Faux Catenary Tower" as I call it. This tower is a few hundred feet south of the Tunnel Road crossing in Rowe. John Roderick tells me that it was part of the old triple rail signaling.

The structure you show is a former signal tower (note the masts). When the "Middle" was active, there needed to be a means of placing signals over all three tracks, as the Middle at East Portal was a controlled siding. As far as I know, it was reverse signaled CTC on all three tracks. This increases capacity of train movements perhaps ten-fold if you're a dispatcher with 3 trains at either portal waiting to go through the tunnel. Those signals were removed in the 70s. I'm surprised the towers have survived as long as they have.

This setup is often mistaken for being part of the old catenary system. Close examination will indicate that the tower looks nothing like the catenary towers (look around on the East Portal page for them). [Thanks John!]


The middle rail at the siding just east of East Portal always seems to have goodies. Here is a truck with a wooden frame built on it's back. I cannot confirm 100% but I think its a safe bet that this machine is used for checking the tunnel clearance.

 

 

 

Copyright 2000 - 2005 Marc Howes
Trespassing is illegal and dangerous especially when inside the tunnel with a train! If you go inside and see a light run and hide! that is unless of course its the portal, then you don't have to run nor hide. Trains burn diesel fuel and produce among other things carbon monoxide and deafening amounts of noise! Trains also have people in them and people have eyes used for seeing things.. Like trespassers! Just be careful use your head and stay safe.