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Announcements, General Talk, Operations => General Discussion => Topic started by: jschroe on April 14, 2019, 01:38:58 pm

Title: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: jschroe on April 14, 2019, 01:38:58 pm
Hi,

What days of the week, and how often does the Black Mesa and Lake Powell run its coal trains?

Is there any regularity to movements from and to mine loadout?

What will the planned shutdown of the power plants do to the use of the railroad as the closure approaches?  I am trying to determine when the coal hauling will diminish and how soon it will completely cease.

Thanks,

Joe Schroeder
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: Jeff on April 14, 2019, 02:04:26 pm
Hi Joe!
Not sure of the days of week, however, you can call the tribal tourism office (928-810-8501) and explain you plans. They will let you know exactly what protocol is (to stay out of trouble since it is on the reservation) and even they may have the current timetable for that day (Also, think they are the only place that follows Daylight Savings Time).

What will the planned shutdown of the power plants do to the use of the railroad as the closure approaches?
Looking at this post.  The mine is going to shut down sometime in October and the power plant in December (possible last run for the coal train in September):
https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2019/03/22/navajo-nation-ends-bid-buy-navajo-generating-station-coal-power-plant/3246913002

Hope that helps,
Jeff
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: jschroe on April 14, 2019, 02:34:49 pm
Thanks, Jeff!
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: Jeff on May 16, 2019, 04:49:26 pm
Some addition information:

Currently: Running 24 hours a day and on weekends.
Radio: They use encrypted digital radio, they do have an EOT so tuning to 452.935 and 457.937 will really help you know when the train is coming.
Projected Shutdown: August or September
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: jschroe on May 16, 2019, 07:48:33 pm
I appreciate the update, Jeff!  I am waiting a reply form the reservation on a permit.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Joe
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: GonzoCRfan on June 24, 2019, 07:34:37 pm
A friend of mine took a trip there a few weeks ago and this is the info he relayed to me:

"the morning train today left Page at 7:30am AZ time/8:30am Navajo time (the railroad runs on Navajo time, which observes daylight savings time), the afternoon train left around 2:40 AZ/3:40 Navajo. It took them about 2 hours to travel the mine, about 2~ minutes per car to load (they had 50 cars this time). We'd heard the crews went on duty at Page around 7am and 3pm so this was pretty close."

I have unorthodox methods of gathering intel, so I actually contacted a little breakfast stand called Hog Haven that's basically outside the mine. They told me the last loads are planned to roll on August 31st.
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: jschroe on June 25, 2019, 05:27:35 pm
Thanks for the info Sean.  I was able to go up and see the operation, and confirmed that train ran as you described.  It still has 50 cars.  I was impressed at the short length of time it took to load the cars.  The physical plant is in great shape, too, with heavy rail dating from 1999/2000, concrete ties, and good ballast.  The train is easy to follow, too. 

Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: Jeff on August 20, 2019, 09:06:41 pm
The last coal haul may end up being THIS Saturday (08/24/2019).
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: GonzoCRfan on August 21, 2019, 05:00:49 pm
 :-\

That is no bueno...if that is true, my Saturday morning flight into PHX means I would be pretty well hosed...
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: Jeff on August 21, 2019, 05:04:29 pm
Quote from: GonzoCRfan on August 21, 2019, 05:00:49 pm:-\

That is no bueno...if that is true, my Saturday morning flight into PHX means I would be pretty well hosed...

Hopefully "may" means there is still a chance.  Another rumor is they might have a gathering or last train Monday.
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: GonzoCRfan on August 22, 2019, 08:00:00 am
If you get any updates, please let me know. I was hoping to shuffle things and fly out tomorrow night instead, but my tickets are non-changeable (thanks, American Airlines!)...
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: MallardDuckAZ on August 22, 2019, 02:49:28 pm
Actually most airlines have non transferable tickets and they make a lot of sense. There is a video by Wendover Productions that explains this and I recommend you watch it
Title: Re: Black Mesa and Lake Powell
Post by: Jeff on August 22, 2019, 05:20:59 pm
This weekend most likely be the end, Monday is really risky.  One thing we know for sure, Train or No Train - they are having an employee event on Monday.