Winchester and Western Railroad

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Winchester and Western Railroad

History

Winchester and Western had a long history outside of New Jersey, being incorporated on August 16, 1916 to provide lumber to the B&O, at one time it had 40 miles of standard gauge track from Winchester to Wardensville. The great depression and exhaustion of the timber resources took it's toll and the line was cut back to run from Winchester to Gore in 1944.

The story of the NJ Division began in 1986 when the lines that served the sand facilities of Unimin Corporation (W&W's parent company) were under threat of abandonment by Conrail. The secondary line that linked Bridgeton and Glassboro had already been closed and replaced by a connection between crossing routes in Vineland. At that time it leased the Winslow Industrial Track from Norma to Bridgeton, and purchased the Mauricetown Branch from Bridgeton to Mauricetown, the Bridgeton Secondary Track at Bridgeton (known as the Cumberland and Maurice River Branch) and the Millville Secondary Track from Millville to the end of the line at Leesburg (known as the Leesburg Branch). Service was originally scaled back a few miles to Dorchester but the there is currently little evidence of anything other than storage beyond Port Elizabeth Cumberland Road.

Conrail retained ownership of the track from Norma into Vineland along the Vineland Industrial Track and down the Millville Industrial Track to Millville Yard which served as the interchange between W&W and Conrail (now Conrail Shared Asset Operation or CSAO). Winchester and Western has trackage rights over these two sections of line.


Operations

Overview

Usually Winchester and Western operates two daily freight services, both originating from Bridgeton. One runs along the Maurice River Branch to Dividing Creek, the other runs with a locomotive at each end (due to the need to reverse in Vineland) to Millville Yard where it remarshalls its train then carries on to work customers in Millville and beyond.

Different kinds of sand are the lifeblood of the railroad and are conveyed in covered hoppers of many different railroads. Additionally it is typical to see tanks carrying LPG, and grain in longer covered hoppers (3 and 4 bay). At key times throughout the year Perdue needs to ship entire trainloads of grain, for a while the train worked all the way to Millville but recently it has reverted to a transfer point west of the centre of Vineland (presumably beyond the grade crossing at Delsea). It is usually handed over to powerful 6-axle CSAO locos at this point.


Locomotive Maintenance

Not content with its freight operation the Bridgeton facility also undertakes locomotive maintenance for the VA division and other railroads. With the exception of 4 locos on the VA division all the ones with low short-hoods have received this modification at Bridgeton. The most recent recipient was 709 while it was having a damaged cab repaired.

Other recent visitors include WW 403 and BDRV 1202



Route

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© OpenStreetMap (and) contributors, CC-BY-SA

Black = WW Trackage
Blue = Track access rights





















Equipment

Current Equipment

Currently at Bridgeton

No. Type Built History Notes
459 GP9 Jul-55 Ex-N&W 2459, nee-NKP 459 Given low short hood by WW at Bridgeton
475 GP9 Jul-55 Ex-N&W 2475, nee-NKP 475 Given low short hood by WW at Bridgeton
517 GP9 Mar-58 Ex-N&W 2517, nee-NKP 517 Given low short hood by WW at Bridgeton
520 GP9 Mar-58 Ex-N&W 2520, nee-NKP 520 Given low short hood by WW at Bridgeton
732 GP9 Nov-55 Ex-Conrail/PC 7323, nee-NYC 5923 Operates long hood forward
752 GP10 Feb-56 Ex-CR 7527, CR/PC/NYC 7372, NYC 5972 Operates long hood forward
811 GP9 Jan-59 Ex-N&W 1481, N&W 2811, nee-NKP 811 -
954 SD9m Apr-57 Ex-NS 54, N&W 2952, N&W 2352, NKP 352 New arrival
WW 517 Works its way along the Boulevard in Vineland
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WW 517 Works its way along the Boulevard in Vineland



Equipment previously on Bridgeton Divison

No. Type History Notes
120 MT4 (slug) Cab fitted by WW
575 GP10 Ex-CR 7575, CR/PC/PRR GP9 7265 Given low short hood by IC at Paducah
BDRV 9581 SD9m On lease 2008/9


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Freight Cars

Winchester and Western operates a large fleet of freight cars, the vast majority are covered hoppers. There are three basic liveries seen today, grey with red W&W logo and lettering, cream/tan with red lettering, bright yellow with blue logo and lettering. The hoppers are a variety of 2 and 3-bay, Rib-sided Pullman Standard and smooth-sided ACF designs which can be summarised as follows. (Pictures to be added shortly)


WW 3000-3225 4124-4130
Pullman Standard 3-bay hopper
Most are now cream/tan with red logo and lettering
Image:Ww3092.jpg
Picture courtesy of Bob Vogel.

WW 4001-4024 8839
Pullman Standard 2-bay hopper
4001-4024 are bright yellow with blue logo and lettering.
8839 has red logo and black lettering and is of larger size than the others.

Picture courtesy of Drew.

WW 4101-4123 8840
ACF 2-bay hopper, normal capacity*
Cream/tan with red logo and lettering, except 8840 which is yellow with blue logo and lettering.


WW 4307-4796 7001-7300 7500-7596
ACF 2-bay hopper, extended capacity*
Cream/tan, with red logo and lettering, 2nd batch no logo.
Image:Ww7111.jpg
Picture courtesy of Bob Vogel.

  • Standard & extended capacity is not an official term, I've used it to differentiate between the widely available 2970/2980 type and the slightly longer 3200 type.

Hoppers lettered WWUX are owned by the parent company Unimin and are grey with black lettering, they are seen in South Jersey but not as often as the others.


Models

HO Models

Locomotives
Athearn ATH94083 RTR RS3, Winchester & Western #527

Freight Cars
Athearn #331-1 Winchester & Western #2017 50' ACF Railbox Car Kit
Athearn unk Winchester & Western 54' PS Covered hopper
Athearn unk Winchester & Western PS2 2600 Covered hopper
Intermountain 46514 ACF 2-Bay Hopper Winchester & Western

N Models

Intermountain 66514 ACF 2-Bay Hopper Winchester & Western


Other scales


External links

Unimin Corporation - the parent co.
Locomotives past and present on RR Picture Archives
Rolling stock photos on RR Picture Archives

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