Rail Listening Houston -Beaumont

DHDaniel

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This has been on my Bucket list. Next week I'd like to get out and listen to line that runs from Houston to Beaumont. I took my SDS100 to UP's Englewood Yard.
That was incredible. Overwhelming actually. So many trains moving, Watching the Hump action. Lots of radio to listen to. Anyway I'd like to be able to pick up a
trackside Defect Detector like I've seen on so many Youtube railfan video's. How do you actually locate one? And do they broadcast on one of the 97 frequencies?
I'm assuming they transmit with very low power,
Appreciate any help

thanks
Dave
 

AK9R

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Defect detectors usually transmit on whatever road frequency is used at the location of the DD.

When the DD gives its report, it will usually identify with the milepost where the DD is located.
 

hornjt

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So how would be the best way to figure out where they are? Follow a train along the rails? I have the same kind question for UP rails between Houston Tx and Palestine TX.
 

AK9R

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One way is to use employee timetables. The ETTs list every station, control point, siding, connecting track, and defect detector with their milepost numbers. ETTs are usually organized by "division". For example, the CSX Great Lakes Division ETT #6 Effective 1-1-2014 that I have includes about 19 subdivisions. Some subdivisions are small, some are large. You may be able to find PDFs of ETTs on the Internet. Note that the railroads are not real crazy about ETTs being made public.

Another way to figure out railroad mileposts is to check the signs on the crossing signals. They may give the milepost where that signal is located or they may give an AAR reference number for the signal which you can find on the FRA Safety Map. Or, you can just study that map to find the mileposts in your location. When you hear the defect detector announce its location, you'll be able to figure where they are based on your knowledge of the mileposts.
 

DHDaniel

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WOW, That FRA Safety Map link is cool. I'm heading out and will park at a small country road crossing at MP338
Thats usually a fairly busy track east & west. Hopefully I can pickup some railroad talk, Would love to hear a Detector.
Still have questions on them. Where do they normally place them? How far apart are they?

thanks for all the great info

Dave
 

alphazulu

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I claim no expertise on Railroad operations. Attached is an image of a Defect Detector. And in my area they are spaced about 20-25 miles apart. Also, as I recall DD's are often placed relatively close to long bridges (crossing rivers/valleys) and tunnels?
railroad defect detector structure (01).jpg
 

cbehr91

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I claim no expertise on Railroad operations. Attached is an image of a Defect Detector. And in my area they are spaced about 20-25 miles apart. Also, as I recall DD's are often placed relatively close to long bridges (crossing rivers/valleys) and tunnels?
View attachment 106607
They don't have to be, but high car/wide load detectors are typically located near bridges/tunnels/etc. Your standard hotbox/dragging equipment detector is usually located every 15-20 miles. The check for overheated wheels/bearing on cars (which unchecked can cause a derailment) as well as low hanging air hoses.

On some higher density lines detectors are set to "talk on defect only".
 

laidback

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This has been on my Bucket list. Next week I'd like to get out and listen to line that runs from Houston to Beaumont. I took my SDS100 to UP's Englewood Yard.
That was incredible. Overwhelming actually. So many trains moving, Watching the Hump action. Lots of radio to listen to. Anyway I'd like to be able to pick up a
trackside Defect Detector like I've seen on so many Youtube railfan video's. How do you actually locate one? And do they broadcast on one of the 97 frequencies?
I'm assuming they transmit with very low power,
Appreciate any help

thanks
Dave
Check this site : Defect Detector Database
 
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