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Roger Hensley

  Railroads of Madison County
Avon Update 2004

- Avon Yard Update -

Nov. 6, 2004

Mr. Hensley.

I just found your website and I think it is a very interesting site. Your tour of the Avon Yard was good reading. I have only been working on the railroad for 2 yrs but the yards have really changed since I started. We just finished the computer upgrade of the yard humping system. We removed the old GRS Analog Computer that was installed in 1961, and replaced it with a General Electric Proyard II system. It is now fully computerized and automated.

Tower 3 The CRO tower is now empty and will be torn down soon. The second floor of the hump is now empty, with the Hump Yardmaster ,and the Hump Conductor now sharing the Third floor. All of the switches, retarders, and the Hump Engine speed are all controlled by the system. It is a pretty good system but the OLD GRS system is missed. That computer was still in operation controlling the yard long after it was designed to operate. It ran on relays and Vacuum tubes (That we purchased from Russia). The cars that we hump are longer and heavier than the cars it was designed for, but it still was able to do the job.

It was kind of sad when we had it in hot standby this past spring while the new system was being tested. This was to be able to go back on the old system in case something was drastically wrong. The old GRS system thought that it was controlling the operation but all of it's outputs had been disconnected. It is now gone but we remember it fondly.

We now have remote controlled engines in the yard which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you are talking to.

Thanks for your Web-Site and keep up the good work. The Old Railroading things are disappearing fast and people like you can keep it alive.

Dan B. Ufkes
Electronic Signal Specialist
CSX Avon Yard

Thank YOU, Dan for helping to keep us up to date on the happenings at Avon Yard. I think that it is safe to say that the old New York Central planned and bought well when it set up Avon. - rph

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