NS Preparing to Add Track on the Chicago Line Thru Toledo?

Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
GlassCityFan

NS Preparing to Add Track on the Chicago Line Thru Toledo?

Post by GlassCityFan » Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:06 pm

After noticing that NS has been removing some old bridges across the Chicago line in south Toledo, I did some googling to find out when and discovered a few interesting things that I wanted to share with people interested in the railroad. First, NS not only requested, but paid for the demolition of the vacated Curtis Street bridge over the Chicago line; since this bridge was Toledo's and not the railroad's responsibility, one would think that there must be some reason other than liability as to why the railroad wanted this bridge to be removed. At the same time, the city of Toledo is currently designing replacements for two other nearby bridges over the Chicago line (bottom of the page: http://toledo.oh.gov/services/public-se ... e-systems/).

Interestingly, the preliminary plans for one of these bridges - Miami Street in east Toledo - shows the north abutment being modified to allow for what the design calls "future track"; see page 22 or 46 of: http://toledo.oh.gov/media/111552/luc-m ... _plans.pdf. Considering that Miami Street follows the Maumee River and crosses the Chicago line near the NS swing bridge, any new track beneath Miami Street would almost certainly have to cross the river with the rest of the mainline.

The swing bridge, which is only wide enough for two tracks, obviously prevents any third track from being built and I cannot find any mention of plans to modify or replace it. However, I did find at least one document recommending a somewhat fanciful parallel bridge (http://www.researchgate.net/publication ... _Crossings ) and an engineering company that has been observing the NS bridge over the Maumee (http://www.browningengineering.com/toledoupdates.html) for several years. While the swing bridge is the biggest obstacle to adding more track through Toledo, it is not the only one as the SR 24 (Anthony Wayne Trail) overpass would also need to be modified to allow more tracks to pass beneath it. The SR24 bridge is listed as being scheduled for replaced in 2018 according to the regional planning entity.

Considering that NS has already triple tracked the Chicago line immediately to the east and west of Toledo and is currently investing in a second upgrade of the nearby Airline Yard, anyone else suspect that NS may be preparing to upgrade this section of track or am I reading too much into a few random pieces?

Edited by a Moderator (fixed broken link)

PARailWiz
Posts: 489
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:59 pm
Location: Norristown, PA

Re: NS Preparing to Add Track on the Chicago Line Thru Toled

Post by PARailWiz » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:23 pm

Interestingly, the preliminary plans for one of these bridges - Miami Street in east Toledo - shows the north abutment being modified to allow for what the design calls "future track"; see page 22 or 46 of: http://toledo.oh.gov/media/111552/luc-m ... _plans.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Considering that Miami Street follows the Maumee River and crosses the Chicago line near the NS swing bridge, any new track beneath Miami Street would almost certainly have to cross the river with the rest of the mainline.
It's standard practice for all the major railroads to request that new or reconstructed bridges across their right-of-way allow room for a future track, regardless of whether they have any plans to actually add more tracks or not in the future. If they ever do decide to build more tracks, that's one less bridge they have to pay to re-build. I wouldn't take this as evidence of anything concrete.

Note that if allowing room for an additional track would be difficult or particularly expensive, the railroads won't usually insist upon it unless they do have concrete plans to utilize the extra space.
The picture to the right is a photo of Silverliner I 246 located at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA.

Return to “Norfolk Southern”