Trenton Cutoff

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RDG467
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:28 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by RDG467 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:49 pm

Thanks for the pic.

I'd say 6-8 trains per day would be a reasonable estimate.

buckyswider
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:15 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by buckyswider » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:40 am

Thanks, I'll use 6-8 in my casual discussions now :) .

Update day 4: I couldn't see any difference from "my side", so I ventured over to the northwestern approach. And at appears they're definitely building the new span side-by-side with the current structure. They're building up the buttresses and trackbed on eastbound track approach- boy that's gonna take a LOT of fill to build that up!! I wouldn't think this is a temporary thing, but who knows.

Image

And although I have neither seen nor heard a train for at least the last week, it looks like the current track is untouched and still viable for traffic. I do have some other shots taken from topside- not sure if it's cool to post them on here though, as I guess I was on NS property :). Someone please advise if this would be OK!

Here's the manufacturer's plate from the northwest approach. Interesting that the same plate seems to have been on the southeast approach- and looks like it's been removed recently. I wonder if it was the railroad or someone else??


Image

RDG467
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:28 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by RDG467 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:26 am

Bucky, have you had a chance to get back to the site recently?

buckyswider
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:15 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by buckyswider » Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:39 pm

Yes, I was there Saturday. The new build looks almost identical to the prior week. They did, however, start cutting away at the old structure:

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the far (intact) side is where the rail runs, and the track still looks as if it's viable for traffic. I did see a stopped train on the Butler Pike overpass last Thursday (not sure if it extended down do this bridge though) and I did hear what sounded like a series of short-short-long toots on Monday around 10:30AM, but alas work summoned and I wasn't able to see if there was any actual traffic... I imagine that this bridge is actually two independent, yet attached, structures, since they've cut half of it away while maintaining the other half....

got a shot of that other curious thing I mentioned. someone made off with the bridge manufacturer's plate on the north-face.

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I'll aim to get some new shots every Saturday.

buckyswider
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:15 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by buckyswider » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:42 pm

Well, now I'm really confused. I mean even more than before! Someone had talked to one of the workers and they were told that they were "raising the beam" of the bridge in order to make more road clearance. Well, looking more closely today, I noticed the the rail is actually really high already- just about to the top of the bridge girders. So theoretically, I guess it would be possible to somehow lower the profile of the bridge- I'm not sure how they'd do that in-place, though. I checked the google street view from 2012, thinking that they may have raised the rail as pre-work, but it looks like it was at that height all along. But maybe not- comparing today's pics to the old street view seems like the track may be slightly ABOVE the girder, where before it appeared to be slightly BELOW.

And also from that street view I noticed that where they're building what I presumed to be a new abutment could just possibly be replacement for that old stone retaining wall (shown in the street view). https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1075613 ... 312!8i6656" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Anyhow, not a world of difference from last week, but here's a few from today (underneath only, as I'm still not sure if it's cool to show top-side shots).

Image

Image

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buckyswider
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:15 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by buckyswider » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:46 pm

OK, I got some new info on this and some new pics. Starting at 6AM on Sunday July 17, they're supposed to take a 20 hour line outage and remove what's left of the original bridge and crane the new one into place. Should be interesting. The new road clearance is supposed to be 13'-5", which is an increase of 20" over the original 11'-9".

Where I thought they were building a new abutment to place a new bridge next to the existing? Nope, looks like they just built up a new retaining wall to support the crane:

Image

And the 'empty' half or the existing bridge is now completely gone, and they built up a new support wall on top of the original abutment, with maybe 18-24" of clearance on the original abutment (probably can't see it too well from this angle, but the new concrete wall is set back from the original stone wall):

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And here we have half of the new bridge ready to be dropped into place. I didn't figure it all out until I looked at the pictures, but if I had to guess I'd say that girder holding this thing off the ground is actually part of the bridge, and if I'd measured it it is probably 20". So that part will sit on top of the original abutment, and the flange/trackbed part will fit nicely on top of the new white concrete wall thing:

Image

So it does appear that yes, the grade of the track is not changing at all- they're just using a lower profile bridge structure. So I'm guessing they'll shut the line down, remove the track and haul off all the built-up ballast, then cut away the bridge and lift it off with the crane. Then they'll have to add the concrete risers on that half also, then they'll lift both halves of the the new structure into place and do whatever fastening they need to do (I would think it's more than just held into place with gravity?), then build up the ballast to the proper height, then re-install the ties & track and tie it back in. All in 20 hours!! At least that's my guess. There's only that one section of bridge there right now- I'm assuming they will be bringing a second half in sometime this week, but who knows. We''ll have to wait and see I guess....

buckyswider
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:15 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by buckyswider » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:17 pm

Well, the new bridge is in place. They actually put the 1st half in place during the week leading up to the Sunday when they shut down the line and replaced the active structure.

Here's the new half before they replace the other half:

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...and, here's the completion of them lowering the other side into place (Sunday 7/17). (I lost track of time and didn't get there to get a shot of the new span flying).

Image

The road is still closed, however, I guess as they have to do final tie-ins and clean up. But the line is up and running.

One of my neighbors became friendly with one the NS guys, and she actually got the remaining bridge marker! I'm jelly! She said she had asked for a piece of the bridge, and I clued her in that the bridge marker was still on. So she got it!! To be fair, she deserves it- she's fire police, and has spent countless hours on traffic control after trucks had hit the bridge.

Also, some other info: probably one of the reasons the road remains closed is that as the ballast settles, lots of rocks fly off the bridge on to the roadway as a train passes. Don't know how long that will take. AND...they are using this as an opportunity to re-extend the siding. Right now, it ends and switches into the mainline just west of this bridge, but they're going to extend it across the other new bridge span and I don't know how far toward trenton. I guess we'll see. I haven't had a chance to go and measure the road clearance yet. They were saying 13'5", and ASSuming the 11'9" was accurate for the prior, this looks about right. But hopefully I'll get down there with a tape measure before the road is re-opened.

RDG467
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:28 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by RDG467 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:14 pm

Thanks for the reports!! I was in Virginia from 11-22 Jul for work and then was away for a long weekend w/spotty cell svc and didn't spend much time online.
Great to hear that at least one builder's plate went to a known home.

RDGAndrew
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:38 pm
Location: Jenkintown PA

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by RDGAndrew » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:43 pm

Seems to be a lot of work going on besides the bridge rebuild and the shift of CP Plymouth. The concrete at the top of the bridge abutments where the Morrisville Line goes over Susquehanna Rd was redone this year. Completely removed and new caps poured. They only did 3 sides though - both sides on the west end and the south side on the east end. NS also recently did tie and ballast work, and there are new signals going in east of County Line Rd. I’m intrigued by that, since the line has cab signaling. Is it PTC related?
"Am Gleis drei bitte einsteigen - Türen schliessen selbsttätig. Vorsicht bei der Abfahrt!"

mcgrath618
Posts: 431
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by mcgrath618 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:58 pm

Hey all,
I have railfanned the NS Reading line around Norristown a few times now, and I was wondering how often the Trenton cutoff is used.
It would be far easier for me to railfan the Dale Secondary, but I guess it would be possible to go along the Morrisville line if I have to.

How many trains use each part per day? Wikipedia says that the Morrisville line is fairly active, and that the Dale Secondary only sees one train per day. I have to wonder if that second part is true because I swear I've seen some long ethanol drags on my way to an old job...
Thanks!

buckyswider
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:15 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by buckyswider » Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:35 pm

I'm not really a railfan, but emergency services in a municipality that hosts part of the Trenton cutoff. At one point I looked it up and there were 13 runs a day going across the line. My house overlooks the line, and at this point that number sound a little high to me anecdotally. If I had to guess I'd say between 5-8 per day now.

mcgrath618
Posts: 431
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by mcgrath618 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:55 pm

buckyswider wrote:I'm not really a railfan, but emergency services in a municipality that hosts part of the Trenton cutoff. At one point I looked it up and there were 13 runs a day going across the line. My house overlooks the line, and at this point that number sound a little high to me anecdotally. If I had to guess I'd say between 5-8 per day now.
Which part, the Dale Secondary, or Morrisvile line?

buckyswider
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:15 am

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by buckyswider » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:14 pm

Morrisville, i.e. Trenton Cutoff. Or is the "Dale Secondary" also considered part of the Trenton Cutoff??

mcgrath618
Posts: 431
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by mcgrath618 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:04 pm

buckyswider wrote:Morrisville, i.e. Trenton Cutoff. Or is the "Dale Secondary" also considered part of the Trenton Cutoff??
The Dale Secondary is considered to be everything from the Keystone Corridor to Norristown. It's all dark territory.

nova08
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:59 pm

Re: Trenton Cutoff

Post by nova08 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:56 pm

Trenton Cutoff / Morrisville line sees on average 8 movements a day

4 East/West Intermodal to/from Chicago
2 East/West manifest to/from Conway
2 locals east/west originating from Abrams
All other as needed trains barely run anymore.

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