Trolley Track Ownership

Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.

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Trackseventeen
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Location: 12yrs before I was born, the PRR "Red Arrow Flyer" Crashed behind my house.

Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by Trackseventeen » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:21 pm

SEPTA...
900,000 tons of steel, made to roll
The brakes don't work and this grade's so steep
her engines sure to blow...
900,000 tons of steel, out of control
She's more a roller coaster, than the train I used to know.

R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:30 pm

I'd assumed City and County of Philadelphia as it has jurisdiction of streets. So SEPTA has right-of-way on covered or out-of-service trackage if the line is "suspended"?
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

radioboy
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by radioboy » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:45 pm

According to SEPTA, they own the tracks
https://twitter.com/septa_social/status ... 7259887616" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
-CW

lefty
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by lefty » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:16 pm

A friend of mine worked for a plumber who was digging a new drain line in the street. Tracks were paved over, so they cut them out of the way. SEPTA stopped by a while later. Apparently, the buried tracks were still being used as a ground or whatnot. SEPTA replaced the track and billed the plumbing company.

trackwelder
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by trackwelder » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:35 pm

lefty wrote:A friend of mine worked for a plumber who was digging a new drain line in the street. Tracks were paved over, so they cut them out of the way. SEPTA stopped by a while later. Apparently, the buried tracks were still being used as a ground or whatnot. SEPTA replaced the track and billed the plumbing company.

2 winters ago a water main blew out on sixth a couple blocks north of snyder, the water dept. ran in to buried tracks when they were digging up the street, the track welders were called out to torch cut the rails before they could fix it.
shipbuilder
rail maintainer, 1st class
FEBT volunteer

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Clearfield
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by Clearfield » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:18 am

lefty wrote:A friend of mine worked for a plumber who was digging a new drain line in the street. Tracks were paved over, so they cut them out of the way. SEPTA stopped by a while later. Apparently, the buried tracks were still being used as a ground or whatnot. SEPTA replaced the track and billed the plumbing company.
SEPTA buries the tracks of unused trolley lines for two reasons. One, its cheaper than tearing them up. Two, it preserves the track for potential reactivation of the line no matter how remote that sounds. Encasement in asphalt protects the track from the effects of water.
"The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, or the one".............. Spock

My opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of any organization, Association, or Authority.

malagabill
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by malagabill » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:28 pm

lefty wrote:
SEPTA buries the tracks of unused trolley lines for two reasons. One, its cheaper than tearing them up. Two, it preserves the track for potential reactivation of the line no matter how remote that sounds. Encasement in asphalt protects the track from the effects of water.
Interesting statement about how SEPTA bury unused trolley tracks. I can agree with this policy; but yesterday I was driving on north 60th Street (north of Girard Ave) there are two sets of trolley tracks (no overhead wires) that have not been used in many years in the roadway that are not covered over. It looks like they were never covered over. I did notice that the connection with the track on Girard Avenue looks like they have been severed.
I just think that SEPTA as a good neighbor should either remove the tracks or resurface the street so that they are not a safety hazard to the public.

SCB2525
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by SCB2525 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:15 pm

Those would be vestiges of the 46 trolley. Presumably they were left for non-revenue connection for the 10 and 15 to Callowhill but they have been long severed north of Girard and south of Lansdowne. Operationally, there's no purpose for them, as you already connect the 15 and 10 via 63rd. The rails on 60th are in very poor shape with respect to the rail itself, not joints or interaction with the asphalt. The head of the rail is so burred and gashed you would think they WERE covered with asphalt and uncovered with a drum mill. While I could understand why someone living on this stretch might not want random disused tracks in the road that have no real potential for reactivation, I wouldn't say they pose a safety threat to anyone except perhaps bike riders, and that isn't particularly in vogue in that area anyway.

The roads surrounding Callowhill depot are chock full of turnouts to nowhere and dead-end tracks.

malagabill
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by malagabill » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:51 pm

SCB2525 wrote:Those would be vestiges of the 46 trolley. Presumably they were left for non-revenue connection for the 10 and 15 to Callowhill but they have been long severed north of Girard and south of Lansdowne. Operationally, there's no purpose for them, as you already connect the 15 and 10 via 63rd. The rails on 60th are in very poor shape with respect to the rail itself, not joints or interaction with the asphalt. The head of the rail is so burred and gashed you would think they WERE covered with asphalt and uncovered with a drum mill. While I could understand why someone living on this stretch might not want random disused tracks in the road that have no real potential for reactivation, I wouldn't say they pose a safety threat to anyone except perhaps bike riders, and that isn't particularly in vogue in that area anyway.

The roads surrounding Callowhill depot are chock full of turnouts to nowhere and dead-end tracks.
Any transit authority either public or private has a responsible to the neighborhood that is serves to maintain and when possible improve the quality of life in its service area. In the long term this in theory should improves the revenue of the authority due to increase value of the neighbor and increase in ridership. When the tracks are on a private right of way most times the authority removes them. Those on a city street should either be removed or covered over. The decision should be in what is the most cost effective for the authority. No transit authority should be permitted to contribute to urban blight leaving “disused tracks in the road that have no real potential for reactivation” This contributes to the decline of any neighbor. I am sure is this was in front of your home or in your neighborhood you would want them either remover or covered over.

SemperFidelis
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by SemperFidelis » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:35 pm

Perhaps it's not 100% on point due to the difference in neighborhoods but the residents of the Georgetown area of Washington DC are actual quite fond of the sections of abandoned trolley track they have in their cobble-stoned streets. So fond are the residents, in fact, that the tracks and conduit collection segments, though having been used for nothing for many, many decades now, are being replaced as the roads are being updated. There was an interesting article (which I can't find now) about how the road department is actually paying to have new sections of conduit built so as to preserve the historic value of the abandoned tracks.

Again, it's not really a potatoes-to-potatoes comparison as Georgetown is probably one of the more affluent (and influential) neighborhoods in country, but I thought it worth note.

SCB2525
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Re: Trolley Track Ownership

Post by SCB2525 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:42 pm

Yes, I actually would love the tracks if I lived on that street, but then again I'd probably the minority.

A more apples to apples comparison with the situation at Georgetown would be when they replaced track on Germantown Ave even though the 23 has been out of service for decades. The difference there is that is "temporary" and they will hopefully be reactivated.

Honestly, reactivating the 46 would make a lot of sense in terms of connecting the W. Philly lines at their outer/middle points. (Don't worry, I know it's pie-in-the-sky),.

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