• Article regarding the Chester Branch

  • Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.
Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, mikec, cjl330

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  by X4401
 
Thanks for clarifying.
  by X4401
 
The main street crossing is being worked on today. Main Street is completely blocked off (even overnight). It has certainly brought some attention to the project lol. That old crossing used to really rattle your guts when you hit it wrong at 35 mph. A rebuild worthy of a little road closure, and that's from someone who's logged thousands of trips on main street.
  by cjvrr
 
The Main Street crossing should be reopened today, if it hasn't been already.

Save for one remaining turnout for the hot melt siding at Holland Manufacturing track between Kuiken and 1,700 feet north of Ferromonte Junction has been substantially completed. With the Main Street crossing in place ballast placement, tamping and aligning the track can be completed south of Main Street.

Work at Horseshoe Lake to the south end of the line can being on November 1st.

Work 1,700 feet north of Ferromonte Junction to Lake Junction will occur in segments based upon the work windows.
  by blockline4180
 
Thanks for the update!!

All this work and complete rehab for only 2 or 3 customers... I'm hoping the industrial park south of horseshoe lake does look into using the railroad! Is County Concrete still going to ship by rail or is that still up in the air??
  by cjvrr
 
Lots of work this week.

Remaining old turnout at Holland is being replaced. Should be susbtantially completed today.

Main Street road crossing has been replaced.

Culvert work at Horseshoe Lake is nearly complete and trackwork in that area is to being next week.

Track from 1,700 feet north of Ferromonte Junction to the Berkshire Valley Road bridge has been removed and is in the process of being rebuilt. This section of trackwork includes the installation of a new turnout to the currently vacant Petillo industrial property on Dell Avenue.

Track is anticipated to be back in service to switch Holland by next Wednesday (11/3).
  by blockline4180
 
I really am hoping that County Concrete eventually makes use of the newly rebuilt Chester Branch for rail shipments... I would think the sand potential is endless for fracking of the Marcellus Shale Gas wells in Pa. and possibly NY.. I know most of the sand will be shipped from South Jersey via W&W, but how about CC?? Don't they currently truck to certain areas out of state or is it only throughout NJ??
If fracking isn't an option then I would think NJT may want to look into their operation for ballast trains or other uses.
  by SecaucusJunction
 
If it is useful, I'd think they'd be looking for sand from anywhere they can find it within the next few years!
  by cjvrr
 
Block,

County Concrete is talking about using the line to ship interfacility. However they have lots of material that can be shipped anywhere by rail if it can turn a profit. A 400' section of track that has been moved over for their use. It needs to be reinstalled and a turnout connected.

As far as using their sand for fracking. I am not all the familiar with the technology, but I am learning. I think the sand used in the fracking process has to be a special mix and specific makeup depending upon the conditions of the earth to be fractured. I am sure if County Concrete's sand meets that criteria and they can make a profit on it they will try.
  by NYS&W142Fan
 
As I understand it, frack sand is a coarse grade. It needs to be so to allow the natural gas to flow to the wellhead. If I remember, County's sand is a bit more fine, great fo concrete, but not so for fracking as it will pack tighter.
  by SemperFidelis
 
I sell frac sand for a living.

Frac sand is neither a coarse grade nor a special mix. If anyone wants an in depth description of frac sand and the qualities that make for a good product, please just drop me a private message so I don't get this thread off topic. The world of frac sand is 180 degrees different than the world of construction aggregate.

To put it in short form: County Concrete's sand is unacceptable for frac-ing and there is little/no hope for it to be used for more than a pretty decently graded construction aggregate.
  by blockline4180
 
Semper,

Thanks for putting that in perspective.. At least I know now that sand trains will probably never be an option to be utilized by County Concrete.

I was hoping that the rehabilitation of the Chester Branch would create added incentives to ship by rail and eventually pave the way for an increase in railroad traffic to head west on the WASS, but I guess I was being too optimistic for that to happen. :(
  by SemperFidelis
 
There's no reason to say that County won't consider shipping sand out by rail or perhaps portland cement in (should diesel prices skyrocket). I do wonder what they mean by "inter-facility" shipments.

I get approached about a dozen times a week by owners of struggling sand pits in the northeast. The economy has killed business for these good people and everyone hopes that frac sand will the answer. Sadly, it isn't. Sand from this region just doesn't have the qualities the drilling industry needs.
  by X4401
 
The inter-facility shipments had me a little confused too. County concrete has a number of locations in north jersey but I don't know if they (or other quarrys) have rail service or could add a siding off an existing rail line and make it worth while.

The first thing that popped in my mind was the numerous dump trucks that take sand from dell ave (which runs nearby the Chester branch) across 46 and into the main county concrete plant along side first ave (which is where the siding will be added off the Chester branch.) I know that the neighbors on dell ave HATE the dump trucks with a passion, even though the county concrete owner has done ALOT of community projects, ball fields, road work, a skate boarding rink to try and mend fences. To run an industrial switching operation and add a siding into the dell ave facility, which is a good 500 feet away from the tracks on the opposite side of the old Kenvil newcrete plant would be a bit extreme. So the replacement of the rubber tire conveyor belt between facilities for industrial switching is one of those ideas that dies even before you think it out.
  by blockline4180
 
X4401 wrote:The inter-facility shipments had me a little confused too. County concrete has a number of locations in north jersey but I don't know if they (or other quarrys) have rail service or could add a siding off an existing rail line and make it worth while.

The only site I can think of is in Morristown off Ridgedale Ave, which is right along the Whippany line..I don't even think they have a siding there, so M&E would have to construct one... Other then that, they got me, unless they can ship from the Roxbury site in bulk to places out of state!
  by SemperFidelis
 
I was kind of thinking about that shuttle idea, too, but the distances seemed far too short to be worth the time/expense.

If M&E was allowed to handle the entire freight movement from the Kenvil site to the Morristown site then perhaps the move could happen. If not, NS would kill it by adding about $1100 to the bill for the 10 or 15 miles they had the car.

I, for one, would love to start seeing short haul railroading return to reduce truck traffic through common sense, short hual moves. That the railroads have managed to hand over the sand north/stone south traffic in New Jersey entirely to trucks makes me shake my head when thinking of the loss of efficiency involved.

Isn't there another concrete producer at the end of track (meaning the end of the abandoned portion) in Roseland? I seem to recall there being one in that area. Not saying it would be a customer, but it's another move that would be interesting to see happen again.
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