zardoz wrote:Again, has anyone else seen the state of disrepair those rail lines are in. The is one section where a 2 ft wide hole is right up to the rails. The hole fills from below on high tide. That section is washing out underneath the entire rails. That is more then replacing a piece of wood or a spike. The total expense to clean & repair 1 mile of tracks from the WaWa in Dennisville to Rt. 83 has to be high. I haven't walked the rest going south in some time. Who handles the repairs and makes sure the line is safe? Is the state funding done by the state? Will they insure the work is done properly?
Yes, I have seen it. I have walked a majority of that line, at some time or another in my life and the time that I've spent down there...and I've seen what you're talking about. As you have already mentioned, significant track repairs are necessary to the railroad between Woodbine and Cape May Courthouse before any revenue service can begin over that segment. By significant work, I mean that around every 3rd tie will need to be replaced (in some areas, every tie will have to be replaced), and in many areas, corroded rail will have to be replaced for new (or used, but in good shape) stick rail. This is about 10 miles of track that are in need of repair.
This track is currently listed as "excepted track", under FRA certification rules. In all reality, it is not certified at all (that's pretty much the meaning of excepted track). What that means is that no revenue passenger movements at all may take place over this segment, and freight moves must take place at 10MPH or less. In reality, this rail is not even well suited for those equipment moves anymore...CMSL employees are becoming nervous about making moves over certain segments of rail around Dennisville, where the equipment sometimes tilts at unsafe angles when passing...
What process is done to insure safety for the passengers on the train?
Currently, the track between Cape May City and Cape May Courthouse is certified to FRA class II (which means 30MPH for passenger trains, 25MPH for freight). Also, the segment between Woodbine and Tuckahoe is certified for the same thing. This certification procedure is completed only after a physical inspection is done by employees of the Federal Railroad Administration, to insure that the railroad is safe. Re-inspection must take place at certain regular intervals (I'll admit, I'm not sure on those exact intervals), to insure safety for the passengers and crew of the railroad.
As for the segment between Cape May Courthouse and Woodbine, once again, I state that is is listed only as excepted track. The rule with that is that pretty much anything can be listed as such, but you can't do a whole lot with it...also, remember that the employees of the CMSL are not stupid...they do realize what they're dealing with down there.
And speaking of SRNJ, just to get the record straight here so there is no confusion: They did get some money for work down there...including the bridge over Hospitality Creek on the Southern Industrial on the Winslow Division. That has been completely rebuilt by outside contractor W.M. Brode. They are working on track repairs down there...it'll happen eventually. The Salem Division is also scheduled to have some significant track repairs made soon, though I don't have an exact date on when that work is expected to be complete (maybe some SRNJ people will be able to chime in here with some more accurate details on that).
And one more thing concerning customer base: CMSL has the customers...they're all ready to sign up, just waiting for the track to be installed. There are 2 customers down there now that are patiently waiting...both will jump for the new service once the construction is complete. Trust me: This will be significant freight service, we're not talking about a 1 or 2 cars a week deal here...
Take care everyone.
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