Bracdude181 wrote: ↑Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:17 pm
@CR7876 The reason why there's no rail markings on 571 was because the truck never put its rail wheels down. He lined up the truck with the tracks and was gonna attempt to go south towards Lakehurst, but decided not to attempt it after looking at the track conditions.
As for the Southern being in danger of being abandoned, it's already in danger. Has been for at least a decade. North Jersey management wants nothing to do with the Southern.
North Jersey management began scaring off customers in 2003. Many customers were told that they weren't worth Conrails time and promptly stopped getting rail service. Customers that were lost because of this ideology include Poly One in Howell, Columbia Propane in Toms River, and Dinaso in Lakewood. We are now down to 2 active customers, (3 if Extech is still a customer) which are Woodhaven and Bel-Ray.
But what's really gonna kill this line is NJ Transits restrictions on freight cars, which is another major contributing factor to this lines decline. Along with a weight and height restriction, certain cars are banned altogether. This is why we no longer see gondolas, certain tank cars, certain hopper cars, flatcars, and reefer cars. These restrictions mean that many potential customers can't get rail service. Brick Recycling stopped getting cars because of this, as NJT said their cars were too heavy. Incidentally, this has also prevented any sale of this line to interested parties.
Something needs to be done about this soon. If the Transit restrictions don't kill this line, Conrail will. They don't want to run down here anymore, and are not afraid to abandon it. There are people in North Jersey management who want to make some major improvements down here, but aren't able to because of one member in upper management. This guy is a real cheapskate. He's reluctant to spend money on almost any sort of improvement, and only likes serving very large customers while leaving smaller customers like EH Allen in South Amboy behind. (They got bulkhead flat cars for a while until Conrail told them he wasn't worth their time) North Jerseys future is bleak as long as this guy is calling the shots.
The Southern is indeed in danger, but only until the pending sale is completed.
Conrail didn't essentially say "piss off" to the customers, they gradually increased shipping rates to "justify" keeping the deteriorating lines open and maintaining them, to which the customers could not afford to receive rail service, and Conrail got to shut down the lines it didn't want to operate.
As I've said time and time again, any weight restrictions that could affect movement of freight doesn't affect the Southern or Browns in general, the obvious height restrictions do remain an issue, and that goes for an any electrified line, whether it is the NJCL, NEC, M&E, etc. Gondolas and hoppers that meet the height restrictions are not banned at all, considering OI-16 transfers upwards of 5 gondolas and hoppers each run on the Coast Line. The gondolas carry scrap metal and steel, *exactly* what Brick shipped, so there are no weight restrictions on gondolas. The hoppers carry a various array of plastics, *exactly* the type of cars and loads Poly-One would ship, so there are no weight restrictions on hoppers. Debunked.
The numerous improvement projects that don't fall under your radar that continue to be built clearly indicates that this "Penn Central Trainmaster" spiel might be just a spin of the imagination. An observant railfan would note that North Jersey's future is indeed not "bleak", perhaps you could look to a different, unbiased source for factual updates on the condition of the rail lines you are elaborating on. Speaking of sources, can you quote this "source" and where *he* got his information from? Do you have a connection at Conrail or something to back all this up?