• Freight Running Under Catenary

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by rcthompson04
I was wondering if anyone had a list of where do freight trains run under catenary today and particularly where do double stacks run under wire. It seems like a topic that is talked about regarding specific locations (parts of the Northeast Corridor and Keystone Line, around Norristown, etc...).
  by JayBee
The only place that I know of where Doublestacks move under cantenary is in the Helsinki area of Finland. The city of Helsinki grew up around the port and with the advent of large containerships, the number of containers arriving in a city with narrow congested streets and no will to destroy neighborhoods for Highways, and not willing to spend the money to move the port, forced the raising of cantenary and the operation of doublestacks over freight only trackage to a facility just outside the city where they can be transferred to trucks or single stacked for onward movement by rail.
  by RRspatch
India is building a new route between Delhi and Jaipur that has catenary high enough to clear a double stack train.

The WAP-5 at the 1:20 mark has the high rise pantograph needed to reach the higher catenary.

Another video showing high rise pantographs -
  by bostontrainguy
Rhode Island for one
  by freightguy
Think it was more in the 1970’s. On Metro North currently can’t accept a car over 15’6”. Thats on the NEC through a good chunk of CT. From New Rochelle, NY to New Haven, CT. I noticed a lot more shots of freights with higher cars or trailers in the 1970’s, 80’s before the Chase, MD wreck in 1987. Believe Rhode Island has a third track without catenary for freight?
  by QB 52.32
The Northeast Corridor in Rhode Island has 32 miles that can clear 19'6" equipment, good for fully-enclosed conventional autoracks and a low/high-cube doublestack configuration, with 5 miles under and 27 miles on a separate track outside the catenary.
  by west point
There may be a problem running electric locos uder oddouble stack clearances. Whay will be the wing of a pan when the loco traverses uneven track?
  by ElectricTraction
bostontrainguy wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:35 amRhode Island for one
I'm not sure if they're actually cleared for domestic double stacks. The tallest equipment regularly run on that line is autoracks at 19'0". I also don't know how much the clearance drops when MBTA finally electrifies, and the shared trackage that is not electrified today becomes electrified.

There is a section of track in Norristown, near Philadelphia where CSX domestic double stacks run under the wire, as the line is shared with SEPTA.

This topic is interesting, as I constantly see the false claim that "doublestacks can't run under the wire" when talking about freight rail electrification. They absolutely can, the challenge for freight rail electrification at scale is bridges and tunnels, as 25kV wiring needs significantly more overhead clearance than just domestic double stacks on their own. This may influence which lines should be electrified first, most likely putting the BNSF Southern Transcon on top of the list. Lots of trains, long distance, fast speeds, minimal overhead obstructions.