• Lackawanna Cutoff Passenger Service Restoration

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: lensovet, nick11a, Kaback9

  by joeycannoli
lensovet wrote: Mon Mar 27, 2023 11:22 pm I'm not sure why NJT would sink any money into this (or build an MOW facility for a service Amtrak would be running). Andover is getting done, the rest would be up to Amtrak (since PNRRA presumably can't spend money in NJ). A 20% local match would be needed, though I wonder if NJT could claim that their Andover work covers the 20%.
I could see NJT letting Amtrak and the PA authorities foot a majority of the bill for the project and then (if) when all is said and done NJT comes out of the bushes and says it wants to extend its commuter service west of Andover. Maybe not into PA but at least to Blairstown as a start. It's not clear with the 20% local match WHO has to pony up the dollars or how it would be split.
  by joeycannoli
lensovet wrote: Mon Mar 27, 2023 11:41 pm Nope, and the report indeed includes zero consideration for this, apart from explicitly calling out that the cost estimates do not include any viaduct (or any other part of the cut-off) restoration work.

Then again, Roman aqueduct bridges are still standing 2000 years later so…
The Amtrak report didn't, but this 2019 study by Greenman-Pedersen, Inc did include the cost estimate for the two viaduct rehabs based on their inspections. They estimate $70M to completely rehab both viaducts. Seems high, but i dont know anything about bridge repair and maintenance. The Delaware River viaduct is said to need more work than the Paulinskill.

It's also worth noting that the study mentions its probably cheaper to just tear down and build new bridges, but being that they are tagged historical (like the Roseville tunnel) the preservations offices in both states would not allow that.

https://www.gpinet.com/public/Appx_J_La ... Cutoff.pdf
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Canoli, as you note, the consultant's estimate of $70M presumes both viaducts remain structurally sound. It appears they only represent to having done "a visual".

If either needs more, such as to replace deteriorated concrete, there goes anyone's cost estimate.

Lest we forget, a concrete building or two in Florida has come tumblin' down with loss of life since anybody's train ran over the Cutoff.

That stuff ain't forever.
  by Roadgeek Adam
With regards to NJT west of Andover. This is again, totally up to NJT. I personally think they should operate to East Stroudsburg or Analomink and have a yard track. If NJT still wants to operate to Scranton, I'm sure they can work something out. But we're talking about 10 years down the road at the moment. Not making this up out of fiction, this was all NJT stuff for quite a while.
  by CRB
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Mar 28, 2023 7:31 am Lest we forget, a concrete building or two in Florida has come tumblin' down with loss of life since anybody's train ran over the Cutoff.

That stuff ain't forever.
True, but the viaducts aren’t located next to a saltwater ocean and have not had penthouse units added post construction.

Concrete gets stronger as it ages and the weight load from an Amtrak train is likely less than the freight cars that were the original design basis of the structures.
  by CRB
Has NJT taken a public position on whether they are OK with Amtrak running on their Morris and Essex and Montclair Boonton lines?
  by Jeff Smith
I would expect that they’ll gladly take any overhead payments Amtrak would pay for access.
  by joeycannoli
Yes, they are co-sponsoring the FRA application with Amtrak and the PA side. they are on-board with the project. The proposed train schedule done in the Amtrak report outlines how / when Amtrak would use those lines. Cant imagine Amtrak could figure this out without the help of NJT.
  by lensovet
Indeed the report provides two scheduling options and the second one is explicitly one provided by NJT, so they are certainly engaged in this project. As Mr. Smith points out, I'm sure NJT would be happy to earn some fees from minimal additional wear and tear on their tracks.
  by Zanperk
Pardon a slight railfan digression-

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway was bought by the New York Central system in 1906. At that time they began flattening, straightening and double tracking the “Bee-line”, their trunk from Cleveland to Indy. The improvements were extended west to Terre Haute Indiana, for the same reason as the Cutoff got built; rolling Indiana and Illinois coal to water level at Cleveland.

The Big Four was still afforded some organizational independence, and boy did they love those open spandrel concrete arch viaducts:



If CSX runs 10,000 ft PSR land barges across theirs at track speed on a daily basis, the Lackawanna viaducts would support them structurally. The work is likely primarily cosmetic, but the nature of the viaducts involve significant job site setup, tear down, and safety costs.
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