• NYS&W Bridge partially collapses in Syracuse

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by lvrr325
The concrete side panels fell off two segments of the former DL&W elevated line in downtown Syracuse, near South Clinton and West Onondaga streets. It took out a traffic light in the process.

I believe this article is in error, this portion of the line is owned by the county.

https://cnycentral.com/news/local/crews ... n-syracuse" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The only other question is will the line closure result in any trains being detoured? They certainly could send some traffic up/down the Utica side, although it would be much slower.
  by Matt Langworthy
NYSW owns the tracks. A common misconception arises from PILOT programs regarding leasing vs owning the property in question. The property owner leases the land (in this case a RR ROW) to the county at the same rate as the property tax. The county IDA then leases the land to the RR at a lower rate, effectively creating a tax break. The RR doesn't file with the STB because the county is not a common carrier, but the county must file paperwork because it is leasing the property to a common carrier. It's complicated, but the RR still owns the track. I learned how this process works from Mike Smith at FGLK, which also has a PILOT program.
  by Matt Langworthy
With that being said, I think NYSW has a PILOT program, but am not 100% sure.
  by lvrr325
You're forgetting how this even came about. After losing his bid for the D&H, Walter Rich wanted to punish CP Rail by taking his trains off the Tier where they would handle them between Binghamton and Buffalo. The trains were coming to Buffalo on NS or Conrail then anyways, so running them to Syracuse instead was not a big deal.

But Conrail did not want to sell the former DL&W from CP-293 down to Jamesville, even though at that point they only went past Geddes St. like twice a month.

So they came up with the whole Ontrack deal and convinced the county to take it through eminent domain. It was set up as a subsidiary SB&NY RR (after a DL&W predecessor).

It's possible the NYS&W owns the physical trackage, have read that's how he set it up on other parts of the northern division, but I do not believe the railroad owns the property. Eminent Domain is not supposed to take property from one company just to sell it to another. Leaving it in County hands solves the tax problem, too.

Some questioned the discontinuance of the shuttle, as that was part of the deal to use the line was to operate it, but nobody was really relying on it so no fuss came from it. It served it's purpose.
  by lvrr325
I see the latest is they're blaming it on the high heat. lol.

CNY Central has a video of the collapse, too.
  by sd80mac
lvrr325 wrote:I see the latest is they're blaming it on the high heat. lol.

CNY Central has a video of the collapse, too.
please would you provide the link to video?

I looked at 2 articles and one of them had video in title but no video, except for photos???
  by lvrr325
I saw it in passing on Facebook.

I see they're removing more side panels today. Any word if this has had any effect on operations?
  by lvrr325
FWIW, the Wikipedia page notes that this section is owned by the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, leased to the SB&NY RR, a subsidiary of the NYS&W.
  by sd80mac
lvrr325 wrote:I saw it in passing on Facebook.

I see they're removing more side panels today. Any word if this has had any effect on operations?
Any chance u can post link of that?
  by lvrr325
I saw it in passing means I have no way to find it again. WYSR-9 also had it, they showed it Thurs night.

The latest is the mayor, Ben Walsh, thinks the inspection report isn't good enough, he can't grasp that if it can support trains using it it's not going to collapse. Is demanding the FRA come in and independently inspect them. The WSYR TV report ended implying Walsh thought he had some say in whether or not trains could use the bridge, implied it hasn't been used since the side panels fell off. I laughed out loud. Still nobody has a clue that the IDA owns it.

I'm surprised no one has any info on whether or not they're still running trains through. I presume nothing's detoured by way of Utica or it would have had a parade chasing it taking pictures.
  by siliconwafer
The Post Standard in Syracuse reported that all of the bridge's side panels are being removed. The concern is that the side panels keep the ballast on the bridge, and without them, the ballast will be falling onto whatever is below - sidewalks, roads, cars, pedestrians, etc., - and the city wants to make sure that whatever replaces those side panels is good enough to ensure the safety of people below. The bridges are just outside of Armory Square, an area heavily trafficked by cars and pedestrians.

It was also reported that while this work is on-going, no trains are using the bridge.
  by lvrr325
it appears the replacement is regular concrete jersey barriers at the edges of the deck, the same type used in highway construction zones. If anything hits those hard enough to knock one over you have a lot more to worry about than some small rocks falling off it.

Latest report on WSYR-9 is NYS&W is not giving Walsh any detailed inspection reports and rail traffic has resumed. So where did it go the last few days?

They showed pictures of the fallen side panels again and metal attachment tabs were visible on them. I missed that in earlier reports.
LVRR and Everyone:

I have been following this news story after finding this topic and after seeing the collapse video on
two news programs in my area: News 12 Long Island and WCBS-2 News...

The original topic title made me think that there was actually a partial bridge collapse likely under
the weight of a passing train - that was before I saw the video and read the CNY news story...

The better term for the bridge components that failed are guardwalls - the term "panels" makes me
think of something less sturdy then the sections that fell off this overpass which look quite thick.

Any idea how old this former DL&W viaduct is - is it marked with any date(s) in any manner?

Has there been more findings on what caused the guardwalls on this bridge to fail? Is it sheer old
age or is there a possibility of outside corrosives causing the deterioration that led to this problem?

Any idea how the track is laid on top of this bridge? Being interested in old rail infrastructure there
are two ways that track are placed on these structures: 1-onto a level of flat ballast or 2-track laid
directly on the concrete floor with in both cases more ballast added as necessary.

From the photographs it may be easy - depending on just how much ballast is on the bridge - to
place "Jerseywalls" or curbs on either side as needed or perhaps leveling off and removing extra
ballast with a spreader as example to help keep loose rock from falling off this bridge...Good idea
to remove or replace as many of these guardwalls as possible depending on their conditions...

Thankfully damage - other then the mentioned traffic light - was minimal and best yet no one got
hurt - but with the busy Downtown Syracuse location some are apprehensive - and rightfully so...
Hopefully nothing further happens and the renewed guardwalls are all that is needed here...