• Portal draw: how do boats get it opened?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey

Moderator: David

  by Jersey_Mike
 
Im pretty sure thats how it works at Portal - the tender is contacted, Sect A dispatcher gives the block and "unlocks" the bridge, the tender actually opens nad closes it, then check it to see if its lined and locked, then gives control back to the dispatcher, and he "'locks" the bridge back up and pulls up the signals for the now couple of trains sitting waiting there.
PORTAL is an Amtrak bridge and not NJTRO so what is said about NJT bridges does not apply to PORTAL.
While NJT does have some unattened bridges, they are not remote.
You are probably correct about the unattended bridges, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the other NJT bridges have been remoted. That's just the type of crap they would love to pull. I know a guy in NJT Bus whose mother works in Terminal Tower and he told me there were a number of tenders in there with CCTV monitoring of the various bridges that require frequent openings. It would be heartening if this proves to be incorrect.

Hey, does anybody know that if before service was scrapped DB was an interlocking station as well as a movable bridge? Heh, also because the bridge controls are on the swing span they had to get the tender off with a boat the last time it was opened for good.

  by Ken W2KB
 
All the details about all movable (and many fixed) bridges are a public record and available from the Coast Guard. No secrets since anyone with a boat needs to know.

  by Jtgshu
 
Jersey_Mike wrote:
Im pretty sure thats how it works at Portal - the tender is contacted, Sect A dispatcher gives the block and "unlocks" the bridge, the tender actually opens nad closes it, then check it to see if its lined and locked, then gives control back to the dispatcher, and he "'locks" the bridge back up and pulls up the signals for the now couple of trains sitting waiting there.
PORTAL is an Amtrak bridge and not NJTRO so what is said about NJT bridges does not apply to PORTAL.
True, but the title of the entire thread is "Portal draw: how do boats get it opened?" :wink:

I remember there always being a car parked all the way down the access road that runs from Portal to DB by that little tower back there on the Boonton Line, but now that its OOS, the car is no longer there, I do remember either reading or being told, that the tender did have to be removed by boat the last time the bridge was opened and left in the open position. But in its last weeks of service - not passegner, but freight, the tender would go out to the bridge by boat, and close it (it was left open by NS) and close it i think it was on Thursday afternoons to allow an NS or NJT equipment move and it would be manned for a few hours, then opened back up, and the tender would climb onto the boat and head back for shore until the following Thursday.

As a clarification, any moveable bridge is an interlocking, but as you mentioned, might not be an interlocking station. I guess DB and most NJT drawbridges are technically both, because the moveable bridge might be controlled form that location, by actually being opened and closed, but the dispatcher gives control of the moveable bridge to the tender, only when he deems it safe to do so. So its not like the tender can suddenly decide to take control of the bridge and open it up at will, he must get permission of the dispatcher to do so. So I would say the dispater controls the interlocking, while the tender controls the actual moveable bridge. But Brielle is definately an interlocking station, and the brielle operator controls the railroad and the bridge.

*edit* I looked in an old SI book, from 2002, and DB Jct was indeed an interlocking station

MP 4.3 DB JCT (INT, IS, Moveable Bridge, Newark Ind Trk)

  by Jersey_Mike
 
I looked in an old SI book, from 2002, and DB Jct was indeed an interlocking station
Isn't it still technically an interlocking station...just one that's temporarily (in the SEPTA sense of the word) OOS?

  by Sirsonic
 
Technically, since the signals at DB have not been retired, DB is still an interlocking, and an interlocking station, as it was in NJT days. Also, while speaking tecnically, the interlocking and interlocking station is DB Jct.

I do know for a fact that HX, Upper Hack, Lower Hack, Newark Draw, and Lyndhurst Draw are all manned bridges, in a sense. The operator for one bridge may have to drive to another to operate it in addition to the bridge to which he is assigned.

Not every manned bridge is an interlocking station. An interlocking station is a control station located at an interlocking where that interlocking is controlled from, more commonly known as a tower. An interlocking station may be open full or part time, and may also remotely control other interlockings. If, however, a bridge operator does not have control over any associated switches and signals, it is not an interlocking station.

Finally, not every moveable bridge is part of an interlocking. Lyndhurst draw is no longer part of an interlocking, and has had its associated signals and derails removed. It is still, however, a moveable bridge, and may be required to open for marine traffic. The mitre rails have been removed, however, so the rail would have to be unbolted to allow the bridge to swing open.

  by Jersey_Mike
 
Finally, not every moveable bridge is part of an interlocking. Lyndhurst draw is no longer part of an interlocking, and has had its associated signals and derails removed. It is still, however, a moveable bridge, and may be required to open for marine traffic. The mitre rails have been removed, however, so the rail would have to be unbolted to allow the bridge to swing open.
The Amtrak bridge at Perryville is the same way. However the Bush river draw is still within interlocking limits.

  by Jtgshu
 
Sirsonic wrote:Finally, not every moveable bridge is part of an interlocking. Lyndhurst draw is no longer part of an interlocking, and has had its associated signals and derails removed. It is still, however, a moveable bridge, and may be required to open for marine traffic. The mitre rails have been removed, however, so the rail would have to be unbolted to allow the bridge to swing open.
Wow, learn something new every day!! So I guess that the only way for the bridge to be opened, if not part of an interlocking, would be via a Form D or Bulletin order, stating the tracks being out of service and obstructed??? I would also assume that a MOW foreman would be incharge of that track and bridge at that point in time? (for example MW30)

  by 7 Train
 
I do know for a fact that HX, Upper Hack, Lower Hack, Newark Draw, and Lyndhurst Draw are all manned bridges, in a sense. The operator for one bridge may have to drive to another to operate it in addition to the bridge to which he is assigned
The Upper Hack tender also mans the HX post. I do not know if Lyndhurst swing is still manned.

  by snavely
 
The Rahway River bridge on the Chemical Coast line is remotely operated and I believe the Paulsboro bridge in South Jersey recently got the ok to go remote. To get approval from the Coast Guard to operate remotely the bridge must be equipped with TV cameras giving the dispatcher (or whoever) a clear view of the channel on both sides. When the bridge is going to close, a pre-recorded announcement to that effect is made from a transmitter on the bridge on VHF channel 13 followed by another such announcement immediately before closing. The standard 5 short blast horn signal is also sounded from the bridge at that time. Bridges out west (e.g. Columbia River) are also equipped with flashing red lights that activate as they close to warn marine traffic, don't know if the ones here have those. When the bridge opens, it simply sounds the regulation one long-one short horn blasts.

  by Lackawanna484
 
snavely wrote:The Rahway River bridge on the Chemical Coast line is remotely operated and I believe the Paulsboro bridge in South Jersey recently got the ok to go remote. To get approval from the Coast Guard to operate remotely the bridge must be equipped with TV cameras giving the dispatcher (or whoever) a clear view of the channel on both sides. When the bridge is going to close, a pre-recorded announcement to that effect is made from a transmitter on the bridge on VHF channel 13 followed by another such announcement immediately before closing. The standard 5 short blast horn signal is also sounded from the bridge at that time. Bridges out west (e.g. Columbia River) are also equipped with flashing red lights that activate as they close to warn marine traffic, don't know if the ones here have those. When the bridge opens, it simply sounds the regulation one long-one short horn blasts.
-------

That's exactly the process used by the Florida East Coast Railway at Stuart FL. It occurs about five minutes before the train arrives. Since the area just north of the bridge has the track crossing a busy highway and downtown area at 5 mph, you get plenty of notice.

There's a clanging bell which continues for the entire time the bridge is down, as I recall.

  by 7 Train
 
This page has a listing of all known movable railroad bridges in NJ.

  by timz
 
That site says the M&E main line bridge over the Passaic at Newark is manned? Is that right?

  by Jersey_Mike
 
I believe the Paulsboro bridge in South Jersey recently got the ok to go remote.
Isn't that bridge a manually powered swing span? If so how can they remote it? Are the other two MB's on the line operated by the train crews?
That site says the M&E main line bridge over the Passaic at Newark is manned? Is that right?
There's a lot of bogus info on that list. Pavonia bridge is welded shut and Cooper tower closed ages ago. I have no clue what the Burlington Draw is either.

Hey, does anybody know if the Paulsboro and Bridgeport bridges are interlocking stations? Does anybody have pictures of the Paulsboro smashboards when they were still in service?
  by Ken W2KB
 
Here's the latest:



Rules and Regulations

Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Hackensack River, NJ

731 words
23 November 2004
Federal Register
68079
Vol. 69, No. 225


SUMMARY: The Commander, First Coast Guard District, has issued a temporary deviation from the drawbridge operation regulations to test an alternate drawbridge operation regulation for the AMTRAK Portal Bridge, mile 5.0, across the Hackensack River at Little Snake Hill, New Jersey. Under this temporary 90-day deviation the two time periods in the morning and afternoon, Monday through Friday, when the bridge may remain closed to vessel traffic, will be expanded. The purpose of this temporary deviation is to test an alternate drawbridge operation schedule for 90 days and solicit comment from the public.

DATES: This deviation is effective from December 13, 2004 through March 12, 2005. Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before April 12, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may mail comments to Commander (obr), First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, One South Street, Battery Park Building, New York, New York, 10004, or deliver them to the same address between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except, Federal holidays. The telephone number is (212) 668-7165. The First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at the First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments or related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-04-144), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit all comments and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying. If you would like to know if they reached us, please enclose a stamped, self- addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. We may change this rule in view of them.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joe Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, at (212) 668-7165.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The AMTRAK Portal Bridge has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 23 feet at mean high water and 28 feet at mean low water. The existing drawbridge operation regulations are listed at 33 CFR [Section] 117.723(c).

The bridge owner, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) requested a temporary deviation from the drawbridge operation regulations to test for a period of 90 days, an alternate drawbridge operation schedule. This temporary 90-day deviation will expand the two time periods in the morning and afternoon Monday through Friday when the bridge may remain closed to vessel traffic.

Rail traffic during the morning and afternoon commuter periods have increased. Additionally, bridge openings during the two commuter time periods have caused delays to rail traffic prompting the bridge owner to request the expansion of the bridge closure periods during week days.

The existing drawbridge operation regulations allow the bridge to remain closed to vessel traffic, Monday through Friday, from 7:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., daily.

Under this 90-day temporary deviation, effective from December 13, 2004 through March 12, 2005, the AMTRAK Portal Bridge need not open for vessel traffic, Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., daily.

Additional bridge openings shall be provided for commercial vessels from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., from 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m., from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m., if at least a one-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.43.

Dated: November 9, 2004.

John L. Grenier,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, First Coast Guard District.

[FR Doc. 04-25966 Filed 11-22-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P

33 CFR Part 117; [CGD01-04-144]

  by Lackawanna484
 
ken - thanks for posting.

These wider windows could create serious issues for the few remaining barge operators on that section of the river. That's prob why they have inserted the exception for commercial operators (only) with advanced reservations

Since tides in this area vary daily, and high tides are typically about 12 hours apart, a barge operator could be shut out for days


paul