• Things dont look good for the Colebrookdale Spur

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by jrevans
griffs20soccer wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 8:18 am The two main items were:
1) The completion of a transloading yard in Boyertown which should be completed this year.
2) The extending of the line 2 miles north to New Berlinville to service 2 on line costumers and a new transload facility. This is supposed to start in 2024.

I believe one of the new customers is Boyertown Foundry. This is exciting news. That's 2 miles of track that has been mostly removed. There is some track although in very poor condition about a 1/2 mile to near the foundry the rest of the 2 miles will have to be relayed.

Does any one have any additional information on these projects? Or better yet any pictures of the work currently underway. This is very exciting. You don't hear of railroad tracks being extended, just torn up. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Maybe we should change this topic to "Things look good for the Colebrookdale Railroad". I hope the link works.
I've been following the progress pretty closely online, but haven't been down to physically see what construction activity, if any has been done. If you do a web search for "berks county redevelopment authority" and look at the real estate transfer records (mainly in the Reading Eagle newspaper) you can see all of the land transactions that were done for the railroad. I take those addresses and look at the maps (normal google maps and the berks county website) to see where they are in relation to the railroad. Pretty impressive to see the amount of properties acquired for this expansion project. Mr. Guest has to be the best grant writer that I've ever come across. With his law degree and railroad enthusiasm, he's combining his skills to get the funds and organization necessary to advance these projects.

I hope they really can secure some freight customers to keep the line viable, and my dream would be for them to get rail all the way back to service the Martin Stone quarry in Bechtelsville.
  by griffs20soccer
Thanks Jim. If you trace the old right of way on Google maps and go 2 miles from the current end of track, it takes you right to the quarry. I know there was interest by the quarry many years ago but Walmart didn't play nice and killed it. In that interview it was stated that extension was for 2 on line customers and a new transload yard. I'm pretty sure the foundry is one, not sure who the second is. I'm originally from the area, but now live in upstate NY. I'll post anything I find on future developments.
  by SemperFidelis
I used to work for a company that hauled out of Martin Stone Quarry. The owner certainly wants rail service but it is a non-starter thanks to the "good" folks at Walmart.
  by griffs20soccer
We'll have to follow developments on this new 2 mile extension. I thought any plans to go through that intersection at Walmart would be met with stiff opposition, like before. I may be totally out to lunch, maybe the 2 miles would include yard track at the transload facilities and sidings for the 2 on line costumers, but if you follow the old right away, a 2 mile extension takes you to the quarry. You are more than likely correct, Walmart will never allow it and the 2 miles include the yard track and sidings. What I don't understand is why we let Walmart dictate whether or not it can be built. Don't the citizens have a say. Correct me if I'm wrong wouldn't the quarry getting rail service help not only the quarry but the community in general, like less wear and tear on the roads and maybe jobs. Just thinking out loud.
  by SemperFidelis
Yeah, Wallyworld gets away with pretty much whatever they want in this country. I was injured on the job there when working as a Loss Prevention Officer and I had to take them to court to get my medical bills paid. And don't even think about unionizing in order to get treated well.

In the grand scheme of things blocking a railroad spur is low on the list of their sins.
  by griffs20soccer

Video of a coke train. The video mentions the coke is transloaded into trucks for delivery. Has anyone seen the new trans load yard? Are they working on extending the line toward the Boyertown foundry? There is very little information on either of the facebook sites.
  by jrevans
griffs20soccer wrote: Mon Apr 24, 2023 6:20 am https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4VSnujsm5E

Video of a coke train. The video mentions the coke is transloaded into trucks for delivery. Has anyone seen the new trans load yard? Are they working on extending the line toward the Boyertown foundry? There is very little information on either of the facebook sites.
I saw the coke transload facility a few weeks ago on the way home from church. It's off of Warwick street and seems to feature a siding with a drop bin, and there's a conveyor under the tracks to facilitate transfer to a truck.

Here's a lame picture that I took from the public road, and you can see the unloading area and conveyor.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by griffs20soccer
Any word on the laying of the 2 miles of additional track mention in an interview? Back in December there were pictures on their Facebook site of brush cleaning on part of the line and reference made there would be exciting news in 2023.
  by jrevans
I almost missed this one for the Department of Transportation for the Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Program:

https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra.dot ... s_PDFa.pdf
Pennsylvania – Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks Project to Upgrade and Refurbish At-Grade
Crossings and Bridges (Up To $16,063,596)
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks
The proposed project will support project development, final design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction for
improvements at 10 crossings. Improvements will eliminate one at-grade crossing, improve several other
unprotected at-grade crossings, and eliminate severe clearance and sight-line issues by raising three bridges at three
grade-separated crossings. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks, which owns the rail right-of-way,
will contribute a 20 percent non-Federal match. This project qualifies for the statutory set-aside for projects in
Rural Areas.
So they are raising three bridges and closing a grade crossing? I'd like to see the details on this plan, especially if it involves the expansion Northward of the line.

And a sensationalized article on WFMZ which quickly mentions the grant (and nonsense about school kids crawling under stopped trains....):
https://www.wfmz.com/news/area/berks/be ... 77375.html

And here's another article that specifically says it's for the railroad line between Pottstown and Boyertown.
https://berksweekly.com/traffic-transit ... -upgrades/

The grant writing skills of Mr. Guest never ceases to amaze me. I am both impressed and ashamed at the amount of government money they get.
  by Ken W2KB
I have been a passenger several times on the line, on public train and ukelele playing specials chartered by the Boyertown Funky Frets Music Store. With respect to Walmart, if Google Maps is correct, it appears that Walmart owns a quarter mile of former right of way at its store location and the land is used as a primary access road for store deliveries and customers. Hence, Walmart's business would be substantially adversely impacted and thus would not sell the property for rail restoration. While the property likely could be reacquired by eminent domain, the cost of doing so would be extremely costly and cast serious doubt upon the economics and public benefit of the extension. Google Maps showing property lines: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Fred+ ... ?entry=ttu
  by scratchyX1
I fail to understand why the tracks couldn't be laid down in the road, and have street running after hours.
I think even if they have to have the section closed, while the train is using it, it wouldn't be that much of an inconvenience to walmart. There is another way to get into their lot, using different roads.
  by nomis
Based on the county GIS maps, it seems that retaining wall between the access road and the Quigley dealership may have been in the center of the ROW. Making any land immensely easier on the pair of dealerships to reactivate a ROW in that area.
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