• Toms River Industrial Track!

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

Moderator: David

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  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB They were supposed to put a solar farm on the property several months back. Guess they haven’t built it yet.
  by R&DB
 
So will the construction materials and panels be delivered by rail?
  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB Likely not. Unless the panels are insanely heavy. If so, moving them by rail is the only economical option.

Conrail North Jersey considers customers to be profitable if they move 8 cars a week, so they could open the TRIT for that if they wanted to. Though I’d prefer Seashore Lines to do it as they are more likely to keep the line running for the long term than Conrail.

Edit: Depending on the size of the panels, they could theoretically fit a huge shipment of them in one boxcar.

Panels aren’t all that heavy, but if they can be stacked on top of each other during shipping then they could bring a hell of a lot of them in a Plate E boxcar. (Biggest boxcar that can come down the Coast Line) MUCH more than what they can fit in a 53 foot semi trailer...
  by GSC
 
Probably one of the last shipments to Builder's General on the TRIT were four 2' x 4' x 80' laminated wood bridge beams around 1980 or so. They were shipped in for a bridge in the new park under construction just down Route 37. I was working for a heavy hauling trucking firm and I took those beams to the bridge site.

As far as a commuter line based in Toms River, Ciba would make for a great park & ride and yard. Need a feasibility study for the need for renewed rail service? Sit by the Parkway and Route 37 any rush hour or summer Friday evenings. That'll prove it, and I just saved the State million$ in study costs.
  by R&DB
 
#1562259 by GSC
Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:39 pm
Gary was that Winding River Park or Joshua Huddy Park?
  by R&DB
 
Re: Toms River Industrial Track!
#1561919 by Bracdude181
Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:43 pm
@R&DB Likely not. Unless the panels are insanely heavy. If so, moving them by rail is the only economical option.
The WOBM article stated 116 or 117 acres of solar farm. That's a lot of panels. Since almost nobody in the USA makes them in any quantity they will probably ship by rail from a west coast port. Rail makes sense. Let's see, 116 x 43560 sq. ft / acre equals 5,052,960 square feet! That's almost 1/5 of a sq. mile. I don't see a less expensive way than rail. The only problem I see is the condition of the Southern Secondary and the TRIT and how much Conrail is gonna want to repair them. Track, missing switches, RoW, ballast, signals, etc. What it all comes down to is Conrail's price. And don't forget all the structures to hold the panels, the wiring, conduit, transformers, electrical switch gear, structures for the business. That's a lot of stuff that needs to be gotten to the site. Conrail should be able to turn a profit even after fixing the lines. If they just rebuilt to Class 1 from Red Bank to Toms River, they could halve their labor costs to serve the lines. Thinking forward, they will have to re-open to Lakehurst anyway for Clayton if that operation starts up. Builders and Amerigas might even begin rail service. (By the way, your assumption the NJT won't allow Flammables on the CoastLine is probably wrong, as they have been hauling alcohol to Bel-Ray)
So it will be fun to see what developes..
  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB Conrail in North Jersey has a policy regarding track building for customers. If a new customer intends to get 8 cars a week then Conrail considers that profitable and covers at least part of the total cost for a new rail siding. If the customer will get less than 8 cars weekly, then the customer has to pay out of pocket completely by themselves. This can be an expensive endeavor for some, and honestly, Conrail charges rip-off prices to put a siding in. When they do, they sometimes use old beat up rail and used ties lol.

To be honest I would MUCH rather see Seashore Lines operate the TRIT, as they will be more likely to expand and keep running in the long term than Conrail.

The TRIT is not in terrible condition, but some spots definitely need work. The hard part will be the bridge in Lakehurst and fixing the railroad crossings, some of which have been vandalized and damaged. I’d say it would take at least 5 million to reopen the line.
  by R&DB
 
#1562278 by Bracdude181
Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:19 pm
I assume you are talking about the Union Branch bridge. Another one is the Toms River bridge near Whitesville Rd. They obviously need inspection, but may not need replacement. Neither has seen a train since 2010. The 3 bridges north of Rte-70 were repaired two years ago. I'm more concerned with crossing protection, the condition of the entire line RR west of Red Bank and the missing turnout in Lakehurst.
I really believe if Conrail were to rebuild to Class 2 (25mph freight) (and I know I wrote Class 1 in my last post),they would be able to serve the entire line at a lower labor cost. Down the road, I agree NJSL would probably be a better choice of operator for the TRIT along with Clayton's track, but if Conrail spends money on the Secondary and TRIT, they will want to earn a profit. I think the entire line from Red Bank to the BASF site can be upgraded to Class 2 for about $10M. (The latest RR construction costs I have are from 2017, but shouldn't be significantly higher today.)
i have no idea how much Conrail would make hauling 116 acres of solar panels from Oak Island to BASF, but the time savings they could achieve from an upgrade would save a ton of money. And not from just the BASF move, but the regular moves to Woodhaven, Extech, Bel-Ray and the future sand trains. If they were to pick up Builders General and Amerigas, the payback would be even quicker. Don't forget that if Clayton needs to move sand by rail, Conrail will have to interchange in Lakehurst.
And yes I hope someone at Conrail is reading this!
  by R&DB
 
Cost estimate to upgrade the Southern Secondary and the TRIT:
1 > Replace every 4th tie and re-ballast @ $275,000 per mile x 33 miles = $9,075,000
2 > Missing switch : take the turnout from the old Dinaso siding in Lakewood. Estimate $100,000 to move.
3 > Crossing protection for crossings RR west of Cross St. except Lakehurst (Already being done.)
9 crossings @ $30,000 each = $270,000
4 > Engineering and management $300,000

TOTAL: $9,745.000 or approx. $10,000,000.
  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB 10 million for fixing that much track isn’t all that bad. I thought the price would be considerably higher. Didn’t know a new crossing could be put in for 30,000 dollars. It hit was $1,000,000 per crossing.

Conrail obviously will fix Lakehurst to Lakewood at some point but I doubt they’d fix the TRIT unfortunately, unless transporting the panels would make them a large amount money, how much they’d make doing that is beyond me. From what I’ve seen, Conrail North Jersey prefers to make money just by ferrying cars to and fro between short lines and Conrail yards. Not sure why this is the case.

Just on fixing the entire Southern, I think getting Farmingdale to Freehold open should be step one. The freight restrictions from South Amboy to Red Bank have got to go before any major work can be justified, as expanding and getting customers is very difficult with the restrictions in place.

Step two should be getting modern day cars with a gross weight of 286,000 pounds down here. Right now they can’t bring anything over 263,000 pounds, which alienates customers who deal with lots of heavy materials like scrap metal and certain construction materials. Plate F cars should also be considered, but cars that tall can’t come down the Coast Line and Conrail isn’t willing to send cars to Browns via Monmouth Junction at the moment. The new Raritan River Bridge will at least solve the weight problems.

Conrail should also consider replacing the rails in some spots. Most of the line has 100 pound rails in place. It can take the strain of 286k cars at 25 mph, but only barely, and some spots have 80 pound rail which can’t handle the weight of modern cars. These spots need new rail ASAP.

The bridge in Lakehurst for the TRIT needs replacement before service. I heard some idiot tried to light it on fire once. The bridges north of Route 70 were repaired and repairs were at least sufficient for safe operation, but the bridge under Route 70 was not repaired correctly. Conrail only rebuilt the deck and didn’t touch anything else.
  by R&DB
 
Didn’t know a new crossing could be put in for 30,000 dollars. It hit was $1,000,000 per crossing.
https://compassinternational.net/railro ... enchmarks/

I took the high cost and tacked on $8000. Also figured not all of them are horrible and may not need everything.

As far as the track repairs, if you remember last Summers' work on Clayton's line that replaced about a fourth of the ties and added some ballast, it cost $110,000 for the entire stretch from Union Ave. to Woodmansie. I don't think it's FRA Class 2, probably 1. This was/is public information as there was a state grant. The bridge repairs the year before were also State grant money. The deal with grants is they expire if you don't use them in a specified time period.

Costs also depend on who does the work. Contractor such as Railroad Construction Company are usually less expensive than the Class 1 RRs track crews.
  by Bracdude181
 
&R&DB Thanks for the info. The situation is diffident for each crossing. Some have been removed, others have been vandalized, others are in good shape despite a lack of use. (Ridgeway Blvd in Manchester) Some of them definitely need gates though. Mainly Union Ave, Whitesville Rd, Cross Street, and much of the TRIT needs gated crossings.

After seeing my quoted post I might have to fix the autocorrect settings in this phone. I meant to type “I thought” not “it hit” lol.
  by R&DB
 
After seeing my quoted post I might have to fix the autocorrect settings in this phone. I meant to type “I thought” not “it hit” lol.
LOL! Stop using the phone and use a PC. Works so much better for this forum. I had some similar problems a few years ago.
  by GSC
 
R&DB wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:10 pm
#1562259 by GSC
Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:39 pm
Gary was that Winding River Park or Joshua Huddy Park?
I don't remember what the park was named. Turning right (east) onto 37 from BG, the park was all of two miles down the road on the left. The park and Rt 37 in front of it were under construction. With a little help from a police escort, I managed to swing those long pieces of lumber onto the skinny dirt entrance road to the park. I hauled all four beams at once, only 40,000 total weight. A crane was waiting and the beams were offloaded and placed right away. Made some nice money that day. My tractor, company's trailer, my take was $400 for about two hours of work.
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