• CR on the Southern Secondary

  • 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 CharlieL
 
Well, it could also be one of 2 things: anticipation of sand trains for portal bridge and/or Raritan river bridge; OR the budget games played in government agencies and large businesses: If you don't use all of monies budgeted for this year, then you ain't gettin that much for next year. That last scenario would fit in with the new crossing on the Toms River lead if there are no current plans to use it..
  by CR7876
 
Has there ever been any thought to operating at Transload in South Lakewood. I wonder is such industries in the Lakewood Industrial park ( Aster, Church & Dwight) could get raw materials via rail closer to their plants.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:57 pm @JohnFromJersey I've been waiting for trains to start rolling as well. Why it has taken so long is anyone's guess. The trains that will go through there are meant to bring construction sand to the new Hudson River tunnel once they start building it. They also wanted to take all the dump trucks off the roads in the Manchester area as part of this project I believe.

Our paitience will be rewarded. It might be a while but when the trains start running again it could be the beginning of a big turnaround for Conrail in Central NJ.
Do you think they'll ever reconnect the tracks from Whiting back down to Winslow Junction? Maybe they could take more trains off the Northeastern Corridor and run them on the Southern, and route them to other lines like the Coast Line or Freehold Industrial track and whatever lines spur off of those.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
CR7876 wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:23 am Has there ever been any thought to operating at Transload in South Lakewood. I wonder is such industries in the Lakewood Industrial park ( Aster, Church & Dwight) could get raw materials via rail closer to their plants.
In the Toms River Industrial Track thread, someone suggested that for the former Ciba-Geigy plant.

Either or, I'm not sure if the amount of industry in Central/Southern NJ would justify a transloading plant; the ones I've seen in other parts of NJ/the country are HUGE; I could be wrong on the fact of there being major industry in the Ocean County area.

Either or, not sure if local governments would allow for that to happen, and if they did put in a transloading facility, they would have to do major improvements to the rest of the Southern and/or get the Freehold Industrial Track connection back online.
  by CharlieL
 
I think it would be getting the Freehold industrial reconnected; I can't see NJT allowing much more freight traffic on the NJCL. And getting Freehold industrial reconnected and allowing significant traffic thru the heart of downtown Freehold would be very, very problematic.
  by GSC
 
CharlieL wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:22 am I think it would be getting the Freehold industrial reconnected; I can't see NJT allowing much more freight traffic on the NJCL. And getting Freehold industrial reconnected and allowing significant traffic thru the heart of downtown Freehold would be very, very problematic.
The intersection of Main and Throckmorton is a disaster without adding rail traffic to it. I witnessed so many almost-accidents when a freight went through town heading to Prestone, especially when a tank car was being pushed.
  by CR2721
 
The crossing at Main Street/Throckmorton street in Freehold borough would need to be completely overhauled in order to accommodate more rail traffic through the centre of town. This would require gates at all for openings to the intersection. I would also think a cantalever would be a good option as well due to high traffic there, but that all depends on whether they go through with funding something like that. I would assume it will be a lot cheaper to reactivate the FIT to Farmingdale with a wye than other alternatives. Ask for the Toms River industrial track being reactivated, I don't think that is likely in the near future for what they are trying to do, but it is definitely an option if the economic growth is great enough. With the way finances are New Jersey right now I don't think that's gonna happen for a very very long time. Who knows...
  by CR2721
 
I made my own map (attached) to help better visualize a possible future upgraded CSAO route through Central NJ. My question to those in-the-know on here would be: Is the new Raritan Bridge going to be capable to handle the new loads/Plate F requirements for freight?

If it is, I think extending the clearances to the Amboy Secondary, reactivating the out-of-service section of the Freehold Ind. Track, and making the wye in Farmingdale would be best for this reason: the Turnpike Corridor has endless shipping warehouses who can directly benefit from the Plate F cars right now/today at this moment in time. That means intermodal options for people like Amazon, etc. For the bean counters, that means return on investment potential early on, which might make it easier for them to see the potential in more rail upgrades along the route as time goes on. This would also make NJ Transit happy about less freight to worry about on the NY&LB.

Now, this idea sounds very sexy to us all, but I think we should be real and realize that none of this can happen without some entity (Gov't) throwing Conrail a bone ($$$) to do all this. They would never do this on their own.

This is all a hypothetical (as everything is on here) but there is definitely some meat here to dig into now that the Raritan Bridge project is finally going through. This was never even a possible thought up until a few years ago.
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  by Bracdude181
 
@CR2721 A very nice job with the map there! But just to answer your question on the current route:

Yes, The new Raritan River Bridge would have to be built to take Plate F cars with a gross weight of 286,000 pounds. However, the new bridge would only fix part of the problem.

As it currently stands, there are serveral bridges over the NJCL in Perth Amboy. None are high enough for Plate F. In order for the current route to be completely brought up to standard, those bridges would have to be raised or replaced with new bridges that are high enough. NJ Transit does not care for freight at all and would rather have Conrail not come down whatsoever.

In addition, the current route has limitations on the gross weight of cars between South Amboy and Red Bank as well as strict limitations on what types of cars can come down. (No intermodal, refrigerated boxcars, certain flat cars and tank cars) There's a restriction on what type of freight can come down as well. (No steel coil cars or scrap gondolas between South Amboy and Red Bank)

However, nearly all areas of track south of Sayerville can support Plate F cars. This includes the old Freehold to Farmingdale route and nearly all of the Southern Secondary. Only the Tinton Ave bridge in Eatontown is low enough to not support Plate F.

It is possible to bring Conrails lines in Central NJ up to standard while also getting freight off of the NJCL. I will explain how.

It costs a million dollars to build one mile of railroad track. The abandoned Freehold to Farmingdale route is about 5 miles so 5 million dollars to fix that plus the cost of a wye in farmingdale and repairs to the railroad crossings. (Would likely bring the total cost up near 7 to 10 million)

Bringing the NJCL between South Amboy and Red Bank would mean replacing or strengthening railroad bridges, raising or replacing bridges that go over the NJCL, and raising ALL of the catenary wires to support Plate F clearance. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority estimates this could cost anywhere from 16 to 139 million dollars.

Then there's the current route of OI16 over the Raritan River Bridge which would have to be upgraded. The NJTPA says this could cost 6.9 to 64.9 million to upgrade this stretch.

There's a back way into Sayerville via a connection with the NEC at Monmouth Junction. The Entire NEC between Monmouth Junction and Oak Island supports Plate F cars, but there's a few bridges in New Brunswick that can't support cars weighing 286,000 pounds. The NJTPA Estimates that the bridges can be fixed for as little as 400,000 dollars.

So in short, it would be MUCH cheaper to upgrade the NEC and rebuild Farmingdale to Freehold than to rebuild the current Coast Line route. In addition, Amtrak has much less strenuous freight restrictions. They allow cars and freight that transit has a ban on. This is not only good for Conrail, but good for NJ Seashore Lines in Lakehurst should they decide to expand.

I too feel that the ability to bring down Plate F to the distribution centers in Dayton and Heightstown would be a tremendous idea.

As for Conrail having the money to pull this off: They have the money. They just don't want to spend it. The manager of Conrails North Jersey area is an old guy with the ideology of "Get rid of anything that doesn't make enormous amounts of money" and Sayerville has practically fallen apart with this guy in control. He's too cheap to spend money on almost any sort of improvement.

It may also interest you to know that he was Penn Centrals head of track maintenance...

Freight rail in Central NJ can be so much more and so much better than what it is now, but only if you have someone who cares about doing right.

That's my two cents on it at least.
  by CR2721
 
Thanks! And that was a very articulate run down of it all. Thanks for that too!
  by pdtrains
 
Unfortunately, I know 1st hand, at least in some circumstances, its very difficult to get anything done in NJ because of politics. NJ politics are tribal, and its all about winning, and making money, not improving the state or life for the ppl living there.

Lots of business has been driven out of NJ, cause there was more money for the right ppl (ie, votes) in building condos and mcmansions.

And im not sure why it should cost 5M/mile to rebuild a 20 mph freight line, other than the state has to featherbed to make jobs for the right people.
  by CharlieL
 
Pretty sure he said $1m / mile for a total of $5m. And a few extra mil for a wye and crossing upgrades.

Still have the nightmare of downtown Freehold, tho - -
  by conductorchris
 
$1m per mile is the standard figure
Christopher
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Who's this old guy I hear about in North Jersey screwing things up? Second thread I've seen this guy mentioned.
CharlieL wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:31 am Pretty sure he said $1m / mile for a total of $5m. And a few extra mil for a wye and crossing upgrades.

Still have the nightmare of downtown Freehold, tho - -
If that's such an issue, they should just schedule trains to run at night on weekdays then. They could certainly squeeze in quite a few trains between 9PM and 6AM
pdtrains wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:01 am Unfortunately, I know 1st hand, at least in some circumstances, its very difficult to get anything done in NJ because of politics. NJ politics are tribal, and its all about winning, and making money, not improving the state or life for the ppl living there.

Lots of business has been driven out of NJ, cause there was more money for the right ppl (ie, votes) in building condos and mcmansions.

And im not sure why it should cost 5M/mile to rebuild a 20 mph freight line, other than the state has to featherbed to make jobs for the right people.
This is evident with the Freehold-Middletown connection. Because of all the development in Marlboro and Holmdel, and all the NIMBYs, that derailed the MOM line even more...

Eventually NJ politicians will realize that they can't rely on getting state funds from New Yorkers moving in and hitting the beaches. There's only so many NYers, and only so many months in the summers...
  by Bracdude181
 
Today's SA31 has NS 5286 leading (Operation Lifesaver paint) With CSX 4429 trailing. Couldn't get a car count.
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