• 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

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  by CJPat
 
As we were just musing about the MOM on the other thread; I was saying that although the Farmingdale thru Freehold thru Jamesburg routing for the MOM was identified as the "most preferable" by planners, Jamesburg has been a small, but stiff thorn providing a significant bump in the road or railroad in this instance.

Jamesburg's Nimbyism is founded on:
1. The children, think of the Children being run over by those nasty trains!
2. The trains may block crossings for several minutes that could prevent emergency response vehicles from getting to their destinations quickly. And
3. The noise.

Now we know passenger trains are quick and relatively quiet (any crossing delays could only be due to stopping for passenger pick up). And NJT would be providing significant benefit to the immediate populace. And yet, the local politicians had been pushing to kill the line entirely.

Could you imagine the furor over slow moving, noisy, screeching 60-70 car sand trains coming through Jamesburg? The Nimby's would probably try to rip the tracks up with their own bare hands.

I don't know who the Jamesburg Mayor is now, vs 12 years ago when they last looked at MOM, but I doubt he has gone quietly into that good night along with his self-serving group.
  by Tanker1497
 
"It should also be noted that the lead for the Toms River Industrial Track is being wired up to this new crossing as well, so maybe NJ Seashore Lines intends to park on the abandoned OceanGro siding once the sand trains kick off."

IMHO its highly unlikely to replace at turnout at the cost just to park a couple of engines to wait for train. Its far less costly just to replace a couple of curved track connecting the TRIT back to the main. Which could serve the same waiting spot.
The most likely choice is to reconnect the 1 mile passing siding on CMSL back to NJDOT side after passing under the rt70 bridge. Most likely to the 24 car passing . It was this way back in late 80's making a 48 car siding. This solves lots of issues. On the CMSL just south of Union Ave there is still a bailout switch that allows the CSML engines to get back on the main CSML side. This makes a 48 car runaround onNJDOT side that was taken out after MOM parking lot was built. Gives CSAO a runaround to shove empties up the main to CMSL . Then Pick up the full cars.
Just my two cents
They did re build the trestle for two tracks! "NJDOT side"
  by Bracdude181
 
@JohnFromJersey The trains would indeed be too heavy. The Coast Line has a gross weight limit of 263,000 pounds between South Amboy and Red Bank. The national standard is 286,000. This means more cars will be needed to transport larger sand loads, which means higher shipping costs. Reopening Farmingdale to Freehold would at the very least allow for 286,000 pound cars on the southern. They would have to go down the NEC to bring Plate F though. I have been hearing a lot about Farmingdale to Freehold from my sources, but until construction starts or Conrail files something with the STB, any sort of plan to run that line remains to be seen.

@CJPat That is a good point. However, most towns along Conrail lines in Central NJ have detours available should one or two crossings be blocked. I'm sure Conrail would be willing to work something out with the local towns.

@Tanker1497 I'm still not completely sure as to how that siding will be built. I do know they were considering connecting up the NJSL siding with the Conrail one to make an extremely long siding, (a little over 2 miles!) but we will see what happens. The southernmost part of the NJSL siding is more than long enough for the trains they intend to run, (up to 61 covered hoppers made specifically for sand/cement) and the ability to leave cars parked in between Union Ave and the small bridge about 1000 feet south of there. There's also a crossover that they rebuilt incase they need it

As for the TRIT lead, who knows. I do know that Seashore Lines has been looking into repairing that line. There's a few potential customers on it, and there's huge potential for a midsize transloading terminal on the north side of Route 37. Maybe we'll see something like that in the future.
  by CharlieL
 
If they're gonna revitalize the Freehold industrial to Farmingdale, I think they better hurry. Although some of the adjacent land is protected farmland, enough of it is not to make NIMBY or it's cousin BANANA a real possibility in the not too distant future, with new development. Howell is a prime area for growth.
  by Bracdude181
 
@CharlieL Agreed. A few of my sources tell me that Conrail wants to get started soon. Seeing as how the crossing next to Stavola in Howell now has construction markings both on the road and along the ROW, then maybe it we will be seeing something happen soon. The line can be rebuilt relatively quickly if things go smoothly. Some areas will need a total rebuild, but it's only a few spots where the roadbed has turned to mud. The crossings will also need some work. All of the crossings except for Railroad Ave in Farmingdale need the road surface replaced and underground wiring installed for electric crossing protection, depending on what crossings will receive lights and gates. The bridge near Gold Lumber would need some work and possibly need strengthening to accept freight cars with a gross weight of 286,000 pounds. The ROW goes under one or two bridges in Freehold, but there is enough clearance for Plate F cars.

This next part is optional, but a wye in Farmingdale and rebuilding the siding just south of Marl Rd should be considered. The wye would allow trains to go in either direction without having to move engines to either end of the train, while the siding would allow for MOW trains and equipment to park or for trains to pass each other should the need for it return in the future.
  by Coast Line Railfan
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:06 am @JohnFromJersey The trains would indeed be too heavy. The Coast Line has a gross weight limit of 263,000 pounds between South Amboy and Red Bank. The national standard is 286,000. This means more cars will be needed to transport larger sand loads, which means higher shipping costs. Reopening Farmingdale to Freehold would at the very least allow for 286,000 pound cars on the southern. They would have to go down the NEC to bring Plate F though. I have been hearing a lot about Farmingdale to Freehold from my sources, but until construction starts or Conrail files something with the STB, any sort of plan to run that line remains to be seen.

@CJPat That is a good point. However, most towns along Conrail lines in Central NJ have detours available should one or two crossings be blocked. I'm sure Conrail would be willing to work something out with the local towns.

@Tanker1497 I'm still not completely sure as to how that siding will be built. I do know they were considering connecting up the NJSL siding with the Conrail one to make an extremely long siding, (a little over 2 miles!) but we will see what happens. The southernmost part of the NJSL siding is more than long enough for the trains they intend to run, (up to 61 covered hoppers made specifically for sand/cement) and the ability to leave cars parked in between Union Ave and the small bridge about 1000 feet south of there. There's also a crossover that they rebuilt incase they need it

As for the TRIT lead, who knows. I do know that Seashore Lines has been looking into repairing that line. There's a few potential customers on it, and there's huge potential for a midsize transloading terminal on the north side of Route 37. Maybe we'll see something like that in the future.
Routing cars through MIDWAY Interlocking would be even more of a pain than through RIVER, considering the extra distance, time, and space needed to complete that move that Amtrak very likely would not allow.

As far as Ocean Country sees it, there is only one customer who is still there that can receive rail service, but won't for an expectable reason. Builders' General in Toms River likely gets individual loads that are likely not sent from Freehold. Rebuilding the entire TRIT will take a crap ton of money, and a lot of use-it-or-lose-it grants, (on behalf of the Chesapeake and Delaware, who may not and probably won't want to rebuilt it - bear with me on that one) which are somewhat hard to come by and don't seem to be sufficient enough to do the job. And, without grants, the primary way to make that back would be to charge the customer. Charging the bejesus out of BG to make ends meet would drive them away from rail service since it would already be more expensive than trucks, likely the same reason they quit rail service the first time.
  by Coast Line Railfan
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:15 pm @CharlieL Agreed. A few of my sources tell me that Conrail wants to get started soon. Seeing as how the crossing next to Stavola in Howell now has construction markings both on the road and along the ROW, then maybe it we will be seeing something happen soon. The line can be rebuilt relatively quickly if things go smoothly. Some areas will need a total rebuild, but it's only a few spots where the roadbed has turned to mud. The crossings will also need some work. All of the crossings except for Railroad Ave in Farmingdale need the road surface replaced and underground wiring installed for electric crossing protection, depending on what crossings will receive lights and gates. The bridge near Gold Lumber would need some work and possibly need strengthening to accept freight cars with a gross weight of 286,000 pounds. The ROW goes under one or two bridges in Freehold, but there is enough clearance for Plate F cars.

This next part is optional, but a wye in Farmingdale and rebuilding the siding just south of Marl Rd should be considered. The wye would allow trains to go in either direction without having to move engines to either end of the train, while the siding would allow for MOW trains and equipment to park or for trains to pass each other should the need for it return in the future.
Though nothing is confirmed yet, this is now a good possibility under C&D (still, bear with me). The wye would be optimal, however I don't really see the siding as necessary, this would likely be a multiday operation with one train under the C&D (still bearing lol), thus making the need for the siding redundant. MoW would likely be placed on another available siding that is already in place, rather than one that is need of complete rebuild that won't make any money.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
CJPat wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:54 am As we were just musing about the MOM on the other thread; I was saying that although the Farmingdale thru Freehold thru Jamesburg routing for the MOM was identified as the "most preferable" by planners, Jamesburg has been a small, but stiff thorn providing a significant bump in the road or railroad in this instance.

Jamesburg's Nimbyism is founded on:
1. The children, think of the Children being run over by those nasty trains!
2. The trains may block crossings for several minutes that could prevent emergency response vehicles from getting to their destinations quickly. And
3. The noise.

Now we know passenger trains are quick and relatively quiet (any crossing delays could only be due to stopping for passenger pick up). And NJT would be providing significant benefit to the immediate populace. And yet, the local politicians had been pushing to kill the line entirely.

Could you imagine the furor over slow moving, noisy, screeching 60-70 car sand trains coming through Jamesburg? The Nimby's would probably try to rip the tracks up with their own bare hands.

I don't know who the Jamesburg Mayor is now, vs 12 years ago when they last looked at MOM, but I doubt he has gone quietly into that good night along with his self-serving group.
NIMBYs in Jamesburg wouldn't be able to do anything about an existing freight line having more freight come down it.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Tanker1497 wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:00 am "It should also be noted that the lead for the Toms River Industrial Track is being wired up to this new crossing as well, so maybe NJ Seashore Lines intends to park on the abandoned OceanGro siding once the sand trains kick off."

IMHO its highly unlikely to replace at turnout at the cost just to park a couple of engines to wait for train. Its far less costly just to replace a couple of curved track connecting the TRIT back to the main. Which could serve the same waiting spot.
The most likely choice is to reconnect the 1 mile passing siding on CMSL back to NJDOT side after passing under the rt70 bridge. Most likely to the 24 car passing . It was this way back in late 80's making a 48 car siding. This solves lots of issues. On the CMSL just south of Union Ave there is still a bailout switch that allows the CSML engines to get back on the main CSML side. This makes a 48 car runaround onNJDOT side that was taken out after MOM parking lot was built. Gives CSAO a runaround to shove empties up the main to CMSL . Then Pick up the full cars.
Just my two cents
They did re build the trestle for two tracks! "NJDOT side"
1. Do we have a list of companies on the TRIT that would be interested in rail service? I know Builder's General comes to mind.
2. Not sure about the transloading facility. NJSL would need quite a bit of money (from investors) to do that, as I couldn't see Conrail doing that, much less keeping the TRIT maintained. Also, I feel NIMBYs would go nuts; route 37 would probably become a traffic jam with the crossing there and trucks coming in and out. The garbage transloading thing in Howell was supposed to use rail at one point or another and residents flipped on that.
3. Is the second track on the bridge connected to the long siding you are talking about?
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Coast Line Railfan wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:24 pm Routing cars through MIDWAY Interlocking would be even more of a pain than through RIVER, considering the extra distance, time, and space needed to complete that move that Amtrak very likely would not allow.

As far as Ocean County sees it, there is only one customer who is still there that can receive rail service, but won't for an expectable reason. Builders' General in Toms River likely gets individual loads that are likely not sent from Freehold. Rebuilding the entire TRIT will take a crap ton of money, and a lot of use-it-or-lose-it grants, (on behalf of the Chesapeake and Delaware, who may not and probably won't want to rebuilt it - bear with me on that one) which are somewhat hard to come by and don't seem to be sufficient enough to do the job. And, without grants, the primary way to make that back would be to charge the customer. Charging the bejesus out of BG to make ends meet would drive them away from rail service since it would already be more expensive than trucks, likely the same reason they quit rail service the first time.
Well, as someone mentioned before, the FIT way would be better for Plate F cars to come down. Maybe we could see trains come both from the direction of Freehold and Red Bank, depending on car size and destination. And the TRIT could be a good place for a transloading facility, but in my last comment, I mentioned how it would be slightly problematic.

And I keep hearing about C&D, what is the deal with that? First we have NJSL running half the SOUS, now we have another company wanting to run the other half?
  by pdtrains
 
welll.....speculation is always fun and wishful.

Question...
Is the freehold IT officially abandoned from freehold to farmingdale? I think not. In which case, AFAIK, it can be repaired and brought back into operating condition with having to ask any permission from the towns it goes thru.
Likewise, Jamesburg can complain all they want about trains, but they have no standing in regulating trains moving on existing track. They could sue to have an overcrossing or undercrossing built, but thats an uphill battle. As for MOM, the town can have standing in whether or not a new station or new tracks are built, but I dont think they have any say in use of existing tracks.

Here in CA (san Jose), the UP started using a lightly used "secondary track" much more often last year, and in the middle of the night. Residents screamed like crazy about horns in the middle of the night, etc, but had no effect on the running of the trains. Town was told they could pay for a quiet zone, but that would cost in the millions, as all grade crossings need 4 way gates and some other stuff for quiet zone to be approved.

Example #2...when the light rail line was being built from Baltimore to Cockeysville, MD, one of the towns just outside the baltimore beltway, objected strenuously. All the usual BS. But the ROW was the Cockeysville Sec, an existing rail line, so the row was improved for light rail thru the town, and they just didnt include building a station there.
Several years later, the town screamed that they wanted a station on the light rail line. Can u believe. ? I would told them to go take a leap. (OK, well what I would have said wouldnt have been that clean)

Im just sayin.
  by RailsEast
 
As a point of information, Red Bank Recycling in Red Bank, within a few hundred feet of the northern terminus of the Southern Secondary, wanted a rail siding into their property to ship scrap metal out (early 2000's). Much opposition from the local community about the increased truck traffic into RBR put those plans to an end (even after panel track was laid beside their plant).
It's not always about the businesses trackside and the railroad, but what the locals (and local government) will agree to....
  by pdtrains
 
In the recycling case, since a new siding was to be built, that would require a permit from the city, and the city can deny the permit. Of course, the company can appeal the ruling, or sue if they feel they denial was handed down illegally, but thats an uphill battle. If the case was built that it would "increase truck traffic", then they were probably also applying to build a scrap transfer station, which is always a huge political football.
From experience, i can tell u that the only way to get some of these things approved is by schmoozing the politicos, which usually means contributing to their campaigns, at the very least.
A friend of mine used to be a freeholder in NJ, and he had free executive suite tickets to Giants games every year he was in office. Im sure the state of NJ wasnt paying for them. It was all so totally illegal.

As for building...I cant build a shed over 120 sq ft on my 5 acre property without a permit, the approvl of which is hardly a formality. It involves blueprints, archetectural drawings, and several trips to city hall and attending meetings....Or contracting with a building company which is a "friend of the city", in which case they can magically get that all done for me.
  by Bracdude181
 
To answer a few questions.

At this point, only NJ Seashore Lines has shown interest in the TRIT. Conrail no longer cares for this line and wants nothing to do with it. The rumors about other railroads being interested in the Southern and other Conrail lines comes from recent attempts by North Jersey management to sell off the Southern and the Freehold industrial. No attempts at sale have been successful. A takeover by another railroad has not been confirmed at this time and is very unlikely to happen.

I'm pretty sure Red Bank Recycling couldn't get cars because NJ Transits freight restrictions, but I could be wrong. The claim that the rail siding there would increase truck traffic confuses me. How would having all outbound scrap loads going out by rail increase truck traffic? They already get a lot of trucks in there as it is so I really don't see why the siding would somehow make that problem worse.

An intersection for trucks going into and out of the old Ciba Geicy plant already exists. Once the trucks are on 37, traffic will be fine provided the trucks stay right as much as possible, which most trucks on 37 do fortunately.

The crossing would only be for trains going into and out of the terminal, provided those trains stay moving at track speed (10 to 15 mph if the tracks are rebuilt properly) then traffic would probably only be held up for a few minutes. I don't expect very long trains going through there anyways. Worst case a train breaks down and drivers have to detour down Mule Road and take the back way to either Bananier Dr or St Catherine Blvd.
  by Coast Line Railfan
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:01 pm To answer a few questions.

At this point, only NJ Seashore Lines has shown interest in the TRIT. Conrail no longer cares for this line and wants nothing to do with it. The rumors about other railroads being interested in the Southern and other Conrail lines comes from recent attempts by North Jersey management to sell off the Southern and the Freehold industrial. No attempts at sale have been successful. A takeover by another railroad has not been confirmed at this time and is very unlikely to happen.

I'm pretty sure Red Bank Recycling couldn't get cars because NJ Transits freight restrictions, but I could be wrong. The claim that the rail siding there would increase truck traffic confuses me. How would having all outbound scrap loads going out by rail increase truck traffic? They already get a lot of trucks in there as it is so I really don't see why the siding would somehow make that problem worse.

An intersection for trucks going into and out of the old Ciba Geicy plant already exists. Once the trucks are on 37, traffic will be fine provided the trucks stay right as much as possible, which most trucks on 37 do fortunately.

The crossing would only be for trains going into and out of the terminal, provided those trains stay moving at track speed (10 to 15 mph if the tracks are rebuilt properly) then traffic would probably only be held up for a few minutes. I don't expect very long trains going through there anyways. Worst case a train breaks down and drivers have to detour down Mule Road and take the back way to either Bananier Dr or St Catherine Blvd.
I am not allowed to release details, but all I can say is that it is extremely likely that NJSL won't be taking over the Southern and FIT, and another contender will. As for RBR, as I've always said before, the weight restrictions are still not an issue. Brick has been able to receive the same cars, and the OI-16/JR5 brings down at least 5 to 10 *loaded* scrap gondolas per trip, over the Raritan River Bridge, one of the supposed hindrances according to your statistics.

Even if the TRIT to BG was put back into the service, BG started taking cars again, and the town was ok with it, there would only be headroom for 2 cars, 3 would be pushing it. As I've referenced before, that's not much payload. Lumber is not that much of a money maker, and two cars maybe twice a week won't justify rehabilitating the line for a while.
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