• Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by erie2521
 
The Bergen Tunnel is just out of Jersey City. It was originally double track. On top of it is the Bergen Archways, an open cut with four tracks. This was part of the Erie main line. I don't know how much of this is still in operation. When the archways were built, they left in rock arches every now and then to support highways. If they are still there, they might be too low for double stacks. Ted
  by n01jd1
 
poppyl wrote:I don't want to sound like a pollyanna, but bringing back the east end of the Tier seems to me to be very consistent with the NS "corridor" strategy being implemented across the company.

Poppyl
If anyone thinks that NS is going to build a new Portageville Viaduct or bring back freight on the Tier between Bingamton and New Jersey, then you are very much a pollyanna. This whole power point presentation is nothing more than a cheap fluff piece put out by the NS in order to get some goodwill from NY state politicians who now think that there is some future for the Tier and keeping those jobs and taxes. If Portageville becomes unusable, they will go to the WNYP routing and thats it. As for the Tier between Binghamton and Port Jervis, The only reason thats not a bike path is because the NYSW (via the CNYK) is leasing it and NS doesnt have to pay to maintain it anymore and they dont want anyone else, like the CP getting their hands on it. NS doesnt even have crews qualified west of Middletown anymore. Getting new crews to run road freights is difficult at best because its under the Nickle Plate agreement and there arent NKP enough people based out of NJ as there is only the yard work in Croxton and locals over the former EL. Most of those guys, having worked cushy jobs all their career will not want to suddenly be working road jobs and being away form home all the time and you cannot pull people from the NSR side who would otherwise be experienced and be able to immediately qualify the route. So in order to get crews, you will have to hire them off the street which NS DOES NOT want to do if its an any way increases the ranks of NKP people in New Jersey. Then you have to deal with NJTransit east of Port Jervis. They DONT want freight on their railroad and will do anything including delaying trains to making sure crews dont get qualified to ensure freights stay off their railroad. The fact of the matter is NS gave up on the Tier east of Binghamton long ago. Thats why there arent any trains on it and no crews qualified west of Middletown. (where the last active industry is) Just to show you how much NS thinks of the Tier, they are in the middle of dumping the Campbell Hall cluster to the M&NJ. Now I know its nice to think of what might be or might have been. I understand the railfan nostalgia regarding the Tier, but we all have to face reality. The Tier has been dying a slow death since the EL decided to single track the Tier and run over the DL&W into New Jersey. It almost became a bike path under Conrail and it would have if New York hadnt given Conrail money for some improvements and they like NS didnt want anyone else getting it. The reality is, what you see is what you get. There will be no change for the better, and for now, no change for the worse. If you want to see NS trains, I suggest you go to the Pittsburgh Line, thats the railroad NS wants and thats the railroad NS will invest in.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
n01jd1 wrote:If anyone thinks that NS is going to build a new Portageville Viaduct or bring back freight on the Tier between Bingamton and New Jersey, then you are very much a pollyanna. This whole power point presentation is nothing more than a cheap fluff piece put out by the NS in order to get some goodwill from NY state politicians who now think that there is some future for the Tier and keeping those jobs and taxes.
Oi! You do realize that the state has already allocated money for the replacement bridge, don't you? As has been discussed already, the Buffalo Line-WNYP route presents NS with a longer orute and having to run the engines around the train in Olean. NS could have used that route... but they instead chose to lease the Buffalo Line to the B&P/WNYP and the Erie main (between Meadville and Hornell) to the WNYP. Furthermore, your comment about crews has been invalidated by the fact that NS is hiring conductors in Binghamton and Croxton. Any guesses why they'd be doing that? Finally, NS admits that the former Pennsy main is their primary route in the Northeast... but their powerpoint also spoke of the former Erie as being a vital secondary route. They need it for the Patriot Corridor, so the Portageville Bridge will be replaced.
  by blockline4180
 
Hahaha, I think its time for K4 to chime in again!!! This topic is getting interesting again.
  by K4Pacific
 
What do you want me to chime in about? I enjoy the passion of opinion and emotion. Keep it coming, but the line is continuing to grow in traffic volume - far surpassing Bison when you combine Gang Mills and Elmira cluster. Why 49 cars of frac sand just went up the Newly completely rebuilt Horseheads Industrial last night. 13 flat end cars of gas pipe the night before. 36 cars of frac sand for Elmira Lower Yard. Then the 8 million dollar in revenue Ithaca Branch with 42 MT salt heading north, plus the Sayre turn, sand cars for Wellsboro and Corning, Lengthy HO6 for FGLK +++, I'm spent and need to get the work done for a little holiday.
  by gravelyfan
 
erie2521 wrote:The Bergen Tunnel is just out of Jersey City. It was originally double track. On top of it is the Bergen Archways, an open cut with four tracks. This was part of the Erie main line. I don't know how much of this is still in operation. When the archways were built, they left in rock arches every now and then to support highways. If they are still there, they might be too low for double stacks. Ted
A clarification - the "Archways" are next to the tunnel. The tunnel is not "on top of" the Archways. There is no active track in the Archways. At the east end, the track in the tunnel is considerably lower (approximatley 40 feet) than the track elevation of the Archways. At the west end, the track elevation of both tunnel and Archways are essentially equal.
  by SecaucusJunction
 
n01jd1 wrote:
If anyone thinks that NS is going to build a new Portageville Viaduct or bring back freight on the Tier between Bingamton and New Jersey, then you are very much a pollyanna. This whole power point presentation is nothing more than a cheap fluff piece put out by the NS in order to get some goodwill from NY state politicians who now think that there is some future for the Tier and keeping those jobs and taxes.
And you have evidence of this statement?
n01jd1 wrote: If Portageville becomes unusable, they will go to the WNYP routing and thats it.
That doesn't even make any sense. The WNYP route to Buffalo is long and slow... not very good for Patriot Corridor trains
n01jd1 wrote:As for the Tier between Binghamton and Port Jervis, The only reason thats not a bike path is because the NYSW (via the CNYK) is leasing it and NS doesnt have to pay to maintain it anymore and they dont want anyone else, like the CP getting their hands on it.
And the fact that it lies directly in the Marcellus Shale "Jackpot" zone...
n01jd1 wrote:NS doesnt even have crews qualified west of Middletown anymore.
Port Jervis actually.
n01jd1 wrote:Getting new crews to run road freights is difficult at best because its under the Nickle Plate agreement and there arent NKP enough people based out of NJ as there is only the yard work in Croxton and locals over the former EL.
I think there's a few crews in Campbell Hall who wouldn't mind keeping the cash flow coming in.
n01jd1 wrote:Most of those guys, having worked cushy jobs all their career will not want to suddenly be working road jobs and being away form home all the time and you cannot pull people from the NSR side who would otherwise be experienced and be able to immediately qualify the route.
9.6% unemployment rate and foreclosure rate through the roof. I think they can find a few people
n01jd1 wrote:So in order to get crews, you will have to hire them off the street which NS DOES NOT want to do if its an any way increases the ranks of NKP people in New Jersey.
They're actually hiring right now in many places including NJ and NY.
n01jd1 wrote:Then you have to deal with NJTransit east of Port Jervis. They DONT want freight on their railroad and will do anything including delaying trains to making sure crews dont get qualified to ensure freights stay off their railroad.
That doesnt even make any sense and is not even possible even if they want to. This statement is way out there.
n01jd1 wrote:The fact of the matter is NS gave up on the Tier east of Binghamton long ago. Thats why there arent any trains on it and no crews qualified west of Middletown.
Port Jervis actually
n01jd1 wrote:(where the last active industry is) Just to show you how much NS thinks of the Tier, they are in the middle of dumping the Campbell Hall cluster to the M&NJ.
Local branches actually. They'll still be delivering the material to CH. If they wanted out of the area, they could have "dumped" the whole business on the NYSW.
n01jd1 wrote:Now I know its nice to think of what might be or might have been. I understand the railfan nostalgia regarding the Tier, but we all have to face reality. The Tier has been dying a slow death since the EL decided to single track the Tier and run over the DL&W into New Jersey.
But yet it still lives on. How's that DL&W route to NJ looking these days?
n01jd1 wrote:It almost became a bike path under Conrail and it would have if New York hadnt given Conrail money for some improvements and they like NS didnt want anyone else getting it.
Finally... a little bit of truth! Conrail sympathists should remember this...
n01jd1 wrote:The reality is, what you see is what you get. There will be no change for the better, and for now, no change for the worse.
2011 will change a lot of railroads in the area, including the Tier.
n01jd1 wrote: If you want to see NS trains, I suggest you go to the Pittsburgh Line, thats the railroad NS wants and thats the railroad NS will invest in.
No one ever questioned that NS wants and will invest in the Pittsburg Line. If they didn't have that, they'd pretty much be screwed.
  by erie2937
 
Those who remember the Pennsy and then PC will recall that there was a wye at the crossing of the PRR and Erie at X Tower in Olean. I remember being in that tower many times. The board went to the museum in Salamanca.

There is no wye there now but installing a wye would be far less expensive than building a new bridge across the Genesee River.

As is usually the case, the final decision on the Southern Tier and Buffalo Lines will be made by beancounters with minimal input from operating people. The beancounters will do their work and then the public relations people(more accurately described as propagandists) will put their spin the final report.

Personally, I'd rather see more trains running on the Buffalo Line but something tells me the NS has no interest in my opinion.

HTG
  by Matt Langworthy
 
erie2937 wrote:Those who remember the Pennsy and then PC will recall that there was a wye at the crossing of the PRR and Erie at X Tower in Olean. I remember being in that tower many times. The board went to the museum in Salamanca.

There is no wye there now but installing a wye would be far less expensive than building a new bridge across the Genesee River.

As is usually the case, the final decision on the Southern Tier and Buffalo Lines will be made by beancounters with minimal input from operating people. The beancounters will do their work and then the public relations people(more accurately described as propagandists) will put their spin the final report.

Personally, I'd rather see more trains running on the Buffalo Line but something tells me the NS has no interest in my opinion.

HTG
The tracks connecting the Buffalo Line to the ex-Erie main are still in place. They are on the west side of the diamond, so any trains using the Buffalo Line/ex-Main route would have to stop so the engines could run around the train.
I looked at http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl and there are buildings to the immediate northeast of the diamond, so building another connecting track would be rather difficult. The costs of acquiring the land, doing the necessary studies and then building the new connecting track could be rather expensive... and would result in a longer route between Bison and Hornell. And let's not forget the grades between CP Cass and Tip Top. Conrail, which rationalized alot of Erie and DL&W trackage, never even attempted realign the connecting tracks in Olean. Based on what I've seen, it looks like the operations team and the accountants at NS are on the same page: the Buffalo Extension is preferrable over the Buffalo Line due to a shorter route and less grades.
  by northjerseybuff
 
https://www1.recruitingcenter.net/Clien ... 96&esid=az

well, if you look at is pessimistically-they are hiring for west of binghamgton-or to albany-that accounts for the binghamton hiring link and the croxton hiring link is for the lehigh line.
optimistically-it could be for new service on the tier

me-who knows..i am on the fence on this issue. As someone going for a masters in history, I look at fact over opinion. Obviously NS is the company owning the line, so you have to believe them to a point...the trestle does need to be replaced and will be as money has been allocated. NS has also gone against its word after the merger..leaving me to think..yea right..they are doing this to get support for the bridge(lip service)..I guess we will have to wait and see.

As for the Lehigh line being quicker..the stretch from roselle park to "terminal" is congested. NS must deal with NJT and CSX! While its double tracked, it is busy! so i don't buy the freight/passenger won't work. It works through Union and Roselle Park, why wouldn't it work on the tier? there are less trains and sidings. Granted another siding might be needed, its not a major problem, especially if they send the westbounds out at night(early evening) following a passenger train and have the eastbounds come in during the eastbound parade.
  by SecaucusJunction
 
Here's the thing. I don't think NS is looking at this to be a comparison between lines. The Lehigh Line will probably always be faster for NJ-CHI traffic. If it wasn't, NS would be running all their intermodals on the Tier instead of the Lehigh Line. That doesn't seem to be what they are getting at. The presentation looks like they want this to be a corridor between NJ and Buffalo. On that route, there is no comparison in time between the lines. Not even CP from Allentown can compete with the Delaware division in time.

Another thought that came to mind. NS put a pretty quick time line for this service in the presentation. It is doubtful that TIGER grants would even be handed out before late 2010/early 2011. If the decision makers are getting together after that time, NS would look pretty dumb if they are not even making progress on this intermodal service. If it was all blowing smoke, they would promise this service AFTER the bridge was put up... then they would be free to "forget" that they ever said it later.

You can believe what you want about NS's "promises" about the 1999 split. It would be much easier to distort facts then because nothing was promised until after it was over. Although they may have embellished, I don't think they were completely lying there either. That's just my opinion.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
SecaucusJunction wrote:Here's the thing. I don't think NS is looking at this to be a comparison between lines. The Lehigh Line will probably always be faster for NJ-CHI traffic. If it wasn't, NS would be running all their intermodals on the Tier instead of the Lehigh Line. That doesn't seem to be what they are getting at. The presentation looks like they want this to be a corridor between NJ and Buffalo. On that route, there is no comparison in time between the lines. Not even CP from Allentown can compete with the Delaware division in time.
I don't think anyone is saying that the Southern Tier Mainline is shorter, faster and or better than using the Lehigh Line... but I do agree that it makes sense to use the Tier in its entirety as route between Croxton and Buffalo. Sure, there would be some scheduling hassles with NJT... just as NS must deal with the slow dispatching on CP now. And, as I said earlier, NS wouldn't have to pay a cent to any other RR just by staying on Erie rails. It's highly probable that the powers-that-be at NS weighed the cost of the bridge vs. the savings of using the eastern end of the Erie... and concluded that it would make sense to use it as a secondary route.
  by K4Pacific
 
16 hours Port Newark to Bison is competitive with CSX to Selkirk to Frontier.
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