• RDG Co. Bethlehem Branch

  • Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.
Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

Moderator: Franklin Gowen

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  by jrevans
 
Franklin Gowen wrote:As posted on the Lansdale mailing list:

" Bethlehem Branch Passenger Special
Unfortunately, I do not yet have information on ticket arrangements. I hope that advance ordering will be possible, -in addition- to cash sales on May 14. Who does one need to contact for buying a fare? Do they have a website? Even though the Bethlehem Branch is mostly a dead chunk of railroad, there will certainly be interest in a trip through Perkasie Tunnel! :D
Yes, this will be quite cool. I imagine the the Perkasie Historical Society will be handling the ticketing arrangements.

I'm still curious how they are getting FRA approval to run passenger trains over this class one track. Maybe the class has been upgraded with the track work that EPRY has been doing.
  by Franklin Gowen
 
Looks like trackwork has been accomplished here-n-there in the last two years. It's hardly major, but noticeable if one's been following the line's progress before 2002. I could see how that would make this excursion do-able. Although I don't know how to get the official word on precisely what FRA class the Perkasie-Qtown segment falls under.

Gee, a passenger run over the Perkiomen Creek bridge is absent... :) (fortunately!) Its present state doesn't exactly inspire confidence that it'll still be here in another decade or two.
  by geep39
 
As for waiting for LANTA to buy the Bethlehem Branch, I think that there's a better chance of hell freezing over! They were asked to be a CONDUIT for Federal funds to continue passenger service on the branch 'way back, and they said NO. Mentioning any kind of RAIL service to these people is like putting a cross in front of a vampire! They love their buses!

  by Schuylkill Valley
 
I think your forgeting about the Photo freight special back in April 2000, I was there for that special and took video too. we had a small snow shower at Quakertown station that day.

Len.
  by jrevans
 
Schuylkill Valley wrote:I think your forgeting about the Photo freight special back in April 2000, I was there for that special and took video too. we had a small snow shower at Quakertown station that day.
Len,
&nbsp I'm not sure which post you are responding to, but if it's the post about no passenger trains since 1987, the EPRY photo freight wasn't a passenger train. (I too got picture of it going over the East Branch of the Perkiomen, but merely because it's practically in my backyard...)
Well, there was a caboose on the train, but a caboose does not a passenger train make.

&nbsp And if you're just responding to using the bridge over the East Branch of the Perkiomen, EPRY trains go over that all of the time.

Please explain, as I'm confused. :-)

  by Schuylkill Valley
 
Hi Jim E.

Well yes the frieght train had a caboose on it . and yes it was classed as a passenger train because they sold tickets to ride the freight train , In my book that makes it a passenger train/freight train. if only they were in a caboose its still paying to ride the train. Heck WK&S gives Caboose rides for a price .

Len.

  by jrevans
 
Schuylkill Valley wrote:Hi Jim E.

Well yes the frieght train had a caboose on it . and yes it was classed as a passenger train because they sold tickets to ride the freight train , In my book that makes it a passenger train/freight train.

Len.
Hmph.

In the flyers that I saw for the photo freight, they didn't mention anything about being able to ride the train and I could have sworn that it was a photo only trip. But, I didn't participate, so I don't know the details.

By your standards, would my cab ride have been considered a passenger train too? Or would there have to be a caboose on there? ;-)
  by trackhiker
 
At 16:30 today the EPRY pulled 29 cars to Telford including 27 former UP open hoppers with newly painted SOCX markings, 1 small covered hopper, and 1 green boxcar (GBCX?)
Jim E, just a reminder to bring your camera if you go to lunch in Telford tomorrow. This is likely one of the longest trains on this branch in a while.


On another note, the passenger cars for the Perkasie - Quakertown trip will have to pass over the East Branch of the Perkiomen Bridge to get to Perkasie.
Bill
  by jrevans
 
trackhiker wrote:At 16:30 today the EPRY pulled 29 cars to Telford including 27 former UP open hoppers with newly painted SOCX markings, 1 small covered hopper, and 1 green boxcar (GBCX?)
Jim E, just a reminder to bring your camera if you go to lunch in Telford tomorrow. This is likely one of the longest trains on this branch in a while.
Thanks for the heads up! I'll make sure that my camera is in my truck tomorrow. I think that I saw that green boxcar at Atlas roofing over the weekend.
On another note, the passenger cars for the Perkasie - Quakertown trip will have to pass over the East Branch of the Perkiomen Bridge to get to Perkasie.
Bill
Not if they bring them down via Bethlehem........... (I wish)

  by krobar
 
The powers that be at LANTA won't get involved with rail transport because they all have, or the majority of them have financial steaks in the buses that serve the area that travel to NYC and Philly. That would be like cutting their noses off. The only way would be to replace these people with new board members that will think outside the bus, oops I mean the box.
  by jrevans
 
&nbsp I received a telephone call from the STB last week. They informed me that if I wanted to reopen the NS abandonment exemption proceedings, I would have to pay $150. Huh? I really didn't understand.

&nbsp After asking some more questions, they said that the case was already decided before they received my letter. I asked when the case was decided and they said March 8, 2004. I then asked when they received my letter and they said March 8, 2004. Hrmph.

&nbsp Since I have no real reason or legal representation to fight a large railroad, I decided to hold onto my $150. I told the STB person that my intentions were to inform the STB that there are concerned people out there who wish to preserve the railroad structure that exists. He said that my letter would be "kept on file" and that "lots of people write letters like that, and we do read them", but without paying the $150, they wouldn't re-open the decision, or post my letter to the website. I didn't get a warm feeling about the "kept on file" statement, but I didn't expect to get a warm feeling from writing to a government agency....

&nbsp So, my lateness has apparently struck again..... I wonder if I have any grounds that the letter was received on the same day that the case was decided?

Did anyone else who wrote the STB get a response from them?
  by jrevans
 
Perkasie has added a webpage with information about the train trip. :-)

http://www.perkasieborough.org/QTrainExcursion_1.htm
Perkasie's Quasquicentennial (125th Anniversary) Committee, Quakertown Alive and East Penn Railway have arranged a train excursion that will transport you between Perkasie Olde Towne Day and Quakertown Arts Alive!

Saturday May 15, 2004
Round Trip Tickets - $10.00 per seat
The event is rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable.

Sorry, the train cannot accommodate strollers and is not handicap accessible.

Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis and by departure location and time.

Departure location and times are as follows:

Perkasie to Quakertown Quakertown to Perkasie
Departure Arrival Departure Arrival
9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30
1:00 1:30 2:00 2:30
3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30

Ticket Sales:

Perkasie Borough Hall, 620 West Chestnut Street, Perkasie, Pa., Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm # 215-257-5065 Quakertown Borough Hall, 35 North 3rd Street, Quakertown, Pa. Monday thru Thursday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and Friday 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, #215-536-5001 (then press 0)

There may be some tickets available on the day of the event. But to be sure you and your family and friends are able to enjoy this one-time event, buy your tickets in advance. Tickets will be on sale by departure location and time of departure.

If demand warrants, a second day for the train excursion may be scheduled for Sunday May 16th. This will consist of closed-loop rides with passengers embarking and disembarking in Perkasie with your round-trip taking approximately one hour.

Check this web page periodically for updated information.

E-mail [email protected] for more information.
So, there you have it, right from the horse's mouth.
  by jrevans
 
This document is related to the STB asking NS about historical stuff on the line to be abandoned.

STB document

This document appears to be quite similar:

Another STB document


Heh. I wonder if there's any grounds for the rail itself being historical, since most of it is over 50 years old. That would be kind of funny that a railroad couldn't abandon the tracks, since the rail is historical.... :-)

  by rushhour
 
Would be funny and interesting :D

Question: Can anyone tell me why there is still a signal stillstanding at at Bethlehem union station when the tracks arent even there? Odd that they would leave this in...
  by Franklin Gowen
 
rushhour:

I can tell you, but: it's a long, crazy story. Do you really want me to go there?
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