All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

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WhartonAndNorthern
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by WhartonAndNorthern » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:13 pm

rcthompson04 wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:08 pm


It sounds like Norfolk Southern plans on making this as difficult as possible. I don't blame them as the Pittsburgh Line is congested with freight already.
I was going to post a dissent since the line is triple tracked Altoona to Johnstown (plus recent bidrectional signalling upgrades on the Curve) and then doubletracked with an additional low grade bypass to Conway Yard (Conemaugh Line and Sang Hollow Extension). However, I found a few grade crossings in Westmoreland County (PRR didn't eliminate all of them) and it was 60+ per day on just the double track! (https://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/Officeof ... &numrow=20)

rcthompson04
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by rcthompson04 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:40 pm

WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:13 pm
rcthompson04 wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:08 pm


It sounds like Norfolk Southern plans on making this as difficult as possible. I don't blame them as the Pittsburgh Line is congested with freight already.
I was going to post a dissent since the line is triple tracked Altoona to Johnstown (plus recent bidrectional signalling upgrades on the Curve) and then doubletracked with an additional low grade bypass to Conway Yard (Conemaugh Line and Sang Hollow Extension). However, I found a few grade crossings in Westmoreland County (PRR didn't eliminate all of them) and it was 60+ per day on just the double track! (https://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/Officeof ... &numrow=20)
My brother used to live in Latrobe and the trains rolled through town at least twice an hour most of the day and once an hour at night. You would think that NS would want to eliminate some of the remaining At grade crossings as well.

gokeefe
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by gokeefe » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:44 am

Wow. I had no idea NS was so busy on that line. Thanks for posting.
gokeefe

johnpbarlow
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by johnpbarlow » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:16 am

I wonder if the NS negotiating position on increasing passenger service to Pittsburgh is influenced by the current disagreement between NS and Pittsburgh re: raising vertical Northside road bridge clearances to permit the operation of double stack trains? Perhaps NS seeks a quid pro quo...
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/02 ... northside/

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STrRedWolf
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by STrRedWolf » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:45 am

johnpbarlow wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:16 am
I wonder if the NS negotiating position on increasing passenger service to Pittsburgh is influenced by the current disagreement between NS and Pittsburgh re: raising vertical Northside road bridge clearances to permit the operation of double stack trains? Perhaps NS seeks a quid pro quo...
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/02 ... northside/
That would make it "cheaper" to implement and free capacity, since NS would double-stack and not run as many trains as it's doing now. Plus, the PUC's regulation requires all bridges to be raised to 22'. NS also learned from CSX's Howard Street Fire, from what I can tell. Pittsburgh doesn't have an objection.

I would still three-track as much as possible, though.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

rcthompson04
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by rcthompson04 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:48 am

STrRedWolf wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:45 am
johnpbarlow wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:16 am
I wonder if the NS negotiating position on increasing passenger service to Pittsburgh is influenced by the current disagreement between NS and Pittsburgh re: raising vertical Northside road bridge clearances to permit the operation of double stack trains? Perhaps NS seeks a quid pro quo...
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/02 ... northside/
That would make it "cheaper" to implement and free capacity, since NS would double-stack and not run as many trains as it's doing now. Plus, the PUC's regulation requires all bridges to be raised to 22'. NS also learned from CSX's Howard Street Fire, from what I can tell. Pittsburgh doesn't have an objection.

I would still three-track as much as possible, though.
You have to think there upgrades elsewhere in Pennsylvania that Norfolk Southern would like some state assistance on that might cause them to become a little more sympathetic to running an additional passenger train on the Pittsburgh Line. Maybe eliminating some of the at-grade crossings on the NS Reading and Harrisburg lines?

WhartonAndNorthern
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by WhartonAndNorthern » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:03 am

STrRedWolf wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:45 am
That would make it "cheaper" to implement and free capacity, since NS would double-stack and not run as many trains as it's doing now. Plus, the PUC's regulation requires all bridges to be raised to 22'.
I would still three-track as much as possible, though.
No, they're already running double stacks in the area, just via a different route. It's not a choke point like Baltimore (Amtrak and Howard Street Tunnels).

The traditional passenger routing comes off the Fort Wayne Line on the North Bank of the Ohio River, goes over the Fort Wayne Bridge (Allegheny River) by the convention center into downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Amtrak station is in this area. Heavy freight could take the lower grade Conemaugh Line to the Johnstown area. Intermodal traffic crosses the Ohio River, and runs on the Mon Line on the south side of town (South Bank of the Monongahela River).

I've attached a little map for you from openrailway map.
Red circle = bridge they're talking about.
Blue circle = Pittsburgh Line and Conemaugh Line split
Green circle (and green line highlighting) = Mon Line

I imagine there are reasons such as water table or other geotechnical issues or even buried utilities why they can't undercut the overpass.

I wonder, has a railroad ever built a draw bridge to improve clearances? Manifest or passenger coming through? OK! Intermodal? Drop the gates, stop the cars and open the bridge to let the train pass.
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gokeefe
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by gokeefe » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:18 am

WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:03 am
I wonder, has a railroad ever built a draw bridge to improve clearances? Manifest or passenger coming through? OK! Intermodal? Drop the gates, stop the cars and open the bridge to let the train pass.
That is one of the more creative approaches to clearance issues I've ever read about. In the era of PTC this could be something the FRA would be more willing to consider.

Bet it's been done before but no idea where.
gokeefe

WhartonAndNorthern
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by WhartonAndNorthern » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:37 am

gokeefe wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:18 am
WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:03 am
I wonder, has a railroad ever built a draw bridge to improve clearances? Manifest or passenger coming through? OK! Intermodal? Drop the gates, stop the cars and open the bridge to let the train pass.
That is one of the more creative approaches to clearance issues I've ever read about. In the era of PTC this could be something the FRA would be more willing to consider.

Bet it's been done before but no idea where.
It wouldn't work for the Howard Street Tunnel, but it would be ideal for NJ and Long Island commuter lines that can't handle Plate F cars (except the cost). Biggest issue would be paying a bridgetender. If the intermodal was a low enough priority, the conductor could get out and operate the bridge. I think I saw a video of a train in the Netherlands where the crew got out to operate a drawbridge over a canal.

ExCon90
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:37 pm

WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:03 am
STrRedWolf wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:45 am
That would make it "cheaper" to implement and free capacity, since NS would double-stack and not run as many trains as it's doing now. Plus, the PUC's regulation requires all bridges to be raised to 22'.
I would still three-track as much as possible, though.
No, they're already running double stacks in the area, just via a different route. It's not a choke point like Baltimore (Amtrak and Howard Street Tunnels).

The traditional passenger routing comes off the Fort Wayne Line on the North Bank of the Ohio River, goes over the Fort Wayne Bridge (Allegheny River) by the convention center into downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Amtrak station is in this area. Heavy freight could take the lower grade Conemaugh Line to the Johnstown area. Intermodal traffic crosses the Ohio River, and runs on the Mon Line on the south side of town (South Bank of the Monongahela River).

I've attached a little map for you from openrailway map.
Red circle = bridge they're talking about.
Blue circle = Pittsburgh Line and Conemaugh Line split
Green circle (and green line highlighting) = Mon Line

I imagine there are reasons such as water table or other geotechnical issues or even buried utilities why they can't undercut the overpass.

I wonder, has a railroad ever built a draw bridge to improve clearances? Manifest or passenger coming through? OK! Intermodal? Drop the gates, stop the cars and open the bridge to let the train pass.
Correct in principle; however, that bridge over the Mon shown in green is now used by the Pittsburgh light-rail line to South Hills. The freight route now leaves the mainline around Wilmerding and runs via what the PRR called the Port Perry Branch which crosses the Mon at some point and runs up the left (or south) bank, coming in on the higher of the two alignments parallel to and west of Carson St.*, and continuing along the left bank of the Ohio.
* That's where the NS had a recent bad derailment which partially landed on the light-rail line.

ExCon90
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:40 pm

gokeefe wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:18 am
WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:03 am
I wonder, has a railroad ever built a draw bridge to improve clearances? Manifest or passenger coming through? OK! Intermodal? Drop the gates, stop the cars and open the bridge to let the train pass.
That is one of the more creative approaches to clearance issues I've ever read about. In the era of PTC this could be something the FRA would be more willing to consider.

Bet it's been done before but no idea where.
Certainly a novel idea, but if the mayor doesn't want double-stacks running on the North Side (why, actually?--they're in a trench!) I can just imagine what he'd say about a drawbridge.

WhartonAndNorthern
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by WhartonAndNorthern » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:24 am

ExCon90 wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:37 pm
WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:03 am

Green circle (and green line highlighting) = Mon Line
Correct in principle; however, that bridge over the Mon shown in green is now used by the Pittsburgh light-rail line to South Hills. The freight route now leaves the mainline around Wilmerding and runs via what the PRR called the Port Perry Branch which crosses the Mon at some point and runs up the left (or south) bank, coming in on the higher of the two alignments parallel to and west of Carson St.*, and continuing along the left bank of the Ohio.
* That's where the NS had a recent bad derailment which partially landed on the light-rail line.
By green highlighting, I meant that I scribbled a dark green "underscore" on two sections of the Mon Line on the South Side ("Sahside*"). I'm familiar enough with the area, I've seen stacks go underneath the Fort Pitt Bridge. Openrailwaymap uses another green to show light rail (and a lighter green for tunnel/subgrade)

However, the question is raised about clearances elsewhere on the nearby lines. Do they want to run via Pittsburgh Line proper or via the Conemaugh? The Conemaugh mostly gets eastbound heavies and service to a specific power plant and has a tunnel near Saltsburg. I haven't determined the tunnel clearances yet. It's a longer route with slower speeds, but it might be an option for through intermodals that don't work Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh's NS intermodal terminal is in Wall on the Pittsburgh Line just east of WIlmerding. Do they really plan to run via downtown? Will stacks clear the trusses on the Fort Wayne Bridge? Are there other clearance issues downtown? Or do they want to run on a short stretch of the Conemaugh and then cross the Allegheny further east. Openrailwaymap isn't helping, but both of those crossings I see look like CSX.

Or is this all just posturing since the state (and possibly NS's own policies) say new construction must clear stacks?


*=years ago we had a book on how to speak like a Pittsburgher. "Sahside," "Dahntahn," "Gyant Iggle," "worsh yer hands," "yinz," "slippy," "go and redd up," etc.

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STrRedWolf
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by STrRedWolf » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:50 am

WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:24 am
*=years ago we had a book on how to speak like a Pittsburgher. "Sahside," "Dahntahn," "Gyant Iggle," "worsh yer hands," "yinz," "slippy," "go and redd up," etc.
I have a friend in nearby Greensburg that can confirm the book is still accurate. :3
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

ExCon90
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by ExCon90 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:37 pm

Another one that always struck me when I worked there was the use of a past participle in place of a gerund as in "the house needs painted" or "the car needs washed," etc. (Is that heard anywhere but Pittsburgh?)
As to routing stacks via the North Side, I don't know why they would want to improve clearances there unless they plan to use the traditional route through downtown and the passenger station, because that looks on paper like a faster route than via the Port Perry and Monongahela Branches and the Ohio Connecting (OC) Bridge, but I don't know what height that's good for today.

MACTRAXX
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Re: All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:04 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:50 am
WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:24 am
*=years ago we had a book on how to speak like a Pittsburgher. "Sahside," "Dahntahn," "Gyant Iggle," "worsh yer hands," "yinz," "slippy," "go and redd up," etc.
I have a friend in nearby Greensburg that can confirm the book is still accurate.
W&N and RW: Yes-there is at least one book written about the Pittsburgh accent titled:
"Sam McCool's New Pittsburghese - How to speak like a Pittsburgher" (released July 31, 1982)
I have a copy in storage someplace...

Back to the topic: The former PRR route through PGH has always fascinated me ever since I rode Amtrak
#41 for the first time during the Summer of 1973 when I was barely into my teens...This posted map of
the PGH Golden Triangle area is definitely one of the better ones that I have seen showing rail lines.
This is good study material and is a interesting comparison to PGH folded maps from the 70s that I have...

MACTRAXX
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