• Hoosac Tunnel Discussion & News

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

  • 318 posts
  • 1
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 22
  by Safetee
 
The biggest problems with StarTrack revolve around the very high cost of the modules and the fact that they are hard to handle without the proper equipment. they have been tested in heavy rail conditions and performed well. the modules are not poured in place like a side walk. they are a prestressed, pre cast, heavy duty concrete module that comes in many configurations. they do not use ties of any kind. because of their uniform flat base they spread on track vertical forces in a manner that is far superior to track systems employing ties.

In the case of the hoosac, in my opinion, StarTrak would be a superior system that could offer superior long lasting track surface with the added benefit of helping to alleviate the current height issues.

Between the railroad's need to get it up and running asap and a penchant for pursuing lower cost approaches, without a whole train load of mass dot money, I don't think that i'll live to see any StarTrak in the tunnel.
  by Pj
 
If it was superior and cost effective, you’d see it more often in mainline applications.

My MTM said the crossing panels are great, but it would
Be a cold day in hell to have it as a mainline for the tonnages and speeds we run.

They did a test case a few years ago between north Platte and omaha and they didn’t stand up to the traffic levels
  by Backshophoss
 
This is turning into a major rehab project,not a quick fix with "Rock Bolts" used in mines,A rebuild of the brick tunnel liner.
  by J.D. Lang
 
The track and roadbed in there is not the issue right now. It's what's overhead that is the issue and this could be very serious if the brick linings are beginning to fail. They need to try and stabilize the situation safely before worrying about clearance changes and track systems.
  by newpylong
 
Yes, the bricks are the issue and there is concern that what small portion that gave away is just the start. Raising for DS clearance would be nice, but without the tunnel operational they're out of business.
  by MEC407
 
From the Bennington Banner:
Bennington Banner wrote:NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Pan Am Railways is awaiting an assessment of a "partial wall collapse" inside the famous Hoosac Tunnel, which has been an east-west shortcut for rail lines since it opened in 1875.

The problem was the result of "structural wear and tear inside the tunnel," according to Cynthia Scarano, executive vice president for Pan Am Railways.

Once engineers have evaluated the situation, the company will have a better idea of what repairs are needed and how long the tunnel will remain closed. Scarano said the evaluation process could take a couple of days to complete.

"Our engineers have closed the tunnel, and we now have some specialists in tunnel engineering on their way to look at the affected area and see what we need to do from there," Scarano said.

Once that is done, they will decide whether to keep the tunnel shut and reroute traffic, or if it can be reopened quickly.
Read more at: https://www.benningtonbanner.com/storie ... nel,597196
  by newpylong
 
The tunnel is now nearly completely impassable as the cave in has gotten worse, same area. Sucks.
  by jaymac
 
Thanks for the updates.
We'll have to wait to see how serious the decision-makers are.
Last edited by MEC407 on Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quotation
  by EuroStar
 
Does PanAm even have the money to fix the tunnel properly? It is quite clear that they did no preventive maintenance at all. Is NS likely to chip in for the repair? If not, I imagine MassDOT will eventually pay, but with all the bureaucracy it will be a while before anything happens and the temporary routing would last months if not years.
  by NRGeep
 
Seems possible that the NS press release stating that it will reopen on 2/17 predates the news of further cave ins?
  by Hux
 
EuroStar wrote: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:12 pm Does PanAm even have the money to fix the tunnel properly? It is quite clear that they did no preventive maintenance at all. Is NS likely to chip in for the repair? If not, I imagine MassDOT will eventually pay, but with all the bureaucracy it will be a while before anything happens and the temporary routing would last months if not years.
Pan Am has "stupid money" behind it...though rarely spent on it.
  by Engineer Spike
 
All that I see in this post is doom and gloom. This is not the first time part of the liner has failed. The last time was about 45 years ago. I'm sure that the tunnel engineers will make the determination as to whether this is an isolated incident.

The whole double stack project is a whole different ball of wax. I'm sure that the lined portion of the tunnel is what is preventing full domestic stacks. If it wasn't, then the clearance improvement of about 15-20 years ago would have likely gone to that height then. If the recourse is to undercut the whole tunnel, then is it worthwhile? For that kind of money, the railroad can run two single level trains for many years, before the price of enlarging the tunnel is surpassed.
  by NHV 669
 
RJED coming off the GMRC with 47x32, I'll bet that was something to see up over the summit.
Last edited by NHV 669 on Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by neman2
 
This incident has raised a couple questions that perhaps someone could answer.
1) How do trains communicate with the dispatcher in the tunnel? Unless there are remote antennas spaced throughout the tunnel 2-way radio would be useless. In such an adverse environment they would be difficult to maintain. If there are emergency phones you would have to hope one was within a safe walking distance.
2) Does Pan Am have emergency training for employees and Fire Departments for evacuating or response to incidents for such a confined and inaccessible structure?
  • 1
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 22