Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

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Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby Matt_S » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:48 am

I don't know if this is evidence of anything going on, but it's certainly interesting.

I decided to take a drive along the old CNJ mainline route west of High Bridge yesterday to see what remained, and to my surprise, found the line to be in better shape than many of the recent street view images made it out to be. What was more interesting was that there was evidence of crossing and bridge work on both the NJT and NS ends of the line. Almost all crossings had brand new blue emergency contact signs on them, the crossing at Glen Gardner had an entirely new crossbuck installed where there hadn't been one a year ago, and the crossing in Bloomsbury had a brand new Siemens crossing gate installed. My question is why would they go to the trouble of doing all this work for a line which is considered OOS unless they had plans for it?

I've included some pictures from the trip below:

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New crossing sign at Bell Ave in Glen Gardner.

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I was surprised at the lack of weeds and overgrowth on most of the line. Presumably someone is doing something?

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Ludlow Station Crossing. Now in NS territory, but still with the new blue signs installed.

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I found it interesting that they would install these over the old signs if there were no plans to reactivate the line...

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Things take a turn for the worse at the next crossing, where a section of rail has been uprooted on each side of the crossing, rendering the line impassible, and severe overgrowth has occurred.

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Confusingly, at this same crossing, all the equipment appeared to be in good shape, and the crossing posts showed signs of being repainted recently.

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New signs even though the track has been paved over at this crossing...

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Uprooted rail west of the crossing.

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New Siemens crossing equipment in Bloomsbury.

If anyone has any info as to why they are doing this work, I'd love to know. Based on internet research, all of this has occurred within the last year.
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Re: Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby amtrakhogger » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:13 am

IIRC, NS was using the west end of the line to store
surplus boxcars, much to the dismay of local residents.
Maybe they have plans to fix up the line store more box cars.
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Re: Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby nomis » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:11 am

IIRC, the updated signage is required under the MUCUD
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Re: Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby Matt_S » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:45 pm

So are all OOS crossings now required to have the same signage as in service crossings? Also, forgive my ignorance, what does MUCUD stand for?
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Re: Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby David » Mon May 01, 2017 7:57 pm

Nice pictures, Matt_S--Keep them coming.
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Re: Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby Ken W2KB » Mon May 01, 2017 9:23 pm

Matt_S wrote:So are all OOS crossings now required to have the same signage as in service crossings? Also, forgive my ignorance, what does MUCUD stand for?


Yes, per the FRA FAQ on the topic:

"Are ENS signs required on out of service track?
Yes. The rule does not make exceptions for track that is temporarily or permanently out of service. The crossing would need to be permanently taken out of service (closed) in order to not have a sign."

https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L17296

With respect to the overturned rails on each side of the crossing with the flashing light signals, it is my understanding that the signals would otherwise have to be maintained and tested periodically which of course is costly.
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Re: Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:19 am

Matt_S wrote:what does MUCUD stand for?
Possibly MUTCD, Manual Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which probably doesn't apply to those emergency notification signs that are required by the Federal Railroad Administration.
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Re: Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby Ken W2KB » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:21 pm

JimBoylan wrote:
Matt_S wrote:what does MUCUD stand for?
Possibly MUTCD, Manual Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which probably doesn't apply to those emergency notification signs that are required by the Federal Railroad Administration.


Not unusual for sister administrative agencies, such as these DOT entities, to work together and incorporate other's regulations by reference. Could be what happened in this instance.
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Re: Raritan Valley Line Developments west of High Bridge

Postby CNJ Fan 4evr » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:46 am

If these signals are still powered a malfunction could occur. I have personally witnessed the Bloomsbury gates go down and up then down and up again with no train anywhere nearby.I guess it is the CYA era this country is in nowadays that prompts signage like that. I only WISH I can see trains on the old CNJ west of High Bridge again.
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