Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby SALSDP35 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:04 pm

Matt Langworthy wrote:
SALSDP35 wrote:
lvrr325 wrote:From 1976 to 1998 Conrail operated both of those lines and still found some degree of traffic to run via this line.


Yeah mostly at gunpoint after 1980. In 1981 they shut down the Meadville line and ran one train each way Buffalo-Croxton until the summer of 1982 when the state of New York took them to court and forced them to live up to the agreement that they had in place. 6 trains a day returned but the minute Conrail could, they reduced the number. Four state agreements, each with fewer trains kept Conrail on the Tier.

In 1992, Jim Hagen reversed the sale to CP (which was Binghamton-Buffalo only), did a mild upgrade and opened the Tier as an overflow route for three years while they opened up the clearance on the PRR for double stacks. Once this was completed (late summer 1995), almost everything was removed. Conrail was even in discussions on how to close the line when the CSX/NS takeover battle began in October of 1986. When CSX and NS assumed control of the company in 1997 through a trust, the old CR management departed and a care taker management was put in place. During that time, trains returned to the Tier (stacks and multi-levels as well as OIBU/BUOI returned), but Conrail was really no longer Conrail.


I think you mean October of 1996 for the take over battle. With that being said, I agree with most of what you wrote. Several posters on this message board have tried to paint the 1990s as a rosy decade for the Tier... but it really wasn't. I was rather worried about the future of the Tier in the summer of 1996. There were very few trains on the line at that point and it was looking like the Tier was going to be axed under Conrail's X strategy. The sale of former CNJ/LV track in PA to the R&N was also an ominous sign. I greeted the CR split with relief, because NS had a place for it in their plans. I shudder to think what would have happened if Conrail had remained Conrail.

SALSDP35 wrote:CSX may single track the NYC, but they won't sell it. People are reading way to much into some of the company's comments.


I am pretty sure that SST's comment was not meant to be serious. There have been erroneous claims (both on this message board and the NS Southern Tier/D&H FB page) about the feds and NYS paying for all of the bridge replacement. IMO, SST was ridiculing them -he is fully aware that NS paid for the majority of the new viaduct.


You are correct on 1996 vs. 1986. I will edit - thanks. Conrail was most definitely looking to dump the Tier. They told me in no uncertain terms that they wanted out. They were trying to work out trackage rights arrangements with CP and the NYS&W over the NYC via Albany and Syracuse respectively. No doubt, the split saved the line.

I wasn't targeting anyone really regarding CSX and line sales. I hear it from various parties and about various lines. It is a strange time for CSX right now. A little shake up may have been in order. What they are going through is going to be very negative in the long run for the company.

While no one makes the reference here, Trains Magazine has an Editorial about Hunter Harrison being one of the great Railroad Executives of our time. What nonsense! The guy was famous for doing what railroad executives have done since the beginning of Railroad Regulation - control cost. This industry has been cost controlled to death. That is a statement that is at odds with the excellent earning they have posted for the last 30 years but, they keep milking the same cows. Railroads are becoming less relevant in the transportation picture every year. While trucking companies, parcel carriers and airfreight companies push into new markets with some degree of regularity, railroads consistently go back and look at their OR. Never considering that they may need to spend money to do something new or actually offer a service that might cause a shipper to consider them a first choice, not a service offering of last resort.

End of rant!
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby SST » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:40 am

I was only 50/50 on the seriousness of CSX selling the line. While I didn't really think CSX/NS would do it, reading all the replies following my post, seems that the Southern Tier Line was very near extinction [wasn't a railfan that far back]. So it seems that it is possible although remote. Just wanted to see what other peoples opinion on it would be. Stir the pot.

As far as who paid for the bridge, I didn't read the fine print. I assumed like any businesses around here, NS built the bridge due to tax incentives or money from the state. It seems most companies won't do business unless that get "help."
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby ccutler » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:47 am

NYS should subsidize the Southern Tier, and other rail ventures, to compensate for their ridiculously high corporate and real estate taxes. Otherwise there would be no investing.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby SST » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:39 pm

I agree.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby thebigham » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:30 pm

John Kucko pic:

"Throwback Thursday: What a difference three years makes! Captured the top image in March, 2015 as trees were cleared for what would be the new rail arch at Letchworth SP. Captured bottom image in December as first ever train crossed the arch 33 months later. Hard to believe how much the landscape has changed there in that time. The 1875 trestle is in the process of being dismantled. About half of its 1045 tons are now gone"
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letchworth130.jpg
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:02 pm

A big part of this story at least to me is the speed that they are removing the old bridge. I would have thought it would take longer than this especially in the middle or winter. I still think New York State "muffed the duff" in not saving the old bridge and restoring it as a scenic walkway.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby BR&P » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:08 pm

ccutler wrote:NYS should subsidize the Southern Tier, and other rail ventures, to compensate for their ridiculously high corporate and real estate taxes. Otherwise there would be no investing.


And to get money for those subsidies, they would raise taxes even higher.

(BUT we have money to put up series of signs every few miles on the interstates which earned the state a fine from the feds to the tune of $14 mil or something near that!)

Not trying to go political here, but as more businesses leave the state, the burden falls heavier on those who are left - increasing the incentive for THEM to leave. It's the "Atlas Shrugged" principle. Already, New York has seen a shift away from in-state industries using rail. An increasingly large portion of rail traffic is "pass through".

I don't really expect the Tier to be shut down. But we must remember there are no guarantees, and as traffic patterns, business needs and other factors change, things that used to be unthinkable sometimes come to pass.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Matt Langworthy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:04 pm

I'm 49 years old and would like to live another 50+ years. Hopefully, the Tier will still be around in 2068. With that being said, nothing is guaranteed. I'm just trying to enjoy the Tier for as long as possible.
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"It is highly likely that the 1990s were an overrated decade."
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Otto Vondrak » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:40 pm

Join us on March 10, 2018, at the River’s Edge Party House for our annual Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum Banquet featuring John Kucko! You may know our featured guest speaker from his years at WROC Channel 8, but also from his extensive coverage of the construction of the new Portage Trestle at Letchworth State Park. John will be sharing some of his adventures in railroad photography as we celebrate our museum’s achievements from the past year. THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for cocktail hour (cash bar), dinner seating begins at 7:00 p.m. Award presentations, guest speaker, and dessert service follow buffet dinner. Proceeds from the event go towards funding our various museum activities and restoration projects. Seats are limited, so order your tickets today!

http://www.rgvrrm.org/march-10-annual-m ... ohn-kucko/

-otto-
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby el3625 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:43 pm

Got my 1st issue of the year of the ELHS's Diamond, on the back it shows the first train to cross the new bridge at Letchworth and inside a picture of the train stopped on the east bank with several people for a photo. Great pictures! Inside it said the old bridge will be totally down by the end of February, is this going to happen by then? If so, these guys don't mess around! Can not wait to get up there and see the new bridge.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby clearblock » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:57 am

el3625 wrote: Inside it said the old bridge will be totally down by the end of February, is this going to happen by then? If so, these guys don't mess around!

Here is a progress photo from yesterday by John Kucko:

https://www.facebook.com/JohnKuckoDigit ... =3&theater
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby SST » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:01 pm

With the wreck just a few miles away any trains "trapped" on the bridge? How would they handle a train that came to a stop on the bridge? Slow roll it forward or reverse until it's off the bridge?
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby BR&P » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:51 pm

Why would a train stop on the bridge? Image
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby ctclark1 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:32 am

I concur with BR&P. I don't think any block signals would cause a train to stop on the bridge.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby thebigham » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:55 am

There was supposed to demo the old bridge on Wednesday but was delayed due to problems with getting the blasting permit.

Should happen this week sometime.
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