Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby ccutler » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:42 pm

Its an illusion. those piers in the river are for the old bridge, not for the new construction
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby thebigham » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:13 pm

John Kucko pic
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letchworth10.jpg
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby pumpers » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:33 am

ccutler wrote:Its an illusion. those piers in the river are for the old bridge, not for the new construction

Sure fooled me. Even now when I go back and look at it, it is stil hard to tell, at least to me.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby 452 Card » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:19 am

Upon further scrutiny, it is possible to see the green re-bar the lathers have installed over the wooden structure on the north end of the pier area. Zooming in on the lower John Kucko picture above makes this happen. My guess is that there will be a poured deck, not pre-cast. Hope to see a closer pic of that area to understand how the wooden substructure is attached, if indeed it is wood.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Adirondack » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:23 pm

Satellite views seem to show that at one time the Erie ROW took a much more gradual curve North going West of the bridge, crossing the present ROW before rejoining farther up. The oldest topographical map I can find, 1905, shows the present ROW, though. I imagine this was a grade leveling project at the expense of more curvature, but wondered if anyone knew more.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby ctclark1 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:26 pm

It was discussed earlier in this thread and I believe in at least one other regarding a similar realignment near Silver Springs... (From near CP Silver Springs to CP Rock Glen... older topo maps and even today's satellite to an extent show a clear cut taking a more direct route between the two - from just west of the old B&O bridge to just north of Wethersfield Rd, as opposed to the longer route and sharper curve that jumps around Fuller Rd and Rt 19)

The general consensus is that the current s-curve alignment replaced the original single curve to lengthen the mileage and therefore allow for a more gradual grade leaving the river valley, in the day steamers would've had a harder time dealing with it than today's diesels.

My hypothesis is that this was probably done around the same time as the iron bridge was being built, since it would make sense to do it while the line was OOS due to the wooden trestle fire, but that's never been confirmed and my logic may very well have not been Erie's logic, so YMMV.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby MARKON » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:35 am

From looking at the great aerial pics of the new bridge---is this being constructed for possible double tracking??
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby sd80mac » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:38 am

pumpers wrote:
ccutler wrote:Its an illusion. those piers in the river are for the old bridge, not for the new construction

Sure fooled me. Even now when I go back and look at it, it is stil hard to tell, at least to me.


If you knew the old bridge, it was easy to tell...

In other photos posted in here and in FB, you would know that the "pier" did not held up the arch... or used as platforms.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby ctclark1 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:37 pm

MARKON wrote:From looking at the great aerial pics of the new bridge---is this being constructed for possible double tracking??

I highly doubt it. Don't recall anything in the original spec/plans that even remotely referred to double track nor is the corridor busy enough to warrant it, even with the potential increase in traffic due to the lifting of the weight restriction. Even if the new bridge is slightly wider than the old bridge I don't think it's wide enough for 2 tracks (what do most RRs use now, ~15ft on center spacing?) It appears as the approach spans are roughly the same width as the original approach spans.

The apparent difference I think you're seeing in the main spans is because the new bridge continues the girder construction all the way across the approaches and main spans, whereas the trestle uses girder for the approaches but switches to a deck truss design for the main spans which appears narrower because the arches are outside of the girder width in the new bridge.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby TrainDetainer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:20 pm

I went back and looked at all the available photos and it looks to scale out about like this. The deck trough may or may not be this wide but the deck beams for the main span appear to match those on the approach spans so I doubt the deck will cover the arches.
small brdg.jpg

Approach span of the old bridge shown for comparison. If you wanted to put double track on a ballasted deck like this the deck width would have to be at least 23.5' for 13.5' track centers.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:27 am

About 8-10 trains cross the current bridge at Letchworth on a daily basis. Even if that number was increased to 20 trains per day, there would still be no need to double track the new bridge... or even the Tier itself. Single track CTC can handle about 24-25 trains per day if there are sufficient sidings. Let's be honest- NS may add a few trains per day at most to the Tier after the new bridge is done... and it's possible that nothing changes at all.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby sd80mac » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:54 pm

Erie Lackawanna probably had more trains and they can go through this single track bridge just fine...

I don't think EL was running across bridge any faster than CR/NS did... actually I never saw EL went over bridge.

There was 1 or 2 siding west of the bridge. Was it double track west of the bridge or??? I saw once that EL sat on siding in early 70's, waiting to go across the bridge. But I never got to see that.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby nydepot » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:41 pm

Conrail single-tracked east and west of the bridge.

sd80mac wrote:Erie Lackawanna probably had more trains and they can go through this single track bridge just fine...

I don't think EL was running across bridge any faster than CR/NS did... actually I never saw EL went over bridge.

There was 1 or 2 siding west of the bridge. Was it double track west of the bridge or??? I saw once that EL sat on siding in early 70's, waiting to go across the bridge. But I never got to see that.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Scott K » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:41 pm

The first time I got to see the bridge from the top on the east side was some time in '83, I think. Conrail was still in the process of single-tracking the line then. The rails for the second track hadn't been picked up yet. As an aside, "Portageville Road", the one that actually crosses the track just before the bridge, was still open then past that point, down the hill to Portageville by the Rte 436 bridge. Narrow, steep, and scary, right at the edge of the cliff! (Felt that way at least).

About the original alignment west of the bridge, didn't I read somewhere here (not sure if it was this thread) that one of the problems was with snow frequently completely blocking the cut just past the bridge?

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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:52 pm

sd80mac wrote:Erie Lackawanna probably had more trains and they can go through this single track bridge just fine...

I don't think EL was running across bridge any faster than CR/NS did... actually I never saw EL went over bridge.


According to Trains EL was averaging 17 trains per day across the Letchworth bridge in 1974, and it was single track then. IIRC, the bridge's speed limit was 30 mph before Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and 10 mph thereafter.
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