Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby sd80mac » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:51 am

Matt Langworthy wrote: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.


Thanks. I was looking for this answer...

in 1974... it was rock bottom for many of RR's and traffic was at lowest point. But I am sure that EL ran more than that in 1960's and Erie probably ran more during hey days.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby sd80mac » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:53 am

sd80mac wrote: Was it double track west of the bridge or???



CORRECTION!!! my typo... EAST, NOT WEST... sorry.... Geez (whack on my head)
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Matt Langworthy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:56 am

There were definitely more trains during the '60s, until EL's president Greg Maxwell paid a visit to Hornell. After he observed operations there, the number of daily trains from Hornell to Buffalo was reduced from 8 to 1.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby sd80mac » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:04 am

nydepot wrote:Conrail single-tracked east and west of the bridge.


Double track on WEST side?? I never saw double track at the park on west side, not even during EL in 70's Where did double track started on west side? Outside of state park? I thought that double track started in Castile and out to buffalo...

Thanks for new info...
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby johnpbarlow » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:13 am

Matt Langworthy wrote:There were definitely more trains during the '60s, until EL's president Greg Maxwell paid a visit to Hornell. After he observed operations there, the number of daily trains from Hornell to Buffalo was reduced from 8 to 1.


The March 21, 1971 EL Employees Timetable shows 4 scheduled westbound symbol freights and 7 eastbound symbol freights between Hornell and Buffalo.

Also, photo shows D&H eb Apollo headed off Portage Bridge about to traverse the spring switch at the west end of the passing siding just east of the trestle in May 1976, just after C-day..
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D&H Apollo GP38s eb at Portageville May 76 resized.jpg
EL wb Freight Train Schedule 1971 small.jpg
EL eb Freight Train Schedule 1971 small.jpg
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby sd80mac » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:17 am

Matt Langworthy wrote:There were definitely more trains during the '60s, until EL's president Greg Maxwell paid a visit to Hornell. After he observed operations there, the number of daily trains from Hornell to Buffalo was reduced from 8 to 1.



Wow... 8 to 1!!! big fat chopped off the meat!!!
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby sd80mac » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:28 am

johnpbarlow wrote:Also, photo shows D&H eb Apollo headed off Portage Bridge about to traverse the spring switch at the west end of the passing siding just east of the trestle in May 1976, just after C-day..


Just the exactly the same as I remembered how it looked when I saw that area... except that I cant recall if there was 2 siding or 1 spur (more of for bad order cars) and 1 siding. or just one siding.

that photo bring my memory back...except for wrong color on locomotives.. LOL.

thank you!
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Matt Langworthy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:10 am

johnpbarlow wrote:
Matt Langworthy wrote:There were definitely more trains during the '60s, until EL's president Greg Maxwell paid a visit to Hornell. After he observed operations there, the number of daily trains from Hornell to Buffalo was reduced from 8 to 1.


The March 21, 1971 EL Employees Timetable shows 4 scheduled westbound symbol freights and 7 eastbound symbol freights between Hornell and Buffalo.


I was referring to trains that operated strictly between Hornell and Buffalo i.e. locals. I should have been more specific.

The symbol freights on the 1971 ETT also operated east of Hornell. Thank you for sharing it- very interesting!
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Matt Langworthy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:13 am

sd80mac wrote:
Matt Langworthy wrote:There were definitely more trains during the '60s, until EL's president Greg Maxwell paid a visit to Hornell. After he observed operations there, the number of daily trains from Hornell to Buffalo was reduced from 8 to 1.



Wow... 8 to 1!!! big fat chopped off the meat!!!


Allegedly, those 8 trains were just shuffling the same traffic back and forth between Bison Yard and Hornell. Maxwell correctly identified the problem and eliminated the waste.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby sd80mac » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:42 am

Matt Langworthy wrote:
sd80mac wrote:
Matt Langworthy wrote:There were definitely more trains during the '60s, until EL's president Greg Maxwell paid a visit to Hornell. After he observed operations there, the number of daily trains from Hornell to Buffalo was reduced from 8 to 1.



Wow... 8 to 1!!! big fat chopped off the meat!!!


Allegedly, those 8 trains were just shuffling the same traffic back and forth between Bison Yard and Hornell. Maxwell correctly identified the problem and eliminated the waste.


It takes President to see that... not even yard master, train master, GM, regional manager all the way up to title below President see that. Could it be that they did it on purpose to keep getting extra pay to run these "extra" trains.

(Matt - check FB message)
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby Matt Langworthy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:07 am

The Erie RR had issues with nepotism and feather bedding (excess jobs). Both problems continued into the early EL era, until Maxwell and CEO Bill White corrected them in the mid 1960s. They really streamlined EL, which made a profit for a few years because of the policy changes.

Getting back to the OT, has NS given a specific date for the new bridge to open?
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby thebigham » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:17 am

^Not yet.

I've read November/December.

Depends on how fast they get the concrete poured and set for the bridge deck.
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby JoeS » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:34 pm

sd80mac wrote:
nydepot wrote:Conrail single-tracked east and west of the bridge.


Double track on WEST side?? I never saw double track at the park on west side, not even during EL in 70's Where did double track started on west side? Outside of state park? I thought that double track started in Castile and out to buffalo...

Thanks for new info...


The WEST side was single tracked by the Erie in the 1950s and the only change Conrail made after C-Day was the truncation of the 2nd main track between Attica and Linden. The east end was at MP 383 (East Linden) and CR cut it back to its present location (Linden) near Molasses Hill Rd. They also apparently redesignated it as a controlled siding instead of main track.

I thought I read somewhere that there were spring switches on either side of the viaduct when the west end was double track but I could not find any reference to it in ETT 38 of 1949.

Here's a link to an article on the single track program: http://www.jon-n-bevliles.net/RAILROAD/ ... 100151.pdf
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby ctclark1 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:18 pm

The double main on the east side of the river did indeed outlive the double main on the west side by many years. There's a lot of reference especially to the split grade of the double main on the east side further down the line. Topographical maps show the double main on the west side way back but I don't remember what years that disappeared anymore.

As for the spring switches, I can't speak to whether the west side approaches ever had it. I have seen exactly one reference to the spring switch on the east side, that was in the description of a picture which I'm pretty sure showed a CR loco "thundering" through the spring switch, also specifically mentions that it was still a 30mph limit at the time.
I can't find the picture now, it was either on RRpicturearchives (not working) or railpictures.net (can't find it), I almost think it was by Mike Stellpflug but I could be mistaken on that. If anyone knows the picture I'm referring to...
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Re: Portageville Bridge Replacement, Future Tier Traffic

Postby JoeS » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:30 am

I recall that picture, and it was posted on the Rochester Area Railfans Facebook page. It was in response to a picture I posted of an eastbound D&H train that had just cleared the switch. I am standing about where the two-light switch point indicator signal was located with my back to the bridge. The crossing is where NS placed the monitoring trailer for the viaduct a few years ago.
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portage jul 84.jpg
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