R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

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R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby D.Carleton » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:25 pm

It's been over six months since it was announced that a new bridge is to be built across the Lehigh River near Jim Thorpe. Has anything happened thus far?
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby lvrr325 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:00 am

Why? Something wrong with the one that's (near) there now?
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby pumpers » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:05 am

lvrr325 wrote:Why? Something wrong with the one that's (near) there now?

THey are adding a new bridge to effectively make a full wye. Trains coming up from Reading won't have to reverse to go up the Lehigh River gorge to the Scranton area .
JS
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby toolmaker » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:39 pm

Since NS is buying the CP Sunbury Sub won't NS just use their own line the whole way and stop sending some trains down the R&N?
-gary

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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby lvrr325 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:18 pm

Seems like a lot of money just to save the sake of a runaround move.
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby pumpers » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:44 am

I think the NS traffic comes down the Lehigh River gorge and then at Jim THorpe stays along the river all the way to Allentown, switching between the old LV and CNJ mains, not getting on the line to Tamaqua and Reading at Nesquehoning, just north of Jim THorpe where the new bridge would be. SO I don't think this new bridge will make a difference to them. But what will happen to that traffic anyway is a good question, as you say. Other than R&N locals, don't know who else would use the bridge, under today's traffic patterns. But as they say, everything is subject to change. JS
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:24 am

No need to fret over bridge's purpose as it is generously being funded largely by $10M Pennsylvania taxpayer grant with just a little over $4M from R&N coffers:

http://wnep.com/2014/08/19/new-railroad-bridge-coming-to-nesquehoning/

http://www.rtands.com/index.php/freight/shortline-regional/reading-northern-railroad-to-replace-bridge-with-state-grant.html?channel=276

http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52545d1ce4b0183a5e0ec3b6/t/53f26565e4b09f80c23a04f6/1408395275964/PR8.18.14.pdf

Obviously this press release was issued well before CP opted to officially sell D&H South to NS. Plus the cited benefit of being the fastest double stack route between Port of Philadelphia and NE US and Canada seems a little specious given this traffic lane never amounted to a sustainable volume under CP's operation.
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby pumpers » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:08 pm

johnpbarlow wrote: Plus the cited benefit of being the fastest double stack route between Port of Philadelphia and NE US and Canada seems a little specious given this traffic lane never amounted to a sustainable volume under CP's operation.

Even more than that, to get from Philadelphia to the R&N route up the Lehigh River Gorge to Scranton, the current traffic goes Philly/Reading/Allentown to Jim THorpe and using the existing bridge to the Lehigh River gorge. It is cleared for double-stacks I believe. The new bridge is only good if you go Reading to Tamaqua (old Reading) and then to the new bridge as Nesquehoning, just north of Jim THorpe (by passing Allentown). I doubt you even save 5 miles, if that, and I don't think that route is cleared for double stacks. Oh well. JS
Maybe if the Reading- Allentown stretch of NS is maxed out and can't handle more traffic, you might have something interesting . But that last point I don't know.
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby D.Carleton » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:30 pm

Thank you all very much. But has anything actually started happening at the site?
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby CPSK » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:25 pm

D.Carleton wrote:Thank you all very much. But has anything actually started happening at the site?

nothing happening as of 4/24/15. I was bike riding in the gorge, crossed the bridge next to where the proposed new bridge will be; no construction there. There is a new highway bridge being built to connect us 209 to sr 903 though.

Perhaps the main reason for a new bridge is to bypass Allentown and the reverse move there.

A perhaps unrelated question: I saw a long string of tank cars on a siding track along the river at Jim Thorpe. Anyone know what might be in those cars? They have red placards on them.

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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby charlie6017 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:20 pm

CPSK wrote:
A perhaps unrelated question: I saw a long string of tank cars on a siding track along the river at Jim Thorpe. Anyone know what might be in those cars? They have red placards on them.

cp



Empty car storage, as per this thread here in the PA forum.

viewtopic.php?f=130&t=159438

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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby D.Carleton » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:13 pm

One year (or so) and $5 million more and we are that much closer: http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/freight/short-lines/pa-grants-bridge-creation.html?channel=94 Maybe by the end of the century?
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:37 am

D.Carleton wrote:One year (or so) and $5 million more and we are that much closer: http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/freight/short-lines/pa-grants-bridge-creation.html?channel=94 Maybe by the end of the century?


I'm a bit skeptical that this statement in the Trains Magazine article on the same topic holds much future revenue value:

Construction of this bridge will provide the shortest route between northeast U.S. and Canada to the Port of Philadelphia, avoiding circuitous routes via Allentown or Harrisburg, Pa., according to RBM&N President Wayne A. Michel.


Trains Magazine article: http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2016/06/06-reading-short-line
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby D.Carleton » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:30 pm

johnpbarlow wrote:I'm a bit skeptical that this statement in the Trains Magazine article on the same topic holds much future revenue value:
Construction of this bridge will provide the shortest route between northeast U.S. and Canada to the Port of Philadelphia, avoiding circuitous routes via Allentown or Harrisburg, Pa., according to RBM&N President Wayne A. Michel.
All adjectives are subjective. In this usage "shortest" could mean the physical track miles between two points, the lowest elevation of given routes or the least amount of time needed to traverse the route. All of that said, is this a good idea? Will this be a bridge-to-nowhere or will it be used everyday? Knowing something of the people involved I'm sure it's the latter.
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Re: R&N's New Nesquehoning Bridge

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:53 pm

D.Carleton wrote:Will this be a bridge-to-nowhere or will it be used everyday? Knowing something of the people involved I'm sure it's the latter.


Understood - I also think RBM&N has produced a sustainable if not growing business in a locale where other RRs have walked away.

However, to run traffic between Canada/NE US and Philly, NS has to be a willing partner as RBM&N is literally the middle man in such lanes. NS already originates/terminates the traffic on these lanes by themselves via 40ish(?) miles of trackage rights on RBM&N. Plus NS is looking to grow D&H revenues while being as austere in their ops as possible as it weathers the coal downturn. I just don't see how NS will be incentivized to give up some of its line haul revenues (but no costs) to exploit a new bridge that may inconsequentially reduce transit times for the kind of traffic NS is hauling. Unless there is talk of some new time-sensitive Philly - Canada/NE US intermodal service that this bridge might enable?
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