Philadelphia Belt RR questions

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Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby carajul » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:35 pm

How much traffic does the Phili Belt RR see these days? I'm following the line along Columbus Ave and it's 2 tracks with a vast network of spurs into piers and warehouses, but the switches are all cut out and nothing is spotted on the spurs anywhere that I can see. At peir 70 another 2 track line branches off and goes south, but it's got weeds 6' high growing thru the rails. There is even a yard at Columbus & Packer. But no cars parked. Then the line terminates at the large CSX yard at Pattison Ave & I-95.

Can anyone tell me what I'm seeing?
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby olneytrains » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:08 am

There are tankers delivered just north of the Walt Whitman bridge, going north Pier 70 has a warehouse in the front and a long pier on the water that receive hi top box cars maybe with paper, next to that is warehouse with shiny rails leading to an overhead door that appears to be getting rail service, continuing north you have a switch with 2 tracks to Rotem rail car manufacturer, on an adjacent switch there is a food warehouse that gets maybe 1 boxcar every couple of months and lastly Pier 40 sometimes has 8 hi top box cars or no cars depending on day of the week.
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby NorthPennLimited » Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:45 pm

The Philadelphia Belt line begins at the east end (compass north) of Greenwich Yard (by the Walt Whitman bridge) and is in service up to Pier 38 by the Moshulu restaurant.

The line is owned by THE PHILADLEPHIA BELTLINE CORPORATION.

The line is controlled and maintained by Conrail. NORAC rules govern movement on the Beltline, and it's controlled by the Conrail Yardmaster at Stony Creek Yard.

The city of Philadelphia has had a law on the books for over a century that no railroad can hold a monolopy on the piers.

In the old days, the Reading, B&O, and PRR served the piers of Philadelphia. Today it is served by Conrail, CSX, and Canadian Pacific (D&H).

Leaving east from Greenwich Yard, the customer sidings include:
Pasha Automotobile Distribution
Packer Marine Terminal
Holt Marine Terminal
Pier 84
Pier 82
Pier 80
Pier 78
Betty Corporation / Distribution
Dublin Paper Co.
Swanson Street Industrial Track (Inolex chemical corp)
Snyder Ave industrial track (Hyundai-Rotem Corp)
Pier 40
Pier 38
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby trackwelder » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:49 am

NorthPennLimited wrote:The Philadelphia Belt line begins at the east end (compass north) of Greenwich Yard (by the Walt Whitman bridge) and is in service up to Pier 38 by the Moshulu restaurant.



what is the point of the tracks heading north after pier 38? i would imagine they've been out of service for decades but are still maintained (somewhat) all the way to the E.O.T. beneath the benfranklin bridge. is there some sort of forlorn hope of expansion northward or that the seaport museum will want rail service?
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby scotty269 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:36 pm

Dubin Paper Co, not DubLin
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby olneytrains » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:53 am

The Dubin switch was removed around 2009.
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby RDG467 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:24 pm

CP pulled out of Phila. about 2 years ago, so it's down to CR and CSX......
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby riffian » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:58 pm

The Swanson Street track has been removed as well. There is a tank car left on isolated track in the chemical co., apparently for storage.
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby Gone2long » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:50 am

I remember quite a few years ago that some sort of tourist train ran up and down the line from the BF bridge south I don't believe it runs or exists anymore? Does anyone recall that, it was before my interest in following train movement. I did know the landscape company that had that contract to renew the islands along the tracks around that same time period.
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby olneytrains » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:03 pm

I recall riding trolley cars in the 1990s and the line was electrified. The cars were parked near pier 40 and after the operation ended they were moved to a vacant lot at Front St. and Girard Ave in Philadelphia for storage not sure where the next move was located. Ed
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby Gone2long » Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:39 pm

olneytrains wrote:I recall riding trolley cars in the 1990s and the line was electrified. The cars were parked near pier 40 and after the operation ended they were moved to a vacant lot at Front St. and Girard Ave in Philadelphia for storage not sure where the next move was located. Ed


Ok gives me confidence now in my lack of memory :-D if I remember right the power house/source was where the duck boats do/did enter the river by the bridge guess that's pier 40?
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby olneytrains » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:07 pm

Pier 40 is about a mile south of the duck boat ramp. I am not sure of that municipal pier number but the switch has been severed into that pier that is next to duck boat ramp.Pier 40 used to have two tracks along side of the building where some of the trolleys parked but that switch too was severed and the trolleys had nowhere to park on Delaware Ave and were moved to front street
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby olneytrains » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:23 pm

This is an informative article

[url]http://planphilly.com/articles/2009/11/24/trolley
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby Gone2long » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:10 pm

Thanks yep thats the way I remember it, too bad the money chased them all the way to Lackawanna County.
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Re: Philadelphia Belt RR questions

Postby RDG467 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:56 am

The Belt LIne used to connect with the Reading at their Wilow & Noble St. yards, north of the Benny, and continued up to Port Richmond.

The Jack Frost Sugar Refinery used to occupy the site of the Sugar House Casino.

There were also connections with the PRR, of course. The Shackamaxon Street freight house was located a tad north of the W&N yard. That appears in a bunch of Philly waterfront photos that I've seen, including the one attached.
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sugar.jpg
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