All things Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, gprimr1, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman

All things Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:36 pm

Hello everyone, as we all know, Amtrak Septa and Penndot have been working the past few years to rebuild the Keystone Corridor from Zoo to Harrisburg. Not only have the tracks been rebuilt for the most part, but new rule 562 signalling have been installed near Harrisburg and is marching East as we speak with it currently installed between State(Harrisburg) and Cork(Lancaster). Starting with calender year 2009 and lasting for 4 years will be work on the new rule 562 from Zoo to Paoli(Im guessing to meet the new signals from Harrisburg. Im only speculating) with 3 brand new interlockings at Paoli, Villanova and Wynnefield. This means teh end of Bryn Mawr and Overbrook interlockings and the ends of the towers eventually.Overbrook and Bryn Mawr interlockings are a hassle because the are located within the station limits with numerous people crossing the tracks daily. I knew Septas plan is to run the R5 Bryn Mawr locals to Villanova. I have heard this when I was still at Septa and now Septa issued a report that outlines this work.Also transfer of the "K"interlocking in Zoo will be transferred from Zoo tower to Septas RROC. The ride thru Zoo is really nice. The new signals installed at the K ladder by Septa are at least traditional PRR style signals although they are attached to massive aluminum poles now. Below is the except from the Septa report..Thoughts anyone Perhaps I need to recruit prople like jersey-mike or choo choo bob, to take pics of the soon vanishing vistas of these unique interlockings.

R5 Paoli Line Improvements ($80,600,000) (MPMS #59917)
SEPTA, PennDOT, and Amtrak are working together to improve the infrastructure of the Amtrak-owned
Keystone corridor between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. This corridor serves the PennDOT-subsidized
and Amtrak-operated Keystone service, and SEPTA’s R5 Paoli/Thorndale Regional Rail Line. The project
will restore the infrastructure to a state of good repair, improve operating speeds and enhance service
reliability. Amtrak and PennDOT have jointly funded the installation of new concrete ties and new
continuous welded rail (CWR) on Tracks 2 and 3 between Zoo Interlocking and Paoli Station, and
infrastructure improvements west of Paoli, including ties, rail, signals, catenary and bridges. The project
also included the rehabilitation of Amtrak rail vehicles for use on this line. The investment by PennDOT
and Amtrak in the Keystone corridor totaled $145.5 million. The jointly funded Amtrak/PennDOT
improvements were substantially completed in Calendar Year 2006.
Amtrak and SEPTA are sharing the cost of improvements from Zoo Interlocking (west of Amtrak’s 30th
Street Station) westward to the Paoli Station in Chester County. SEPTA funds provide for improvements
between Zoo and Paoli Interlockings on Tracks 1 and 4. This project will be advanced in phases over a
multi-year period.
Amtrak-SEPTA Phase 1, which was completed in Calendar Year 2007, included the installation of 85,000
concrete crossties and new continuous welded rail, track surfacing, and track realignment. Phase 2
includes the design and construction of three track interlockings (Paoli, Villanova and Wynnefield) and a
new bi-directional train signal system. The construction of Phase 2 improvements will be addressed over
a four year period starting in Calendar Year 2009.
The scope of work for Phase 3 is under development and will include additional track interlocking
modifications, as well as improvements to power substations, the power distribution system, and track
beds.
Capital investments currently completed, planned and under consideration for this rail corridor will
enhance the train service provided by both SEPTA and Amtrak, as well as significantly improve the quality
of ride for current and future customers.

Amtrak “K” Interlocking Transfer Project ($10,877,446) (MPMS #60255)
The “K” Interlocking location is the easternmost section of the overall Amtrak Interlocking, known as
“Zoo”. It is controlled and maintained by Amtrak. However, the “K” Interlocking is critical to SEPTA
Railroad operations, as all SEPTA Paoli, Cynwyd, Trenton and Chestnut Hill West trains operate through
it. This project provides for the third-party design and installation of a modernized “K” interlocking,
which includes a new train control system, track work, civil improvements, new catenary, fully remotely
controlled operation system, and new fiber optic communications infrastructure. Construction is in
progress. 32,000 feet of rail and 4,500 ties have been installed; installation of a prefabricated cable
trough to accommodate new cabling throughout the interlocking has been completed. This project is
scheduled for completion in March 2009.
BuddSilverliner269
 
Posts: 3662
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:40 am
Location: Trenton Line MP 30.70

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby SEPTAR3kid » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:03 pm

That is really interesting, but I think the removal of the interlockings in Bryn Mawr is very important as when I've been there, I've seen dozens crossing the tracks. It will be sad to see the old towers go however, I'll have to get photos before there gone!
User avatar
SEPTAR3kid
 
Posts: 307
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:18 pm
Location: Media

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby Rail Boy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:40 am

While the changes are all good and necessary, it's tough seeing a piece of history be destroyed. It was nice having one rail line that was basically in the same condition as it was when the PRR went belly up.
Rail Boy
 
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:05 am
Location: Planet Earth

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby NellieBly » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:37 am

Ah, nostalgia for the PRR! Yes, those towers and interlockings stayed essentially unchanged from 1968 to now -- and so did the horribly surface-bent 155-lb. bolted rail. More than a decade ago, I had a business trip to New York scheduled, and I wanted to ride the NY-Pittsburgh "subway" at Zoo. So I took SEPTA out to Ardmore to wait for the one Keystone train that used the subway and bypassed 30th Street.

While I was waiting, a SEPTA "Bomb Train" came by on the inbound express track, crashing and banging over the low joints (with loose bolts, too!) of the old 155# rail. What a racket!

Amtrak during the Warrington years spent as little as possible on the Harrisburg line. Ridership plummeted and the track conditions were really deplorable. It was quite a historic event when Amtrak and PA reached agreement to actually spend some money improving things. The ride to Harrisburg now is good, fast, and smooth, and that's even before they finish the interlocking and signal work. The old double-track ABS line really was an anachronism. If you want to see railroad history, go visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Randy Resor, aka "NellieBly" passed away on November 1, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion to railroading at railroad.net.
NellieBly
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:14 am
Location: NEC

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby amtrakhogger » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:57 am

Look for all the towers to close when this project is completed.
His train? It's MY train! I know what I'm doing, do you?
User avatar
amtrakhogger
 
Posts: 1944
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:16 am
Location: "F" on the Camden and Amboy

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby khecht » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:07 pm

Rail Boy wrote:While the changes are all good and necessary, it's tough seeing a piece of history be destroyed. It was nice having one rail line that was basically in the same condition as it was when the PRR went belly up.


Unless, like me, you commuted over it daily, bumping along the whole way :-D The continuous weld rail was very welcome.
khecht
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:27 pm
Location: Philly Area

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby Suburban Station » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:19 pm

If the PRR hadn't gone bankrupt, they would never have let it go on this long as a decrepit embarrassment. This is a nice ride now, though I'd love to see even more time shaved off the trip.
Suburban Station
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:11 pm

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby Nasadowsk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:31 pm

NellieBly wrote:Ah, nostalgia for the PRR! Yes, those towers and interlockings stayed essentially unchanged from 1968 to now -- and so did the horribly surface-bent 155-lb. bolted rail.


Last time I took the Paoli line, I was amazed that such third world track was still in use in the US. Forget standing on SEPTA trains, you sat, and hopefully stayed in your seat...

If you want to see railroad history, go visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.


Yep. Widespread CWR use is the best thing that ever happened to railroading since cab signals with enforcement (I was going to say electrification but cab signals came afterwards :) ). It saves cost, makes the ride better, makes things quieter. Though - didn't someone here once say the Milwaukee tended to have an amazing ride over their jointed track?
Nasadowsk
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:45 pm

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:17 pm

In so far as jointed rail is/was concerned it was a matter of maintenance. I remember the New Haven main line when it was
just about all stick (jointed) rail and it rode very well both on the engine and in a coach. It required more maintenance than
the present welded rail does but with proper care, it rode well.
I still remember the jointed rail on track three on the Metro-North Hudson Line north of DV, when you came off the welded
rail at that location it felt like you were going down the "Burma Road". It wasn't until the Metro-North days that all of the
jointed rail on this line was replaced and what a difference it made. The old jointed rail was still OK for 60 MPH but it was
not a nice ride.
I don't know today just how much Amtrak operation is conducted over stick rail, maybe some on the New England Central and
maybe some of the BNSF in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. Of course probably many active passing sidings still have
stick rail.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9624
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby neroden » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:22 pm

BuddSilverliner269 wrote:Hello everyone, as we all know, Amtrak Septa and Penndot have been working the past few years to rebuild the Keystone Corridor from Zoo to Harrisburg. Not only have the tracks been rebuilt for the most part, but new rule 562 signalling have been installed near Harrisburg and is marching East as we speak with it currently installed between State(Harrisburg) and Cork(Lancaster).


What is rule 562? Is this a form of cab signalling?
neroden
 
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby neroden » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:31 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:I don't know today just how much Amtrak operation is conducted over stick rail, maybe some on the New England Central and
maybe some of the BNSF in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. Of course probably many active passing sidings still have
stick rail.
Noel Weaver


Definitely the Vermonter is still on jointed rail at least part of the way (New England Central). And the Ethan Allen Express (Clarendon & Pittsford). And I think a lot of little connection tracks and tracks in terminal areas are still jointed (not that you really notice the jointed rail when you're going under 30 mph with frequent switches).

The Class Is have been slowly but surely upgrading to CWR on pretty much all their mainlines, even the "minor" mainlines, probably largely to reduce maintenance costs. I wonder about the Downeaster, which is the only other train which is largely on shortline track.
neroden
 
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby rob216 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:21 pm

neroden wrote:
BuddSilverliner269 wrote:Hello everyone, as we all know, Amtrak Septa and Penndot have been working the past few years to rebuild the Keystone Corridor from Zoo to Harrisburg. Not only have the tracks been rebuilt for the most part, but new rule 562 signalling have been installed near Harrisburg and is marching East as we speak with it currently installed between State(Harrisburg) and Cork(Lancaster).


What is rule 562? Is this a form of cab signalling?


Here is a link to what it is.

http://www.svmetro.com/septawatch/signals/rule-562.php
Robert Bishop

My opinion is just that, my opinion and in no way represents the company I work with.

Co-Moderator of the "CLUBS, MUSEUMS, AND TOURIST LINES" FORUM
rob216
 
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:41 am
Location: Oxford PA

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby Suburban Station » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:52 pm

People in or near Mount Joy "are telling us they want this," Mark Hiester said, glancing around at the now-quiet spot down below the heart of his town. Dozens of trains come and go each week, most of them crowded with passengers. And more people are getting on and off the trains in Mount Joy. The station is seeing its ridership totals skyrocket, and as the number of riders continues to grow, local officials like borough manager Hiester, his predecessor, Terry Kauffman, and Main Street Mount Joy manager Stacy Rutherford hope to make the station even more of a town hub. State transportation officials have notified Mount Joy that a proposal to make the train platform handicapped-accessible has been moved forward on the state's funding schedule, and could begin this fall.


http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/238917


it would see HLP's would be the way to go


[Please do not copy-and-paste whole articles, that's a violation of copyright. Short quotes only.
viewtopic.php?f=147&t=59891 -omv]
Suburban Station
 
Posts: 3263
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:11 pm

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby delvyrails » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:31 pm

As for Overbrook interlocking, the crossovers are all located in a curve where all four tracks are superelevated. It's an interesting example of solid geometry, since the tops of rails in each crossover must be on the surface of an imaginary cone of large radius.

Very expensive, too. I am told that the railroad track people have long kept their fingers crossed that there would be no derailment serious enough to require replacement of such non-standard track parts. In such an event, the crossover would have to be removed and replaced by ordinary rail until the replacement crossover could be specially fabricated and installed.

So financial sanity demands that the functional replacement for Overbrook interlocking be somewhere else on trangent track where standard track components can be used.
John Pawson
delvyrails
 
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:47 pm

Re: Upcoming changes to the Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

Postby right-of-way » Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:47 pm

There are a lot of legacy interlockings around Frazer, Thorndale, possibly Atglen/Parkesburg. These were spots were the former PRR freight bypass lines between Trenton and Harrisburg merged with the Main Line. Many of them are no longer in use and slow things down quite a bit in certain stretches.

I believe one of the key outcomes of the high speed rail funding would be to complete the punch list of modernization projects between Harrisburg and Philly. Many of the junctions need to be deleted/removed, but some new ones should be added. There seems to be a concern of the DVARP that SEPTA/Amtrak is not taking travel demand into account into this greater capital program. That is, where does it make the most sense to run trains as local and trains as expresses and what do you need to build to support the desired service pattern. If you look Caltrain, they operate very interesting stopping patterns and deliver customers between point A and B much quicker. The Swiss and DB in Germany have standardized this practice. I have always thought that they (Amtrak/Septa) should run an express-like train all day and only stop at major stops all the way to Harrisburg (e.g., Overbrook, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Villanova, Wayne, Paoli, Exton, Downingtown, Thorndale...Harrisburg). Locals should have timed transfers at major stations (high-level platforms--no exceptions) to all express trains.

Of greater concern is the power system, especially between Paoli and 30th Street. Back during the mid-1980's, the portion in Montgomery County was repainted but the section west of Rosemont has not been touched. There was some catenary/electrical upgrades during the last batch of Amtrak/Penn DOT renovations but I am sure it was just a down-payment. I am also pretty sure that the substations and other related components are in need of complete replacement.

The upcoming changes will essentially renovate the rest of the physical plant 30+ years after it should have occurred. Better late than never. After this gets going I would expect a small but significant number of service changes to Septa and Amtrak trains, including a few more rapid Pittsburgh trains in the near future.

And...oh yes...SEPARATE ALL REMAINING AT-GRADE CROSSINGS. A high speed train hitting an Amish horse and buggy is not good publicity.
User avatar
right-of-way
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:41 pm

Next

Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dick H, Exabot [Bot] and 9 guests