Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

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Re: the "Berrys"

Postby timz » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:48 pm

I'm guessing the Berrys were the two surface tracks immediately right (east) of Zoo tower in

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=qnvpvv ... vl=1&sty=b
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby adamkrom » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:38 pm

Jersey_Mike wrote:I wasn't aware there was a capacity problem at ZOO. With two flat junctions at North Philly and Shore ZOO doesn't have sole claim on being a bottleneck on the route to Trenton and SEPTA isn't chomping on the bit to really increase capacity.


The need depends on how you look at it. If you separate the SEPTA and Amtrak operations through zoo, it gets that much closer to full flexibility for each company to schedule trains. It does increase capacity in this location (although, as I said, there are bottlenecks in other places that limit train paths). While you may not be able to use all that capacity initially, it ties into an overall strategy to increase the use of the network generally -- a bit of topic.

Jersey_Mike wrote:Anyway, shifting NEC trains to use the Berry would cause conflicts with HBG Line trains that need to hold the high numbered platforms and, if necessary, power change. You also forget that the Berry-NY/Pittsburgh subway-HBG #2 track is the reversing wye for the 30th Street terminal so again you'd be creating conflicts. The situation at Mantua and Girard is also not clear cut as ACL trains will often go out straight 1 and R8's straight 2 to ease congestion at the flat junctions. Finally remember that there is no speed differential between inner and outer tracks between ZOO and Shore and outbound MAS is already close to the 45mph mandated by the cab signal so there isn't much of a speed advantage.


The issue isn't really speed, I think, it's signals and capacity. If there are separate and complete paths from #2 and #3 to lower level and #1 and #4 upper level, then SEPTA and Amtrak will have clear routes through Zoo on the NEC. As it is now, they must cross, since various connections and switches have been removed from Zoo. It was a virtually complete four-way flying junction, but now it is not. If a main line track has a capacity of, say, 14 single-direction train movements per hour, then when you merge two lines together, the actual capacity is reduced from the separate capacity of 28 trains per hour to just 14 or fewer. It is a funnel that constricts flow. The R8 junction is not ideal, obviously, and neither is Shore. But at least zoo has a lot of the elements to be completely braided. A quantum of capacity is probably created by the speed differential of the R8 and an Amtrak train. Since the R8 must cross-over, one assumes it is operating more slowly. Thus, if both the R8 and the Amtrak left 30th Street at nearly the same time, there is some chance for the Amtrak to clear the crossover before the R8 needs it...

As I stated originally, it would be best to increase the capacity of the station throat and create a four track 36th Street Connection. That is 100% new capacity, but it creates the capacity that currently exists with the River Line. That will allow the full use of the Suburban tracks from the upper level, since the River Line will be mostly inactive, excepting, perhaps, ACL trains. Trains could run down Berry and reach the low number platforms while trains run down from the Harrisburg Line to the higher number station tracks simultaneously. The reason this matters is you can then set up timed transfers from, say, Harrisburg trains to southbound NEC trains. You can do that today of course using the River Line tracks, but this was really about making more room on #1 and #4 of the NEC and increasing capacity on the Harrisburg line.

The eventual schedule might look something like this (which is similar to existing peak hour):

SEPTA/NJT combined service typical hour:
R5 outbound x 4
R8 outbound x 3
R7 outbound x 4
ACL outbound x 2
R6/Reading/Bethlehem outbound x 4 (these run through restored Ivy Ridge connection to Norristown Line)
Total: 17 commuter outbounds through various parts of Zoo

Amtrak Eastbound typical hour:
Acela/IC x 2
Regional x 2
LD x 1
From Harrisburg x 2
Total Eastbound Revenue trains per hour: 7

This is a marginal increase over today, and resembles the current peak hour with some tweaks.

As for wyeing the trains -- how often does this occur in a 24 hour period? Even today using the path you describe, it creates a conflict somewhere, because I would imagine it will tie up one of the NEC mains on the connecting bridge. A better option might be the EJ track. Pull out of 30th Street or the coach yard on the Harrisburg Main #4, then shove backwards on EJ to the NEC, and then come back down Berry (or the River Line if you like). You would have to rebuild EJ, but all this is in the context of a revamped Zoo anyway. You would probably build a track connection from HBGL #4 to EJ near 41 St.

Incidentally, 30th Street Station was originally designed to have a loop south of the station to turn trains on the land that Penn just bought.
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby adamkrom » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:46 pm

PS: Since 36th Street Connector is already two tracks to the ladder, if you "pulsed" the Amtrak trains at 30th you could still have two trains run into the lower level simultaneously without four tracks, assuming bi-directional signaling. This is because the southbounds are pulling in at the same time as the northbounds are coming in, so there is no conflict...
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Re: the "Berrys"

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:30 pm

timz wrote:I'm guessing the Berrys were the two surface tracks immediately right (east) of Zoo tower in

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=qnvpvv ... vl=1&sty=b

Looks like it to me, but I'll defer to someone who sees that regularly. I've only been over the Berry tracks when Corridor trains were being diverted off the River Line.
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby nomis » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:56 pm

adamkrom wrote:As for wyeing the trains -- how often does this occur in a 24 hour period?

At least 1x a day with lite diesel engine moves from 42/44.
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby strench707 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:08 pm

So which Berry track was ripped out? Like from what switch # to what switch # so I can cross it out of employee charts, since they show them both there being from 2008?

Thanks

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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:35 pm

strench707 wrote:So which Berry track was ripped out? Like from what switch # to what switch # so I can cross it out of employee charts, since they show them both there being from 2008?

Thanks

Davis

2 berry was ripped out with 3 berry remaining.3 berry is the track closest to Zoo tower.
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby strench707 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:57 am

So its gone from the 103 switch to the 183 switch correct?

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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:43 am

Davis, without looking on a track chart I cant give you switch numbers. Engineers and conductors when they qualify, dont have to know those numbers but as I mentioned in a previous post, the switch and signal is in on the Zoo end(start of K Ladder) and the track was ripped out from that point to where it connected in at Mantua and the switch at Manuta was ripped out
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby Jersey_Mike » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:03 am

Davis, without looking on a track chart I cant give you switch numbers. Engineers and conductors when they qualify, dont have to know those numbers but as I mentioned in a previous post, the switch and signal is in on the Zoo end(start of K Ladder) and the track was ripped out from that point to where it connected in at Mantua and the switch at Manuta was ripped out


This photo was taken three weeks ago and you can see that #2 Berry is barricaded at the 114R signal, not the 95 switch, and the track is lifted beyond that point. Why Amtrak would bother to go and remove that track is just a mystery as there are any number of reasons why it might become useful again. They could have just have easily spiked the switch at Mantua and then straight railed the frog.

Here was the Berry in 2008. I actually think I had the honor of being one of the last movements routed over #2 Berry back in 2003 when the new SEPTA dispatchers at 1234 Market forgot to tell ZOO my R7 train was heading out #4 track on the Main Line. Here is the 114R displaying Approach Medium.
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:54 am

Mike that is what I'm trying to say. They kept the switch and signal on 2 Berry on the Zoo end, but beyond the signal, it was ripped up all the way to Mantua with the switch taken out in Mantua although I'm sure the old Mantua signal for 2 Berry is still standing. I know when this work was done, it was in Bulletin Order.I usually don't keep them beyond a week.
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby strench707 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:33 pm

Okay so the switch off the #2 Berry that goes down to the 36th street connection has been turned into just a curve I presume. Its the one gaurded by the dwarf 240R (which also gaurds a crossover to #3 Berry). Or has that been eliminated?

And also that 2W signal and the one mounted behind are I just dark OOS right?

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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby Jersey_Mike » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:14 pm

You should refer to this updated 2006 diagram of ZOO. The 2W signal is on the Harrisburg Line and its Approach Lit. The part of 2 Berry that has been lifted is between 114R and former 192R. 114R is still lit and displays STOP to really bust anyone who drives off the end of track there.
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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby strench707 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:10 am

Okay so the 192R has been removed but I thought you guys said that the track was removed all the way up to MANTUA but if there is still track past the 192R then how does that work? Is the track there its just that the switch has been removed and changed to a curve?

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Re: Into Philly by way of the "Berrys"

Postby Jersey_Mike » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:41 pm

The 192R became part of MANTUA about 10 years ago and now the switch it protected is gone.
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