S Christopher Columbus BLV, Philly

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S Christopher Columbus BLV, Philly

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:25 am

Last night after a show I was driving around Philly and noticed tracks that ran right in the middle of the street with sidings that ran off to business around. I thought it looked cool and was probably a pretty cool place to see some freight action up close many years ago until I actually saw a csx engine switching out a few boxcars from the siding. I was both excited and surprised to see this section of track still in use. Does anyone know anything about this ROW? I assume it's just a small switching job from the CSX yard that very close and back. I'm curious as to how much of this track is active, where it leads, and how often it's used.
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Re: S Christopher Columbus BLV, Philly

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:18 pm

Just as a quick reply (some people on here will be able to respond with a lot more detail), it's the last remnant of the Philadelphia Belt Line Railroad, which served steamship piers on the east side of Delaware Avenue (as it was then named) and various customers to the west. There were very intricate arrangements as to which railroad (PRR, RDG, B&O) had the right to use which tracks to serve which customers; there were four tracks in places, some belonging to the Belt Line and some to one or another of the three railroads. The Belt Line used to run all along the waterfront to well north of Market St. when the piers were still in service; occasionally at night a motorist would get a surprise to see a standing boxcar looming up in the darkness ahead of him. Others will be able to fill you in on how much activity there is today. AFAIK the Belt Line never had any locomotives or crews; the three railroads had various rights to operate over it.
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Re: S Christopher Columbus BLV, Philly

Postby mmi16 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:05 pm

CSX yard activities in Philadelphia originate from the former B&O Eastside Yard and the former ConRail Greenwich Yard.
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