Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby jslader » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:46 am

These pics are from April 17th. I like them because they give you an idea of just how deep they dug down.
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby jslader » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:48 am

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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby SEPTAR3kid » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:28 am

jslader wrote:Are you talking about the B&O? If so that line is already double stack capable; has been since the late 90's. I have a magazine article from a railroad magazine (not TRAINS, R&R or Railpace) showing them enlarging clearances in Darby. The work was done as part of the original clearance enlarging work done in the mid-90's to allow double stacks into PA across the Pennsy mainline. The reason double stacks currently don't use the line is because they have no place to go; clearances through Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore prohibit stacks from traveling up and down the B&O.


Ah ok thanks, yeah I was just curious if it actually was since there aren't any doublestacks on the line.
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby jslader » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:35 am

So, these photos are from the week before last. I have said the roadbed looked paved, but in fact it just has been smoothed really well. Compare with my older pics and note the progress. I'm sorry for the grainy texture; it was pouring down rain when I took these.
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Looking west from Fox Street overpass towards old Tastykake Factory; Tastykake recently moved to a newer, modern plant at the old Philly Naval base, thankfully with rail service as they had here. Again, the drainage project looks done, so I guess ballast comes next?
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Looking East from Fox Street, can see progress on the left, work still needs to be done on right.
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Still looking from Fox Street East,showing more of the unfinished side of the project.
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby jslader » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:52 am

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Looking west from Wissahickon (Wiss-ah-hick-un) Ave overpass. I also had a shot looking east, with a train in it, but just before I took the shot my phone started acting up. I was able to still get the shot of, but was moving and shaking in my haste to get the shot off and it came out really blurry.
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Looking west towards Wissahickon Ave overpass. Perhaps you can see the rain, showing how big the drops were at that time!
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Looking east towards Septa mainline overpass. Note it appears they are working on the grade for the connecting track to Septa-known as "The Blue Line Connection" apparently for an old Reading Blueliner the track pasts before merging with the main the the Wayne Junction Shops- towards the left.
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby JADes718 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:34 am

If this project is continuing into NJ they will definitely need to do something to the subroad bed near Bellemead. The mud seeps through the ballast causing slow orders all the time.
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby jslader » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:26 pm

The project isn't going out of Pa; it'll stop at Woodbourne Interlocking, where NS' old Pennsy belt line around Philly crosses over CSX and Septa's R3 West Trenton line. Past the NS overpass the CSX line is stack capable; there are numerous photos of CSX' Q190 and Q191 running under the wires. Currently those two trains take a circuitous route over NS to get from CSX' line in South Philly to CP Woodbourne. Incidentally, the NS overpass is one of the bridges that will have the CSX line undercut under it to enlarge clearances on the line.
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby jslader » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:43 am

They've laid down a roadbed and have begun to setup rail for the new track where the grading and drainage have been completed (the pics looking west from Fox St overpass, with the Tastykake Bldg in the background). They have also graded the path for the Blue Line Connector (used to connect the Trenton Line with SEPTA's mainline) and have laid ties down. You can see this in the pic below:
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby NellieBly » Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:23 am

I was living near Park Junction in Philadelphia in the early 1990s when the clearance work was done. Track under the highway bridge at the former location of Park Junction was lowered about three feet. Around the same time, Conrail completed the "Engleside Connection" to allow trains from the south to run to Frankford Junction along the Amtrak main (on "O" track on the east side of the ROW), avoiding a run-around move on the HIgh Line for trains off the NEC or from Abrams Yard.

The clearance work done at that time also cleared two tunnels on the former B&O southeast of Philadelphia. This was done largely for auto racks to Twinoaks in Delaware. The Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore will accommodate auto racks (19' 6") and stacked standard containers, but does not have the required clearance for stacked hi-cube containers (20' 6" ATOR). There's no way to get it, either, since there is only about a foot and a half of cover over the crown of the tunnel, and there's a drain under the floor. A new tunnel would be needed.

The "National Gateway" project involves clearing a route from central Ohio to Washington, thence south through the Virginia Avenue Tunnel and via the RF&P and ACL to North Carolina. The VA Ave. Tunnel will be the most expensive part. CSX will have to rebuild the entire tunnel (and will re-double track it in the process) for a total cost of $100 million or so.
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby QB 52.32 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:26 am

NellieBly wrote: The Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore will accommodate auto racks (19' 6") and stacked standard containers, but does not have the required clearance for stacked hi-cube containers (20' 6" ATOR). There's no way to get it, either, since there is only about a foot and a half of cover over the crown of the tunnel, and there's a drain under the floor. A new tunnel would be needed.


CSX has published a figure approaching $ 1 billion to clear (not sure by what option) the Howard St. tunnel to 20'6". Gotta wonder if they'll seek some sort of solution, including possible alternatives, that'll allow them to handle the growing domestic doublestack intermodal segment along their I-95 corridor.
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby jslader » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:35 am

So they have begun laying down the track......
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby jslader » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:42 am

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From this pic it appears the Blue Line Connector-seen branching off to left-will break off from the Trenton Line further east than it used to.
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This is a better photo with a similar vantage point, however it is from two or three weeks ago (amazing how much the light has changed in the past couple weeks! Sigh, signs of winter approaching...)
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Next Project: Cottman Ave Bridge

Postby jslader » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:51 pm

Just found out that work is already underway to enlarge clearances under the Cottman Ave. bridge in the Burholme section of Philly, near the end of the line for SEPTA's R8 Fox Chase line; in fact there is a station for the line on Cottman Ave. Just south of the Trenton Line underpass/SEPTA overpass the Trenton Line and SEPTA line come together onto the same roadbed. The two tracks used to be connected and both under wires, but CSX has severed all connections to the SEPTA line and removed the overhead wires, effectively making it two single-tracked lines. Pictures forthcoming....
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Re: Improvements to allow for doublestack trains in Philly

Postby ex Budd man » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:00 am

Ther actually two tracks which pass by Roberts Yard. The "blue line" which is visable from the main, and the line between Midvale and the crew room/yard office. This line passes through the parking area and is overgrown and currently unusable. It is used to store MOW equipment. Check out HistoricAerials.com to see the changes over the years.
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Any Oct 2010 Update?

Postby Arlington » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:22 pm

How are things going on this project? I love the pictures!
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