Trenton Cutoff

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Trenton Cutoff

Postby Jim in S.E. Pa. » Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:51 pm

Jim in S.E. Pa.



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Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:53 pm Post subject: The Trenton Cutoff

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As I have read throughout alot of the threads here, there are many with a vast knowledge of RR op's, and histories of certain lines. My primary interest is the history, and current op's on what was known as the "Trenton Cutoff", (now NS). Connecting the E/W (Harrisburg/Philly) main line, to the NEC at Morrisville, Pa, (bypassing Philadephia, Pa). I have alot of memories of this line as a kid, and some knowledge of its history. But (as a new commer) I would rather sit aside untill I get some input from those of you who know this line, and /or have worked it, before I even attempt to put my two cents in....

thanks... Jim
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Postby Schuylkill Valley » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:31 pm

Jim fill free and add your 2 % , as I'm the moderator in here and I would love to here your first hand views of this line.

Leonard
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Postby Jim in S.E. Pa. » Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:43 pm

Thanks Len..

I wouldnt know where to start without a ?. I grew up around this line, and spent many a day (as a kid ) trespassing all over it. After meeting a security gaurd at the Morrisville yards, It turns out his wife worked with my mother and I was kind-of given free run of the yard (to a point). Spent most of my free time in the hump tower W/ the retarder operator, or clowning around w/ the yardmaster. This was allways during 2nd shift after the big shots left. I applied to conrail for any job available at the yards, w/ hopes of working my up to retarders or maybe even engineer. But that never matialized. I did do a short stint as jitney driver for a few months in the summer of 75. Got hired on as dispatcher for a local police dept, and married in 77. So that pretty much ended my days w/ the RR.
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:02 pm

We used to run the line, Eastbound, from Abrams/Eanest to Morrisville, then up the NEC, to Oak Island. My few trips on the line, and a few more working locals out of Morrisville yard, were uneventful. The only thing that stands out, in my memory, is racing towards Morrisville, wondering what the next signal would be. There were no "intermediate" signals on that line, only "home signals", that were called "clear to next Interlocking" signals. Cab signals were the way we ran, but with no waysides, to verify what you were seeing, there was always a bit of doubt, until you saw the next Interlocking signal. Even though it never happened, everyone I knew who ran the line (myself included) always wondered what would happen, when running 50 mph, and rounding a curve to see an Absolute Stop on the overhead bridge.
An interesting feature at Morrisville, was the in motion, journal box lubricating facility. Trains were pulled by slowly, and a guy on either side used to jerk open the lids. Another pair of guys, with pressurized nozzles would shoot lube oil into the boxes, then another pair would close the lids. The box lid pullers were laying all over the place, along with hundreds of old, and new bearing pads. The facility had two tracks, and the operation was built into a sidewalk, so the guys could walk along the cars, while working the bearings. The remains of the facilities including the engine house, and carshops were still there in 1992. Other than a set of locos that "ran-away", and got onto the NEC at MA tower, not much else I recall of interest, in that area. Regards...... :-D
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Postby Jim in S.E. Pa. » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:45 pm

Golden-Arm

I finally have found someone who ran this line. I would like to know what years, and type of equipment.. (head end)? And also if you ever wondered why the road split (EB) at Feasterville, and came back together around cp lang, to Morrisville? Whats your take on that ?


JIM
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Postby Jim in S.E. Pa. » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:49 pm

Oh and by the way Golden-Arm, I beleave those lube tracks were called the "oilers"


Jim
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Postby jfrey40535 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:50 am

I'm interested in railfanning portions of the cutoff this spring and figured the best way to get an idea of traffic/run times would be to listen in on the defect detector in Southampton at the County Line grade crossing. Anyone know the frequency for this, or does it broadcast on the designated NS channel for the Morrisville line?
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Postby chrisjz » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:48 am

jfrey40535 wrote:Anyone know the frequency for this, or does it broadcast on the designated NS channel for the Morrisville line?


46/46
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Postby Schuylkill Valley » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:55 am

I think they broadcast on 160.800mhz. I think it's main line despther.

Len
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Postby jfrey40535 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:04 pm

I have that frequency, it seems to be a very general channel that covers alot of territory. Its listed as the channel for the 'Dale Secondary' (NS's official name for the cutoff), Delmarva Secondary, Harrisburg line and a few more.

I assume if its broadcast on that channel I have to listen for (and know) what milepost it is. I've been listening all morning and have heard a detector on 160.86 (still calls out as Conrail). Hopefully I'll figure it out. I know most trains pass that area between 4-6pm and after 9pm weekdays, but establishing a pattern would save me alot of time.
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Postby Schuylkill Valley » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:09 pm

I know NS-20Q and NS-21Q uses the line at night, but when they go through I'm not sure. I also know CSX Q-191 goses over that line around 12:30pm. week days.

Good Luck,
Len.
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radio freqs on the trenton cutoff

Postby Jim in S.E. Pa. » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:36 pm

JFREY.....

NS/CSX/CR.... USE:

Road- 160.800
160.860
160.980
161.070

yard- 160.290
160.530
161.160

EOT devices- 161.115
457.9375

This link may help ya.

http://www.whrc-wi.org/railfreqs.htm

If not, I have a more detailed list at home, which I will post when I get back..

Hope this is of some help..

Jim.
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defect detectors on the cutoff

Postby Jim in S.E. Pa. » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:03 pm

JFREY and LEN,

I live close enough to the S.W. end of the NS intermodal yard at morrisville to recieve radio x-missions, the "DD's" still ID themselves as conrail. And as far as establishing a time table, forget it. If you tried to set your watch by the traffic patterns on this line, you would be late for your own funeral...(lol)

Jim
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Postby jfrey40535 » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:16 am

Hey Jim, thanks for the info! Hopefully it helps a bit. I'm not expecting an exact pattern, just a general idea of when trains *might* go through. For me, its the only train left that still goes through Southampton, so I'd like to have a little fun capturing some of it in photos. Now I just have to get a camera.....
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tenton cutoff radio freqs

Postby Jim in S.E. Pa. » Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:57 pm

jfrey,

That extensive list of freqs can be found at: http://zippy.ci.uiuc.edu/~roma/rr-freqs/index-old.html

This is an older list, but I don't think things change that much (if any).

Jim
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