Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby jbvb » Fri May 22, 2009 8:46 pm

Rail replacement appears complete to the south bank, with guardrail in place and the temporary railing between the tracks coming down Friday AM. I heard employees talking about picking up the Pettibone they've been using. No indication yet of the date the easterly track will go back in service.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby GP40MC1118 » Fri May 22, 2009 9:56 pm

The eastbound track should be back in service Tuesday or Wednesday the latest. Today was the
last day of bussing for No.236.

D
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby b&m 1566 » Fri May 22, 2009 11:46 pm

Is the bridge over the river connected to the bridge over Washington St or are they two separate bridges?
It's been a while since I've been through the areas so it's hard for me to remember the details of what the area looks like.
Also the bridge over South Elm St (on the other side of the river) is this included in the project or is that bridge in good condition?
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby GP40MC 1116 » Sat May 23, 2009 12:58 am

b&m 1566 wrote:Is the bridge over the river connected to the bridge over Washington St or are they two separate bridges?
It's been a while since I've been through the areas so it's hard for me to remember the details of what the area looks like.
Also the bridge over South Elm St (on the other side of the river) is this included in the project or is that bridge in good condition?


The railroad bridge over Washington Street and the Merrimack River is just the two track bridge, no road traffic

The "new" bridge starts on the Bradford side at the intersection of Railroad Ave & S. Elm Street and connects on the Haverhill side at River St (Rt 110/113)
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby jbvb » Sat May 23, 2009 6:44 am

There are effectively two RR bridges between Haverhill and Bradford: At the west end of the Haverhill platform there is a through girder span over Washington St., then 4 or 5 deck girder spans to the riverbank, then deck truss, through truss and 3 more deck trusses to the S. bank. South Elm St. is a through girder span maybe 100 yd. RR west of the abutment for the river bridge. All abutments & piers are cut stone. While they were doing the westerly track last fall, they re-timbered that track on the S. Elm St. bridge. Its easterly track hasn't been touched in this spring's work. But because girder spans don't have single critical members, they haven't gotten any extra attention out of the Minnesota collapse.

AFAICT, no paint has been applied to any of these spans; the last application was when somebody (?MBTA?) painted over the Arlington Trust sign on the Washington St. girders (the B&M sold sign painting rights to AT on a fair number of bridges in the mid-1960s, whichever bank ate them didn't continue the deal)...
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby jbvb » Fri May 29, 2009 9:58 am

The tie replacement project seems complete; the only employee present was loading a truck on the S. bank this AM, and #209 was lined up to use the easterly track when we met it in North Andover. No tie replacement has taken place on the easterly track over the S. Elm St. bridge.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby trainhq » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:27 am

So what will the new speed be on the bridge once it is open?
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby NV290 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:06 am

trainhq wrote:So what will the new speed be on the bridge once it is open?


The bridge is open on both tracks. But the renovations that are to take place to bring the bridge up to timetable speed are not even halfway done. There is still major steel work to be done with rivet replacement as well as masonry work.

Last i heard, the #1 track was still 10mph because of rusty rail. But that should clear soon.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby b&m 1566 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:38 pm

Does rust on the rails really affect the speed? How so, if it does?
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby GP40MC 1116 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:50 pm

I don't know how rust on the rail would affect the speed, however it effects another critical thing, the signal system and crossing circuits etc. Under NORAC rules, if you are running without signals and so forth, I believe you are only limited to a certain speed.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby NV290 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:42 pm

GP40MC 1116 wrote:I don't know how rust on the rail would affect the speed, however it effects another critical thing, the signal system and crossing circuits etc. Under NORAC rules, if you are running without signals and so forth, I believe you are only limited to a certain speed.


Correct. It has nothing to do with affecting speed from a physical standpoint. It has to do with the possibility of a train not shunting the track circuits which can cause major issues for a signal system. Because of that, trains have to report clear of a section of track with rusty rail conditions and they need permission onto a section. There are no grade crossing involved with the Merrimack bridge, but in those situations, often you will have to stop and flag each crossing or approach all crossing at restricted speed.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby b&m 1566 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:27 am

That makes sense. Most seasonal railroads flag there crossings at active crossings the first few runs at the beginning of the season because of that issue. Since there are no crossings in the area of the Merrimack River Bridge I couldn't figure out why but that's because I forgot to include the track signals.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby jbvb » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:23 am

The other day I saw a welded rail train with VSR and SPSX reporting marks in Lawrence Yard, with MBTA 1119 and 3247 on the westerly end. Last night I noticed that welded rail had been dropped from Bradford through Haverhill across the bridge. As #217 passed Lawrence just now, I noticed crew on board, getting ready to move. [edit] And there's also welded rail dropped along the old EB main from the yard to Frye.

I assume welded rail means they decided that, whatever the panic about the bridge back in 2007, they're done with the deck project. The existing jointed rail has very little wear, and it's all Pandrol clips so replacement should be fast.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby tober » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:53 am

I think the welded rail train that you saw was the one discussed in this thread.
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Re: Merrimack River Bridge in Haverhill

Postby Arlington » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:06 pm

Massachusetts officials say they will seek $110 million to replace a rickety, 92-year-old rail bridge in Haverhill that has forced speed restrictions and delays on Amtrak’s Portland-to-Boston Downeaster, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Haverhill commuter rail line, and freight railroads crossing the Merrimack River.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... ?page=full
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
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