The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Regardie » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:46 am

Regardie wrote:So those three lengths of rail spent the summer, fall and winter right where they dropped them. Last week, on Tuesday, ST. Patrick's Day, I saw a work train headed West from Fanwood with a partially filled welded rail transport consist. On Thursday I saw what they were about, it seems the original three lengths have been joined by another 11 or so, running from just East of Cranford, through Garwood and Westfield, ending just East of Fanwood on the outbound side. They have also dropped one side worth of new plates on the ties around the Westfield station.

Oddly enough, it looks like the new rail has a taller profile than the installed rail, but I have only seen it from inside a coach on my way inbound, so it could be the angles playing tricks on me.

Regardie


It's been over a year but they are finally replacing the rail they put down. They have started at the Cranford end and were working this morning between Cranford and Garwood. They dropped all new plates this spring for the new rail. The old rail in Garwood is 119RE with a date of 1979. The new rail does not have a nice welded in ID string like the old Bethlehem Steelton rail so I don't know what size it is. The rail in the Fanwood station on the inbound side is 132RE from 1997 so I would think that would be the size of the new rail going in, and why it needed all new plates.

Currently, they are bolting the pieces together. I wonder if they will go back and weld them all when the swap is done.

Regardie
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Telecaster1 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:13 pm

There are many bundles of ties dropped along the ROW west of Whitehouse, all the way to High Bridge station.
Does anyone know when the tie replacement will take place?
It would be nice to get some photos of the operation.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Telecaster1 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:05 pm

Well, since Christie just stopped all TTF projects, I guess these ties will be sitting there a while... :(
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby 908rails » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:27 pm

The NJT Aqua train has been running west of Raritan Sunday - Thursday nights. Was west through North Branch last night a little after 11:30pm.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Regardie » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:03 pm

Over a year and no posts in this thread. :(

A few things: it looks like the Cranford platform repair is just about done. I don't know what's going on with the stairs right now since the first bit finished is now closed again. I think they found a lot more damage then then were expecting as the center area of the platform seemed to get a new chunk cut out of it every day for a while there. So new supports and a new train facing edge have been installed and lots of places had big sections replaced.

Second: anyone know why they were running a 5 MLV consist last week? It led to some overcrowding on the rush hour inbound trains.

Third: I can never really tell what they are going to do mid-day with the quiet cars. Sometimes it is just the leading car inbound as they seem to open cars based on some decision about ridership levels. Then outbound it is the last car except when they announce that it is the first and last "open" car. That puts the leading quiet car somewhere in the middle, but not every trip.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:25 pm

Seems like EHH's CSX made hash of the Raritan Valley line today when a 100 car freight derailed near Union NJ.
Reports of multiple piles of derailed freight cars.
No service Newark Penn to Cranford,Shuttle buses and ticket cross honor on NJT bus service
This will take awhile to clean up,weather forecast of snow won't help.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby necrails » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:16 am

An observation and a question. Great the derailment did not happen to a commuter train and a commuter was not on the adjacent track when the freight derailed. How does a train derail on what is an absolute straight run with no grade and no obvious source of water to undercut the track?
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby rvlch » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:09 pm

necrails wrote:An observation and a question. Great the derailment did not happen to a commuter train and a commuter was not on the adjacent track when the freight derailed. How does a train derail on what is an absolute straight run with no grade and no obvious source of water to undercut the track?


There are switches for gauntlet tracks that the freights use to pass the center island platforms at Union and Roselle Park. These are located on both tracks a distance before and after each platform and there are associated signals.

There is good photo coverage of the scene from yesterday afternoon here:
http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2017/12/nj_transit_service_remains_suspended_following_der.html#incart_river_home

One of the pictures appears to show the derailed truck of a covered hopper right at one of these switch machines, with what may be an immediately adjacent broken rail ? From observations this past summer, I believe all these switches, or at least the actuators, were replaced by Conrail Shared Assets along with signal work - I assumed/speculate this work was related to PTC upgrades.

Chuck

Edit: looking at google imagery and comparing to the photos, I am reminded there is also a crossover just rr west of the Union station and the switch machine in the photos appears to be one of those rather than the switch for the gauntlet for the station, which is a bit further east.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Tommy Meehan » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:54 am

Looks like they got train service resumed this morning following Friday afternoon's derailment of the CSX freight train west of Union. They were busing between Newark and Cranford over the weekend. This is from the NJ Transit website:
Dec 11, 2017 08:52:41 AM
Update: Raritan Valley Line Service resumes regular weekday service on Monday, December 11th 2017. Customers may experience up to 15 minute delays in both directions due to ongoing repairs from an earlier Conrail derailment near Union. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience. Link, click on Raritan Valley Line


I don't think they have a cause for this yet, but an equipment defect is always a possibility, not just track.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby SwingMan » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:59 pm

I heard through the grapevine that damage to the rail head from a prior NS freight train caused a break to the rail, but the circuitry stayed intact allowing for a false positive.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Amtrak7 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:02 pm

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/m_a ... -days.html

This article gives a pretty good overview of the incident and service restoration. What interests me is this paragraph, which seems to imply there were some detoured NJT equipment moves:

Conrail, working closely with NJT, was able to move four NJT RVL trainsets consisting of MultiLevel equipment to where they are normally staged for weekday morning service. Only one NJT inbound RVL train was not operated on Monday morning, due to speed restrictions following track work. The full schedule was expected to be back in service on Tuesday. Conrail’s National Docks Clearance Project, a joint venture with NS and the New Jersey DOT completed in 2010 to accommodate double-stack trains, made the moves possible for the extra-height MultiLevels.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Tommy Meehan » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:18 pm

Thanks for the link, Amtrak7. Sounds like the equipment may have traveled through the old Erie Bergen Tunnel. Anyway, Conrail SA did a good job restoring service, especially given the snowy weather conditions on Saturday.

The Age article is interesting, especially as to the cause of the mishap. Though noting that neither NTSB or FRA have released any findings, Age reported:
However, it appears to be a broken stock rail on a turnout that had recently been inspected with a defect detector car. The rail break most likely occurred when a westbound loaded trash train passed over the turnout just prior to the eastbound train that derailed. The break was in the web of the rail and not clean-through, so track circuit continuity wasn’t compromised. The rail finally broke and separated completely after the locomotives hauling the CSX train had passed over it.

The CSX train derailed in two spots throughout the 141-car consist, a length that is not unusual for freights on this line, going back at least as far as “Big Conrail.” There were three locomotives on the head end; they and the first car separated from the consist. Two cuts of empties that had been placed in the consist between loaded cars during train makeup derailed and jackknifed from run-in caused by the loaded cars behind them. Run-in that derails empty cars is not so much a factor of train length as it is train makeup.


The line sees a lot of freight traffic and at times is very busy. I have been on RVL trains running east between Roselle Park and Hunter that crossed over not once but twice in order to stay clear of freight trains. Overall they do an excellent job in my opinion. It might be the only passenger-carrying line in the New York City area that shares tracks with a very heavy freight traffic. And as the Age article points out, these are big 100-150 car road freights.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby ACeInTheHole » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:10 pm

SwingMan wrote:I heard through the grapevine that damage to the rail head from a prior NS freight train caused a break to the rail, but the circuitry stayed intact allowing for a false positive.

That's what I heard as well.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby Regardie » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:32 pm

A couple things. After the last few storms that took out a lot of trees along the ROW between Westfield and Fanwood, they first cleared the major problems to get the line back open. Today I noticed a bunch of spots with new chipped wood along the banks so it looks like they sent all the downed trees through a chipper on site and left the chips fall where the tree had fallen. Seems to make sense, just helping the decay go a little faster by chipping first.

Second, at the end of the inbound platform in Fanwood is a pile of composite ties. I have never seen anything like them used anywhere else. Looks like some kind of plastic formed tie that they are busy attaching plates with what looks like plastic screws. Anybody know what these are?
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Postby TSTII » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:03 pm

Saw those composite ties installed at Convent Station. They remind me of the new planks used on the re-built boardwalks in Belmar, Spring Lake and Sea Girt after Sandy.
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