Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby NYCRRson » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:55 pm

"or CP-DRAW is shutdown", if CP-DRAW is shutdown most of the East Coast North of NYC would run out of Chinese made junk in a few weeks.

CP-DRAW was so strategic that during WWII it had armed guards to make sure no saboteurs could do any damage. Horseshoe Curve, Hell's Gate Bridge, the Hudson River Tunnels and lots of other important East Coast railroad locations were guarded around the clock after the beginning of WWII. They put tar over the windows in the roof of Grand Central Terminal to allow blackout conditions just in case the Germans had a bomber that could reach the USA. And in fact the Luftwaffe did indeed have such a bomber, but they only had one and it took so much fuel there was no room for any bombs.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby ctclark1 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:49 pm

The bridge isn't going to last forever. It's inevitable that it will need a major overhaul. Unless CSX (and probably NS, assuming they still own the NKP bridge as successors to the company) get their heads out of their butts about it and figure out a long term plan soon, it'll be too late whenever the BCK bridge does fail.

Even something like downgrading the bridge to a 10mph restriction could be catastrophic to the throughput of the region for CSX, NS, BPRR, BSOR, and SBRR. Delays to cross the bridge already add up at normal speed, can you imagine a restriction? The connection I mention south of Martin Rd would really only benefit BPRR, but anything that can be done to relieve congestion is a bonus.

And more on topic, no, reactivating the Gardenville Lines isn't really an option. Refer to the previously mentioned threads here, one of which goes through the entire length of the NYC Gardenville, the number of bridges that would have to be rebuilt alone, not to mention the cost and legal battles associated with reacquiring the ROW, would far outweigh any options that involve repairing and reactivating the NKP bridge, and subsequently repairing the BCK bridge to allow 4 tracks across CP DRAW.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby SST » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:08 pm

Over the past 10 years, I randomly take my boat up the Buffalo River. In my opinion and as I've stated here many times, the NKP bridge is in better condition than the bridge in use. Going under the current bridge there is tons of corrosion and missing nuts and bolts. More than just a couple. I don't go slow going underneath.

Could extended height rail cars even fit underneath the CSX mainline at the Gardenville line entrance along Walden Ave? Further down where the line comes up against Broadway Ave [130] it is really full of water. Its more like a canal than a RR. The other night when checking on the status of Tim Hortons on Broadway, even in the darkness of night, I could see that it was full of water.

The bridges that I see that would need to be repaired, replaced or added are CSX mainline-overpass, NS mainline overpass, Broadway addition, Cayuga Creek and Buffalo Creek. Thats up to the PRR. Proabably 4 more after that. I don't think there is enough traffic through here anymore to spend that kinda money.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby ctclark1 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:19 am

Like I said, (and was said in a previous thread) add up all the bridges that need work, all the filled-in underpasses that would need to be re-excavated, all the engineering work to re-design the approaches in Cheektowaga and Lackawanna... That's already an astronomical cost... Now add to that reacquring the ROW (lawyers, environmental studies, purchasing, fighting court battles with NIMBYs who would rather die than live near those "dirty stinky loud trains" whose vibrations will cause their red blood cells to separate and make their kidneys explode for no other reason than they live within 50 feet of a railroad.... and you've probably easily doubled or tripled the cost of actually doing the work.

The NKP bridge, on the other hand, I believe is still owned by one of the railroad companies. Erie County's mapping system doesn't show me information for 100% of the parcels in the area, but for some of the parcels in the area surrounding CP-DRAW, including the NKP bridge, owners include Norfolk Southern Corp, the NFTA, "CON-RAIL NON-TRANS" (verbatim), and a number of unlisted owners for parcels which include active rails. This tells me that acquiring ROW would be much less hassle, especially if CSX and NS formed a joint holding company to handle both bridges and the surrounding area. With both bridges active and connected (ideally, CSX using the NKP bridge and NS/BPRR/BSOR/SBRR using the BCK bridge) the bottleneck that everyone is trying to use as an excuse to rebuild the impossibly expensive Gardenville line is greatly reduced to only times when a boat is passing through. Which can't be nearly the commonplace occurrence that it was 50+ years ago and with common connections around both bridges (as well as the Martin Rd connector I mentioned before) one bridge having issues reseating after lifting also becomes less of a show-stopper.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby BR&P » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:10 am

ctclark1 wrote:a. With both bridges active and connected (ideally, CSX using the NKP bridge and NS/BPRR/BSOR/SBRR using the BCK bridge)


I admit it's been a while since I was up-to-date with how things are done around there, and no doubt there have been changes. But what does BSOR have need of the bridge for? It used to be they only went as far as the dwarf signal, for headroom while switching their interchange. Do they now go out onto CSX for something?
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby ctclark1 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:19 pm

I'm just going off what was stated the last time this topic was heavily discussed, that BSOR used CP DRAW regularly.

My point primarily being that future connections in the area would be most beneficial running CSX to the north bridge and the other 4 yards connect to the south bridge primarily, some crossover would be possible to allow NS and CSX to use either bridge in an emergency, and even BSOR if they do in fact use the bridges at all. BP and SB would be difficult to swing over to the north bridge but if a connector exists south on the B&O line BP (and SB if they need to) could get over there via that connection to the Buffalo Line, in the case that the south bridge becomes unusable (or is rebuilt).
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby BR&P » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:21 pm

I agree that the the existing bridge would lend itself well to "other" use if CSX ever began using the dormant one. And while nothing is cheap these days, in the grand scheme of things it would seem the rebuild would be affordable if there is actually a benefit to doing so. CSX really has no burning need to see the changes, which would benefit the competition more than CSX itself.

Looked at aerial pics and still can't see how BSOR would be using the bridge - what am I missing?
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby TrainDetainer » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:18 pm

Looked at aerial pics and still can't see how BSOR would be using the bridge - what am I missing?

Maybe this will clear it up.
CP-Draw.jpg
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby BR&P » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:27 pm

TrainDetainer wrote:Maybe this will clear it up.
CP-Draw.jpg


Thanks! I know where BSOR is relative to the bridge. The last I knew, they end at the home signal governing movement to CSX - all their customers and all their interchange used to be west, or south, of that. Their interchange has been expanded by newer tracks closer to Tifft St bridge, which I thought was where they deliver/receive with NS and B&P. Are you saying they use CSX's main track to set cars into B&P?

As I said, I know things have changed since the time I'm familiar with, but still trying to understand what operation a BSOR train would be doing to need to cross the bridge on the CSX main track.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby TrainDetainer » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:43 am

You're right about BSOR proper. I don't recall BSOR ever using the bridge/mainline themselves, but IIRC there was some kind of arrangement (post-Split IIRC) with NS to come in at Draw and use the BSOR out to Blasdell if their own mains were blocked at Tifft (hence the crossover just east of the Gardenville flyover). Don't know if this is still in effect after the last expansion/improvements at Bison. No idea about interchanges at Draw between shortlines, but stranger things happen nowdays. Back in the 90s NS interchanged with BSOR with an NS yard job from Jct Yard crossing over to the BSOR and back, usually mid to late afternoon. IIRC they had to get over and back before Wabash 327/328 came down from Canada so they were at the Jct to handle the auto traffic asap.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby BR&P » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:08 am

I agree, there may be some arrangement in place which is not normally actually used.

Going back about 30 years (crap, can it really be THAT long? :wink: ) there was just one big long siding for interchange. BSOR had to block outbounds for Conrail, B&P, NS (and was CP still in the picture back then?). Those roads all accessed the BSOR from near the bridge, and would just make their drop as they picked up.

BSOR crews would arrive and find one Class I's inbounds on top of the outbounds another road had not yet picked up. Sometimes it took a lot of switching to sort everything back out. Work was done from both ends of the siding, and when working the east or north end, with a loco long-hood east, it could be a pain. The track curved to the right, and the dwarf was on the right, but the engineer was on the opposite side. It caused some anxious moments when the conductor radioed 2 cars to go, and the engine was about 2 cars from the home signal. You were NOT allowed to go past that signal, and there would be chit around the moon if you did so and lit up the circuit for Conrail's dispatcher and got caught at it. The engineer had to keep walking across the cab to check his progress, unless he had some reference on the mainline side to guide him.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby sd80mac » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:37 am

BCK bridge?

If CP Draw bridge is completely shut down, it wouldn't completely cut off east of CP Draw. They still have other way around CP Draw.

I think that I'm not following it quite right.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby Matt Langworthy » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:35 am

TrainDetainer wrote:You're right about BSOR proper. I don't recall BSOR ever using the bridge/mainline themselves, but IIRC there was some kind of arrangement (post-Split IIRC) with NS to come in at Draw and use the BSOR out to Blasdell if their own mains were blocked at Tifft (hence the crossover just east of the Gardenville flyover). Don't know if this is still in effect after the last expansion/improvements at Bison.


Yes, NS still has trackage rights on BSOR between Blasdell and CP Draw. I witnessed it firsthand earlier this year.


TrainDetainer wrote: No idea about interchanges at Draw between shortlines, but stranger things happen nowdays.


For interchange between the B&P and BSOR, the B&P will access BSOR via CSX near CP Draw. BSOR doesn't leave their tracks.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby TrainDetainer » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:30 pm

Thanks Matt. Now that you mention it, I seem to recall B&P Run-1 occasionally pulling out to shove into BSOR. Must have been mostly a daytime move as I didn't see it that often.

Does NS use Jct Yard at all now? Last I knew they pulled out completely after Bison was enlarged. There was some discussion about swapping bridges at one point and routing CSX around the north side of Jct Yard. Don't know how far it ever got, but maybe CSX came to their senses about being able to bottleneck NS with Draw.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby ctclark1 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:12 pm

sd80mac wrote:BCK bridge?

There are three drawbridges crossing Buffalo Creek, they're typically referred to by the original railroads -- Moving from Lake Erie inland, you have the New York Central (NYC) bridge (now a single track, "Main Track 3", sometimes referred to from the Conrail days as the "Compromise Branch"), the Nickel Plate RR (NKP) bridge (the currently unused bridge), and the Buffalo Creek RR (BCK) bridge (CSX Main Tracks 1 & 2, aka CP-DRAW).


If CP Draw bridge is completely shut down, it wouldn't completely cut off east of CP Draw. They still have other way around CP Draw.
By "they" I assume you mean CSX? Yes, they could deal with a bottleneck over the NYC bridge (being all single tracked between CP2 and CP437), and unfortunately that leaves primarily NS and B&P high and dry (since we're not sure if BS and SB use DRAW). If there was a connection built between the old B&O line and the Gardenville line (which is actually CR's Buffalo Line reroute) B&P would be free and clear to get to the Buffalo Line proper at GJ, and NS would have some major problems getting between the Southern Tier line and the Lake Erie District (see the other Gardenville/LV thread going on about weight and curvature restrictions on the Ebenezer RT) but in a pinch could make some reverse moves to switch from B&P's Buffalo Creek yard to their own (Tift Yard) with restricted speeds and lowered weight loads.
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