Corridor Electric Power Generation and Distribution

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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drewh
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 12:08 pm
Location: Metuchen, NJ (NEC MP 25.3), and Montréal, QC (métro Sherbrooke)

Post by drewh » Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:17 pm

There was discussion on a previous topic about the 3 phase 60 hz utility circuits that are in place along parts of the NEC in NJ (high above the 25 hz Amtrak circuits).

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 5&start=30

There was question as to where the lines came onto the NEC and departed. After some scouting last week here is what I found:

1) There is a utility circuit that runs parallel to Finnegan Lane in North Brunswick. This feeds the circuit above the NEC. The circuit continues on both sides of the NEC so is merely connected to it.

Finnegan Lane is a little south of Jersey Ave. It would appear that Finnegan Lane once crossed the NEC as there are roads on both sides that have this name. To the west Finnegan Lane ends at Rt 1, leaving almost a mile gap between the 2 sections of road. Does anyone know when this road crossing might have been eliminated??

On the eastern part off Rt 130, there is a trailer park and you can practically drive right onto the tracks where the circuit connection is made. Wouldn't want to be living under all these high tension wires, but thats another story.

2) These 3 phase utility 60 hz circuits run for about 12 miles to just north of Metuchen. Again there is a circuit coming from the Rt 1 PSE&G substation, parallel to the Amtrak 25 hz feeds, that then crosses Parsonnage Rd at Rt 27. Where it crosses the NEC is where the circuits connect. Again this is merely a connection point as the utility lines continue on both sides of the NEC. You can see this connection most clearly from Oak Drive in Roosevelt Park. The Amtrak substation is most clearly visible from Koster Blvd.

Does anyone know what this utility connection line is used for?? Some sort of redundancy for PSE&G?? Just curious - I know it has nothing to do with NEC power.

Another interesting point I've noticed is at EWR airport. Here the 25 Hz 69kv circuits diverge off the NEC. They are actually over an abandonned ROW just to the east. They completely bypass the EWR airport station, however I don't think they were moved here as part of the station constuction. Looks like they have been on this structure for a long long time. Not sure where they reconnect further north yet.

Do the circuits pass thru NWK Penn Sta.??

Jersey_Mike
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Location: CHARLES aka B&P JCT MP 95.9

Post by Jersey_Mike » Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:10 pm

Another interesting point I've noticed is at EWR airport. Here the 25 Hz 69kv circuits diverge off the NEC. They are actually over an abandonned ROW just to the east. They completely bypass the EWR airport station, however I don't think they were moved here as part of the station constuction. Looks like they have been on this structure for a long long time. Not sure where they reconnect further north yet.

Do the circuits pass thru NWK Penn Sta.??
Those lines run along the old PRR freight line to the Meadows Yard. Just after they crossover the Passiac River at the KEARNEY swing bridge they connect to a substation just opposite SWIFT interlocking back along the NEC. From this substation two 132kv circuts went east along what is now the PATH line into Harbourside terminal and Harsimus Cove yard. From the SWIFT/PORTAL substation the 4 circuts of 132kv went along the RoW to one final Substation which is located at the Bergen portal of the North river Tubes.

Ken W2KB
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Location: Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey & Tiverton, RI USA

Post by Ken W2KB » Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:46 pm

drewh wrote:There was discussion on a previous topic about the 3 phase 60 hz utility circuits that are in place along parts of the NEC in NJ (high above the 25 hz Amtrak circuits).

Does anyone know what this utility connection line is used for?? Some sort of redundancy for PSE&G?? Just curious - I know it has nothing to do with NEC power.
The so-called railroad "overbuild" is part of the PSE&G bulk power transmission system, and the particular line on the NEC is 230,000 Volts. It is not used for any dedicated purpose. Utility generation and transmission systems ("bulk power system") are designed to withstand the largest single contingency (failure) of a component immediately without loss of load or overloading any component. And then the computer calculates the next contingency and if necessary the system is reconfigured to handle that, and so forth. The entire bulk power system thus has a lot of redundancy to allow for failures or taking equipment out of service for maintenance. One can't say any given line is redundant as such for another, they are all used in free flowing energized state all the time under normal conditions.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

timz
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Location: Oakland CA

Post by timz » Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:09 pm

drewh wrote:It would appear that Finnegan Lane once crossed the NEC as there are roads on both sides that have this name. To the west Finnegan Lane ends at Rt 1, leaving almost a mile gap between the 2 sections of road. Does anyone know when this road crossing might have been eliminated?
Odd about the same name, but the old topo maps don't show any crossing there. Deans Lane (MP 38.6 or so) got lowered under the tracks circa 1938, and I assume the Black Horse Lane crossing closed then, with the road being rerouted parallel to the tracks over to Deans Lane. But looks like there was never a crossing eastward from there to Adams.

drewh
Posts: 768
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Location: Metuchen, NJ (NEC MP 25.3), and Montréal, QC (métro Sherbrooke)

Post by drewh » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:08 am

Yes it is strange about the same name. Not only that but the alignment is perfect even with that 1 mile gap. Now they are parallel to the PSE&G lines, so perhaps if the road didn't originally go thru then the utility just named the eastern part the same to avoid confusion??

Just found this 1918 map:
http://mapmaker.rutgers.edu/HISTORICALM ... 1918_N.jpg

Locate Monmouth Jct and then Deans just north. The roads in red I believe are state routes. Heading west from Deans this red route is Deans Rd, which then jogs onto Rt 1 before turning west onto Henderson Rd just as Rt 610 does today.

The next road north is Blackhorse Lane (not in read) which crosses the RR. Then north of this is Finnegan Lane which still does not cross the RR but does cross Rt 1 (which it does not do today) and curves south into Blackhorse. Perhaps it did cross at one point and was already eliminated by 1918, hence the southerly curve to Blackhorse??

Ken W2KB
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Location: Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey & Tiverton, RI USA

Post by Ken W2KB » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:33 am

drewh wrote:Yes it is strange about the same name. Not only that but the alignment is perfect even with that 1 mile gap. Now they are parallel to the PSE&G lines, so perhaps if the road didn't originally go thru then the utility just named the eastern part the same to avoid confusion??

Just found this 1918 map:
http://mapmaker.rutgers.edu/HISTORICALM ... 1918_N.jpg

Locate Monmouth Jct and then Deans just north. The roads in red I believe are state routes. Heading west from Deans this red route is Deans Rd, which then jogs onto Rt 1 before turning west onto Henderson Rd just as Rt 610 does today.

The next road north is Blackhorse Lane (not in read) which crosses the RR. Then north of this is Finnegan Lane which still does not cross the RR but does cross Rt 1 (which it does not do today) and curves south into Blackhorse. Perhaps it did cross at one point and was already eliminated by 1918, hence the southerly curve to Blackhorse??
Looking at google map and arial photos, I think the road that crossed is Black Horse Lane, Finnegans is somewhat beyond that; the other one further north on the old map (just before the RR and Route 1 intersection) is Adams Lane.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

timz
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Location: Oakland CA

Post by timz » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:49 am

drewh wrote: The next road north is Blackhorse Lane (not in read) which crosses the RR. Then north of this is Finnegan Lane which still does not cross the RR but does cross Rt 1 (which it does not do today) and curves south into Blackhorse.
That curving line is dashed-- it's not a road, just a township boundary.

That line where US 1 is now was an old turnpike-- dunno what it's condition was in 1918, but the main highway then was what we now know as NJ 27.

timz
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Location: Oakland CA

Post by timz » Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:57 am

I looked again at the 1954 topo map-- no trace of Finnegan Lane between the PRR main and US 130.

Jersey_Mike
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Post by Jersey_Mike » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:14 pm

Hey, we've gone over ever part of the Amtrak electrification system except one...the classic Main Line from ZOO to PAOLI. I remember that back in the day there were 8 smallish transmission lines, 4 on top of each support pole. Since freight left the Main Line, only 4 of the transmission lines remain and I think that two combine at points which leaves three. Also, thre are no transmission lines between the the cat poles are painted west of BRYN MAWR and ZOO so I think its been burried or something as there does not appear to be any above ground lines feeding the BRYN MAWR substation. Another odd think I noticed from a head end video I have is that when the Main Line transmission lines go aboce ground they see to have many taps into what looks like the local power grid. It looks like there's a tap where the lines disappear at Villinova, Radnor, Signal 13, Wayne, Strafford, just past St. Davids, Berwyn, Signal 16, Daylesford, Paoli East and then the lines trai off right before PAOLi tower, running over where the old MU yard used to be. I have no clue what is going on here. Moreover, just at PAOLI east the 4 transmission lines on the south side of the line magically re-appear and feed into the PAOLI substation.

There are 1915 substations at BRYN MAWR and PAOLI. There is also a 30's substation at PAOLI fed by two 132Kv circuts running in from the west. I can't see if there is a connection between the old and new sub stations.

My theory re all of this is that the railroad transmission lines were burried and local utilities are running 3-phaze on the old above ground line, possibly to avoid having to install them on one of the main roads (Rt 30?) through the ritzy main line communities. If this is correct it would be the only case that I know of a utility not only using a railroad RoW, but former railroad transmission lines!

Can anyone confirm this and tell me the voltage of the new lineside lines as well as the burried railroad transmission line?

prr60
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Post by prr60 » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:27 pm

The four conductors on the north side of the RW between roughly Bryn Mawr and Paoli (the old PRR yard) are used by PECO Energy for a 34kV network distribution line. The line, being in the distribution rather than the transmission system, has three phase conductors and one neutral. I'll check on the easterly end of the line on the Amtrak RW. I'll also check on the conductor used to see if it is the old PRR conductor or a replacement installed by PECO.

Ken W2KB
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Post by Ken W2KB » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:36 pm

Jersey_Mike wrote:Can anyone confirm this and tell me the voltage of the new lineside lines as well as the burried railroad transmission line?
Hard to visulize from the description (not your fault, very complex), but underground transmission lines are VERY expensive to construct, about 10 times as much as overhead lines of the same capability, so I doubt the railroad would have done that. Additionally, most underground transmission cables need a means of removing heat since their is no air around the cable to cool it. Often means a pipe cable with oil cycled through it to cool the cable, so there are higher maintenance costs.

I've never heard or seen any transmission level voltage lines built along highways. Only on dedicated rights of way. The highest voltage on roadside poles is subtransmission of 69,000 kV. And that is not common.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

Jersey_Mike
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Post by Jersey_Mike » Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:23 am

PRR60 answered the question and corrected my error in terminology. The question remains, where is the Bryn Mawr substation getting fed from and is there a link between ZOO and PAOLI for power.

prr60
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Location: Southern NJ

Post by prr60 » Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:03 pm

I don’t know too much about how Amtrak powers the line from Zoo to Paoli. I suspect they use lower voltage cat feeders, but that is a guess.

Some additional information on the PECO lines:

The PECO line runs from Villanova to Paoli and is actually a series of lines that loop in and out of several utility substations along the way. The line originates at the old PECO generating station on Barbados Island near Norristown. It goes onto Amtrak at the intersection point where the SEPTA Route 100 (P&W) line intersects the Harrisburg line. PECO has rights from that point to the east to Villanova, but the line is dead in that stretch. Heading west the line hits PECO subs in Wayne, Berwyn, and Paoli before leaving the RW at the old PRR Paoli rail yard. It is 34.5 kV line.

The conductor is also interesting. Unlike my earlier assumption, the line in many areas uses all four conductors for power transmission. B and C phases use one larger (newer) conductor each (bottom pair), and A phase uses a pair of the original PRR conductors (top pair) in what is called a bifurcated phase. The impedance of two smaller old wires is about the same as each of the newer, larger wires. That only required PECO to pull in two new conductors. Pretty neat idea!

Those old PRR poles along the “Main Line” are in pretty sad shape. They date from the 1910’s and many are nested pipe sections. Over the years the PRR and later Amtrak added stuff to them using collars: steel half shells bolted around the pipes. Now the pipe sections are corroding under the collars and out of range of visual inspection. The first hint of trouble is when the top of the pole falls off. Amtrak is scrambling to find a way to replace the worst of the poles before something really bad happens.

By the way, at most utilities 69kV is defined as a transmission voltage. Sub-transmission is usually 34.5kV when used on a network, not radial line. But your statement about underground transmission is right-on: it is really, really expensive. The higher the voltage, the worse it gets. Many modern lines at lower transmission voltages do not use dielectric fluid (mineral oil), but higher voltage lines do even though most are static pressure, not circulating. The heat is dissipated by use of heat conductive thermal backfill, either special sand or a special flowable grout mix. Underground transmission is used, particularly in urban areas, but it is a last resort. It is expensive to build, expensive to maintain, and a nightmare when something goes wrong. I am always thankful that my end of the business is the overhead lines when one of those high voltage cables goes bad, or the oil leaks, or a spice fails, or a terminator blow up.

Jersey_Mike
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Location: CHARLES aka B&P JCT MP 95.9

Post by Jersey_Mike » Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:21 pm

Well, the BRYN MAWR substation has to be getting power from somewhere. Its still hooked into the catenary and it seems that a busy length of track could go without an intermediate substation for a length of 16 or so miles.

Oh, does anyone remember the voltage of the original PRR lines on the Paoli cat poles?

Ken W2KB
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Post by Ken W2KB » Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:10 am

prr60 wrote:By the way, at most utilities 69kV is defined as a transmission voltage. Sub-transmission is usually 34.5kV when used on a network, not radial line.
You provided a good explanation of the Amtrak local area. However, "most utilities" makes the above excerpt accurate because so many utilities are relatively small and may consider their 69kV as transmission, and indeed for them it may perform such function to at least some extent. But "most" in terms large majority percentage of utility infrastructure ownership, define transmission as "everything above 100kV" relegating 34.5 and 69 to subtransmission. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agrees, as its two major annual report requirements for transmitting utilites define transmission as 132kV or greater (Form 1) and 100kV or greater (Form 715), and in both cases, network, not radial facilities.

Of course, causing confusion, is that transmission service is sometimes provided over subtransmission, or even distribution, lines, most commonlly in the case of interconnection of a small generator to those classes of lines. But there is a distinction between "transmission service" and "transmission facility."

It is interesting to note the 132kV definition in the Form 1, given the PRR transmission level, though neither PRR nor Amtrak was ever considered a jurisdictional utility, and thus the Form 1 was never applicable. And that 132 is rather uncommon, I think, though there seems to be a smattering of different standards nationwide in the 100-161kV range (is there any other than Amtrak?).
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

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