Speed restrictions?

Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

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Speed restrictions?

Post by lvrr325 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:42 am

Just curious on why some speeds were set to odd limits under PC -

For instance, the Ontario Secondary between Oswego and Niagara Falls. Under NYC in 1967 it was mostly 15 MPH with sections of 20 and 30 and a few restrictions. Under PC in 1974 a lot of it was restricted to 8 MPH, and some other tracks are restricted to 6 MPH. Is there really that huge of a difference in 8 and 10 or 5 and 6 MPH to have that limit set? Or was PC restricting say track good for 10, to 8, just to save some wear and tear on it? Or even could it have been to try to save fuel, 1974 being just after the first oil embargo?

Info is out of older employee timetables -

Noel Weaver
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Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Speed restrictions?

Post by Noel Weaver » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:04 am

Federal Regulations regarding track conditions and maintenance kicked in around that time and many, many lines of Penn-Central went from 30 MPH or so right down to 8 MPH because of these regulations. That was probably the case here although I would have to dig to be positive and right now I do not have time to try doing that.
Noel Weaver

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Re: Speed restrictions?

Post by JimBoylan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:16 pm

In some cases on some railroads, when track could not even meet the minimum standards for Class 1 (10 m.p.h. freight), the railroad would try to get away with an even slower speed limit to allow traffic to move at all. Possibly there was a more restrictive State or local law or Public Service Commission. I can remember 6 m.p.h. speed limits over grade crossings where permission had been obtained to remove crossing flagmen or automatic protection.

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