• A&A Receives Another $1.1 Million in State Funds

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by thebigham
ALBANY - New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Astrid Glynn Monday announced $20 million in state funding for projects that will upgrade critical rail infrastructure across New York State.

Selected projects include emergency repairs, safety and capacity enhancements and track structure and intermodal terminal improvements.

Projects funded as part of the $20 million 2007-2008 program include the following:

• $875,000 to Batten Kill Railroad Co. for critical substructure repairs to four bridges in Washington County;

• $1.49 million to Mohawk Adirondack & Northern Railroad Corp. for track rehabilitation in Utica and Rome, Oneida County, and Lyons Falls, Lewis County;

• $500,000 to Livonia Avon & Lakeville Railroad Corp. for track rehabilitation in Livingston and Monroe counties;

• $822,000 to Finger Lakes Railroad Co., Inc. for track and bridge rehabilitation and improvements in Schuyler and Yates counties;

• $1.1 million to Arcade & Attica Railroad Corp. for rail rehabilitation in Wyoming County;

• $1.5 million to Owego & Harford Railway, Inc. for track and bridge improvements in Tioga and Cortland counties;

• $257,000 to Empire State Development Corporation for track improvements at the Radisson Park Rail Yard in Onondaga County;

• $725,000 to Buffalo Southern Railroad, Inc. for track rehabilitation and installation in Erie County;

• $1.7 million to New York & Atlantic Railroad Corp. for industrial rail terminal construction and yard restoration in at the Deer Park Yard in Suffolk County;

• $604,000 to CSX Transportation, Inc. for track improvements and siding construction in Kingston, Ulster County;

• $1 million to the Town of Corinth to complete emergency repairs of the Adirondack Branch between Saratoga and Corinth;

• $1.5 million to Canadian Pacific Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and New York Susquehanna & Western Railway for improvements at Binghamton Yard in Broome County, designed to facilitate interaction among the three railroads and minimize delays;

• $5 million to Amtrak to subsidize operating costs associated with the Adirondack train service that travels through Schenectady, Saratoga, Essex, Washington and Clinton counties;

• $950,000 to Falls Road Railroad Co., Inc. to rehabilitate a bridge over the Erie Canal in Lockport, Niagara County; and

• $1.588 million to Clarendon & Pittsford Railroad Corp. for track and bridge rehabilitation in Washington County.

  by pablo
What's this money going to do?

Dave Becker
  by Mike Walsh
thebigham wrote: • $1.1 million to Arcade & Attica Railroad Corp. for rail rehabilitation in Wyoming County;
I guess... rehab their trackwork? Maybe replace old ties with new old ones? stuff like that..

  by pablo
Well, yes.

But really, I was asking: is there a specific designation, like a bridge rehab, or other such project like that afoot? Or 286K work?

Dave Becker

  by Mike Walsh

I am merely drawing my conclusion from the press release but it sounds like the $$ given to A&A must be used for rail rehab (ties, rail, etc)...

If you look at some of the other "awards" to railroads, you'll notice some state: "Bridge improvements/rehabilitation", substructure repairs to four bridges (BKRR), et cetera..

Also, the money that they receive must solely be used for the intent that it was given out to. In other words, they can't take the $$ for rail improvements and spend it on an ALCO C424... but I wonder if they could use it to purchase a ballast tamper... that might be stretching it a little bit


  by jgallaway81
The A&A already has two tampers.... a movable head switch tamper, and a laser-guided production tamper.

If anyone has looked at the railbed lately, the smart thing the A&A could do would be to rip the entire line up and rebuild.

The physical railroad was poorly constructed in 1880 and badly (if at all) maintained over the last hundred and thirty years. The railroad has invested several hundred thousand dollars over the last ten years, trying to recover from the decades of neglect. This has included several MoW equipment purchases.

The recent multi-million dollar grants are simply drops in the bucket. To produce decent track could easily run a million a mile.

And now, with the steam locomotive back in service, the track is going to need even more attention. A steam engine, even one as light as #18 (~180,000lbs) has a considerable effect on a railbed. The dynamic forces of the drive rods and counterweights on the drive wheels will create considerable forces in the rail, even at the A&A's modest speeds. Further, the wheelbase on #18 is considerably larger then the diesels, coaches and even the 286K freight cars the railroad delivers. This will create additional stresses in and curve teh engine runs through.

Finaly, bear in mind... the Federal Railroad Administration has granted NS & BNSF waivers to the 1000mile brake inspection regs because of the new ECP (electronic-controlled pneumatic) brakes. First coal & intermodal, then autoracks and unit ethanol trains. Finally, the general service fleet will become interchange ECP equipped. New cars already are required to be build ready for ECP addition.

Even before ECP went into revenue service on NS a few months ago, railroads were already discussing 300K cars as an interchange standard. With ECP, expect that to rapidly go from 300K to 350K and even to 400k cars.

The A&A has a LOT of work to do just to keep up.

  by pablo
I think it will bea long time before seeing a 400K car. I'm just saying.

Dave Becker

  by jgallaway81
Dave, I'm not trying to imply that it will be overnight.

I'm just saying that the class one railroad companies will always be working to improving their efficiency by increasing carweight. ECP Brakes will allow a much greater fuel efficiency for braking issues, as well as improvements in stopping distances. However, bear in mind, every wheel that touches the rail represents a point of friction and drag. If the railroad can haul the same tonnage in 20% fewer cars, that means 20% fewer points of contact with the rail.

If the A&A doesn't think ahead, and plan for these sorts of eventualities, then they will be left in the dust. Even 300K represents a problem. Are teh A&A's two bridges capable of 300K cars? I believe thats what previous management did, but I could be wrong.

  by BSOR Patarak
The details of the grant aren't available yet. It does go in conjunction with the previous 2.2 million. It is all in an effort to prepare the line for 286K capabilities.

Jason brings up a good point about the deferred maintenance on the line and the fact that it was never built to "class 1" standards. One thing to think about is the fact that it has been there a long time. The ground has been beaten down pretty good under the right of way. Other than the wet spots, the base has held up pretty good over the last 90 plus years. Indeed, everything is getting heavier. A good program of stone and tamping will go a long way to helping the situation out. Even the big roads have to constantly tamp and line track to keep them up to speed. Yes, the A&A is way behind...but it is definitly fixable. No railroad survives with out constant mainenance.

Past money has been utilized to acquire much needed track equipment. They do have a pretty impressive stable of machines. This includes a tie inserter, a switch or "pup" tamper, a lining tamper, ballast regulator, ballast cars and several hydraulic and air tools. On that end of things, they are well equipped to take care of the track. Great strides have been made in the last 10 years...much more is needed and will be on going.

Thanks very much to NYS and these grant. Without the help of a great many people, things would not be possible.

  by howie729
I noticed that just past the first Rt 98 crossing in JC the line looks real bad. Do they have a plan as to where the work needs to be done first or where the worst areas are? I know the ride is "a little shaky" by monkey run.

I know a lot of work was done near Welch Rd just wondering if they are starting at the north end and working south?
  by Paynes Trains
Just a personal note from visiting the railraod starting in the mid sixties through present. The track has always looked in rough shape but somehow the trains stay on top of the rail, probably due to the small engines.


  by BSOR Patarak
Most work in the past few years has concentrated on the 7 miles that the passenger train is operated on. Reisdorf Mill has done much work on their own sidings (with heavier rail). The older grants of 2.2 million that have been awarded are going towards the section from the interchange to Curriers.

It is only a speculation on my part, but this new grant may be for North of Curriers on the "freight only" portion. It could mean a few different passenger options if the siding was repaired at Java Center and passenger trains could operate that far. (These are just my own thoughts though, nothing formal from the company) This section is in definite need of attention though.

  by nessman
I'm speculating much of the $$$ will go to tie replacement and surfacing.

I saw what $1.6M did for the Falls Road 8 years ago and the difference was quite noticeable (keeping in mind this is a 42 mile line).

$3.3 million on a 14 mile line will make for some significant improvements. The line from the NS interchange to the enginehouse is in very rough shape. North of Curriers, the line needs attention. I'm with BSOR in that the line from the passenger depot in Arcade to Curriers will get the most attention.

Now that the funding is in place... the question is when will the work begin?

  by WNYP431
If I'm not mistaken, this money was obtained for this railroad for a specific purpose through the efforts of the former General Manager. My application packet through the rail bureau contained specific guidelines for use, including a siding and loading platform near milepost 3, for 2 new freight businesses that has since evaporated.

Since she has retired, I suppose the railroad can use it for whatever they want. That makes $3.3 Million obtained since 2002, with a $4.9 Million application still awaiting an answer.

  by tomjohn
Which ever choice THE ARCADE AND ATTICA RR chooses to due with the amount -$- that was issued to them it may be the correct one. However,we have to remember it's THE ARCADE AND ATTICA RR's decision to make nor our task to inform the railroad where any of the funding should be used. Also it maybe none of our concern of any funding goes to what railroad and company or how it is used! Sure we can be curious about the amount -$- ...



Samuel Adams