• Things dont look good for the Colebrookdale Spur

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

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  by Pacobell73
 
Kutztown and Colebrookdale could be home to the speeder population.
  by Tom_E_Reynolds
 
The end of the line for EPRL on the Colebrookdale Branch.

EPRL No.52 was sitting quietly at the NS interchange in Pottstown on Saturday 3/28/2009.

Note the new and multi-colored de-railer.
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I am heading out to the line again today, I'll get some more pics of the rot on one of those bridges.
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  by Pacobell73
 
Thanx for posting those pix. I will try to get some pix as well, since I am right down the road in Phoenixville.
  by one87th
 
Any status on this line. I am thinking of hiking it in the fall of 2009 to photograph and document any remaining infrastructure.
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
The line is sitting empty, the weeds are growing well though. There hasn't been any train or speeder trafic since EPRY took 52 down to Pottstown last Fall.

Len.
  by Pacobell73
 
Once the late fall kicks in, we can assemble a group to go, cut some brush, and get some nice pix. Great little line that would be a good as a heritage line. This area needs something like that.

Sort of a side note, but related to this: what are the other heritage lines in the vicinity?

Heritage only -
- Strasburg RR
- Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern
- Wilmington and Western

Heritage/frieght-
- Middletown and Hummelstown
- New Hope & Ivyland
- Black River & Western (NJ)
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
Hey Paceball, Do you know anyone that has a rail speeder. if so we could get alot done quicker, the line is 8 miles long, talk about a long walk. how the devault line doing down your way?

Len.
  by Pacobell73
 
Hey there - no, I am afriad I do not know of any one person with a speeder. Wish I did. Perhaps we could entice a speeder group to bring there equipment into Pottstown.

Devault line is going slowly but surely. We are going to add this to PennDOTs agenda for future funding. Until the state agrees on the budget, the project is kinda at a standstill. Not dead by any means, just in a waiting period.
  by Tom_E_Reynolds
 
Hi all!

Anyone want to plan a meet and walk up the Colebrookdale Branch in the Fall? I live in Pottstown and would love to walk the line up to Boyertown while its still passable.

I usually walk the Raritan River RR line in mid November, so maybe October, or December (after the leaves all fall off the trees).

-Tom
  by SemperFidelis
 
Good news!

The Colebrookdale Spur will be operating again as of next month (August). I just spoke to a Berks County official about it and they confirmed that they have an operator selected who will be turning wheels soon. The operator is US Rail Partners of Des Plaines, IL (not the US Rail that took over SRNJ).

Drug Plastics and Glass will be the only customer to start with, recieving plastic and/or sand for processing into containers. Boyertown Foundry and Unicast recieve foundry sand by truck and will most likely be pursued as customers. A 3 acre transload site is also being developed for other materials.

The line up to Martin Stone Quarry will not be reactivated in the near future. Walmart (the same people who helped send your job to China) is not being very cooperative about allowing rails to be laid on the old path of the ROW across thier parking lot. The potential for full reactivation is still there but commitments are needed before any work can go forward.

I love it when a dead line comes back to life!
  by jrevans
 
SemperFidelis wrote:Good news!

The Colebrookdale Spur will be operating again as of next month (August). I just spoke to a Berks County official about it and they confirmed that they have an operator selected who will be turning wheels soon. The operator is US Rail Partners of Des Plaines, IL (not the US Rail that took over SRNJ).

Drug Plastics and Glass will be the only customer to start with, recieving plastic and/or sand for processing into containers. Boyertown Foundry and Unicast recieve foundry sand by truck and will most likely be pursued as customers. A 3 acre transload site is also being developed for other materials.

The line up to Martin Stone Quarry will not be reactivated in the near future. Walmart (the same people who helped send your job to China) is not being very cooperative about allowing rails to be laid on the old path of the ROW across thier parking lot. The potential for full reactivation is still there but commitments are needed before any work can go forward.

I love it when a dead line comes back to life!
SemperFidelis,

I was actually going to post about this matter today, but you beat me to it. I was reading the STB documents and came across evidence that there is a new railroad named "EASTERN BERKS GATEWAY RAILROAD COMPANY (EBGR)" which is going to be operated by US Rail Partners, Ltd. and Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad Company.

http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readin ... enDocument

I didn't see any tie in to Illinois though, since the STB document states:
USRP currently controls through stock ownership two Class III rail carriers: BNGR and the Eastern Washington Gateway Railroad Company (EWGR). BNGR operates approximately 35 miles of rail line between Wellington, Kan., and Blackwell, Okla. EWGR operates approximately 114 miles of rail line in the State of Washington.
Maybe USRP is based in Illinois?

I wonder if the branch will get a locomotive lettered for EBGR?

Oh, there was also this article in the Pottstown Mercury:
http://www.pottsmerc.com/articles/2010/ ... 36268.html
READING — Berks County Commissioners' Chairman Mark C. Scott recently announced that the county is planning to spend $91,300 to make repairs to the Colebrookdale Spur railroad crossing at East Philadelphia Avenue in Boyertown.

Scott said at the July 12 workshop meeting that the county has contracted with Amtrac Railroad Contractors of Hagerstown, Md., to do the repair work. No date was given as to when construction will begin.

Along with Scott, Commissioners Kevin S. Barnhardt and Christian Y. Leinbach said they will approve the contract.

The Amtrac contract originally called for only partial repair of the track. However, after concerns were raised regarding the extent of proposed repairs, Scott said the contract was revised to include additional work to the track and paved areas.

"We have amended the contract so that the project will be done in a more comprehensive way and hope to prevent the potholes that have plagued that area for years," he said.

Scott said the additional work could add anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 to the original contract, which includes replacement of the track and the concrete linings that cross the street. Sidewalk repairs will also be made at the site.

Money for the repair will come from redevelopment authority funds. Funds will also be allocated for a transloading facility, planned for construction at a later date.

The 8.6-mile Colebrookdale Spur is a short line running between Pottstown and Boyertown. It was purchased by the county in March 2009 from East Penn Railroad, Kennett Square, at a cost of $1.35 million.

The county plans to rehabilitate the line and place it back into service. The line connects to the Norfolk Southern line in Pottstown.
  by SemperFidelis
 
Yes, US Rail Partners is located in Des Plaines, IL. Thank you for all of the additional info. I actually meant to post this at the beginning of the week but forgot.
  by Tom_E_Reynolds
 
""Drug Plastics and Glass will be the only customer to start with...""

I am confused. I thought this was the last customer on the line who decided to go else where to get their freight, precipitating the ending of service by EPRL?

Did they change their mind? Seems like a bait and switch took place. Customer says good by, railroad says has to sell, asks $2.1 million, gets $1.3 million from the County, then suddenly, the company wants freight again via the "county owned" railroad?

Don't get me wrong, I am happy trains will be rolling again. But I hope EPRL wanted out and didn't just get cheated (screwed) out, because it sure seems like some back door deals were made here. Including the loss of $800,000 in property value, which is a mute point, because I do not think the county pays taxes to itself.

Can anyone from EPRL speak on this?
  by RDGTRANSMUSEUM
 
I thought Drug plastics was going to buy the line at one point, thats how much they wanted service. East penn told the STB? that one customer was not enough to keep the thing open. The West Reading branch is down to one customer?, but NS is a common carrier and cannot just close it. Can someone clear this up?
  by jrevans
 
Okay, here's my take on it, if my memory is correct.

- East Penn paid very little for the line when they first bought it from the county, even less than the 1.2m that they sold it for.

- Drug Plastic was using the rail service until the line became damaged (I think it was weather related) and trains could not run on the branch.. I believe at that point, East Penn asked if Drug Plastic could do transload operations down in Pottstown, so they didn't have to repair the branch right away.

I think that it worked out about as well as it could. Probably would have been best if the county didn't sell the branch to the East Penn in the first place.

Feel free to correct me if my memory is mistaken.
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