• 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 SemperFidelis
 
Last I heard, a few weeks ago now, there won't be any track to Mr. Martin's Quarry until an agreement can be reached with the very hostile leadership of Walmart.
  by jrevans
 
Glenn wrote:From Google Maps, the rails appear to be in place as far as and onto the bridge over N. Reading Road. There is a large industry on Spring Street just past the bridge and adjacent to the ROW which obviously was once served by the railroad as the loading platforms are still in place and would certainly be a potential customer.
I remember talking to an East Penn employee a few years ago and they said that the Boyertown Foundry (there by the YMCA) was against using rail service, but for the life I me, I can't remember the reason that he told me... Maybe a new railroad would help?
SemperFidelis wrote:Last I heard, a few weeks ago now, there won't be any track to Mr. Martin's Quarry until an agreement can be reached with the very hostile leadership of Walmart.
There's probably more barriers than just traversing Walmart's parking lot entrance road, but it's probably not good to proceed with the other items until you can get permission to cross there.

I took a bunch of pictures there last fall (the Walmart parking lot / former ROW) and I swear it looked like they did a lot of earth moving in that area, as to my untrained eye, the former ROW to the North, seemed a lot lower than where it follows the pole line behind the car dealership. Hopefully it's just an optical illusion, as if they really changed the grading there, restoring the railroad would require riding the track elevation to the North too.

I like that the former ROW goes through my church's property just North of there, and since pointing that out to my three year old son, every Sunday he tells me "train tracks used to go there daddy!". :)
  by SemperFidelis
 
My little ones are the same way. Anything that has to do with a railroad, they're more than happy to remind me of. I truly cherish each time they point out where an old grade crossing was, or point to a specific locomotive and remind me whose train it is (name of the road's salesman, preceeded by "Mister").

There are, indeed, other obstacles to restoration but Walmart is the most challenging. The same company that will spend billions to remind the Americans that they helped put out of work that they are a "green" company, won't honor a simple promise to allow restoration of a section of track that could potentially remove hundreds of daily truck trips...funny how that works.

There will probably be some local resistance if/when the Walmart issue is resolved, but don't look for it anytime soon.
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
The funny thing about Wal mart they don't own the ROW they just took it . and yes they did a lot of filling up the earth back there . I have a friend who works for the Dodge Dealership and he said that Quigley land stop right up next to the railroad row.
But Wal Fart is worth billions they don't care about the little guy.

Just my 2 cents
Len.
  by jrevans
 
Colebrookdale Spur construction means detours for drivers in Boyertown

Looks like they're repairing the crossings in Boyertown, now that the line is being reactivated.

Here's a new article about it:
http://www.berksmontnews.com/articles/2 ... 91311.html
Colebrookdale Spur construction means detours for drivers in Boyertown

Monday, September 20, 2010

By Lynn A. Gladieux
Times Writer

BOYERTOWN –– Work scheduled to begin on the Colebrookdale Spur railroad crossing at East Philadelphia Avenue will cause detours and a major road closure this weekend.

Beginning Sept. 25, westbound traffic on East Philadelphia Avenue will be detoured onto South Madison Street and then onto westbound Second Street, where it will merge with West Philadelphia Avenue, also known as Route 73.

The road is expected to be closed throughout the weekend and for several hours on Sept. 27.

Berks County Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt and county Director of Facilities Ryan Hunter met on Sept. 20 with Borough Manager Patricia Spaide and police Chief Barry Leatherman to discuss the planned road closure, at which time Spaide and Leatherman approved the closure and planned detour route.

Barnhardt said repairs to the roadway, which are being paid for by the county from redevelopment authority funds, will greatly benefit Boyertown and that residents will be pleased with the end result.

County commissioners have hired Amtrac Railroad Contractors of Hagerstown, Md., to make the crossing repairs at a cost of nearly $100,000. Repairs include replacement of the track and concrete linings as well as sidewalk repairs.

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.

Earlier this month, the county signed a lease with Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad of Boyertown to begin hauling freight on the line, which connects to the Norfolk Southern line in Pottstown.
  by Jeremy Zella
 
Wal-Mart = EVIL! I would even like to see the line go as far as Bechtelsville to the Agway, although I am floored that they are putting back in service! Cant way to start railfanning the line!!! Were the (2) businesses on either side of Weisstown Rd hooked into the branch? The one is a heating oil dealer and I don't know what is across the street its just like a white garage looking building. Any thoughts???
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
I think you mean the old Boyertoen Auto body works , which is out of business . I wonder if they'll replace the rail yard at Boyertown, that East Penn sold off to Boyertown. as far as the ROW to Bechtelsville Agway or even Barto . The ROW is in very good shape.
  by coreff15
 
Jeremy Zella wrote:Wal-Mart = EVIL! I would even like to see the line go as far as Bechtelsville to the Agway, although I am floored that they are putting back in service! Cant way to start railfanning the line!!! Were the (2) businesses on either side of Weisstown Rd hooked into the branch? The one is a heating oil dealer and I don't know what is across the street its just like a white garage looking building. Any thoughts???
The road is actually N Reading Ave. There is only one business there, which is Boyertown Oil. As far as I know, the oil company never used the RR, however times have changed. The row of garages are private as far as I am aware. The line after passing Walmart, continued north along Rt 100, passing the quarry and into Bechtelsville, where is ran along Agway, acrossed Chestnut St and there is still an small little train station standing which is owned by the Borough. The line then continued north into the village of Barto, however I do know if the ROW is still there.

Also I know there has been talks about bringing more rail freight into Boyertown and having an area to unload the freight onto trucks. I herd that the lumber yard of AD Moyer might start using the line again as well. Waste Management in Gilbertsville brought in a few rail cars prior to the line being sold back to the county to deliever new dumpers. There are definately plenty of businesses in the area that could benefit from utilizing the rail spur once again.
  by jrevans
 
I happened to be able to drive by Boyertown last night and I took some pictures of the crossing work going on there. I read it was supposed to be finished by Monday, but I went by on Tuesday evening, and there was still much to be done as one of the tracks was still completely out at the crossing. Maybe the rain on Monday slowed them down, but I sure hope they're done before the inches of tropical rain hit on Thursday....

Anyways, attached are my pictures which I took from the bank parking lot. Three of them show the crossing work and the front of the new locomotive, and I took one shot looking Northward towards Barto. I was surprised that they didn't appear to use the pre-cast concrete crossing slabs that I've seen them use on most new higher traffic crossings.

boyertown_09282010_1.jpg
boyertown_09282010_3.jpg
boyertown_09282010_4.jpg
  by coreff15
 
Article from the Reading Eagle newspaper


http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=252656

Rail spur could cut truck traffic in Boyertown
The county-owned Colebrookdale rail spur could provide an opportunity to keep trucks bound for the Rolling Hills Landfill in Earl Township out of downtown Boyertown, Berks County Redevelopment Authority officials say. The authority is seeking $250,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for a train-to-truck loading facility that could eliminate more than 100 daily truck trips on Route 73.
  by PARailWiz
 
I was surprised that they didn't appear to use the pre-cast concrete crossing slabs that I've seen them use on most new higher traffic crossings.
Pre-cast concrete crossing slabs are typically custom-made to fit the crossing where they are installed and require some lead-time. Other types of crossing can be installed more quickly or at less cost.
  by Jeremy Zella
 
I would like to know a little history of the branch. Like, when did Conrail give it over the R&N, when did they give it to ESPN? When was passenger service discontinued and the station in Boyertown taken down? How were the steam engines turned at the end of the branch so they could return to Pottstown? My last question that I have is what was the power they normally used, was it the SW's and did Conrail continue this same practice.

Jeremy
  by gibby
 
i read on another site that one of the workers that was doing the grading at walmart said that the site plans stated that the rail bed plain had to be maintained "for future use". sounds to me that walmart knew that someday this may be a possibilty. is there a rail right of way still there or does walmart that property where the bed once was? also, i worked at hollenbach home center back in the late 1980's and we used to get plywood and lumber at the yard in boyertown. they might also be a returning customer as well as a.d. moyer. i now work for martins quarry and it would be great if we could get the rails back to us again. we ship alot of material to south jersey and bring sand along back home. it would benefit us in a big way but i guess walmart wants to be the only successful business in town. dont get me wrong, we needed a store like that in town not only for shopping but for jobs in a town that lost alot of industry over the last 50 years. my comunity is helping them be profitable, they should work with the powers that be to allow others to be profitable as well by using rail service again. just one more thing, didnt that line go as for as the town of bally or only as far as barto?
  by Trails to Rails
 
People deciding an unused ROW that crosses their property is now theirs is nothing new, just take a look at the McMansions along the Bethlehem Branch or the Lutron parking lots that encroached that ROW. I believe the prevailing wisdom is if you build something over it, it is less likely they will ask you to undo what you did.

Fortunately the law is on the side of the ROW owners if they didn't give away that portion of the Colebrookdale Branch. Even a behemoth like Wal-Mart won't prevail if the law is against them. I have confidence they will open up that section, it just may take a little time and money that Wal-Mart won't want to spend for something hardly worth fighting.
  by glennk419
 
Trails to Rails wrote:People deciding an unused ROW that crosses their property is now theirs is nothing new, just take a look at the McMansions along the Bethlehem Branch or the Lutron parking lots that encroached that ROW. I believe the prevailing wisdom is if you build something over it, it is less likely they will ask you to undo what you did.
As dismaying as it was to see the Bethlehem Branch ripped up, it was quite amusing to see the McMansions' "landscaping" destroyed when they harvested the rails and ties in the Spring Valley Road area.
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