• 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 Trails to Rails
 
glennk419 wrote: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.
I have been waiting for that day for a LONG time!!!

I'm going to walk that section of the trail some morning at 5:30 am with baseball cards on my spokes, some boombas and three yapping dogs!!
  by jrevans
 
Here's a new article from the Reading Eagle about Boyertown railroad service restoration:

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=255167
Boyertown leases out part of freight yard

Boyertown residents will again see railroad cars stopping at the freight yard in the heart of the business district.

Borough council voted this week to lease one-third of the former East Penn Railroad freight yard, a 2-acre tract at Third and Washington streets, to the Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad Co.

Council hopes that restoring the freight rail line and yard, which has been idle a few years, will spark economic development.

In a two-year lease, the rail company will pay Boyertown $10 in the first year and $200 per month the second year for use of the yard.

"I think that council just wanted to try and work with the railroad company to allow them to get started the first year," Borough Manager Patricia A. Spaide said of the minimal fee.

Details of when trains will start running and how often they will travel through town haven't been determined.

The nearby Drug Plastics & Glass Co. Inc., a plastic bottle manufacturer, is expected to be the first customer of the new operator.

Boyertown owns the rail yard, but Berks County owns the line, which is known as the Colebrookdale Spur.

In September, county commissioners approved a lease with Eastern Berks Gateway to haul freight.

But not everyone in Boyertown is happy with the decision to lease the rail yard for freight deliveries.

Charles A. Haddad, past president of Building a Better Boyertown, said that he thought the downtown revitalization agency would be working with the council on developing the rail yard.

"I have to express disappointment that we're not consulted," he said at a council meeting Monday.

Ideas for the rail yard have included a parking lot, a community center and library or a fire station.

Council President Frank Deery pointed out that the lease is temporary, so the borough is not ruling out any of those development options.

"In this economy, the borough does not have the money to develop that land," Deery said.

Spaide said the railroad company is looking into constructing a permanent rail yard on a parcel near Warwick and Second streets.

The leased portion of the rail yard will not include the section containing the antique iron crane, a symbol of Boyertown's rail history. Building a Better Boyertown has a $30,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to rehabilitate the crane and beautify that area.
I'm curious where they plan to construct a yard "near Warwick and Second streets" since looking at online maps shows that to be away from the tracks.
  by Jeremy Zella
 
My question is why would they redevelope the current site of the former yard and then force the railroad to develope an entirely new yard somewhere else? Why not keep the rail yard where it is, since that was the intended purpose of that plot of land, and build a library, fire house, whatever, somewhere else? Is this guy for real??? Build a better Boyertown in buildings that need occupants or somewhere else. Does anyone think or use common sense anymore...
  by limejuice
 
These "redevelopment corporations" that seem to exist in every town on earth always seem to attract these smartypants busybody types that think they know how best to 'fix' hundreds of years of natural development. They fail to see the problems of playing "SimCity" with private property. Corporate welfare and eminent domain abuse are the hallmarks of these sorts of organizations.
  by jrevans
 
Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad Company files for their Modified Rail Certificate.

http://regulations.justia.com/view/201465/
[Federal Register: October 13, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 197)]
[Notices]
[Page 62920-62921]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13oc10-131]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[Docket No. FD 35383]


Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad Company--Modified Rail
Certificate--in Berks County, PA

On September 13, 2010, Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad Company
(EBGR), a noncarrier, filed a notice for a modified certificate of
convenience and necessity under 49 CFR pt. 1150 subpart C--Modified
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to lease and operate an
approximately 8.6-mile line of railroad between milepost 0.0 at
Pottstown and milepost 8.6 at Boyertown in Berks County, Pa.
(Colebrookdale Line).
The Colebrookdale Line was authorized for abandonment by the Board
in East Penn Railroad--Abandonment Exemption--In Berks and Montgomery
Counties, Pa., Docket No. AB 1020X (STB served Nov. 18, 2008). Although
authorized for abandonment, the line was subsequently acquired by Berks
County, Pa. (the County), pursuant to 49 CFR 1150.22.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

\1\ The County originally filed an offer of financial assistance
(OFA) to acquire the Colebrookdale Line. The Board subsequently set
the terms and conditions for the acquisition via OFA. See E. Penn
R.R.--Abandon. Exemption--In Berks and Montgomery Counties, Pa.,
Docket No. AB 1020X (STB served Jan. 28, 2009). However, the County
acquired the Colebrookdale Line under 49 CFR 1150.22 rather than
under the OFA process. See E. Penn R.R.--Abandon. Exemption--In
Berks and Montgomery Counties, Pa., AB 1020X (STB served Apr. 9,
2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pursuant to a Lease and Operating Agreement, EBGR, as lessee, and
the County, as owner, have agreed that EBGR will commence freight rail
operation on or about September 15, 2010, for a term of 5 years, which
may be extended up to 1 additional 5-year term. Under the Lease and
Operating Agreement, the County is responsible for restoring the
Colebrookdale Line to Federal Railroad Administration Class 2 condition
prior to EBGR's commencement of operations, and will retain
responsibility for the cost of certain bridge and grade crossing
rehabilitation. As operator of the Colebrookdale Line, EBGR will
provide rail freight service to the only interline connection, Norfolk
Southern Railway Company, at milepost 0.0, at Pottstown. EBGR intends
to provide rail service twice weekly or on an as-needed basis.
This transaction is related to the verified notice of exemption
filed in US Rail Partners, Ltd. and Blackwell Northern Gateway
Railroad--Continuance in Control Exemption--Eastern Berks Gateway
Railroad, Docket No. FD 35384 (STB served July 15, 2010), wherein US
Rail Partners, Ltd. (USRP), and Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad
Company (BNGR) seeks to continue in control of EBGR, upon EBGR becoming
a Class III rail carrier.
The rail segment qualifies for a modified certificate of public
convenience and necessity. See Common Carrier Status of States, State
Agencies and Instrumentalities and Political Subdivisions, Docket No.
FD 28990F (ICC served July 16, 1981).
EBGR states that no subsidy is involved and that there are no
preconditions for shippers to meet in order to receive rail service.
EBGR also states that the Lease and Operating Agreement requires it to
obtain liability insurance coverage.
This notice will be served on the Association of American Railroads
(Car Service Division) as agent for all railroads subscribing to the
car-service and car-hire agreement at 425 Third Street, SW., Suite
1000, Washington, DC 20024; and on the American Short Line and Regional
Railroad Association at 50 F Street, NW., Suite 7020, Washington, DC
20001.
Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at http:/
/www.stb.dot.gov.

[[Page 62921]]

Decided: October 6, 2010.

By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of
Proceedings.
Jeffrey Herzig,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2010-25704 Filed 10-12-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
  by coreff15
 
The location of E 2nd St and Warwick St is actually right next to the track location and would be ideal area for unloading freight.

1. The rail line runs right next to it, there is already a RR crossing in place, and that part of Warwick St is a No Outlet.

2. Its a 2-4 acre open lot

3. Due to other industries on 2nd St, the street is wider to accomidate truck traffic and there are traffic lights in place for traffic control in that area.

4. 3 St & Washington St (location of current rail yard) is narrow streets and the surrounding intersections do not really accomidate truck traffic or expansion.
  by jrevans
 
coreff15 wrote:The location of E 2nd St and Warwick St is actually right next to the track location and would be ideal area for unloading freight.

1. The rail line runs right next to it, there is already a RR crossing in place, and that part of Warwick St is a No Outlet.

2. Its a 2-4 acre open lot

3. Due to other industries on 2nd St, the street is wider to accomidate truck traffic and there are traffic lights in place for traffic control in that area.

4. 3 St & Washington St (location of current rail yard) is narrow streets and the surrounding intersections do not really accomidate truck traffic or expansion.
Thanks for the information. I had taken a quick look at the town in google maps and didn't see an area close to the tracks, but I'm not familiar with Boyertown.

I'm glad to hear that the new location could be useful to the railroad if they eventually choose to build a yard there.
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
I took a ride out to Boyertown last Saturday and this is what I saw as I walked along the north end of the line.


Image

Image

Image
Bran new crossing

Image

Image
Old Coaling tressel

Image

from here on the photos are all in order going out of town.

Image

Image
Note old rail siding to the Right gose up grade.
Image

Image

Image
back on the main head to the bridge over old Rt. 100

Image
Looking back to Boyertown

Image
Locals pulled up the rails here for scrap a few years ago.

Image

Image
Leading up to the bridge over old Rt. 100

Image
Bridge that has YMCA on the outer side of bridge over old Rt. 100.

That's all for now.
Len.
  by jrevans
 
Schuylkill Valley wrote:I took a ride out to Boyertown last Saturday and this is what I saw as I walked along the north end of the line.
That's all for now.
Len.
Thanks for the pictures Lenny. Looks like the crossing was redone with the concrete inserts unless I'm viewing it incorrectly.

I really liked the pictures that you took North of Boyertown, as it's good to see the state of the line (missing rails and all).

Are you ever going to be able to share info/pictures about the engine house building that you said you found around the wye area in Barto?
  by Jeremy Zella
 
Good point Jim! I would like to as well to see what the line looked like north of Boyertown! I took a few shots of the Agway and the station in Betchelsville, but I would like to see more shots of the station area and track layout in Barto. I have become more curious as to how they turned the steam locomotives around once they got to Barto. On Alex's website he has a link to a site that talks about the wye and how they planned to connect the Colebrookdale with the Perkiomen. Though the link to the area map is dead.

Jeremy
  by Jeremy Zella
 
There was mention of a 3-stall engine house but because the property owner didnt want you to show it on the internet, would you be able to tell us where it was/is located?
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
Yes,
It is located in an open field north of the Barto station. The 3 stall engine house is built out of Red brick and the workmen shed is also still standing along with the scale house. the owner of the property is Longacer Dairy.

Len.
  by Jeremy Zella
 
To continue our discussion on passenger service on the Colebrookdale, was there at one time a wye in Pottstown so that trains could head to Reading and points west? It would seem that not having one would not make sense. Also were there any rambles on the line? In my opinion, the line would be a good ride with pleasant scenery throughout the year.

Jeremy
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