• Why does MD have high platforms and VA have low platforms?

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by realtype
 
matthewsaggie wrote:
chuchubob wrote:The Chicago South Shore & South Bend has high platforms and uses gantlet tracks for freight clearance.
I have asked this question before and never received a satisfactory answer- how are gauntlet tracks controlled and operated? By the dispatcher somewhere? By local control somewhere? It would seem to add a lot of trouble to a dispatchers life to have to handle these things, too.
It's not that big of a deal. Most passenger railroads that have gauntlets hardly have freights running through. For eg., the only gauntlet track in MD (as far as I know), is at New Carrollton and I think CSX rarely runs freights through there.
  by Kaback9
 
realtype wrote:
matthewsaggie wrote:
chuchubob wrote:The Chicago South Shore & South Bend has high platforms and uses gantlet tracks for freight clearance.
I have asked this question before and never received a satisfactory answer- how are gauntlet tracks controlled and operated? By the dispatcher somewhere? By local control somewhere? It would seem to add a lot of trouble to a dispatchers life to have to handle these things, too.
It's not that big of a deal. Most passenger railroads that have gauntlets hardly have freights running through. For eg., the only gauntlet track in MD (as far as I know), is at New Carrollton and I think CSX rarely runs freights through there.
The freights usually use the outside track it looked to be heading to the Landover Sub(I think its Track 3) from what my father saw a few weeks on his way back to NJ.
  by Silverliner II
 
matthewsaggie wrote:
chuchubob wrote:The Chicago South Shore & South Bend has high platforms and uses gantlet tracks for freight clearance.
I have asked this question before and never received a satisfactory answer- how are gauntlet tracks controlled and operated? By the dispatcher somewhere? By local control somewhere? It would seem to add a lot of trouble to a dispatchers life to have to handle these things, too.
They are usually dispatcher-controlled, just like any other interlocking. They're really no hassle at all, as the track would remain fleeted for passenger use into the gauntlet unless a freight was coming, then the dispatcher would simply line the points to the main, away from the platform.
  by realtype
 
All the MARC/Amtrak stations in MD north of Baltimore have low platforms because NS runs through, and I guess it would be to much hassle to install gauntlets at all those stations, especially since they are not nearly as busy as the one's south of Baltimore. MARC is actually rebuilding the Halethorpe and Edgewood stations but Edgewood won't even get high level platforms, while Halethorpe will, because of the freights that run through.

Greenbelt station on the Camden Line (CSX Capitol Sub) has high platforms but they are on two siding tracks off the main (4 tracks run through the station). Camden station also has high platforms since CSX doesn't run through.

On the Frederick Branch of the Brunswick Line, Monocacy-Frederick station (owned by the MTA) has a single platform that is about two-thirds high level and one-third low level. The low platform which I don't think is currently used is probably there in case MARC ever decides to put those detested 'gallery' cars (which currently are only used in two Brunswick Line consists) on the Branch.

In addition to the low platforms in Viriginia, I noticed that most VRE stations only have one platform. Frankly I was pretty shocked when I found that out. Forget low platforms, I don't know how they even manage with single platform stations when they share track with NS, CSX, and Amtrak LD's.
  by TallEddie_81
 
realtype wrote: In addition to the low platforms in Viriginia, I noticed that most VRE stations only have one platform. Frankly I was pretty shocked when I found that out. Forget low platforms, I don't know how they even manage with single platform stations when they share track with NS, CSX, and Amtrak LD's.
VRE manages with delays. At the stations where there is only 1 platform there is a paved or wooden walkway (like where roadways go over tracks) that goes from the far track to the platform. Basically when there is a situation where they are unable to use the track next to the platform they line 1 car with this walkway and unload and load from that one car.

I ride the Fredericksburg line, and there are a few stations with 2 platforms (Fredericksburg, Quantico, Franconia-Springfield, and Alexandria). They are in the process of adding a second platform at the woodbridge station.
  by realtype
 
TallEddie_81 wrote:
realtype wrote: In addition to the low platforms in Viriginia, I noticed that most VRE stations only have one platform. Frankly I was pretty shocked when I found that out. Forget low platforms, I don't know how they even manage with single platform stations when they share track with NS, CSX, and Amtrak LD's.
VRE manages with delays. At the stations where there is only 1 platform there is a paved or wooden walkway (like where roadways go over tracks) that goes from the far track to the platform. Basically when there is a situation where they are unable to use the track next to the platform they line 1 car with this walkway and unload and load from that one car.

I ride the Fredericksburg line, and there are a few stations with 2 platforms (Fredericksburg, Quantico, Franconia-Springfield, and Alexandria). They are in the process of adding a second platform at the woodbridge station.
I'm pretty sure the only reason F'burg, Quantico, Franconia, and Alexandria have 2 platforms is becaused they're shared with Amtrak. Nice to see that Woodbridge is getting a second platform though.
  by CHIP72
 
Silverliner II wrote:
polybalt wrote:While I am not sure about Virginia, high-level platforms are illegal in almost all states west of Pennsylvania. Most states have regulations regarding minimum railraod clearances intended to protect brakemen riding the side of freight cars. While each state has its own allowed clearance, they generally do not permit wayside obstructions within, for example, seven feet of track center line. High-level platforms are about 5.5 feet from centerline, and are therefore illegal. Only the Northeast states have an exception for high-level platforms. I assume Chicago Metra Electric is grandfathered in Illinois, since it has been high-level since the 1860's and sees very little freight operation.
Pete Schmidt
The Amtrak station in Syracuse, NY, is a high-level platform station. Probably the only high-level west of Albany anywhere (not counting Metra Electric)...
FWIW, both Harrisburg and Lancaster on the ex-PRR Main Line/current Amtrak Keystone Service line have high platforms. Actually, Harrisburg has a mix of high (1) and low (2) platforms, while both of Lancaster's platforms are high platforms.
  by gp40marc69
 
FYI, the gauntlet track on Track 2 at New Carrollton was removed and replaced with new tracks with concrete ties. I take it there was no need for it anymore since the CSX trains use the lead from the Landover Sub instead of Track 2.
  by Silverliner II
 
gp40marc69 wrote:FYI, the gauntlet track on Track 2 at New Carrollton was removed and replaced with new tracks with concrete ties. I take it there was no need for it anymore since the CSX trains use the lead from the Landover Sub instead of Track 2.
Yep!
  by keyboardkat
 
Why is everybody misspelling the term? The correct spelling is "gantlet." A gauntlet is a kind of glove, especially a medieval chain-mailed glove. A "gentleman" would challenge another to a duel by flinging his glove at his adversary's feet, thus, "flinging down the gauntlet."

Also, as far as most commuter lines outside the NEC not using low platforms, the LIRR years ago converted all its stations to high platforms to conform to the car floor height and subway-type sliding doors on the M-1 and M-3 MU cars, and now the C-3 bilevel locomotive hauled cars. Stations which lacked sufficient patronage to justify this were simply abandoned. Thus, all passenger service on the upper Montauk division between Jamaica and Long Island City, which only had two trains each way a day, and some stations weren't even stations, but clearings, was eliminated.
  by realtype
 
keyboardkat wrote:Also, as far as most commuter lines outside the NEC not using low platforms, the LIRR years ago converted all its stations to high platforms to conform to the car floor height and subway-type sliding doors on the M-1 and M-3 MU cars, and now the C-3 bilevel locomotive hauled cars.
All commuter rail systems in the Northeast at large use high platforms, but I think all of them except Metro-North, LIRR, and maybe SLE also use low platforms for a large number of their stations.
  by jamesinclair
 
What makes more sense for US rail? Installing gantlet tracks at every station to allow for high platform... or legislate that freight trains must be more narrow?
  by realtype
 
jamesinclair wrote:What makes more sense for US rail? Installing gantlet tracks at every station to allow for high platform... or legislate that freight trains must be more narrow?
Both seem to be pretty tough sells. Greenbelt on the Camden Line has a pretty long high platform that uses 2 pocket tracks in addition to the two mains (4 tracks through station), but it wouldn't make sense to do that for every station either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Green ... tation.JPG
  by jb9152
 
keyboardkat wrote:Why is everybody misspelling the term? The correct spelling is "gantlet." A gauntlet is a kind of glove, especially a medieval chain-mailed glove. A "gentleman" would challenge another to a duel by flinging his glove at his adversary's feet, thus, "flinging down the gauntlet."
Wrong. It can be spelled either way, and often is.