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 Post subject: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:22 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 1:12 am
Posts: 106
I was watching a interesting conversation regarding street running rail roads and branch lines. I know at one time they were very common and in almost every city, but in today’s world they seem to be like an endangered species. That prompted me to inquire about a few important questions I have. Why are street running railroads so rare now with railroads trying to abandon them as quickly as possible, and are there any surviving street running lines that should be preserved for preservation? I should mention I am referring to full-size rail roads and not tram or trolley lines


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 188
Street running railroads are slow, hard to maintain, and drivers are idiots. Seeing how so many try their best to avoid grade crossings, street running is a nightmare.


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:12 pm 
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Location: Henderson Nevada
Street running was primary found on secondary lines doing local industrial switching for customers who only receive or ship one or two cars at a time... the very type of traffic which 1) railroads do not solicit and 2) is easily handled by trucks.

Randy

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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:11 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3599
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Incredibly, street running for road trains survives in a number of places, though not as many as there used to be.

One is West Brownsville, Pa.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgXjvu85lY4

Another place with street running is Oakland, Ca., and that includes passenger trains!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvfFY0dxOMQ

I have a brother who lives here--St. Marys, W.Va.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgQA_fySJ74

And then there's Hudson, N.Y.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeqipoUs_g8

Thanks to drivers who are not used to being around trains in any circumstances, we get some interesting videos out of LaGrange, Ky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... AwZ0K6qCaA

There are videos of trains hitting cars in LaGrange, but sometimes--well--I've said for years our driver licensing and training have been totally inadequate. We need to up the game there, maybe even so far as to copy the stringent regime for licensing in Germany.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8RJ7yfhkbI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXht_KW7Kcs

Apparently the trains in LaGrange have become something of a tourism feature!!

http://touroldham.com/trains/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtixfU2AGWk&t=3s

Of course, street running isn't desirable, so CSX is rerouting traffic to other lines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtixfU2AGWk&t=3s

My brothers and I are from Wheeling, W.Va. originally, and well remember the street running on 17th Street there. This is gone now, but it lasted long enough for Reading 2101 and C&O 614 to run down the street in excursion times.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/trainplanepro/13894294418

Ready to head back to Pittsburgh; station is at the right, warehouse on the left. Sadly this track, and the elevated platforms that supported it, are gone.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/trainplan ... otostream/

On the platforms at Wheeling.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/trainplan ... otostream/


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:23 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Can you imagine running an excursion with all those heavyweight coaches today?

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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:23 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 676
Also in the Pittsburgh/SWPA area the CSX (formerly P&LE) Mon Division mainline runs a considerable length down a street in Elizabeth, PA. Aside from a local, this line also carries considerable coal traffic from the Greene Co. mines.

There is also some street trackage remaining in Uniontown, PA, now operated by the Southwest Pennsylvania RR.


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:19 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 53
Although not a branch line, the BNSF (former C&S) main line runs down the middle of the street in downtown Ft. Collins, CO. This has created problems in recent years due to population growth and development.

MDR


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:08 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 149
Location: www.easttroyrr.org
There's also the Santa Cruz Beach Train which goes from the redwoods down to the boardwalk along city streets. Even includes a tunnel along the way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhtwn9YjWJg


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 am
Posts: 468
Location: Boston, MA, but formerly Port Jefferson, NY (LIRR MP 57.5)
NYNJ Rail has some street running in Brooklyn, NY. This is mostly on 1st Avenue in the Sunset Park neighborhood, on the former Bush Terminal RR:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMp1UTC4mQE

Some history of the Bush Terminal:

http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/indloco/bt.html

-Philip Marshall


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9262
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
One rather famous stretch was the mile or two of street running on the former Nickel Plate down 19th Street in Erie, Pa. This was removed in a joint bypass project something like a decade or more ago; a look through the Google Street View camera lens would lead most to disbelieve that as late as the NS era long trains rumbled down this somewhat narrow street--including 611 and 1218 on a couple excursions.

Another stretch of formerly secondary main line street trackage now owned by a local government agency and run by a short line: four blocks of Water Street in Lewistown, Pa. run by the Juniata Valley RR (formerlyCR/PC/PRR, originally two separate PRR subsidiaries, Sunbury & Lewistown and Mifflin & Centre County, run jointly).


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1704
Location: Southern California
I recently found/realized that the Union Pacific has a long industrial spur in the Los Angeles area serving industries in the Torrance, CA area. There are long stretches of side-of-the road trackage, but it includes a two or three block stretch of street running. This industrial spur serves a large lumber yard, a chemical firm and a US Gypsum plant. Google map aerial image shows multiple cars at each of these.

The short section of street running goes back to 1890. Started out as 3' gauge steam railroad, then became 42" gauge electric interurban, then standard gauge interurban and now standard gauge diesel switching lead.

In total the trackage mentioned was once all operated by the Pacific Electric and then by the Southern Pacific.

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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3599
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
softwerkslex wrote:
Can you imagine running an excursion with all those heavyweight coaches today?


I got to ride behind 2101 up the New River in September of 1977, yes with those heavyweight cars. A wonderful experience, and I've been spoiled for mainline steam ever since!! Nothing like it at all!!

And those heavyweight cars, especially if you get one on six-wheel trucks, are still the best riding cars around! I was on a Norfolk Southern excursion, and walking between some of the lightweight cars and a heavyweight, you could feel the difference.

Best of all, the heavyweights had openable windows, which let in all that beautiful steam locomotive sound. Against that, they let in all the smoke and cinders, too, especially around the third car in the train (you all know how I know this). I loved it anyway, but I wonder how many members of the public would like it!!

Sadly, most of those cars were scrapped some years later. I've been told that number of them, former CNJ cars, gave problems with their Sharon couplers. The train had several pull-aparts over the years from them, including one that was probably on the same date as the photos here. I wasn't on it, but was watching it, and I recall the stop it made on 17th Street with a blast of emergency air. Fortunately speed was very low, but I understand it also happened at other times at higher speeds.

Still, I would love to ride up the New River and back again behind a 4-8-4, in riveted cars on six wheel trucks with openable windows (painted proper Pullman green this time!), and watching us chase a freight train on yellow blocks, with the blocks dropping to clear in front of us.


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:32 pm
Posts: 30
The UP's former SP Anaheim Branch in Anaheim, CA has a fair amount of street running. IIRC, until recently, it had one of the last operational wig wags in California.


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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2459
Location: Northern Illinois
Of course, let's not forget the Chicago South Shore and South Bend, which runs a couple miles through the streets of Michigan City, Indiana.

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 Post subject: Re: Surviving Street running branch lines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 551
Location: B'more Maryland
I believe Yorkrail still runs down Pershing Ave in York PA from time to time to serve a customer:

http://www.railroadsofyork.com/street.htm

1361 made an appearance there 30 years ago:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA_RUkVmICg

That line that's essentially just a branch today used to be the mainline of the Northern Central which ran from Baltimore to Harrisburg and beyond. The PRR and PC used to run mainline trains down it before Agnes killed it off.


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