Thursday, June 30, 2011

I hear a train a comin'

Station Road South Amherst crossing 1:30 PM

Okay folks, hold your breath. The tracks are about to open for business as usual.


Anonymous said...

At that speed the train will be in Greenfield by Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

After the first derailment, the trains crawled thru there. It had to be in really bad shape for the second derailment. No surprise there tho. After looking at your photos of the timbers, it's amazing it hasn't happened sooner.

Engineer said...

Probably not, since those tracks don't go to Greenfield. But solid attempt. Those are also ballast cars which dump new ballast (stone) so a speed of 5mph is required during those operations.

Ed said...

Five things:

Larry, your grandfather wasn't able to play with the technology we have today -- a 100 foot long piece of equipment that can pick the track up (out of the ballast) and align it using lasers versus his pickaxe and sledgehammer.

Second -- either Engineer or Frank -- is the broken track grounding cable as serious as I think it might be? I know how block switching works (won't say, "loose lips sink ships" and this *is* wartime) but is relying on the bolts for connection a bad idea?

Third, as to Gilford/PanAm, they are the reason why the DownEaster took so long to get going (and hence why she isn't going to Bangor yet, and hence why I can't get to Rockland via train yet -- a for-profit railroad leasing trackage owned by the State of Maine runs from Rockland to the junction with Gilford's Boston/Bangor line, but the Downeaster still doesn't go beyond Portland.

And fifth, how did MECR manage to obtain what was B&M tracks, as those all became Gilford Tracks.

Ed said...

Two other things -- the reason why I said send the pictures to Olver is that he could send them to a national railroad safety expert who would give an independent opinion of what you had pictures of. A Congressman asking is usually enough to get the head technical expert to be told to write a detailed summary of whatever the Congressman gives him -- and with his own job on the line, he is going to be honest.

Second, is Gilford pulling the same stunt with the Vermonter and StimuliDollars that it tried with the Downeaster -- demanding that Amtrak pay them to install heaver rails than code calls for in order to travel the speed that Amtrak wants to go at -- and then getting to both own the rails and use them themselves for heavier/faster freight trains as well?

Why isn't this considered "corporate welfare"? If the govt pays for the tracks, they ought to own them -- and notice how the 'right of way' through Northampton (and elsewhere) is wide enough for at least the *two* tracks that were once there -- and both the B&M and B&A design specs called for a "right of way" to be wide enough for FOUR tracks -- two express in the center and two local ones on the outside, with switches/sidings from there where appropriate.

Amtrak owns the old B&A (?) tracks from Springfield to New Haven, ought they not own the ones they are paying for north of there as well?

Ed said...

For a really good example of how public and private can work together -- although I do wonder why NECR lost the contract to lease the tracks -- look at

They make their money hauling cement -- which used to be done by truck on the busy & narrow 2-lane US Route 1.

And if people want to think about rail as transportation and rail corridors locally, do not forget that WMECO bought up a lot of the Penn Central's rail corridors and now use them for high tensions lines. Isolated/depressed Easthampton comes to mind in this regard.

If we are talking electrified trains anyway, and connections to other trains, it is a pity that both uses can't share the same corridor...

Anonymous said...

Larry, could you please require that Ed give links to support his "facts" or dont post his drivel