Street Running a Thing of the Past?

papawpimmy Jan 14, 2004

  1. papawpimmy

    papawpimmy E-Mail Bounces

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    This past weekend I was railfaning in LaGrange Ky. I read in the local paper about the proposals the railroad has made to modify the street runing. I spoke with a shopkeeper who said that none of the railroad's proposals were good for business and asked if I could find out how many other towns had street runing, and how they deal with it.
    Thanks in advance
    Tim
     
  2. Martyn Read

    Martyn Read TrainBoard Supporter

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    The tendency these days seems to be to try and remove street running sections altogether, there have been a few major projects in the past couple of years to remove notable bits of street running.

    Erie PA is one, and there was another one I was reading about in Trains a while back, it was ex-Monon trackage.

    Both those involved building new links to connect into lines through the city that didn't have street running, for example the NS was diverted to run along the CSX (ex Conrail/NYC) route through Erie.
     
  3. Martyn Read

    Martyn Read TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh, Welcome to Trainboard BTW if nobody has done that already! [​IMG]
     
  4. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    There is a street-running track from mainstreet in St. Mary's WV. I believe is still used heavily by CSX. I keep thinking I've seen a picture of a coal train going down the street near Morgantown, WV, too. I haven't been to St. Mary's for 2 years so i'm not sure if they still road-run there.
     
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    There seems to be a general movement by many communities nationally. Attempting to have railroads moved completely out of the way. Alleged problems with "noise" and interference with vehicular traffic, growth, etc.

    Very often, if they were not enticed in by the community during the boom days of rail building, the railroad was there pre-settlement. It is private property. And the community may just be using those streets, or crossing railroad tracks, via easements granted by the railroad onto their own private property. And in some cases people are using, or have built onto the railroad property illegally. Have seen this. And the shock when someone finds out they'll have to remove or move a building, etc.

    Some of the legal arguments and solutions have been rather costly. It seems the financial burden is mostly, rightly, carried by those who initiate the campaign, taxpayers. If that shopkeeper had his way, he could receive a huge shock in his next bill from the tax man!

    I often wonder when the railroads will tire of trying to be good citizens, and start revoking these easements... I have seen it happen a few times. And the people indeed receive the shock so well deserved when a grade crossing is closed and removed.

    I recall the Wisconsin Central (nee Soo Line) removing their well known street trackage in Oshkosh, WI. But they had acquired another route after taking over the Fox Valley & Western (nee C&NW tracks.) So that was an easy solution that the railroad actually itself was looking to find. When a community tries to force it's will onto a railroad, then things can get (expensive) messy.

    A long way of saying that I hope the shopkeeper and friends are careful about their wishes. Sometimes the result isn't all positive.

    [​IMG]

    Boxcab E50
     
  6. Barry

    Barry TrainBoard Member

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    There is still a town here in Oregon on the old SP&S line that has track down the mainstreet. The is seldom used, but this summer they were running daily excursions with Budd Rail cars from Portland to the coast. The name of the town escapes me...
     
  7. William Cowie

    William Cowie TrainBoard Member

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    Here's a Jeff Bass picture I saw on the internet, showing street running in Anaheim (near Disneyland, in fact).

    [​IMG]
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Barry-

    Isn't the line out of service, or removed, west of Astoria? So it would have to be Astoria or a town east of there? I'm trying to think of where this is... Haven't prowled that area for many a long year. Clatskanie? Rainier? St.Helens? Warren? Scappose? Now you have me wondering!

    :rolleyes:

    Boxcab E50
     
  9. Martyn Read

    Martyn Read TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's a shot from Erie back in 2000, a NS -9 hauls a local down 19th st.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks william it's a shame i didnt know about that when I was in Aneheim back in 1999. I guess with the way insurnace liability costs have risen etc their is a growing trend for railroads to seperate themselves from the general public.
     
  11. William Cowie

    William Cowie TrainBoard Member

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    Serendipity. That's what some would call it. There we were this morning, in Fort Collins, CO. Since we've never been there before, we thought we'd just drive around and see what the town looks like. Close to the heart of downtown (not some rundown area), we came across this (same spot, first shot northward, second southward):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Interesting to note that switches rarely (if ever) are embedded in pavement. Anyway, we turned and drove to the north end of the road, where the switch led to diverging tracks.

    [​IMG]

    As I took the following picture (same spot, now looking south), I wondered aloud whether these were "real" tracks or light rail...

    [​IMG]

    As if on cue, we heard a very familiar sound and saw...

    [​IMG]

    ... a loooong train of intermodal empties.

    [​IMG]

    If you look closely (or see the two-click full-size picture in my RailImages album) you can see the locos in the distance, heading up a slight hill with the long train of empties following.

    So we raced southward can managed to catch the tail end of the train as it went from street running to "normal" BNSF mainline.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure, but it sure looks like this is not just a branch line, but a main line that runs for a considerable distance through downtown of one of the largest cities in Colorado.

    And this right after this thread started... :D So street running appears to be alive and well in at least one more place...

    William
     
  12. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    William, if you can find copies of Al Staufer's books on the New York Central steam era, they all have photos of NYC steam, Hudsons mainly, running right through downtown Syracuse, NY. That was back in the days of few automobiles, and there were many stores there, clothing, furniture, drugstores, restaurants. Imagine that coal burning steam rumbling through town sending cinders all over. Must have been quite a sight and some experience. :eek:
     
  13. William Cowie

    William Cowie TrainBoard Member

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    Jim, yes I can just imagine what it must have felt like coming out of a store and seeing (yet another) steam loco chugging down Main Street! [​IMG]

    I think Tim's post alluded to that becoming more and more rare nowadays. What surprised me, though, was to see not only street running, but what appeared to be MAIN LINE running through a downtown - in this day and age!

    Does anybody know for sure if this is indeed a BNSF main line running through Ft. Collins?

    William
     
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Fort Collins is on both a BNSF (ex-C&S), and a UP branch line. The BNSF line should end in Fort Collins. While the UP extends, (at least used to), somewhat beyond.

    I believe that the photo shown with tracks diverging left and right possibly depicts the tracks of each railroad entering town.

    :D

    Boxcab E50
     
  15. Martyn Read

    Martyn Read TrainBoard Supporter

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  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Martyn-

    Yes. It is as I had mentioned, ex-C&S.

    My error on the branch thing. For some reason, I was thinking of Boulder. Not Fort Collins.

    However, it is indeed a UP branch line.

    :D

    Boxcab E50
     
  17. William Cowie

    William Cowie TrainBoard Member

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    God bless the internet! :D Someone in the UK filling us in on our Colorado railroad operations!

    Thanks Martyn!!

    William
     
  18. Barry

    Barry TrainBoard Member

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    Rainier Oregon. I don't believe there is anymore commercial frieght traffic. This is a picture found on the web (railpictures.net) taken of one of the Budd Rail cars on the "Lewis & Clark Explorer" excursion. I also believe that Hillsboro Oregon has street running, and if so, it would still be active with commercial frieght.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice picture. Any hints on the future of this line after the Lewis & Clark thing is over?

    :D

    Boxcab E50
     
  20. DRGWEngr

    DRGWEngr TrainBoard Member

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    This is BNSF'S Front Range Subsivision ex-C&S line from Denver to Wendover(thru Cheyenne). It averages about 6 trains per day and also has some street running in Longmont, which is about 25 miles to the south.

    The Great Western Ry operates out of the ex-BN North Yard and does the local switching including the Budweiser Brewery.

    The UP runs a local 5 days/week out of LaSalle to Ft. Collins and interchanges with the BN/GW at the North Yard.

    Mike
     

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