Edited by Walt Lankenau
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New Railfan Viewing Platform in South Carolina
May 21st, 2013
The Hub City Railroad Museum in Spartanburg, S.C., recently restored Southern Railway bay-window caboose X3115, built in September 1947 at SR's Hayne Car Shops in Spartanburg. The car spent most of its service life on the Knoxville Division and then came back home after retirement and was used as a Boy Scout hut and an apartment, among other things. Last year, the caboose was donated to the museum by the Dexter Cleveland family. It was restored by J.B.R. and Sons of Spartanburg and was placed on public display a couple of weeks ago.
X3115 now sits adjacent to the old Spartanburg Union Station (now home of the Hub City Railroad Museum), once an important stop on the Southern main line between New Orleans and New York City. The route is now owned by Norfolk Southern and is still very busy. The caboose houses a state of the art ATCS dispatcher board, which shows visitors where both NS and CSX trains are in the area, and has a live scanner feed in the background. The caboose also has a deck right next to the NS main line where people can safely view passing trains.
— Railfan & Railroad via Moss Miller; photo by Moss Miller
Mudhen Returns to Service on C&TS
May 21st, 2013
On Monday May 20, Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad K-27 Mikado No. 463 made its maiden trip after three years of restoration work and an investment of $1.3 million,. One of only two existing Mudhens (No. 464 is on the Huckleberry Railroad in Michigan after a spell at Knott's Berry Farm in California), No. 463 was overhauled beginning in 2009 by the C&TS Antonio shop crew which includes Marvin and Max Casias, and Jake Vigil. The 2013 Cumbres & Toltec season officially starts this weekend. The railroad runs May 25 through Oct. 20, 2013.)
— Railfan & Railroad, via Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad; photo by Brian Jansky, courtesy of C&TS
New York to New Haven Route to Reopen Tomorrow
May 21st, 2013
Metro-North Railroad says that it expects to have its main line between New York City and New Haven, Conn., open for service in time to accommodate a regular schedule during the Wednesday morning rush hour. Amtrak will also resume full service between New York and Boston at that time. (Amtrak service will be disrupted on the Springfield Line through Wednesday due to scheduled maintenance.)
On Friday evening the route was closed when one train derailed and another sideswiped it beneath the Interstate 95 bridge on the border between Fairfield and Bridgeport, Conn.
— Railfan & Railroad via Metro-North and Amtrak
BNSF and UP trains collide on Tehachapi Loop Monday morning
May 20th, 2013
Several cars derailed but not injuries were reported after a train crashed into the back of another train on Tehachapi Loop in the early hours of Monday morning. A BNSF Railway train rear-ended a Union Pacific train at 2:30 a.m. southwest of Highway 58 just east of Broome Road in Walong, Union Pacific spokesman Aaron Hunt said. There were no injuries to crew members on either train and no hazardous materials were being carried. Hunt said crews are repairing the track and the extent of the damage was unknown as of 10:30 a.m.
—Railfan & Railroad via The Bakersfield Californian
Metro-North Derailment Affects Amtrak Service
May 20th, 2013
Friday's collision between two Metro-North commuter trains under the Interstate 95 overpass between Fairfield and Bridgeport, Conn., has affected Amtrak service between Penn Station, New York, and New Haven, Conn. Both carriers' service has been suspended between New York and New Haven until further notice as the accident investigation and repairs to track, catenary, and the signal system continue.
The National Transportation Safety Board gave MNR permission to remove the involved equipment on Sunday. MNR President Howard Perlmut said, “Our crews will essentially be rebuilding two thousand feet of damaged track, and overhead wires and signal system. This amounts to the wholesale reconstruction of a two-track electrified railroad. It will take multiple days of around-the-clock work to do that, and then to inspect, test and re-qualify the newly rebuilt infrastructure. Unfortunately, service disruptions on this section of the New Haven Line are expected to continue well into the coming week.”
Although Amtrak service is suspended between New York and New Haven, limited Amtrak service is available between Boston and New Haven, and Amtrak is operating as scheduled between New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Amtrak service between New Haven and Springfield, Mass., was to have been disrupted through Wednesday on account of scheduled track work between Springfield and Berlin, Conn.
Starting today, Monday May 20, Metro-North will offer alternate transportation for passengers traveling between New Haven, Conn., and Grand Central Terminal in New York via a train-bus-train connection. Amtrak passengers using this option will need to arrange for transportation between Grand Central and New York Penn Station. For information on Metro-North travel options, visit MTA.info.
— Railfan & Railroad via Amtrak and Metro-North. Metro-North and Hulcher crews clean up the accident site: Metro-North photo by Patrick Cashin
NTSB rules out foul play in Metro-North derailment, cause still uncertain
May 18th, 2013
Metro-North service between Bridgeport and New Haven, Conn., remains suspended in the wake of a major derailment and collision between two commuter trains on Friday night. The NTSB has ruled out foul play, but has made no other determinations at this time. Amtrak service to Boston remains suspended as no trains can pass through the crash site until the investigation is completed. Complicating matters is that the crash has blocked two tracks of the four-track main line, while the remaining two are out of service due to a catenary maintenance project. The investigation could continue into Monday, which would complicate the commute for hundreds of thousands of passengers located east of Bridgeport.
—Railfan & Railroad via various media reports
Friday derailment on Metro-North's New Haven Line snarls evening rush and halts Amtrak Northeast Corridor service indefinitely
May 18th, 2013
MTA Statement on Metro-North Train Collision in Bridgeport, Conn.
At approximately 6:10 p.m., a Metro-North train (the 4:41 p.m. departure from Grand Central, due to New Haven at 6:32 p.m.) traveling to New Haven with an estimated 300 passengers derailed in the vicinity of the I-95 overpass in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
A passenger train traveling in the opposite direction carrying an estimated 400 passengers on the adjacent track (the 5:30 p.m. departure from New Haven-State Street, due Grand Central at 7:18 p.m.) then struck the derailed train.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has deployed MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast to the scene as well as additional MTA and emergency personnel and resources. The Governor has spoken with Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut to coordinate the two states’ responses.
Train service is operating between South Norwalk Station and Grand Central Terminal. Metro-North service is suspended between South Norwalk and Bridgeport until further notice.
There are four tracks in this segment of the New Haven Line, but two of those tracks are out of service for a long-term project to replace overhead wires. On the remaining two tracks, there was extensive infrastructure damage as a result of the collision. Both the track and the overhead wire have been damaged. The train cars cannot be removed until the on-scene investigation is complete, and they will need to be removed by crane.
Normal service through this area is not expected to resume until a full investigation is complete, the infrastructure is fully assessed, and repairs are made.
MTA Police, local police, Connecticut Office of Emergency Management, the Federal Railroad Administration and the FBI are all involved in the investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board will have lead on the investigation, and investigators are en route.
As more information becomes available we will notify you as soon as possible. Please visit mta.info for updates and listen for announcements at your station.
—via MTA Metro-North Railroad, photo by Christian Abraham/The Connecticut Post, via Associated Press
CN, AMT Discuss Deux Montagnes Line Sale
May 17th, 2013
Montréal's Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) may soon purchase Canadian National's 18-mile Deux-Montagnes line, which runs north out of Gare Centrale, along with the Mont Royal Tunnel that feeds the station. The electrified route has a dozen stations and carries 7.9 million passengers each year, nearly half of AMT's annual ridership. Currently, CN has access to the route between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and between 8:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., limiting AMT's off-peak services to once an hour. AMT and CN are working on a grade separation project at Jonction de l'Est (Eastern Junction) near Montpelier, where the Deux-Montagnes line will duck under CN's Saint-Laurent sub, replacing the current at-grade crossing. AMT's Train de l'Est to Mascouche will use the Saint-Laurent sub east of Canora to Repentigny.
— Railfan & Railroad
Cape Cod Train Will Make Test Run Saturday
May 17th, 2013
Tomorrow, Saturday May 18, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's summer weekend CapeFlyr will make an introductory test run from Boston South Station to Hyannis, Mass. and return. The public may ride for a fare of $20 one way from South Station; $35 round trip. Fares from this inaugural trip will benefit Boston's One Fund.
Here's the schedule:
9:30 a.m. — leave Boston South Station
10:15 a.m. — arrive Middleboro
10:45 a.m. — arrive Buzzards Bay
11:45 a.m. — arrive Hyannis
2:30 p.m. — leave Hyannis
3:35 p.m. — arrive Buzzards Bay
4:15 p.m. — arrive Middleboro
5:30 p.m. — arrive South Station
Press conferences will be held in Hyannis at 11:50 and Buzzards Bay at 3:35.
The CapeFlyr will operate on weekends between May 24 and September 2, 2013. The first revenue run will leave South Station at 5:12 p.m. Friday May 24, with arrival at Hyannis at 7:50 p.m. The fare is $20 one way, $35 round trip. For complete schedules and fares, visit the CapeFlyrwebsite.
— Railfan & Railroad, via Cape Cod RTA
San Diego Sprinter Will Return Saturday
May 16th, 2013
North County Transit District, its contractor Veolia Transportation, and its sub-contractor Bombardier Transportation are pleased to announce that the SPRINTER light rail train will resume its full, regular schedule between Oceanside and Escondido, Calif., at 4:33 a.m. on Saturday, May 18; the schedule is posted at GoNCTD.com. The last day of the supplemental express bus service will be Friday, May 24.
The resumption of service comes following the completion of extensive safety testing, the review of replacement parts, and inspections of the vehicles and railroad infrastructure by the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Railroad Administration. The SPRINTER, its signals, and tracks passed all testing and will resume service with the vehicles re-fitted with split disc brake rotors on the center axles.
During the past two months, NCTD, Veolia, and Bombardier collaborated to strengthen maintenance practices and improve contractor oversight. In addition to repairing the vehicles and instituting the maintenance and oversight enhancements, NCTD, Veolia, and Bombardier performed other routine maintenance on the SPRINTER, which included engine checks, air conditioning system maintenance, graffiti removal, extensive cleaning, replacement of worn seat fabric, and exterior waxing of the vehicles to ensure the SPRINTER returns to service in like-new condition.
— Railfan & Railroad, via North County Transit District; photo courtesy of NCTD