Posts Tagged ‘NS Mon Line’

Pittsburgh Residents Opposing NS Clearance Plan

December 4, 2019

Norfolk Southern has encountered considerable citizen resistance to its plan to operate double-stacked container trains through the north side of Pittsburgh.

The dispute has gone to mediation after residents protested that the project to increase clearances in the city will cause added noise pollution as rail traffic increasedsfrom about 25 trains a day to as many as 50.

The residents have also expressed concern about the type of cargo that the train will carry.

NS plans to raise bridges at Pennsylvania and West North avenues, lower the tracks at Columbus Avenue Bridge and build a new Merchant Street Bridge.

NS said raising the bridges is needed because it cannot lower the tracks in some areas.

The project in April 2017 received a $20 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the bridge work. NS will pay $8.2 million.

The Pittsburgh residents sought mediation after the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission declined to intervene on their behalf against the bridge construction work.

The mediator, who was chosen by NS and the Northside Leadership Conference, has said he will work with NS.

PennDOT representatives are meeting with community groups to listen to their concerns.

NS has said that routing stack trains over its Pittsburgh Line, which is also used by Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian, is a shorter and faster route than the Mon Line that the carrier currently uses.

The Mon Line bypasses downtown Pittsburgh, running along the south side of the Ohio and Monongahela rivers.

Work on the clearance project has already begun in the suburbs, but no work has yet been undertaken in the city.

A Pennsylvania court had agreed to hear arguments on the dispute, but delayed the hearings for at least 90 days to allow the mediation process to play out.

Pittsburgh Light Rail Line Damaged by NS Derailment Not Expected to Reopen for 3-4 Weeks

August 14, 2018

A Pittsburgh light rail line station knocked out of service by a Norfolk Southern derailment is not expected to reopen for another three to four weeks.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County said on Monday it has hired consultants and contractors to repair track and equipment damaged by the Aug. 5 derailment of an NS stack train on the Mon Line at the Station Square light rail station.

The T stop at Station Square has been closed since the derailment.

Inspectors found that 1,600 feet of track sustained extensive damage and will need to be replaced.

Also needing replacement is about 4,000 feet of overhead electrical line and the supports for the overhead.

The derailment also shut down the NS Mon Line for three days. The derailment occurred a few minutes after a light-rail train had passed.

One lane of East Carson Street remains closed to allow workers access to the light rail tracks.

A Port Authority spokesman said a cost estimate to repair the damages has not yet been calculated but the agency will seek reimbursement from NS or through insurance.

Although not directly connected to the NS derailment, the Port Authority said hiring contractors to repair the Station Square damage will enable workers to continue to work on the Blue Line in Library where flooding earlier this summer caused significant damage.

That route was expected to open on Sept. 1, but now authorities say that will likely be pushed back because of the NS derailment.

The Port Authority said it will review the NS accident after track and infrastructure repairs are complete to determine if additional safety measures are needed to protect the T station and system in the event of a future freight train derailment.

Train That Crashed Was a CSX Train

March 7, 2018

Additional information shows that a train that struck a truck carrying hydrochloric acid belonged to CSX, although it was being operated by Norfolk Southern employees on the NS Mon Line.

The accident occurred on Tuesday at Route 88 and Maple Grove Road in Centerville, Pennsylvania, at 10:38 a.m.

Two crew members aboard the train were taken to a hospital for evaluation. The truck driver also was injured and flown by helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Authorities said an estimated 4,000 gallons of acid was spilled. The train was carrying empty coal hoppers.

Police said the accident occurred when the truck was making a left turn to go into a facility owned by Forum Energy Technologies. The truck was drug about 100 yards after it was struck by the train.

Fumes from the spilled acid prompted authorities to evacuate the residents of 15 nearby homes. Workers at the Forum Energy site were also evacuated.

An NS spokesperson said the train had three locomotives and 102 cars. It was traveling from Newell to a coal mine near Claysville, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh Landslide Hindered NS Mon Line

July 2, 2016

A landslide earlier in the week continues to hinder Norfolk Southern traffic in Pittsburgh and has resulted in the closing of a street until next week.

Affected is the Mon Line, which was briefly closed on Tuesday after the landslide on the south side of Pittsburgh.

NS logo 1One track has since reopened, but another was still buried beneath rock and debris.

An NS spokesman told local media that the railroad has removed 400 tons from its tracks and trains are being restricted to 5 to 10 mph operation through the affected area.

City officials have closed West Carson Street where boulders landed during the landslide.

In an attempt to stabilize the landslide area, portions of Mt. Washington may need to be blasted. NS is doing the stabilization work.

Officials with NS and the city are still attempting to determine who owns the property where the slide occurred. The property owner might be billed for the cleanup costs.

Steve Cowan, a spokesman for PennDOT’s District 11 headquarters, said Carson would be closed between the Fort Pitt Bridge and Commerce Drive.

NS said the landslide is the fourth or fifth to occur within the past month and a half.

One media report indicated that NS was considering getting a permit to use explosives to remove some rock before the latest landslide occurred.

“We have serious concerns about this area,” said NS spokesman David Pidgeon.

Mudslide Closed NS Mon Line in Pittsburgh

April 11, 2014

A mudslide described as the size of a football field briefly closed the Norfolk Southern Mon Line in Pittsburgh this week.

The mudslide occurred near West Carson Street and halted rail traffic on Tuesday morning. Trains had resumed operating through the affected area by this afternoon.

The obstruction of the tracks was reported at about 4 a.m. Media reports indicated that the slide was 10 feet deep and 30 feet long. The nearby Duquesne Incline was closed as a precaution.

Rare Passenger Train on the NS Mon Line

July 30, 2013
The "Coal Goes to War" special navigates the street running in West Brownsville, Pa. When the trip was announced it was supposed to have been pulled by E units painted in Pennsylvania Railroad markings.  But the motive power was changed to an Amtrak heritage unit.

The “Coal Goes to War” special navigates the street running in West Brownsville, Pa. When the trip was announced it was supposed to have been pulled by E units painted in Pennsylvania Railroad markings. But the motive power was changed to an Amtrak heritage unit.

I chased the Amtrak special down the Mon Valley Line in Pennsylvania on Sunday.  We started at the street running in West Brownsville and followed to Blacksburg, .W. Va. 

It seemed that every railfan in southwest Pennsylvania showed up to chase this train.  Seriously, you would have thought Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was in the lead not an Amtrak diesel even if it was a heritage.

I guess a special train is pretty rare down in these parts. NS last ran an OCS about five years ago and before that it was Conrail.  That makes this a very rare mileage trip. 

Anyhow, we followed the train to the end at Blacksburg although many locations I have no idea where we were.

We wanted a nice bridge shot something akin to what is found on the Virginian Railroad.  Unfortunately, although we found several such bridges all were treed in except one behind a high school and even that wasn’t perfect.

The chase continued on back roads. We followed some railfans who seemed to know which way to go. Otherwise we would have been completely lost. 

We then chased the special back to Waynesburg  at which point we gave up and headed home.  The light wasn’t good heading back north and we had had our fill.

 Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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It was Well Worth the Drive

March 30, 2013
An NS coal train runs down the street in West Brownsville, Pa.

An NS coal train runs down the street in West Brownsville, Pa.

Here are some more photographs from my trip to the Mon Valley in Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 23.

While the target for Saturday’s trip was the Union Pacific No. 1996 – the Southern Pacific heritage unit – it was trailing and dead in tow.

A thread on Trainorders.com suggested that it wasn’t worth the drive to get it. I disagree. It was totally worth it.

e get so focused on the heritage power of railroads that we forget about the rest of the train.

The N22 was led by a clean SD40-2 which made for a nice subject. Also, the afternoon light could not have been more perfect.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Passing the station at Morgan, Pa.

Passing the station at Morgan, Pa.

Taking the signal at CP Mather.

Taking the signal at CP Mather.

Rolling along at Clarksville, Pa.

Rolling along at Clarksville, Pa.

A strange MOW train owned by Herzog. Although I don't know what it is exactly, it was accross the river so I didn't have time to investigate further. The train itself is old doublestack well cars.

A strange MOW train owned by Herzog. Although I don’t know what it is exactly, it was accross the river so I didn’t have time to investigate further. The train itself is old doublestack well cars.

The motive power somewhat resembles an Amtrak Genesis unit.

The motive power somewhat resembles an Amtrak Genesis unit.

SP Heritage Unit Does the Mon Valley

March 24, 2013

On Friday night the Southern Pacific heritage locomotive of Union Pacific came through Cleveland. Saturday morning found it sitting at Shire Oaks, Pa., waiting to take its train to Bailey Mine.

We burned rubber to Pittsburgh and looked for the NS Interstate heritage unit which was reportedly sitting at Conway.

Not finding anything there, we continued to Shire Oaks. At the south end of the yard was the SP heritage unit trailing a four-unit consist.

After an hour, he was rolling south to Bailey Mine with NS train N22. After getting some decent sunlight shots we proceeded to West Brownsville. A northbound CSX train then a southbound NS went through before our train showed up.

No less than three cars cut in front of the train on the street running trackage there, with one of them cutting it very close. We chased further south, catching him again at Clarksville in some sweet light. We caught him once again before the light started to give out and we headed for home.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon