Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

Pennsylvania Short Line Wins NS Award

June 20, 2019

A Pennsylvania short-line railroad has been honored as the Norfolk Southern Short Line of the Year.

The recognition went to the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad, a subsidiary of Genesee Valley Transportation.

In a news release,  GVT said the D-L was recognized by NS for its “conscientious customer service and commitment to growth.”

It was the second award this year for the D-L which last April received the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s Business Development Award for 2019.

That award recognized the railroad’s “one-carload-at-a-time” growth strategy,” GVT officials said.

The D-L operates primarily in Northeast Pennsylvania around Scranton.

 

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Pa.Trolley Museum To Host Anything on Wheels

June 4, 2019

Alex Bruchac has passed along the news that the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum will conduct its Anything on Wheels event on June 22-23 in Washington, Pennsylvania.

On Saturday the museum will conduct its annual trolley parade featuring more than dozen operating streetcars.

There will be three shows scheduled throughout the day offering plenty of photo opportunities.

Also on the bill are unlimited trolley rides on both days and tours of the non-operating cars in the Trolley Display Building.

An antique truck show will also be held on Saturday while Sunday will have a classic car show.

For more information visit patrolley.org

R&N Vows to Appeal Loss in Court

October 30, 2018

Pennsylvania-based Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern will appeal a summary judgment issued by a court to the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority  regarding the solicitation of an operating agreement for the authority’s short lines.

The dispute arose after the R&N challenged the first phase of a request for proposals that the agency issued in 2014 seeking qualified operators for its rail lines.

The Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas awarded summary judgment in favor of the agency after R&N sued it and other proposers in the RFP process.

The decision dismissed all open claims in the case.

In a news release, R&N contends that the court dismissed its case without giving any credence to the evidence and arguments based on information taken from more than 20 depositions.

R&N also contends that the agency turned over the RFP process and decision-making to a subgroup with a bias toward the current rail carrier, North Shore Railroad.

“We are disappointed but not surprised by the court’s decision, which ignores all of our arguments and evidence. The court has consistently ruled in favor of the local rail authority and it has been clear since the beginning of the case that we would need to seek relief at the appellate level,” said R&N President Wayne Michel.

In a statement, R&N charged that the agency engaged in illegal competition with private industry and to showcase to the appellate court what the trial judge chose to ignore: the overwhelming evidence of bias and corruption that infected the entire process.

Flooding Damages Pa. Tourist Railroads

September 5, 2018

Flooding recently damaged a Pennsylvania-based tourist railroad, forcing the cancellation of Labor Day weekend activities.

Much of the damage occurred at the Muddy Creek Forks village museum of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad.

The A.M. Grove general store, the flour mill and the museum shop building suffered water and mud damage.

Ties and lumber were carried away by the water and several pieces of rolling stock sustained water damage.

Flooding also damaged the tracks of the railroad with the worst damage occurring at Guinston Forge Road, where a 32-foot plate girder bridge was swept from its abutments.

The railroad is hoping to clean up as much damage as possible so it can continue with plans for its annual Heritage Day event on Sept. 22.

The flooding also affected the nearby Stewartstown Railroad, which saw track under water at least one location and mud and gravel deposited on the track near Shrewsbury.

Ed’s Pennsylvania Adventure: Part 2

August 22, 2018

The 2018 convention of the National Railway Historical Society was held recently in Cumberland, Maryland.

On Saturday morning, convention attendees boarded buses and made the trip to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, to board a chartered Everett Railroad steam train.

I didn’t attend the convention, but was also present for the trip to chase it.

Even though I’ve done the Everett several times I faced a challenge because of the overcast skies. I opted for locations where the morning light would produce better images for locations I’ve gotten previously.

However, all morning the heavy overcast resulted in locations I previously had done ending up with similar results. I’m sending along locations not shown before.

In the top image the train passes a horse grazing in a field north of Kladder

In the top image below, the steamer turns east toward Martinsburg approaching Route 36. The following image shows the train heading back after turning at the Martinsburg passing dairy plant.

In the next image, the train arrives at Roaring Springs station for where the conventioneers had lunch.

After our Everett Railroad outing had ended the clouds disappeared and we had sunshine for the Altoona Curve doubleheader baseball game that was to begin at 4:30 p.m. at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

The exterior of the ballpark simulates a roundhouse. Everything, including the gift shop, mascots and food items, are railroad terms. The former Pennsy K4 is alive and well.

Overlooking the outfield is the Lakemont amusement park roller coaster, hopefully to reopen next season.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Pennsylvania Agency OKs Transportation Plan

August 20, 2018

A new 12-year transportation plan has been adopted by the Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission and it is offering $63.9 billion in funding for improvements to railroads, transit systems, roads, bridges and airports.

The new program, which is effective on Oct. 1, allocates $9.62 billion for public transit, $319 million for multimodal and $228 million for freight-rail projects during 2019 through 2022.

From 2023 through 2026, the plan calls for $8.3 billion to be available for public transit, $348 million for multimodal and $229 million for freight rail. From  2027 through 2030, the plan calls for $9.25 billion for transit, $391 million for multimodal and $229 million for freight rail.

The projects depend on the availability of funding, which state transportation officials anticipate will come from a combination of federal, state and local dollars.

State law requires the commission to review and update the 12-year program every two years. No capital project can move forward unless it is included in the program.

The plan will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for review and approval. The Federal Highway Administration coordinates with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review the plan’s conformity with air quality requirements.

Pa. Rail Network Sets Carload Records

July 31, 2018

A unit of the Pennsylvania Northeast Railroad Authority has reported handling a 13 percent increase in carloads for the first six months of 2018.

The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad hauled 4,839 carloads among Carbondale, Scranton, the Pocono Mountains and the Delaware Water Gap in Lackawanna and Monroe counties.

PNRRA President Larry Malski said the rail system handled a record 8,572 cars last year.

The 1,068 carloads handled by the DL during this past June is a monthly record since the Authority was formed in 1982 to acquire and save the regional rail lines that were being abandoned and liquidated.

Malski said the authority is starting the process of relaying some of the double track and yard tracks that were removed in the 1980s, funded in part by a grant of $980,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Rail Freight.

The tracks will allow the DLRR to add expanded capacity needed to handle the increasing carloads moving over the regional rail system. This includes service to two new industries, Scranton Transload in Scranton and Northwoods Paper in Stroud Township.

F3 to Pull Steamtown Excursion

July 13, 2018

The Anthracite Railroads Historical Society is planning to offer an excursion in early September using an A-B-A set of EMD F3s during its 2018 convention.

The convention is Sept. 8-9 and the excursion will operate on Sept. 8 from Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.

The locomotives are 70 years old and owned by the Anthracite society and Tri-State Railway Historical Society.

Photo stops are planned along with a tour of the locomotives on Sept. 9.

The excursion, which is open to members and non-members of the Society, is subject to change depending on the mechanical status of the locomotives. More information is available at the group’s website

 

Appeals Court Reverses Course in SEDA-COG Dispute

July 3, 2018

The fight over a Pennsylvania short-line railroad took another turn last week when a Pennsylvania state appeals court reversed its earlier order and instructed a lower court in Clinton County to reconsider a short line service contract approved by the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority Board of Directors.

The legal action stemmed from the Susquehanna Union Railroad, also known as the North Shore Railroad, being turned down by SEDA-COG for a seven-year operating contract. Instead, the contract went to Carload Express of Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

Susquehanna Union has operated the lines in question since they were purchased by the state from Conrail in 1984.

In awarding the operating contract to Carload Express, SEDA-COG said it used a scoring system that showed Carload Express scored one point higher than Susquehanna Union.

The line is made up of five branches and 200 miles of track in central Pennsylvania.

The 2015 decision has displeased both railroads with each filing lawsuits.

One issue is that state law requires nine of the board’s 16 members to approve the contract, but six members abstained during the voting.

In sending the case back the appeals court said the lower court “failed to resolve all issues” and additional pertinent information has since been disclosed.

The latter includes a news report saying that in a sworn deposition, a SEDA-COG board member said he had given no points to the North Shore when submitting his tally in 2015, but had planned to give the railroad 60 out of a possible 100 points.

That would have been enough to put Susquehanna Union into a tie with Carload Express.

Reading & Northern to Serve New Plant

June 2, 2018

Pennsylvania-based Reading & Northern will serve a soon-to-be built plant of IRIS USA, a manufacturer and distributor of injection-molded plastic products.

The plant will be built on a 34-acre site along the R&N in an an industrial park in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

IRIS plans to construct a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution plant.

R&N assisted in locating the plant along its network in the Humboldt Industrial Park and will build the necessary track infrastructure “for a reasonable price and in a timely manner,” railroad officials said in a news release.