Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rails Reeling From Effects of Storm - Railfan &

(via Railfan & Railroad - )
August 30th, 2011:  Heavy rains from Hurricane Irene have caused widespread damage to the rail system in the Northeast.

Many routes of the Vermont Railway System have been affected, with multiple large washouts and bridge failures. After the water receded on Tuesday, the Rutland to Burlington and Rutland to Whitehall, N.Y. lines were found to be safe for movement. The well-known Bartonsville covered highway bridge adjacent to the Green Mountain Railroad main line has been washed away and completely destroyed, and the GMRC has many washouts and several damaged bridges. The Washington County Railroad's former Boston & Maine bridge over the White River at White River Junction is slowly collapsing as one pier of the three-span structure has been undermined, severing the route to St. Johnsbury and Newport. Traffic for this line will be routed over the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic and it will be serviced by the WACR out of Newport.

The New England Central reports that it is operating from Burlington, Vt. north to Swanton and will open this afternoon from White River Junction south to New London, Conn. The railroad is closed between Essex Junction and White River Junction because of extensive washouts and three heavily damaged bridges, two of which may need to be completely replaced. NECR estimates that repairs could be completed in six weeks. Fortunately due to the ongoing welded rail project, NECR has plenty of manpower and equipment at hand.

The Pan Am Railways main line across Massachusetts between Mechanicville, N.Y. and Ayer, Mass., has been hit with washouts along much of the route, including at Charlemont, Mass., and at the east portal of the Hoosac Tunnel.

The Capitol District of New York near Albany was also hit hard; the CSX Water Level Route is out of service between Selkirk, N.Y. and Buffalo, with major damage in the flooded Mohawk River valley, including an extensive washout at Lock 10. Consequently, there is no Amtrak service between those points.

The Schuylkill River had flooded the CSX main line in Philadelphia, severing the route to North Jersey. However, the Raritan River has receded at Bound Brook, N.J. on Conrail Shared Assets, allowing Norfolk Southern to access the New York Terminal from the west.

The Delaware River reportedly has washed out large sections of the Susquehanna's former Erie Delaware Division between Binghamton and Port Jervis, N.Y., as well as part of the main line in New Jersey.

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