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Street running speeds

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Street running speeds
Posted by restorator on Friday, May 29, 2020 6:41 PM

Curious what were some common speeds trains ran through undivided city streets in past eras. Where the line runs right in the pavement without any separation. I know I can run it any way I like, and I would expect it to be fairly slow, but I will defer to the experts here for the various rules and exceptions they know of.

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Posted by NSNYSW74 on Friday, May 29, 2020 8:06 PM
I believe that 10 mph is the limit outside of the brewery in Utica NY. There's at least a mile of street running there.
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Posted by xdford on Friday, May 29, 2020 9:59 PM

Not having witnessed street running as such in North America, how is the movement of trains affected by traffic lights? Do they need to stop or are the lights in sync with the approach of trains? 

TIA

Trevor

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, May 29, 2020 10:50 PM

xdford
Do they need to stop or are the lights in sync with the approach of trains?

Some that I've seen, La Grange, Kentucky, perhaps, The track circuit will activate crossing flashers and sometimes even gates on cross traffic and will cause the traffic signals to flash red, IIRC.

"Generally" trains enter the street running prepared to stop. Some may allow a slight increase in speed after the engines are beyond the street.

Here's one of my favorites:

 

In Oakland's Jack London Square it seems the speed limit is closer to 25-30?

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by MJ4562 on Saturday, May 30, 2020 11:38 AM

Keeping in the spirit of the OP question, do trains have the right of way during street running?

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, May 30, 2020 12:28 PM

Generally trains have the right of way since they can't swerve and take longer to stop.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by Hillyard on Saturday, May 30, 2020 2:27 PM

My favorite street running location is Front Street in Salem, Oregon.

Speed limit is 35, no separation between traffic, with a couple bottlenecks.  I would guess the usual train speed is around 20- 25, based on how long it takes to pass running trains. 

As you would expect, there is always the potential for drivers to place themselves in harm's way.

here's a link on a "nice" February day in Oregon, one of many videos posted by Willamette Valley Railfan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz0lp-iKxDw

and a nicer day, taken in 2020:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmjGggONBNg

So in answer to the original poster, slower would be better, and probably much less than 35 mph in order to allow drivers to correct for their stupidity.

This particular train, does not cross through intersections protected by traffic lights.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:06 PM

I took these photos in West Brownsville, PA....

....not sure what the speed was, but it seemed to be more than 10mph.

Wayne

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Posted by DSO17 on Sunday, May 31, 2020 10:49 AM

xdford
Not having witnessed street running as such in North America, how is the movement of trains affected by traffic lights? Do they need to stop or are the lights in sync with the approach of trains? TIA Trevor

 

 Don't know about nowadays, but from 40-45 years ago in a large eastern U.S. port city: Street running trains were supposed to be governed by the traffic lights, which operated on timers. When the engine was leading, the engineman would try to regulate the speed to hit the lights on the green, which usually worked out pretty well. But when shoving, which was about half the time, we would just keep shoving at about 10MPH and keep an eye on the intersections and a hand on the backup valve (no radios in those days) but not trying to stop at red lights. We always had a caboose leading on the shoving moves. It was mostly between 11PM and 6AM and the caboose would have two red flashing portable markers and display a lit fusee on the striker plate above the coupler. We had a good relationship with the city police and they seemed to be OK with the way it was done.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 5:04 AM

For those that might be interested Pentrex has a video called "Street Running" that shows various railroad street operations.

I have it and its worth watching.

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Make Safety Your First Thought.. Not  Your Last" 

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Posted by dti406 on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 12:26 PM

The PC had a street running track on Water Street in Toledo, OH. It was the street next to the river and serviced numerous entities including the Toledo Edison steam plant. Water Street at that time was entirely paved with cobblestones.

The track in the PC days was so bad the crews new they had derailed when everything smoothed out on the cobblestones.

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

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