Amtrak bridge problems

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Amtrak bridge problems
Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, December 19, 2019 10:08 PM

Today another big bridge problem.  The Pelham bay bridge about 2 miles south of New Rochelle on the Hell Gate line ended up "apparetly" stuck open for at least 2:30.

 

SERVICE ADVISORY: Due to the Pelham Bay Bridge Opening, all trains traveling between New Haven (NHV) and New York (NYP) may experience a delay. We will provide updates as more information becomes available.

 

SERVICE ADVISORY UPDATE: Due to the Pelham Bay Bridge Opening, all trains traveling between New Haven (NHV) and New York (NYP) stopped. Bridge inspection personnel are en route. We will provide updates as more information becomes available.

 

SERVICE ADVISORY UPDATE: Due to the Pelham Bay Bridge Opening, all trains traveling between New Haven (NHV) and New York (NYP) are stopped. Bridge inspection personnel are on the scene conducting a mandatory bridge inspection. We will update as more information becomes available.

 

SERVICE ADVISORY UPDATE: The Pelham Bay Bridge has been closed and inspected. Trains will begin moving in the order in which they were scheduled. Expect residual delays and congestion through the area.

Amtrak listed delays of some delay notices as near New Haven,  Just love how accurate the delay reports are  with their great knowledge.  Just love their non reporting that the bridge apparently stuck open ?

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 19, 2019 10:18 PM

Is the bridge a 'On Demand' opening or are openings scheduled?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, December 20, 2019 6:56 AM

Every couple of years, usually in the summer, we have a similar problem with the South Branch Bridge on the CUS approaches.  The bridge is old and the problems may be caused by expansion in the heat of summer (it's a vertical lift).

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, December 21, 2019 9:52 AM

I guess it is too much to hope for the pending national infrastructure program to fix some of this.    Maybe some of the readers here can write their Congress people.    I know the bridge over the river by the Milwaukee Amtrak station is already on a plan for replacement via the WiDOT.    Part of the reason they want to reroute frieghts via Muskego Yard instead of through the Amtrak station is to prolong the life of the bridge a little longer.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, December 21, 2019 8:15 PM

BaltACD

Is the bridge a 'On Demand' opening or are openings scheduled?

 

Since no one else answered, I'll take a stab at it.  When I was a kid in the New York area, we would drive the Hutchinson River Parkway within site of the NH Pelham bridge, and across the bay/Hutchinson River, which was navigable to barge traffic for a short distance above the drawbridges.  Looking at Google Earth, I see a few barges, but no marinas, so I would guess that the rail bridge is demand only.  I dont ever remember being stopped for the highway draw bridges ever going up.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, December 22, 2019 8:32 AM

MidlandMike
 
BaltACD

Is the bridge a 'On Demand' opening or are openings scheduled? 

Since no one else answered, I'll take a stab at it.  When I was a kid in the New York area, we would drive the Hutchinson River Parkway within site of the NH Pelham bridge, and across the bay/Hutchinson River, which was navigable to barge traffic for a short distance above the drawbridges.  Looking at Google Earth, I see a few barges, but no marinas, so I would guess that the rail bridge is demand only.  I dont ever remember being stopped for the highway draw bridges ever going up.

I think a more appropriate description from your analysis would be 'Scheduled Demad'.  I suspect the companies operating the barges would contact Amtrak and say we have barges to move - and Amtrak would respond - OK we will open the bridge at 3 AM tomorrow, be there.

Under those circumstance, it would behoove Amtrak to have the appropriate personnel on hand to facilitate both the opening and closing of the bridge.

Drawbridges exist in two states - Normally open for water traffic to pass and Normally closed for rail traffic to pass.  I would presume the Pelham Bridge to be normally closed.

Some normally closed bridges have their opening times published in the local 'Notice to Mariners' that assists in the movement of commercial water traffic.

The only drawbridge I ever worked was Bridge 460 on the B&O in Cleveland spanning the Cuyahoga River.  The bridge was normally open and would only be closed on the approach of train traffic.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, December 22, 2019 10:08 PM

The Coast Guard regulates "costal" drawbridges, and I understood that the boats have right of way.  A tug/barge trip down a narrow channel would be more dependent on tides than on the railroads schedule.  It seems that where there are scheduled openings, it's more for recreational boating.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, December 23, 2019 7:09 AM

That is quite true.  Since commercial masted navigation on the Chicago River and its branches has dried up, there are only a handful of scheduled opening dates for the bridges to be raised for recreational sailboats to get to and from the various harbors on Lake Michigan.  The City of Chicago schedules three bridgetender crews to leapfrog from bridge to bridge up or down the river to raise thr bridges.

Prior to 1980 or so, the Chicago River and the North Branch bridges were on demand and had full time crews of their own due to a cement terminal on the North Branch that was serviced by lake boats.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 23, 2019 7:46 AM

MidlandMike
The Coast Guard regulates "costal" drawbridges, and I understood that the boats have right of way.  A tug/barge trip down a narrow channel would be more dependent on tides than on the railroads schedule.  It seems that where there are scheduled openings, it's more for recreational boating.

While boats do have 'right of way'; where bridges are interlocked with railroad signalling systems, if signals have been lined over the bridge it is necessary for either the train for which the signals have been lined to operate through the bridge or for the signals to be 'Timed Out' and taken away from the train BEFORE the bridge can be raised for water traffic.

The CSX line between Mobile and New Orleans has 11 active drawbridges.  In some locations the bridge operator has to get a Track Car Authority to occupy the track from the nearest parking area to the bridge and return to the parking area for the relieved Bridge operator.

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