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Starucca Viaduct

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  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 7,387 posts
Starucca Viaduct
Posted by ndbprr on Friday, December 2, 2022 11:20 AM

Just watched a video on you tube about Starucca Viaduct.  Beautiful stonework on a bridge that is 175 years old and as solid as the day it was finished.  Since the existing track is off to one side was it built and had two tracks or was it designed for two tracks and the second track was never installed?  Thank you  

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,136 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, December 2, 2022 11:56 AM

I always get the Starucca Viaduct and the Tunkhannock Viaduct mixed-up, even though the Starucca was stone and the Tunkhannock concrete, but I believe that both were double tracked at one time.

Wayne

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 5,607 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, December 2, 2022 1:01 PM
It can be silly how perceptions form. For a long time when trestle bridges/ viaducts were mentioned, I’d automatically associate wooden trestles with the US railroads, and stone with the UK railways. Then I read about the Starrucca Viaduct…
 
But I digress, from one of my go to internet sources on American railroading…
 
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 206 posts
Posted by KemacPrr on Friday, December 2, 2022 6:36 PM

Starucca as built was a double track viaduct. It was single tracked a few years ago long after Conrail was in existence. 

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Danbury Freight Yard
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Posted by OldEngineman on Friday, December 2, 2022 9:31 PM

The last time I was over it on a freight train was 1988 (Conrail).

I'm thinking the second track was pulled up after Norfolk Southern took over.

  • Member since
    April 2004
  • From: Ontario Canada
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Posted by Mark R. on Monday, December 12, 2022 2:36 PM

When built by the Erie Railroad, the bridge was single track using the original 6-foot guage track. It was widened to two tracks in 1886 when the Erie converted to standard guage.

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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    September 2003
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 12, 2022 4:41 PM

If I remember correctly, the Erie gantleted the track over Starrucca for a number of years when they started buying large modern locomotives like the S-class Berks.  Apparently it was determined that the viaduct could survive the live and impact loads of two power consists running in opposite directions, and the double track was restored.

I have never been able to look at a modern train on that viaduct and not become needlessly concerned that the tops of the arches are too thin to support the weight.  They were, and are.

The sad story is that EL deprecated the excellent high-speed Lackawanna Cutoff and Tunkhannock/Nicholson Viaduct route in the early 1960s in favor of the double-tracked ex-Erie route.  Perhaps associated with this, there used to be a long plate-girder trestle across I-80 close to Fairfield that disappeared at some point over the years.  The effect was that the high-speed route around Garrett Mountain near Paterson was lost, and with it most of the point of keeping the Cutoff in service at all.  Then under Conrail there was little perceived need for the Erie alternative itself, so it was single-tracked and then much of it abandoned as a through route...

  • Member since
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  • From: Danbury Freight Yard
  • 384 posts
Posted by OldEngineman on Monday, December 12, 2022 9:36 PM

Overmod wrote: "The sad story is that EL deprecated the excellent high-speed Lackawanna Cutoff and Tunkhannock/Nicholson Viaduct route in the early 1960s in favor of the double-tracked ex-Erie route."

The Lackawanna had bad grades in the Scranton area.

The Erie had relatively easy grades by comparison -- Port Jervis to Otisville tunnel, and over Gulf Summit -- but that was about it.

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