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Track & Equipment Conditions
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   Track & Equipment Conditions
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   Author  Topic: Track & Equipment Conditions  (Read 4210 times)
BRWRuckus
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Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
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« Reply #60 on: Mar 3rd, 2008, 8:20am »
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New ties on the mill track.


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Michael Shea
Vice President
Black River Railroad Historical Trust
www.brrht.org
BRWRuckus
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Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
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« Reply #61 on: Mar 3rd, 2008, 9:30am »
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New rail and ties.


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Michael Shea
Vice President
Black River Railroad Historical Trust
www.brrht.org
Colin Barner
Former Member
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #62 on: Mar 3rd, 2008, 10:20am »
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That is simply FANTASTIC!  It's GREAT to see some improvements in the Ringoes yard!  Thanks for posting the pictures, Mike.  They're greatly appreciated.

« Last Edit: Mar 3rd, 2008, 10:21am by wm734_fan » Logged
Anthony_SRR
Former Member
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #63 on: Mar 3rd, 2008, 5:09pm »
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Thanks so much for posting those pictures Mike, That really makes me happy to see that the RR is finally stepping up and taking care of it's track. Back in June I knew it needed it. I can't wait to see how everything is looking when I'm at the RR on June 27th. First Ringoes then the rest  of the RR. Is there any plans to do more work outside of Ringoes?
 
Anthony


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BRWRuckus
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Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #64 on: Mar 4th, 2008, 8:59am »
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There's the Goat Curve project, which is described a little ways back in this thread. That will be done soon. I don't have a date yet.
 
There are plans for rehab and reconfiguration of some of the sidings and switches that converge on Church St. (the Stangl Road end of Church St.) One of the goals will be to allow for longer trains on the Flemington PRR runaround. There's not a timeline I'm aware of for this and that's really all I know about that project at this point.
 
As some of us have said before, even though the BR&W mainline is far from "top-notch" it is, for the most part, decent Class 1. The BR&W will do as much work on the track as can be financially justified. At this point there has been a significant increase in freight traffic with our new customer at Ringoes, so (as you see) a heap of money is being invested in the physical plant. While I do not know the intimate details of this customer's contract with the rr, given the amount of effort we're putting into 'making them at home' I think it's a reasonable assumption that they will be around for at least the next few years.  
 
The weakest links are being addressed first. Right off the bat as we start the 2008 passenger season in a couple weeks we will be able to run around trains and use the pad and mill tracks at Ringoes without worrying about derailments!


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Michael Shea
Vice President
Black River Railroad Historical Trust
www.brrht.org
Colin Barner
Former Member
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #65 on: Mar 4th, 2008, 9:58am »
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Hey Mike,
 
Does this mean the whole entire yard (including the run-around) will be completely re-done, just like the outer spur of the yard?  If so that's a huge step forward!!


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Black_River_Joe
Historian
Posts: 830
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #66 on: Mar 4th, 2008, 3:51pm »
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not to get that much off topic, but I am aware that there are two coaches on the main south of the runaround in ringoes. I also know kean owns them. But what is the history and future of these coaches? Going in with the idea of the Flemington Runaround getting bigger, are they going to be future BR&W coaches? Also it seems 8159 isnt at BR&W any more. Where did they lease/move it to?
 
Thanks for posting pictures mike.


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Colin Barner
Former Member
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #67 on: Mar 4th, 2008, 4:03pm »
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Making the Flemington run-around longer is also a great idea.  Presently the run-around can only hold four coaches not including a locomotive (I believe).  It is fantastic that the place is stepping up.  I hope they don't spend too much time patting themselves on the back and give up after two projects, though.
 
Great job, BR&W.


« Last Edit: Mar 4th, 2008, 4:06pm by wm734_fan » Logged
Hulka
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Posts: 176
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #68 on: Mar 4th, 2008, 11:17pm »
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I am sure that this is all costing a good buck, but on the same token it has to be a huge payoff in the long run because there will be less derailments, and it will clean up the yard a lot for the next few years.  If they could get some more business I an sure that they can fix up the main line even better, and maybe some day go back to Lambertville.

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BRWRuckus
Railfan
Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #69 on: Mar 5th, 2008, 8:48am »
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In short, no.
 
The section of track shown in the pictures I posted has been the culprit in Ringoes yard for the past year or so. Also the south switch on the short run-around has been causing problems. That's the switch where 752 went on the ground during the food-train last November. My understanding is that switch does not need a full rebuild like the mill switch, but it is receiving some TLC to make sure we don't have any further problems with it. Reality is we don't need the whole yard rebuilt....let's review the sections that are most used:
 
Mainline: this track could use some leveling and new wood south of the platform. I believe this task is part of the current project.
 
Mill track: this track has been practically out of service for a couple of years due to the condition of its switch. That has now been rectified.
 
Pad track: since the pad track shares its lead with the mill track this has also been a problem for us, and is now fixed.
 
Engine house lead / house track: the house track was rebuilt a few years ago (by hand, by me and one other guy. not fun). The engine house lead is not really in the best of shape, but the switch hasn't been causing problems and in reality, how great does this track have to be? It's not causing problems, so it it ain't broke, don't fix it for several thousand dollars.
 
A-Line leads: These have been causing problems on and off, mainly thanks to a scrapper that came and screwed them up. I'm not sure what the plan is for these.
 
Short runaround: Portions of this were rebuilt within the past six years or so and it is in overall decent shape now that the switches have been fixed.
 
Long runaround: It serves its purpose. The switches are ok, and being that its primary function is to provide a location for equipment to go back to that big hump yard in the sky, it can stay the way it is for now.
 
 
 
on Mar 4th, 2008, 9:58am, Colin Barner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hey Mike,
 
Does this mean the whole entire yard (including the run-around) will be completely re-done, just like the outer spur of the yard?  If so that's a huge step forward!!



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Michael Shea
Vice President
Black River Railroad Historical Trust
www.brrht.org
BRWRuckus
Railfan
Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #70 on: Mar 5th, 2008, 8:52am »
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8159 is currently on the Bel-Del for freight duty and backup power.
 
I believe you're referring to two ex NJTransit coaches that came on the property a little over a year ago. They are indeed owned by Kean/BR&W and he does have plans for them...but unfortunately I'm not at liberty to share them. They will not be used in regular BR&W passenger service, and do not hold your breath waiting for anything to be done with them. This one could take awhile.
 
(And no, they're not for high-speed Lambertville service  )
 
 
 
 
on Mar 4th, 2008, 3:51pm, brw_60_752 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
not to get that much off topic, but I am aware that there are two coaches on the main south of the runaround in ringoes. I also know kean owns them. But what is the history and future of these coaches? Going in with the idea of the Flemington Runaround getting bigger, are they going to be future BR&W coaches? Also it seems 8159 isnt at BR&W any more. Where did they lease/move it to?
 
Thanks for posting pictures mike.



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Michael Shea
Vice President
Black River Railroad Historical Trust
www.brrht.org
BRWRuckus
Railfan
Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #71 on: Mar 5th, 2008, 8:55am »
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Don't worry, all these projects and more will move forward. Just always try to remember that these things take time and lots of money. It's not a question of "IF" it's a question of "WHEN". I wouldn't expect to see any major track projects completed this year beyond the yard work and Goat Curve.  
 
As long as we continue taking small steps forward with not-so-many steps back, we can look forward to plenty of future success!
 
on Mar 4th, 2008, 4:03pm, Colin Barner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Making the Flemington run-around longer is also a great idea.  Presently the run-around can only hold four coaches not including a locomotive (I believe).  It is fantastic that the place is stepping up.  I hope they don't spend too much time patting themselves on the back and give up after two projects, though.
 
Great job, BR&W.



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Michael Shea
Vice President
Black River Railroad Historical Trust
www.brrht.org
Colin Barner
Former Member
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #72 on: Mar 5th, 2008, 2:52pm »
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If what Mike is saying about not "if" but "when" is true (which it probably is coming from a source such as yourself)...that's excelent...as long as they save their money wisely and use it for major projects that will pay off in the long run.  They're going to do well if they keep it up.  It may take a while dude to lack of money but it's good to hear that once they have it they will use it for those types of important projects, that will actually make a difference in the place.
 
It's good to hear that things aren't becoming negative anymore over there and that things are getting done.


« Last Edit: Mar 5th, 2008, 2:54pm by wm734_fan » Logged
de-rail
Historian
Posts: 2104
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #73 on: Mar 5th, 2008, 9:16pm »
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As I have been thinking for awhile now. It is only a matter of time before things go back to what it was like, basically before 60 went out of service. But is that what we want? The only “if ” I see is the chances of things getting better then that, such as going to Lambertville, more coaches, another steam engine, etc. Now I am just dreaming I should probably stop my self.

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BRWRuckus
Railfan
Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #74 on: Mar 6th, 2008, 1:56pm »
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Personally, I have no interest in making things at the BR&W "the way they were". That goes for the way they were in 1995, 1985, 1975...you name it.
 
While I certainly have a soft spot for some of the equipment that has come and gone...the Doodlebug, the 148, the Boonton cars, not to mention operations of the past such as Lambertville runs...lets not forget that BR&W's history is what led it to the poor place it was at a couple years ago.
 
Some of those pieces equipment will surely ride again. Others will not. I have no interest in bringing the joint full circle into another disaster. We must find new ways of doing things and move forward. Not backward.
 
I am only interested in making everything we do the best it can be. Right now that is better than it was a few years ago, and hopefully we'll be able to keep improving.  
 
So keep taking pictures, keep participating, and keep up whatever you're doing to help out, because our efforts are paying off!


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Michael Shea
Vice President
Black River Railroad Historical Trust
www.brrht.org
Colin Barner
Former Member
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #75 on: Mar 6th, 2008, 4:22pm »
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What makes you so sure that the success of the BR&W in the past led to its downfall?  Maybe the reason why the place went down hill was because all of the success vanished.  If my source is correct (please correct me if I'm wrong) a new manager stepped into control a few years before the place truely started to take a beating (early 2000's).  This individual had the same name but a younger role in the family than the previous manager.  Also, lack of interest (as it seems to me, at least) could be the biggest cause to the BR&W's "moving backward" in terms of improvment.
 
I understand I'm in the minority here in terms of age and experience, but I only know what I see over the years visiting since 1991.
 
-Colin


« Last Edit: Mar 6th, 2008, 4:29pm by wm734_fan » Logged
Black_River_Joe
Historian
Posts: 830
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #76 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 6:18am »
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im going to get off topic again...
 
Now that the mill track is fixed and the pad track is fixed, where will all the extra cars go, if both those tracks are now strictly for freight? Will most of the older cars be shoved south past the runaround towards lambertville?
Will the 4 cars left on the mill track, are they going to be moved?


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BRWRuckus
Railfan
Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #77 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 8:32am »
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At this point I'm not sure, but I believe the non-freight cars currently stored on the north end of the mill track will remain where they are.  
 
These two tracks have been used very little in recent years due to their condition, so this isn't a big operational change for us. And hey, I'm willing to make some accomodations for freight traffic!


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Michael Shea
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BRWRuckus
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Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
 
« Reply #78 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 8:52am »
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You are actually 100% correct...."the reason the place went down hill was because all the success vanished".  
 
I'll start with the manager you mention: BR&W has been run by the same GM since the early '90s. Not sure of the exact year he began running the show but think it was '91 or '92. What you probably heard about was a marketing company called "Blue Ribbon Group". In 2001 the marketing manager was fired and the Blue Ribbon Group was hired in her place to handle marketing/advertising for the passenger operations. To keep this brief, let's just say they didn't do a very good job. Ask any volunteer about the "Circus Train" and you'll get an earful. They didn't really understand our business and they quickly made things worse and brought ridership to rock-bottom. We've been recovering ever since.
 
Please don't misunderstand me...I do not mean to imply that everything that has happened at BR&W in the past has been negative or contributed to a bad situation. Quite the contrary. It may be better to review a VERY oversimplified timeline of BR&W's history:
 
In the '60s BR&W was put together by a group of people, much like the BRRHT, for the sole purpose of running steam powered weekend passenger excursions. This proved very successful, and they were soon able to purchase the railroad between Ringoes and Flemington from the PRR.
 
Upon purchasing the railroad, the BR&W became a true-blue common carrier railroad and assumed responsibility of the freight operations on their railroad. They soon purchased the railroad from Flemington to Three Bridges from the CNJ and assumed more freight traffic. Around this time is when things really began changing.  
 
Because of this freight traffic the organization was forced to operate more as a business, and quickly learned the reality that freight pays. Times were good through the '80's with a very steady freight business. The primary focus of the railroad ended up being the freight business, which as you know, was not why the organization existed in the first place.
 
This disparity between purpose and actual function, in my opinion, is what led the BR&W to where it has been. Because in the mid '90s the floor began falling out from the freight business. And once the freight left, the organization was pretty much left in a bad way. The passenger business had basically been ignored because it's far less profitable than freight. This is what led to the hiring of Blue Ribbon Group in an attempt to turn the situation around. Obviously that failed.
 
Then came the BRRHT. The BRRHT represents, for me, a return to the BR&W's roots....but not the BR&W's old way of doing business. Given the knowledge of BR&W's past we're in a good position to improve and grow our business while avoiding the pitfalls of the past. Hind-sight is 20-20.
 
The BR&W management is on board with us and our plans and we work very closely together on most projects, so let's remember that the BR&W is also striving to improve and return to a more stable footing.
 
A PERFECT example of what we are striving for is the Wilmington & Western in Delaware. The W&W is owned by a not-for-profit (Historic Red Clay Valley, Inc.). They contract for freight services on their railroad to help pay the bills, and they operate a top-notch tourist passenger business in keeping with their mission. This model allows them to get the best of both worlds: they still offer freight service to the community and to help pay the bills, and they are able to keep that business at arm's length so that they maintain focus on their primary mission of serving the public with their passenger business.
 
I've got to stop posting this long ranting messages.....
 
on Mar 6th, 2008, 4:22pm, Colin Barner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
What makes you so sure that the success of the BR&W in the past led to its downfall?  Maybe the reason why the place went down hill was because all of the success vanished.  If my source is correct (please correct me if I'm wrong) a new manager stepped into control a few years before the place truely started to take a beating (early 2000's).  This individual had the same name but a younger role in the family than the previous manager.  Also, lack of interest (as it seems to me, at least) could be the biggest cause to the BR&W's "moving backward" in terms of improvment.
 
I understand I'm in the minority here in terms of age and experience, but I only know what I see over the years visiting since 1991.
 
-Colin



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Michael Shea
Vice President
Black River Railroad Historical Trust
www.brrht.org
BRWRuckus
Railfan
Posts: 112
Re: Track & Equipment Conditions
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« Reply #79 on: Mar 7th, 2008, 8:58am »
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The truck that hit the bridge at Ringoes last Saturday.

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Michael Shea
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Black River Railroad Historical Trust
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