Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. Mar 22nd, 2017, 6:16pm
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Post reply
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   Physical Plant - Track, Structures and Signals
   Railroad Infrastructure
   Post reply ( Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy )
A Username and Password are REQUIRED to Post.

If you are seeing this, you are either not logged in or your browser is not honoring the username and password cookie.
 
Username:
Password:
Post reply
Subject:
Message icon:
Add YABBC tags:
Message:

Photo Attachments require Netscape 4 or greater or IE5 or greater
Disable Smilies:

Check this if you'll be adding code (or don't like smileys).

shortcuts (IE and NS6 only): hit alt+s to send, alt+p to preview, or alt+r to reset


Topic Summary
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 20th, 2017, 9:41pm
Thought we had a thread on this project.  For those who don't know, this is replacement of the tunnel on the Washington Union Station freight bypass.  
 
I will add more later, but here is the latest update from Progressive Railroading
 
http://www.progressiverailroading.com/csx_transportation/article/Project-update-CSXs-Virginia-Avenue-Tunnel--51027?source=pr_digital03/20/2017&email=emailAddress
 
I hope they have been smart enough to provide clearance for electrification should it ever be reinstalled.
Posted by: Henry Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017, 1:17am
The article says says "The new 4,100-foot-long, 21-foot-tall tunnels" so is that enough for catenary? CSX' "Doublestack 3" clearance is 20' 2" so I am guessing it isn't high enough. Maybe they can undercut enough if necessary.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017, 1:45am
on Mar 21st, 2017, 1:17am, Henry wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The article says says "The new 4,100-foot-long, 21-foot-tall tunnels" so is that enough for catenary? CSX' "Doublestack 3" clearance is 20' 2" so I am guessing it isn't high enough. Maybe they can undercut enough if necessary.

NO!!!!  Saw the article but just glanced through it.  I can't believe they did that.
This distance is less than AREMA recommended requirements, which is 23'-0", see the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Association Manual, Chapter 28, Clearances.  If electrification is anticipated, the amount should be no less than 24'-3" if the power is to be 25kv or less.
 
 Back in the 1960's when clearances became a problem for piggyback, Southern went on a massive tunnel clearance project.  In that time frame they made some major alignment improvements on the CNO&TP.  As part of that the tunnels built/enlarged were to an overhead clearance of 30 feet.  The comment made, we want to never have to do this (clearance improvement) work again.  Though not stated in anything I read, it appears that allowance for electrification was part of that.
Posted by: Henry Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017, 2:54am
Was that when they daylighted some of the rathole tunnels?
 
It seems pretty short-sighted to go only to 21'.
Posted by: HwyHaulier Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017, 8:37am
George - Henry - Lodge Members -
 
What we have here something of a classic DC Boondoggle? From appearances, CSX has only so much funding to throw at this.  
In the long history, this should not be a CSX problem? Used to be, PENNA RR ran a freight and passenger "cutoff" between a  
point at/near Seabrook, MD and Potomac Yards, VA. It was under "wire", yes?
 
This current project is just a mess?
 
SOUTHERN RR and possibility of running under wires? The line long tempted by the cheaper TVA power. The line must not have  
trusted that, so there are no electrics on the CNO&TP line?
 
...........  Vern  .................
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017, 1:27pm
on Mar 21st, 2017, 2:54am, Henry wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Was that when they daylighted some of the rathole tunnels?

Yes.  In fact, all of them.  As part of this, there were several line relocations.
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017, 2:32pm
on Mar 21st, 2017, 8:37am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)
George - Henry - Lodge Members -
 
What we have here something of a classic DC Boondoggle? From appearances, CSX has only so much funding to throw at this. In the long history, this should not be a CSX problem? Used to be, PENNA RR ran a freight and passenger "cutoff" between a point at/near Seabrook, MD and Potomac Yards, VA. It was under "wire", yes?

 
I was working in DC on WMATA, 1972-1978 first for the contractor in what became the Major Repair Yard and the Wash Term Co East Coach Yard, later on the design side for track, so I have a little first hand familiarity.  We were right next to the passenger lines into Washington Union Station from the north.  The ex Pennsy lines were electrified (obviously) and the B&O lines were not.  South of the New York Avenue overpass all the Washington station approach tracks were electrified except for the westernmost, which were B&O only. WUT tracks 1 through 6 or 7 were taken out along with the easternmost three throat tracks, all sold to WMATA, along with much of the WUT coach yard.  Remember at that time the thought was that railroad passenger service outside the corridor was in a death spiral ending shortly with none.  
 
Back to the topic at hand:  These tracks were passenger only.  The split point was, if I recall correctly, Landover Tower, with all freight diverging to the east.  The freight lines continued on the Anacostia side of the Anacostia River, bridging it about 1/2 mile north of the crossing of the same by Pennsylvania Avenue SE. After crossing it they continued on the DC side curving into paralleling Virginia Avenue SE and the Virginia Ave tunnel.  Coming out of the tunnel they continued paralleling Virginia Ave in a more or less WNW orientation, meeting the passenger line at Virginia Avenue Tower, which was located at about 2nd or 3rd Street SW.  From this point they ran together to the crossing of the Patomac River.  The passenger line to the south out of Washington Union Station ran in a tunnel under 1st Street NE and SE, coming out and curving to join the freight line at Virginia Tower.  This tunnel and line south thereof was not electrified.  There was electrification for a short length at the north end just at the station so that for through trains the Pennsy engines could be cut off and the Southern, RF&P, or C&O diesels attached.  (Did the C&O ever run trains through north of DC?)  The freight line was electrified throughout.  South of Virginia Tower all tracks were electrified to the divergence of the freight tracks from the mains to enter Patomac Yard.  The tracks from the New York Avenue overpass north of Union Station to the Virginia Avenue tower connection with the freight line were owned by the Washington Terminal Company.  North of New York Avenue the through tracks were owned by either the Pennsy or the B&O, as appropriate, with the Terminal company owning the yards between.  The freight line was owned by the Pennsy throughout to the south end of the Patomac River Bridge.  Thus, the RF&P did not own any tracks outside of Virginia.  (The state line between the District of Columbia, along with Maryland and Virginia is at the south bank, I think the low water mark, but am not sure, not at the stream flowline which is the normal when watercourses are defined as state lines.)  I believe that for the part south of the bridge used by the Pennsy, including the tracks in Patomac yard that were electrified, the Pennsy owned the catenary and all else appertaining to the electrification with the RF&P owning everything else.
 
Quote:
SOUTHERN RR and possibility of running under wires? The line long tempted by the cheaper TVA power. The line must not have trusted that, so there are no electrics on the CNO&TP line?  
 
...........  Vern  .................

I was following railroad stuff at the time this idea came up. It was TVA on one side with Southern's CNO&TP and the L&N's Cincinatti to Atlanta line on the other side.   I don't remember who first approached who,  but the concept was that TVA would own everything electrical down to, or maybe it was even including the catenary and supports with all else being owned by TVA who wold be selling the power in the similar manner to that was done with cooperatives and town systems.  It seems that there was great enthusiasm by both railroads, but neither wanted to be first.  The preference of each was that the other be the guinea pig.  After being discussed with great enthusiasm by all parties for some time it faded away into thundering silence with nothing said about what killed it.  
 
There were a few little points that i remember from the discussions and news about it.  One was that if you had a paralleling barb wire fence at the right of way line with the wires reasonably well insulated, and dry wood posts provided sufficient insulation, that a 25kV 60hz overhead could induce over 100 volts in the wire which is sufficient to kill a cow.
Posted by: HwyHaulier Posted on: Today at 12:04pm
George - Lodge Members -
 
Just above, you have a "BTW" remark about C & O. See this "Wiki" link which tries to help...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_and_Ohio_Railway
 
Yes, yes, your writer recalls from the era that C & O power seen holding at Ivy City (DC). For dates of  
passenger services? This one better aided with a C & O scholar?
 
It is plausible there may have been C & O operating "joint line" with either B & O or PENN. Otherwise,  
perhaps thru Pullman schedules between NJ/NY and interchange at WUT DC? A rationale why C & O  
may have done it that way? Its activity at White Sulphur Springs an important on line point?
 
Misc Point here? It is difficult to even imagine C & O power, North (TT East) above DC running either  
B & O or PENN. On both of the Carriers, power set up with signaling systems, purpose built for the  
respective lines. Yes, one exception comes to mind. One time severe snow storm which shut down the  
PENN GG-1 types. With it, several "Southern Line" power (SRS, C&O (?), ACL, SAL, RF&P) ran thru  
to NY (PRR 34th St.)...
 
This one clearly "incidental knowledge. It doesn't get the new tunnels built! <G>
 
.....................  Vern  .....................
Posted by: Norm_Anderson Posted on: Today at 3:17pm
on Mar 21st, 2017, 2:32pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Did the C&O ever run trains through north of DC?

 
George and Vern,
 
I can't comment on "ever," but I do have timetables from 1956 that show the following:
 
C&O advertised through service to New York on three trains:  The George Washington, the Sportsman, and the F.F.V..  But these were apparently through Sleepers and Chair Cars only, handled on Pennsy trains between New York and DC.
 
The George Washington:  
 
Westbound Train 1 received cars from Train 129, the Potomac.  
Eastbound Train 2 delivered cars to Train 174, the Federal.
 
The Sportsman:
 
Westbound Train 5 received cars from Train 111, the President.
Eastbound Train 4 delivered cars to Train 152, the Afternoon Congressional.
 
The F.F.V.:
 
Westbound Train 3 received cars from Train 137, the Mount Vernon.
Eastbound Train 6 delivered cars to Train 112 (which may not have been named, but which carried a Dining Car, and also carried through cars from Florida Service trains).
 
By the way, can anyone offer a difinitive answer to whether the name F.F.V. referred to Fast Flying Virginian, or First Families of Virginia?  I have heard both explanations offered . . .
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm
Posted by: HwyHaulier Posted on: Today at 3:56pm
Norm - George - Lodge Members -
 
WOW! The published TTs don't lie! Yes, that's the way it happened. C & O - PRR interchanged thru cars at Washington.  
The practice should be documented in histories of PULLMAN...
 
Date here is fascinating. In the era, B & O ended its Washington - Jersey City services (ca. 1958?). In any case, your writer  
at Mount Royal (BAL) Station later in the evening. Its train arriving from Jersey City carried a C & O Sleeper! Never have  
figured why that was so. Also at the time, B & O had agreements with MOPAC, with Cars handled in the EAGLE System!
 
Eastbound PRR #112? IIRC, it was an earlier hour dept. from DC. Something of a "catch all" which carried all East Cars  
coming up from the South. That is: C & O, SRS, ACL, SAL. Perhaps RF&P, too, but the latter is a stretch...
 
Define "FFV". Who knows? Your writer favors "First Families Of Virginia". It always George Washington's railroad!...
 
......................  Vern  ...........................