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Philly NRHS - Railfan Pictures of the Day


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The Philadelphia Chapter of the

National Railway Historical Society

Established in 1936


Railfan Pictures of the Day - 12/15/2005

CSX Bethlehem Branch and Stony Creek Branch Lansdale and Norristown PA December 2005
Back in March, CSX had a derailment on the wye in Lansdale PA (pictures here, here and here). This made the procedure for turning a boxcar, a frequent occurence that usually took 20 minutes, into a three to four hour ordeal that required the crew to take the car down the ten mile Stony Creek Branch (excepted track all the way) to Norristown and return. Now, last Tuesday, even that is no longer an option due to a rail spread derailment just north of the southern end of the branch at SEPTA's Elm Street Station. To add to the problems, the branch is also the only way to get high cars to and from Lansdale, so two cars are now stranded there and probably several more sitting in South Philadelphia's Greenwich Yard, waiting to come up. And to further complicate matters, due to the peculiarities of the Stony Creek Branch (owned by SEPTA and maintained by NS at the southern end and CSX at the northern end), the CSX train derailed on NS-maintained trackage (yeah, NS will put this real high on their maintenance list). Here on December 6 2005 the two box cars sit just past the Elm Street crossing, with one side of one axle on the ground on each boxcar.
CSX SD40-2 8881 also put an axle on the ground. Two other boxcars and CSX SD40-2 8858 on the south end of the train did not derail and were pulled away from the rest of the train.
The debris that litters the right of way fortunately had no part in the derailment.
CSX maintenance personnel brought up a rerailer to get the engine and cars back on track. 8881 and the rerailed cars were brought up to Lansdale later that day, while 8858 and the other two cars were retrieved from Norristown that night, taken back over to Abrams Yard and down the NS Harrisburg Line to Greenwich Yard and brought back to Lansdale on the nightly C746 transfer run the next day.
Meanwhile, CSX is in the process of installing, just south of Schwab Road, a switch that will make the formerly stub-ended Bethlehem Industrial Track into a double ended siding to be utilized to store cars destined for Hatfield Warehouse. They have removed the old rail and ties and started to grade the ballast for the new track. December 8 2005
The switch was delivered already installed on a piece of panel track, with the rest of the new track being assembled piece by piece on site.
Not to be outdone, SEPTA has installed a CAUTION sign at the Lansdale Station at the northern pedestrian crossing on Track 1. With a clearance of about six feet, the metal sign might be a hazard for passengers of above average height and below average awareness of their surroundings.

All pictures December 2005 Copyright © 2005 John P. Almeida

Photographs for personal use only. All rights reserved by original owner of image. Reproduction or redistribution in any form without express written permission is prohibited.

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Website created June 12, 2002

Last Updated December 15, 2005