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Philly NRHS - Railfan Pictures of the Week


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The Philadelphia Chapter of the

National Railway Historical Society

Established in 1936


Railfan Pictures of the Week - 03/22/2009

CSX Bethlehem Branch Lansdale, Hatfield, Souderton and Telford PA March 19 2009


With the recent downturn in the economy, rail shipments have dropped and the railroads are cutting back. Last year CSX entertained offers to take over the Lansdale Cluster which services the CSX Bethelehem Branch as well as the SEPTA Doylestown Branch and Warminster Branch. The asking price was apparently too high at the time, but that was last year. This year CSX has already cut one of the three jobs out of Lansdale, combining C746 the nightly transfer run to Philadelphia and back with B745 the nightly local working the SEPTA branches. Now the single nighttime crew alternates between the two jobs.

Last week the line was evidently back on the block as East Penn Railroad (reporting mark ESPN), which exchanges with CSX at Telford and works the Bethlehem Branch north from there to Quakertown, went for an inspection trip along the line with CSX personnel trailing behind.

After reportedly coming up the Stony Creek Branch, the track cars pause in Lansdale Yard.

In Hatfield, CSX had recently replaced the rail on the siding to one of the biggest customers, Hatfield Warehouse, which on this day had only one box car in its siding when usually there are four. This weekend a subsidiary Lansdale Warehouse on the Doylestown Branch had only one box car on a siding which accomodates as many as eight cars.
At Unionville Pike, the ESPN high railer passes one of the few remaining pedestrian warning lights that were installed by the Reading Railroad.
And now for the thrill ride portion of the trip, the infamous "spaghetti" track north of Township Line Road, where the track swings from the northbound main to the southbound main. This was done to bypass a section of the northbound main that was deemed irreparable.
Another good customer on the line is Moyer in Souderton, receiving covered hoppers for nearby agricultural customers.
Nearing the end of the trip at County Line Road in Telford, they encountered a motorist who was a little confused about what side of the lowered gate they should be on.

All pictures March 19 2009 Copyright © 2009 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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Last Updated March 22, 2009

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