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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 - 3/7/2010

CSX Stony Creek Branch and SEPTA Norristown Branch Norristown PA, NS Harrisburg Line Bridgeport PA, CSX Stony Creek Branch and SEPTA Main Line Lansdale PA March 2-3 2010

This was a week of big changes for the Lansdale Cluster and the two jobs CSX runs out of there. On Monday March 1 CSX cut the Blue Line connection to SEPTA's Main Line as part of the CP Nice reconstruction portion of the Trenton Line doublestack clearance project, and what remained of the Blue Line was completely removed by the end of the week to allow for relocation and regrading of the line and eventual rebuilding. The Stony Creek Branch effectively became the main route in and out of Lansdale, but it is scheduled to be removed from service later in the spring to allow replacement of the bridge over Sumneytown Pike, so the Blue Line should be back in service in a couple of months.

Meanwhile, due to the deterioriating conditions on the Stony Creek Branch, all six axle power is now prohibited from use on the line (wide cabs that occasionally made their way up the branch had been previously banished last year). The former Conrail SD40-2's that have been used primarily for the C746 transfer run to and from Philadelphia (sometimes three at a time) will have to find new homes, and CSX will have to find more cab-signaled four axles for C746 and the B738 daylight job. With the spring thaw, the conditions on the SCB can only get more precarious (a little bit of foreshadowing there).

This is Part One of three.
March 2 2010 sees a daylight run down the Stony Creek for B738 with CSX GP40-2 4418 about to lead GP38-2 2746 and the rest of the train off the branch onto SEPTA's Norristown Line at CP Elm in Norristown.
Rather than heading straight over to Abrams Yard and running the power around the train, they pull south of Norristown Transportation Center to CP Ford so they can shove back across the Schuylkill River to the NS Harrisburg Line at CP Norris.
CSX B738 blasts through Bridgeport on the NS Harrisburg Line heading for South Philadelphia.
For the return trip the next day, C746 got as far as Abrams before running out of time, so the B738 crew had to go down and bring the train back up the Stony Creek to Lansdale, here leaving the west end of the branch entering the SEPTA Main Line at CP Dale.
Prior to the removal of the Blue Line, the main reason for the Stony Creek Branch was to provide a route to Lansdale for high cubes like these which go to customers on the Bethlehem and Doylestown Branches. High cars cannot be taken south of Dale due to wire clearance.

All pictures March 2 and 3 2010 Copyright © 2010 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 7, 2010

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