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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 - 8/22/2010

SEPTA/NS/CSX Stony Creek Branch August 15, 17 and 19 2010

The Stony Creek Branch is a curiousity to say the least. The former Reading Company line that runs the ten miles from Norristown to Lansdale is currently owned by SEPTA and maintained by CSX and NS, although of the three, only CSX uses it regularly. Both CSX C746 and B738 roll across its rails usually once a week due to high cars in the consist or the need for a daylight run to or from South Philadelphia or Woodbourne Yard. SEPTA runs an annual high car trip to qualify its personnel on the line, while NS almost never has anything pass the other side of Elm Street, which is the eastern (railroad direction) end of the line in Norristown. Maintenance of the line is split between the two freight railroads at MP 5 which is roughly where the branch crosses Route 73 Skippack Pike. CSX has the upper half near Lansdale and NS with the lower half towards Norristown.

Unfortunately, the lower half is the location of most of the derailments on the line, meaning NS is on the hook for the repairs like the refurbishing of both of the North Wales Road grade crossings, the upper crossing pictured here between Skippack Pike and Bean Road ...

and the lower one between Township Line Road and Pulaski Drive, both pictured the day before the grade crossing work started.
The branch was taken out of service on Monday August 16 and by Tuesday both crossings had the existing asphalt removed by a Grad-All while a ballast regulator and a tamper stand by.
By Thursday both were getting a new layer of asphalt. Interesting to see that while SEPTA and CSX usually favor the more permanent (and more expensive) pre-formed concrete grade crossings, NS goes for the quick and dirty blacktop, putting the line back in service by the weekend.

All pictures August 15, 17 and 19 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 August 22, 2010

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