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 Post subject: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:25 am 

Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 8:47 am
Posts: 2
On lines like the San Diego Trolley, the mixing of freight trains and streetcars is forbidden due to FRA buffer strength requirements.

Why was this not an issue in the days of streetcars (not interurbans) intermixing with box motors and steeple cabs pulling freight (eg Sacramento Northern)? Why is this not an issue at museums who run streetcars and freights at the same time (purposefully not naming examples)?


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:34 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1442
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
Partly, it depends on the regulations in effect at the time something was done, what operations the regulations might apply to, and hows the Government interprets that applicability.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 3:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 465
Benquirk wrote:
On lines like the San Diego Trolley, the mixing of freight trains and streetcars is forbidden due to FRA buffer strength requirements.

Why was this not an issue in the days of streetcars (not interurbans) intermixing with box motors and steeple cabs pulling freight (eg Sacramento Northern)?


The FRA did not exist prior to 1967.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 3:52 pm 

Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 8:47 am
Posts: 2
Thanks gents.

What about modern day museums though? They'll sometimes run a streetcar and either a motor or diesel with freights cars on the same tracks simultaneously. Is there an exemption for equipment of a certain age, yard limits, speed etc?


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 4:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5262
Location: southeastern USA
Not every entity is regulated, and not every regulation applies to every move on every entity that is.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 8:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 245
The IRM certainly has no problem. On a given weekend you can see trolleys, electric locos pulling cabooses (freight?) interurban cars, diesel and steam passenger trains all stopping at the same station.
They all share the same mainline, occasionally with dedicated historic museum freight trains.
I'm not an operator but I know our dispatchers keep it all sorted out without any specialized rolling stock involved.
The one equipment difference is that all the street railway ("trolly cars") have been converted to regular railroad wheels in order to be able to share the same track.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 1:02 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2097
IRM is technically a demonstrator line, not really moving freight. But like their trolly loop, I don't think you will be moving steam road freight cars over it.


Some streetcar systems were purposely narrow gauged (or slightly broad gauged to prevent freight using the line.

For other lines it varied for the locale and purpose and use, some streetcar/interurbans used box trailers designed for the sharp curves, never using steam road cars.

I think LaBelle makes a model.

Many interurban systems could do steam road cars.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:11 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2455
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Benquirk wrote:
Thanks gents.

What about modern day museums though? They'll sometimes run a streetcar and either a motor or diesel with freights cars on the same tracks simultaneously. Is there an exemption for equipment of a certain age, yard limits, speed etc?

Yes to age and type of use (e.g. Museum). The government does not want to demand ditch lights on an interurban or retroreflective striping on a wooden boxcar.

Not all regulations are applicable. Every reg has an Applicability part (typically 49 CFR 2xx.3) read this section first unless you like spending money unnecessarily. If that is not clear enough, read relevant parts of 49 CFR 209 Appendix A, found here.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32680

Edit: convert parts to Simplfied English


Last edited by robertmacdowell on Sun May 11, 2014 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:06 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2097
The museum is on its own "owned" tracks. It does not make regular live freight interchange with the UP nearby but has a connection to get equipment in and out.

Trying to throw ditch lights on an old preserved and beautifully restored streetcar/interurban would be wrong. However like IRM they keep their track standards high.

There may be other reasons like NKP 765 running excursions, don't think they are throwing ditch lights on it, their running speed is restricted to 40 mph, so speed a factor in requiring ditch lights and perhaps they don't often run at night anyways.

I don't have the regulation specifics but just going thru some logistics.

East Troy may operate some live freight interchange but again its their own track and don't operate at high speeds and could have exemptions.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:11 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:17 pm
Posts: 514
Location: Scranton, PA
I can't add much that the other posters have not except that here (at the DL RR in Scranton) we run a historic trolley for the Electric City Trolley Museum on a track that also sees heavy freight trains.

To separate the two, a time barrier is in place and is published by bulletin order. For example, most days trolley operation is posted for 9:30 am until 6 pm. That means no other conventional equipment can operate on those tracks, which are isolated by use of unique locks and derails were applicable. The process is known as "Temporal Separation" and is in use at a few places, such as a NJ Transit light rail line that also sees freight traffic.

Dave Crosby

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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:47 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8397
Location: Baltimore, MD
Another older example:

Back when the Wilmington & Western leased the B&O Landenberg Branch on weekends, as far as I know the only thing that kept the W&W safe was that the employee timetable banned B&O/Chessie operations on the line on weekends and holidays. I am not aware of any lock-out protection that was installed, but since access to the branch was via a junction and one switch/switchback right at the south end of a B&O/Chessie yard with its own "tower", oversight of that rule was held to a local group of employees all with the understanding of that rule.

Chessie sold the line to Historic Red Clay Valley in mid-1982, ending the need for such oversight.

Insofar as the olden days, many early trolley/streetcar franchises, such as Baltimore's, Philadelphia's, and much of Pennsylvania, mandated a different track gauge specifically to keep trolley franchise from becoming de facto freight car forwarding operations. Mind you, there were a couple places in Baltimore where they inter-mingled anyway, such as streets that had BOTH freight railroad street running and streetcar routes. In the most extreme example, the B&O in the waterfront Fells Point area used a box motor (very literally, a four-wheel truck with a box atop it!) which drew power from the city's United Railways & Electric overhead wires! Even the B&O Historical Society's definitive article on this operation in "The Sentinel" (Vol. 13, #5 and 6, 1991) offered no details on how interference with streetcars was addressed.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 1:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:34 am
Posts: 107
Location: San Pedro CA
About 19 year I was Electrican for Pacific Southwest Railway Museum at Friday I got a EMD MRS-1 #1809 was help the freight night so lite car an sepatate the each.

I got a phone call to funish a EMD MRS-1 Museum can't load up, So a Saturday I go to the side w/car a at unit. The bad resistance a trouble.
THIS IS WAS SAN DIGEO,CA.,THE FREIGHT CAR AN EMD WERE A SIDE TRACK ON IN MIDDLE OF DAY I START EMD 567B TO IS IF WOULD LOAD, THE RUMBLE OF 567B AN BRAKES AN ALL CARS.
The freight see a nice fellow to stop me have anything in the Locomotive.
The standard on the coupler on Transit was not same AAR.
The Transit also a overhead so to avoid street on route but return main after.

Owen S. Paulsen


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 4:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1814
Karl Johnson at Market Street Rwy may be able to shed light on efforts to standardize platform height and anti-climbers on the heritage fleet for buffer strength. I recall that their Johnstown car will require structural work for this reason before it can join the rest of the fleet in service.

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:30 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
The Pacific Electric line that ran past my home in Monrovia (until 1951) had freight trains, box motors, interurban cars, and for the last six month before abandonment, Hollywood car runing on the same tracks day and night.



1) Hollywood car 717 and PE "home-brew" freight motor 1624 at Orange Empire.

2) Baldwin VO-660 on the PE gravel train westbound through Monrovia, 1950 or 51. There would have been passenger runs before and after this train.


Attachments:
717&1624mainPlatform.JPG
717&1624mainPlatform.JPG [ 329.26 KiB | Viewed 1345 times ]
PE 5th Ave Monrovia Diesel1022in1950.jpg
PE 5th Ave Monrovia Diesel1022in1950.jpg [ 248.18 KiB | Viewed 1345 times ]

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Last edited by Bob Davis on Mon May 12, 2014 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Question about Freight and Streetcar Intermixing
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:31 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 688
Location: Warren, PA
When we've been involved on temporal separation, one of the key factors is that there isn't so much a firm FRA regulation as 'show us the plan' and we'll rule on it... issue. If you've got a good, solid, safe plan to keep the two apart, it isn't as bad as you'd think. That comment back from GVT testifies to that. Absolutely, positively NO has evolved to some degree of flexibility, but it's got to be well thought-out.

My impression of history and restrictions varies greatly by state. Remember that most of your railroads had state charters, streetcars had city charters, and interurbans had state charters. Thos charters specifically allowed, or dissallowed, common-carrier freight activities. Pennsylvania, in particular, had the oddball gauge to keep the streetcar guys out of interchange freight even if they could haul LCL to some degree. Nobody was concerned about collisions but the steam railroads wanted to keep the trolley guys contained as competitors.

In our area it was REALLY fuzzy; we're right on a state line in two directions. The trolley lines and interurban lines directly connected (particularly in Jamestown, NY) and had common ownership. All were standard gauge and exchanged equipment under wire. The interurbans had box motors, but as time crept on, started to handle interchange cars, and the JW&NW ended up as a shortline freight carrier for the last year or so of its life with a GE 70-tonner.

One of the things that effectively instituted separation in history was two things; sharp curves and weight limits on the rail and bridges. You could often manage to get a 50-ton boxcar over interurban track, but you weren't getting one through a 75' radius curve to the streetcar connection even it it was standard gauge; throw in streetcar switches and wheel profiles just to make sure they didn't mix.

I'm just as amused by the rather casual attitude that existed between level diamond crossings between streetcars and 'steam lines', no signals, no towers in some places, and then in distinct contrast, some situations that were a complete flyover to get from one side to another. I've never entirely understood the historic regulations but it's impressed me that the steam roads had the OPTION, but not the requirement, of granting a level crossing and could say 'NO!' if they chose to and the only appeal was at the state, not federal level.

Perhaps the oddest thing I've ever run across is the spur into the River St. power plant at Savannah, GA, when I got the 1917 valuation maps. The spur came down the 7% grade on what is now MLK, crossed the CofG on a diamond, hard right turn, and into the generating station for what looked like inbound coal delivery. It only connected with the city streetcar system. As a city-owned power plant, it must have operated like a shortline to get the coal in at a competitive rate instead of being captive, but it sure violated every assumption you make about the way things were done 'in the day' on a city streetcar line.


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