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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….


Date: 11/30/12 15:32
Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: GregR27

This has always fascinated me. The “slide” at the Gallitzin Tunnels…Standing at track level….they just “drop down” and disappear. Armed with a 300 mm telephoto one day…I wanted to capture the “drop” heading into the tunnel.

These scenes taken a few years ago shows an EB coal train slowly descending….with the tail end helpers…the last shot….maybe a little bit of compression was added on this one to get the effect : )








Date: 11/30/12 17:35
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: jmbreitigan

That reminds me of a roller coaster ride : )
John



Date: 11/30/12 17:50
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: robbie

From watching on the other side of Tunnelhill some, I have to think that's one of the most amazing grades I've seen, and one that must require some of the best skill out there for an engineer... I definitely wouldn't want to have to pull tons of freight down that slide!



Date: 11/30/12 17:53
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: toledopatch

robbie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> From watching on the other side of Tunnelhill
> some, I have to think that's one of the most
> amazing grades I've seen, and one that must
> require some of the best skill out there for an
> engineer... I definitely wouldn't want to have to
> pull tons of freight down that slide!


Heh. You wouldn't be. It would be pushing you....



Date: 11/30/12 19:47
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: im_trainman

Think that's fun, try riding a piece of track equipment and watching the machine in front of you disappear down the hill, before the curve, and talk about warming some brake shoes up. It's even more fun when you are running the machine back up the hill and the machine wants to stall and the motor wants to give up from bogging down so much.



Date: 11/30/12 20:06
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: Gonut1

Its worth the trip to watch a freight head into the "Slide". Awesome. It happens maybe 50 times a day.
Gonut.



Date: 11/30/12 20:33
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: erie833

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> robbie Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> I definitely wouldn't want to have
> to pull tons of freight down that slide!
>
> Heh. You wouldn't be. It would be pushing you....

Well, actually there were times trains had to "pull" down the hill. If a little too much air was put under the train or more air bled off (pressure maintaining feature on the leader not working properly) it would bog down, and since stopping on the mountain was to be avoided if at all possible, the call for "a little help" would go out to the helper crew to lean into the train while the head end pulled to keep things moving. The hardest trains to drop down the slide were the 90 car coal trains. They came after you hard and quick.

RAD



Date: 12/01/12 08:46
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: tp117

The slide looks steep for sure. The last set of CR track charts show it as 2.27% and a mile long before it reaches the rest of the grade which is around 1.75%- 1.86% I thought it was 2.36% from other sources, and the enticing article about operations on this line in the April 1957 Trains show it at 2.46%. That makes it about the same as coming down Donner Pass which is much longer, and close to some other mountain grades.

I think the operating rules state that trains come to a complete stop before descending and make an air test. Train count down the slide is probably more like 20 a day as the total train count, less helpers, is 50-60 per day and some eastbounds use the middle track descending. I've always been curious why the heaviest trains tend to use the slide and lighter trains the middle track. The Baltimore export coal trains are 130 cars and about 17,000 tons, and there are two of them per day. Some carload freights can be 14-15000 tons. Yep, they are among the best engineers in the country.



Date: 12/01/12 09:27
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: SantaFeRuss

Gonut1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Its worth the trip to watch a freight head into
> the "Slide". Awesome. It happens maybe 50 times a
> day.
> Gonut.


Most trains go east and west on the set of tracks two blocks up the street from this track called "The Slide". That's the double track mainline through Gallitzin and it goes through the Gallitzin (Allegheny) tunnel. The single track line on "The Slide" may get 10-15 trains per day were as the the double track line will get 30-40 trains per day. The Gallitzin tunnel actually had two bores, one single track, the other double track, but Norfolk Southern closed up the single track bore last year, I believe. In recent years, the now-closed bore was used as a maintenance of way road.

SantaFeRuss



Date: 12/01/12 10:55
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: dbrcnw

The slide used to have trackside sirens which blew if a timing circuit determined you were going too fast.

In addition to be impressive to see in photos, it's quite an experience riding down the hill as the cars ahead of you go "over the edge"

Dale



Date: 12/01/12 13:09
Re: Gallitzin PA – “the slide”…you’re not kidding….
Author: zchcsse

Here's a video clip I made from the Summer of 2011. NS ran two 68Qs in a row over the slide side of Gallitzin, and this video catches them both; one from the Rt. 53 Overpass, and one from near AR Tower. My purpose for this clip was to show how these trains handle topping-over in terms of throttling-down as they approach the summit, etc. Neither train came to a stop to do an air test before decending. The end of the clip shows the helpers 'falling off the face of the earth' down the Slide.

Tom

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