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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ


Date: 05/05/15 14:40
Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: 74596

Good afternoon all

I am a new member and I wanted to join this site to find out more about railroads and oil trains. 

I bought a Geographia Northern New Jersey Road Map that does not include train tracks that I want to know about. I called the company and they said that they do not put train tracks on there anymore. I found an old Hagstrom's Street and Road Map of Bergen County, N.J. map that shows the Erie rail line, which I think is called the River Line now. Coming down to Piermont and across the Sparkill, then the rail goes back north on the Piermont Branch then heads south on the West Shore Division which crosses the Oradell resovoir. I looked at explosive-crude-by-rail.org
but it gives me too wide of a disaster zone that I think is not realistic. The question is, is it correct that is how the old Erie line connects? I guess the West Shore Division was also part of the NYC Railroad. Any help with the questions I post this week and next week would be much appriciated. I am not against railroads, we do need them for the country, but I am against Bakken Crude Oil being shipped by railcar, unless it is stabilized. I said the same thing in an email to Trains Magazine. No response as of yet. Thanks. 



Date: 05/05/15 15:13
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: bioyans

And just what makes Bakken oil any more dangerous than the hundreds of other hazardous material products, that are shipped by rail every single day?  You do realize that with some of the commodities, should an accidental discharge occur, they would make an oil train accident look like child's play?



Date: 05/05/15 15:30
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: Lackawanna484

bioyans Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And just what makes Bakken oil any more dangerous
> than the hundreds of other hazardous material
> products, that are shipped by rail every single
> day?  You do realize that with some of the
> commodities, should an accidental discharge occur,
> they would make an oil train accident look like
> child's play?

Yes.

I'm much more concerned with a lot of the stuff that rolls down the NY State Thruway and over the Tappan Zee.  Or down the roller coaster of NJ 17 with the crazies zooming in and out of traffic.  Nasty stuff, looking at the haz-mat codes. I'm glad there are certified haz-mat drivers handling the stuff, but the four wheelers doing crazy stunts around them gives me a lot of pause.

Literally feet from homes in Waldwick, Ramsey, etc in one of the highest accident zones in the state. A Waldwick police officer was killed when his car was struck by a 3x over the limit driver earlier this year. That was terrible, but if that 3x hit a 1203 placard trailer, or a 1075 code, or a 1005 code, it would have been an order of magnitude worse.

People spend a lot of time looking at the one in five million risks, and ignore the one in one hundred or one in 500 risks driving past their door every day. Which gets there by crude oil processed into gasoline in places like Linden, Bayway, Carneys Point, etc.  I'd rather have one oil train going by than 350 -375 individual tanker trucks on the highway a block away...

[/rant]



Date: 05/05/15 15:49
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: Out_Of_Service

new member ...

first post ...

info wanted on oil train routes ...

call me skeptical but this has RED FLAG all over it ...

Posted from Android



Date: 05/05/15 16:06
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: howeld

Delorme Atlases show railroads.

The map at the link only shows evacuation zone and if there is an oil train fire then the evacuation zone will be much farther than 1/2 mile, more like mile or two depending on wind/smoke direction.  However there wouldnt be much damage out that far other than perhaps some busted windows.  They are being a little loose with the facts as far as "blast Zone" but who needs facts when they are trying to forward an agenda.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/05/15 16:13 by howeld.



Date: 05/05/15 16:07
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: tp117

I'll respond to your post because you are new and want to know more about railroads. Most of my posts, as an experienced life-long railroade,r try to inform others from what I have learned. But my comments sometimes get eliminated after I have put careful thought into composing them, and I deal only with facts. But the Trainorders censors get rid of them after I try to inform because Trainorders.com is mostly for picture takers and engine spotting format rather than one hat supports those who are interested in the railroad as a business, which is totally intertwined with politics. It has been for its entire 185 plus years of its existence.

Anyway, i will try to help someone on here once again at the risk of wasting my time and old fingers.

First, you are in far more danger from a Hazmat accident involving crude oil (or any of the other chemicals the railroads essentially HAVE to carry) by driving down any highway with Hazmat placarded trucks or getting on a commercial airliner. That being said, the main crude oil route of CSX from the west/mid-west to Northern NewJjersey or Philadelphia area destinations is via Cleveland/Buffalo/Selkirk and then down the 'West Shore' ex-NYC/PC/CR now CSX called the River Line. It now has more capacity and is in better shape now than ever. CSX wisely routes loaded oil trains this way to avoid shoving them over mountains and thru Baltimore via the much shorter (and profitable for them) route via Cumberland and Baltimore. Nothing moves via the former 'Erie'. Speeds on the River Line are 50mph or less and CSX may have it lower for Hazmat trains. Once they get to Northern New Jersey (your area I gather) they essentially go 10mph or creep thru the convoluted/historical trackage around Jersey City and  Northern New Jersey to get to more open territory around Bound Brook. NS's oil trains run on the ex-CR/LV main line diresctly from Easton, PA to North Jersey. And both railroads have handled unit ethanol trains (about as volatile as Bakken crude) to Seawarren New Jersey for about a decade.

Also please realize that crude oil, of any consistency, is a regulated commodity by the surface Transportation Board of the U S Government. The railroads, as things stand now, HAVE to take the commodity as offered for transport. The railroads have no legal means to refuse it unless they petition the STB or State Governments to enact legislation to do so. That could cost millions.

Any other readers feel free to correct me. But my adivice, if you want to avoid the dangers of crude oil and other Hazmats, is do not drive anywhere, ride an airplane, and live at least a mile from a mainline railroad line that handles Hazmats. There are really many more serious dangers in an individual's life that can happen than nearby railroads hauling Bakken crude oil...



Date: 05/05/15 17:15
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: Lackawanna484

A 9,000 gallon gasoline tanker flipped over on the NJ Turnpike this afternoon.  Driver suffered critical burns, roadway shut down.  Another tanker flipped over on I-78 last week, killing the driver.

Severe burns



Date: 05/06/15 06:13
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: cjvrr

Trying to decifer the original message.

One statement from the original poster seems to think the former Erie line is used for oil traffic.  It is not.   All oil coming to or from the north comes in on CSX's Riverline.  This is the former NYC mainline from North Bergen, NJ to Albany, NY.  It makes a pretty straight line north out of NJ and eventually follows the Hudson River more closely all the way to Selkirk, NY, just south of Albany.

The former Erie lines in NJ starting from the Hudson River moving west are the Northern RR of NJ (freight only); the Pascack Valley Line, passenger and minimal, if any, freight; and the Bergen County line which is passenger and local freight.  The passenger trains go to Suffern, NY and eventually can reach as far west as Port Jervis.  Freight on the line ends at Campbell Hall, NY.


CV the civil E in NJ.



Date: 05/06/15 06:42
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: dwi189

The primary freight route South into NJ from NY is the old New York Central West Shore...now the CSX River Subdivision. Much of the other routes that zigzag through Rockland County on that map are passenger...or are abandoned....Much of the Southern part of the Erie in Rockland is now a walking trail.

A portion of the old Erie is still used in Spring Valley NY as part of the Pascack Valley Line Passenger service....Beckerle Lumber Company is looking to restore freight deliveries via the Pascack Valley Line.in Spring Valley. They presently receive their lumber deliveries via CSX at Haverstraw...and the lumber is then trucked to their 4 or 5 lumber yards in Rockland...They want to restore deliveries by rail to Spring Valley as well...The owner indicates that some needed work on the switch and siding into the Spring Valley location is the only major issue....Conrail and then NS served them there up until the early 2000's.

The portion of the Erie between Spring Valley and Tallman is abandoned but trackage is mostly still intact....The portion of the old Erie between Tallman and Suffern is active as a freight branch served by NS...Dave W

Posted from Android



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/15 06:48 by dwi189.



Date: 05/06/15 09:52
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: bioyans

Out_Of_Service Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> new member ...
>
> first post ...
>
> info wanted on oil train routes ...
>
> call me skeptical but this has RED FLAG all over
> it ...
>
> Posted from Android

Yup ... and the fact that anyone would gladly give them information regarding oil train routes, is simply unbelievable.  You don't know who the person is, or what their intentions are, yet you are going to give them detailed information on where to find exactly what they are looking for?  It's one thing to want to be helpful, but quite something else to realize there are times where it is smarter to just politely say, "Sorry, I'd rather not discuss this with you."



Date: 05/06/15 11:26
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: dwi189

> I am not against railroads, we do need them for
> the country, but I am against Bakken Crude Oil
> being shipped by railcar, unless it is stabilized.
> I said the same thing in an email to Trains
> Magazine. No response as of yet. Thanks. 

Before everyone here lines their horsewagons up in a defensive circle, this sounds more like a non-railfan that is concerned about the safety of oil trains going through where he lives....If somebody is up to no good and is posting here to gain information on train routes in order to do something bad, there are plenty of ways other than Trainorders to find out that information....

For example...Somebody does not like nosy neighbors so they put up a high stockade fence to block the view of their property....Nosy neighbor goes on Google maps and sees everything on his neighbor's property courtesy of satellite view or takes a drone and flies it high enough to see the entire neighborhood including his neighbor's without overflying his neighbor's property....Dave W.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/06/15 13:01
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: bioyans

dwi189 Wrote:

> Before everyone here lines their horsewagons up in
> a defensive circle, this sounds more like a
> non-railfan that is concerned about the safety of
> oil trains going through where he lives....If
> somebody is up to no good and is posting here to
> gain information on train routes in order to do
> something bad, there are plenty of ways other than
> Trainorders to find out that information....

Doesn't mean people have to make it easier for them.  If, theoretically, someone was up to no good, I would rather make their task of finding information harder, not easier.  It's not about being defensive.  It's about erring on the side of caution.  That person who wants to peer over the fence may be curious, or they may be casing the place so they can rob them.  I wouldn't feel right giving someone easy access to information, if their intentions turned out to be more along the latter.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/15 13:55 by bioyans.



Date: 05/06/15 17:33
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: tp117

boiyans,

What is your concern? Trains magazine showed the route about a year ago. Time mag did a 2 page article about trains vs. pipeline a year ago. Most local newspapers know the routes. Ever hear of Google Earth?  You can follow any rail route in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Russia, North Korea, India, and China, such as I have done , and figure out train size, industry locations, siding length, tunnels, bridges, and zoom in and see what kind of cars the trains are hauling. There is a maritime site where you can see most ports of the world and all of the ships there and what kind they are and a lot of details about them. Other websites show where most airliners are and their routes and arrival and departure times. Is that scary to you? Your concern about those of us that have provided answers to this origional post.....answers for which can be easily found from several other sources other than Trainorders responders....... is as curious to me as your lack of knowledge of other ways to get the same info. I really do not see how his question is suspicious.  .



Date: 05/06/15 21:27
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: bioyans

tp117 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> boiyans,
>
> What is your concern? Trains magazine showed the
> route about a year ago. Time mag did a 2 page
> article about trains vs. pipeline a year ago. Most
> local newspapers know the routes. Ever hear of
> Google Earth?  You can follow any rail route in
> the USA, Canada, Mexico, Russia, North Korea,
> India, and China, such as I have done , and figure
> out train size, industry locations, siding length,
> tunnels, bridges, and zoom in and see what kind of
> cars the trains are hauling. There is a maritime
> site where you can see most ports of the world and
> all of the ships there and what kind they are and
> a lot of details about them. Other websites show
> where most airliners are and their routes and
> arrival and departure times. Is that scary to you?
> Your concern about those of us that have provided
> answers to this origional post.....answers for
> which can be easily found from several other
> sources other than Trainorders responders.......
> is as curious to me as your lack of knowledge of
> other ways to get the same info. I really do not
> see how his question is suspicious.

I am well aware that the information is available elsewhere.  I work in the RR industry full time.  Anyone who does so, knows full well that their employers don't want them volunteering ANY information on shipments ... ESPECIALLY those involving hazardous materials.  In fact, getting caught sharing such information would be a potentially dismiss-able offense.  I'm not sure how many fans, or RR employees for that matter, have been paying attention since 9/11/01, but the railroads have made it abundantly clear to their employees that outsiders asking specific questions about hazardous material shipments SHOULD be treated with a bit of suspicion.

I would also have to ask, if the information is so readily available, why have we had two cases (in recent weeks) of first time posters coming to the Eastern forum of Trainorders to ask specifically about crude oil trains?

Like it or not, there ARE legitimate security concerns, when someone starts asking questions about things that can go boom if something goes wrong.  As someone who could potentially:  a) run over some dopey protester who chooses to place themselves in front of a crude oil train to try and make a statement, or b) could be in the direct line of fire regarding a potential act of sabotage, it is far better to remember there are certain security-sensitive details about the industry that shouldn't be discussed publicly.  Just because information CAN be gotten elsewhere, doesn't mean one should make it that much easier to obtain.

Sorry, but my job ... and my own safety ... take a higher priority than a track-side observer's need to know about specific types of shipments.



Date: 05/07/15 05:18
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: NYC6001

tp117 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
 Trainorders.com is mostly for picture
> takers and engine spotting format rather than one
> hat supports those who are interested in the
> railroad as a business, which is totally
> intertwined with politics. It has been for its
> entire 185 plus years of its existence.

Thank you. There are so many people who don't get that. Early railroads in New York had to compensate the Erie Canal for its loss of business. And sadly, there are many on Trainorders who don't appreciate that between the late 1960's and early 1990's, over 40% of our railroad routes disappeared, largely due to stiff regulation but also changes in transportation policy designed to accomodate and promote trucks, cars, aviation and waterways.

Regarding Crude By Rail, I recently posted comments to the following effect on Fred Frailey's blog. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered.... Here I go again.

There are powerful forces that would like to see Crude By Rail go away. Some are pipeline operators who want the business for themselves, but other interests are out there who would like to see the return of $100 a barrel oil. Peel the onion further and you can begin to see that cheap oil has many strategic implications for global trade, foreign policy and even military policy. Oil below $60/barrel causes change. When oil prices fell sharply a few months ago, there was a lot of crying and whining in the financial pages, because a lot of business and trading (aka gambling) was structured around high oil prices. The same people are thrilled that oil prices are climbing again. I don't even qualify as a layman in financial matters, but that fact sticks out rather boldly.

Crude By Rail is the primary reason the price at your gas pump begins with a 2 instead of a 4 or 5. Baaken oil is worthless if it can't get to market. Granted, these fiery crashes don't help matters at all, but we need to keep moving oil by rail unless we find a better way. 
 



Date: 05/07/15 05:24
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: Lackawanna484

For most of the year, I live in northern NJ and I've been watching the protests and activity around the CSX oil trains.  I've mentioned them from time to time.  From what I can tell, the vast majority of concerned people are well meaning, and aware of  potential threats to the water supply, or explosions, etc. That's perfectly reasonable, and I'd probably feel the same if I lived along the rail line, or on top of a pipeline, etc.  I think the media coverage in the Bergen Record has been fair and mostly even handed, although I'd like to see more from the railroad.

But, I also watch TV. Tens of thousands of people came out to protest the Eric Garner death. Most were peaceful, but a few dozen have attacked police, and sent several officers to the hospital. Two people, apparently egged on by agitators, murdered several innocent police officers. In cold blood. Who's to say that a thousand people won't decide to shut down a rail line, and a few folks take it upon themselves to derail a train? And murder a few innocent rail employees?

If somebody really wants to know about oil trains, and specifically wants to know about "blast zones" and wants to know about "Oradell reservoir" a key link in the water supply on their first post out of the box, I want to know a lot more about THEM.   As I mentioned up thread, there are many, many serious issues about haz-mat transport in Bergen Rockland that should have priority in a serious review.



Date: 05/07/15 16:23
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: 74596

Good afternoon all
 
Thank you for the responses to the earlier post on the track route concerning NY oil trains coming to NJ. I was pressed for time, I used an old street map of Bergen County. It did not make sense to me that you would have to go north to connect to the old New York Central West Shore Division which goes past the Oradell reservoir in Bergen County. I have some people now looking to get me the exact maps of the train routes. I am working with environmental groups here in New Jersey and Ron Schalow, of Fargo, North Dakota from, THE COLLOSION FOR BAKKEN CRUDE OIL STABILIZATION. Bakken Crude is dangerous stuff and should not be shipped by rail, pipeline, or barge. Stabilization is used in Texas where it removes most of the “tane’s,” that is methane, hextane, pentane, heptane, ethane, butane, and isobutene, among other “tane’s.” The only solution for safety, is stabilization. Ron is fighting the Governor of North Dakota and the North Dakota Industrial Commission to mandate the stabilization before it is transported from North Dakota. Speaking of North Dakota, there is a derailed oil train still burning as of Wednesday, May 6th, 2015. Luckily, it was in an urban area resulting in an evacuation of a small town, so no one was injured.
 
The railroads are not innocent parties in the Bakken Crude Unit Trains. They know that this is a problem and could have the consequences of a large disaster along with a large loss of life. I tried to document the points I mention with at least two sources and Trains Magazine, although it supports the railroad industry, does acknowledge the other points of view on the other side of the tracks. In the May issue of Trains Magazine, on page 8, the article reports that Canadian Pacific’s Chief Executive Officer has suggested his railroad would like the freedom to decline certain hazardous loads. In addition, it is reported that Canada has proposed in its Rail Safety Act to charge any railroad transporting more than 1.6 tons of crude oil in a year to have $800 million in liability insurance, plus $1.20 per ton of crude oil that is transported. In New Jersey, along the oil train routes, there are elementary schools, nursing homes, and residents within 200 feet or less of the oil train tracks, so this is a big problem and concern. I believe that Railfans and Trainmen can give me a different point of view to some of the questions I would like answered. What I have stated so far gives you some of my background that I try to work with everybody and seek different views to the same question.
 
What I was trying to find out is that there are abandoned tracks, or cideing that we could reroute some of the oil trains across the northern part of New Jersey and down along the Delaware, connecting to some of the abandoned lines and the Easter Bunny Train down to cross the Delaware, Engine first which seems to be the request of the refinery down there. Instead of saying, “No it can’t work,” I would like you to approach the question with the answer of, “Yes we can do this and this is how maybe it could work.” I know if we run into a yellow-headed, red belly, green tailed, three legged lizard that barks like a dog, we have another problem. You are correct that this wouldn’t solve all train problems coming through Bergen County, down to the refineries in Linden and what I am proposing are long ranged solutions to the problem. STABILIZATION would solve the immediate problem and give us time to work on other aspects.
 
In the May issue of Trains Magazine, in a commentary by Fred W. Frailey, he reports that the American Petroleum Institute (THIS IS THE 5TH TIME I’VE SEEN THIS STATEMENT IN PRINT) says the best way to prevent fireballs on the railroads is not to derail the trains. Our point, is to stabilize the Bakken Crude and you wouldn’t have the fireballs along the rail lines. Since I am new to trainsorder.com, I am not sure how I go about posting additional questions, but my first question is how we can reroute some of the oil trains that go down along the Delaware?
 
I guess I post additional questions in the form of “Question #2: Oil Trains from NY to NJ.” If someone has a correct way to do this, I would appreciate a shout. Thanks again to all, I am trying to get the points of view from the people on the other side of the tracks. 
 



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/15 16:32 by 74596.



Date: 05/08/15 08:10
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: dwi189

As I thought earlier....Somebody concerned about the safety of oil trains....
This seems to tie in with the topic of concern at a trackside meeting at West Nyack NY two nights ago along the CSX River Sub.

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2015/05/06/lowey-ban-explosive-crude-oil-trains/70893144/

Dave Williams



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/15 09:02 by dwi189.



Date: 05/08/15 10:43
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: bioyans

74596 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
  
> What I was trying to find out is that there are
> abandoned tracks, or cideing that we could reroute
> some of the oil trains across the northern part of
> New Jersey and down along the Delaware, connecting
> to some of the abandoned lines and the Easter
> Bunny Train down to cross the Delaware, Engine
> first which seems to be the request of the
> refinery down there. Instead of saying, “No it
> can’t work,” I would like you to approach the
> question with the answer of, “Yes we can do this
> and this is how maybe it could work.” I know if
> we run into a yellow-headed, red belly, green
> tailed, three legged lizard that barks like a dog,
> we have another problem. You are correct that this
> wouldn’t solve all train problems coming through
> Bergen County, down to the refineries in Linden
> and what I am proposing are long ranged solutions
> to the problem. STABILIZATION would solve the
> immediate problem and give us time to work on
> other aspects.

So, in other words, you want to route the trains away from one body of water, and run them right alongside another.  You do realize this now smells of nothing more than pure NIMBY-ism.  I hate to break it to you, but there is NO rail line in NJ, that is more than 200 feet from residences, schools, and seniors housing.

Unless you are willing to cough up the $2 to 4 MILLION PER MILE that it costs to install new track that meets the standards for safely carrying hazmat trains at anything beyond a crawl (not including any costs with having to buy back land that the tracks once ran on), rerouting the trains to some abandoned line that runs in somebody else's back yard is nothing more than a pipe dream.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/15 10:46 by bioyans.



Date: 05/08/15 11:26
Re: Train Route of Oil trains from NY to NJ
Author: Lackawanna484

Just to note that the Penn East pipeline project proposal passes through some of the alternative geography mentioned in prior posts. Eastern PA, under the Delaware River, and under farmland, estates, a few small towns in NJ. That's been tied up in court and in geology studies for years, and the neighbors are more resistant than ever. 
 



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