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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

14-04-30 PHOTOS: Bal Collapse

Back at the end of April 4 days of rail caused a 100 year retaining wall overlooking the CSX Baltimore Terminal Sub to collapse onto the tracks. For those of you who don't watch news or otherwise live with their heads buried in the sand here is the viral video of the collapse itself.

This happened to be located not far from where I hang out and was actually one of my major train watching locations. The street had been showing subsidence problems for years with several sinkholes patched and filled by the city. Still, the problem kept getting worse and everyone in the area knew that it was just a matter of time. Anyway, of course I went and took photos of the aftermath, however I have held off on posting them because I wanted to see how things turned out to present a more complete picture of the collapse and the cleanup effort.

Also thrown into the set are some random photos taken on Balt/Wash area rail lines that didn't fit into any other set. You can see the full album of photos here

Here's how things looked a few hours after the collapse. Who's going to clean up all those cars?

Video taken the first night.

When CSX Re-signaled HUNTINGTON AVE they moved the westbound signal location from inside the tunnel mouth to a point next to the retaining wall. This is all that is left of the relay hut now.

Unlike the public sector CSX did not fuck around clearing the single track Baltimore Belt Line. Within 48 hours they had 3 excavators working non-stop to pile up the rocks and earth. This is the ONLY CSX route for freight moving from south to north with the nearest detour being through Hagarstown, MD. The Baltimore Belt Line us used by trains carrying orange juice to New York City and hauling trash away.

Video of the removal process.

Here you can see the brick paving that underlies many of Baltimore's city streets.

View along the old site of the wall showing the position of the sidewalk, curb and street in relation.

Later that night it was time to hose down the track and straighten the rail.

Less than 72 hours after the collapse the tracks have been straightened and re-graded. BTW this line was the site of the word's first main line electrification project that was inaugurated in 1896. 

A high rail truck inspects the work. The signal has not yet been replaced and the affected area is worked under a signal suspension. Note the pipes running through the tunnel carry a major east coast fiber optic trunk. It was this line that was affected by the Howard Street Tunnel fire cutting Internet service up and down the coast. Hmmm...maybe it is just a series of tubes.

Trains were soon operating again through the area.

Now for something completely different. PRSL/WJ&S Sewell NJ station.

Some days later work is underway to shore up the unstable road by driving steel I-beams as pilings to create an ad hoc retaining wall. The twin stack Unilens signal has been re-relocated to the original position of the B&O CPL.

Here we see an eastbound train with CSX AC6000 #638 emerging from the Charles St tunnel past the new signal location.

Efforts to re-grade the landslide area. Not exactly sure what this will look like when its all done.

MARC MP36PH-3C #10 departs the College Park Station en route to Washington DC with a westbound Camden Line train. On departing Baltimore this engine began to develop serious problems with high voltage grounds, but luckily a maintenance tech was on board to cut out the #2 traction motor and the dynamic brakes so the train was able to continue its journey to DC.

Westbound MARC Camden Line train at the College Park station with MP36PH-3C #30.

A few seconds later MP36PH-3C #26 arrived with my westbound train after passing #30 at Riverdale interlocking.

More work on whatever the collapse remediation plan is.

New signal displaying Clear in the mouth of the Charles St tunnel.

New relay hut built on higher ground.

Ok, back to random rail stuff. Here Amtrak HHP-8 #650 arrives at 30th St Station Philadelphia with a southbound Regional train.

Amtrak AX power car #2008 arriving at the BWI Airport Station.

MARC bi-level K-Car #7858 arriving shortly there after.

Two video montage showing Amtrak HHP-8 #657 blasting through the BWI Airport rail station with a southbound long distance train followed by that same Acela Express with #2005 on the rear.

Jumping ahead to another day we have southbound MARC Penn Line train departing the BWI station with MP36PH-3C #14.

Finally here is a video of southbound Amtrak AEM-7 #944 arriving at the head of Regional train 171 at the BWI Airport Rail Station.

Next week tune in for a trip to Manassas.

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