Mt. Washington Landslide Stable — For Now

DSC01824Pittsburgh officials say a landslide that closed a popular Mt. Washington restaurant and the Duquesne Incline in April has stabilized, but they continue to monitor the area and a host of other slide-prone areas throughout the city.

Tons of boulders and dirt the length of a football field tumbled from Mt. Washington below theLeMont restaurant on April 8, blocking Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks along West Carson Street.

As a precaution, the city ordered the LeMont and the incline, on Grandview Avenue, closed. The restaurant remained closed for several days as engineers inspected the slide area and deemed the area safe.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6735527-74/area-washington-areas#ixzz3DOzr5Tjj
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New Route 345 Bridges Open In Birdsboro

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BIRDSBORO, PA — Two new bridges carrying Route 345 over the Schuylkill River and the Norfolk Southern railroad are now open to traffic.

According to a press release from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s District 5, traffic was directed over the two new bridges for the first time on Thursday. There is no weight restriction on the new bridges, which daily carry 6,189 vehicles, PennDOT said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140815/new-route-345-bridges-open-in-birdsboro

$1.4M Grant Will Aid Colebrookdale Railroad Effort

The Colebrookdale Railroad will benefit from $1.4 million in funding made possible by a PennDOT grant aimed at repairing and upgrading the line’s rails, equipment and infrastructure.

The 8.6-mile line between Pottstown and Boyertown recently began carrying freight again and will also be home to The Secret Valley Line historic excursion railroad, opening in the fall.

“Seventy percent of the funding was provided by the state and we had to raise the other 30 percent,” said Nathaniel Guest, president of the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Restoration Trust, which oversees the line.

The non-profit group has a for-profit subsidiary, Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad, which oversees the freight traffic and was the recipient of the grant.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140309/14m-grant-will-aid-colebrookdale-railroad-effort

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Railroad Ups Estimate Of Oil Spilled In Vandergrift Derailment

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Norfolk Southern Railroad officials say four of the derailed tanker cars in Vandergrift leaked more than 3,500 gallons of crude oil.

Initial reports Thursday said only about 1,000 gallons had leaked from one tanker.

David Pidgeon, Norfolk Southern spokesman, estimated that between 3,500 and 4,500 gallons of viscous “heavy” crude oil leaked from four tanker cars after the derailment. Pidgeon said most of the oil ended up in an MSI Corp. parking lot. None of it made it into the Kiski River.

In Thursday’s cold temperatures, the oil congealed soon after hitting the snow and workers were removing the oil and contaminated soil for proper disposal.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourallekiskivalley/yourallekiskivalleymore/5596923-74/railroad-oil-norfolk#ixzz2tKEFEJyM
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Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails In Vandergrift

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Twenty-one cars of a freight train hauling oil and gas derailed this morning in Vandergrift, striking a building that houses a specialty metals firm, authorities said. No one was injured.

Hazmat crews responded to MSI Corp. in the 200 block of First Street in Vandergrift, and the state Department of Environmental Protection was sending a three-member emergency response team after reports that oil was leaking from overturned cars.

The 120-car Norfolk Southern Railway train with three locomotives was headed east around 8 a.m. when it derailed. Nineteen of the 21 derailed cars overturned.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/westmoreland/2014/02/13/Train-carrying-crude-oil-derails-in-Vandergrift/stories/201402130275#ixzz2tF0xF5Zs

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Historic Rail Car Coming Home To Pennsylvania

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BOYERTOWN, PA — A relic from the golden age of Pennsylvania’s railroading past is coming home.

Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) cabin car (known as a “caboose” on other railroads) #477768 was built in Altoona in 1941.

For the last six years, members of the Rivanna Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) have been restoring it at a location in Virginia, far from the car’s home.

Now it is being donated to the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust in Boyertown. There it will be maintained and kept in operation on The Secret Valley Line tourist trains that will begin running on the eight mile track between Boyertown and Pottstown in the fall of 2014.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131224/historic-rail-car-coming-home-to-pennsylvania

Wernersville Man Killed In Shootout With Police

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Wernersville man was killed Saturday night after a shootout with Western Berks Regional Police officers in the borough.

Trooper David Beohm of the state police identified the man as Jonathan David Rutkowski, 20, after contacting family this morning.  He was pronounced dead at the scene by members of the Berks County Coroner’s office.  An autopsy is scheduled for today.

The incident began just before 8 p.m. Saturday in the first block of East Washington Avenue when residents reported seeing a man walking in the street with two guns stuck in his pants.

After several encounters with police, Rutkowski did not comply with orders and continued to point the guns at officers, Beohm said.  He was fatally shot along the Norfolk Southern tracks off of South Church Street.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=497135

Rep. Barletta Working To Beautify Blighted Hazleton Trestle

English: Official portrait of Congressman Lou ...

English: Official portrait of Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Congressman Lou Barletta is all too familiar with efforts to spruce up a railroad trestle near the southern gateway to his hometown Hazleton.

Plans for beautifying the South Church Street bridge were developed by Greater Hazleton Civic Partnership during his tenure as Hazleton’s mayor.

Officials at the time believed they had the answer to addressing the graffiti-covered trestle by having Hazleton artist Dave Corrado paint a mural on wood, which would have been mounted to the bridge, Barletta recalled.

The idea fell by the wayside after local officials learned that the wooden mural would have interfered with bridge inspections.

Read more:  http://standardspeaker.com/news/rep-barletta-working-to-beautify-blighted-trestle-1.1483757

Hazleton Mayor: Graffiti-Marred Trestle Sending Wrong Message

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hazleton Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi believes a railroad trestle that greets motorists who enter the city from South Church Street should serve as a welcome sign that leaves a lasting impression with people who pass beneath it.

But in its graffiti-covered state, the bridge is sending the wrong message, the mayor contends.

A racial slur that was spray painted on the bridge years ago greets northbound motorists shortly after they cross into city limits.  A pedestrian walkway beneath the trestle is deteriorated to the point where people must walk on the street.

“It’s like the welcoming sign to Hazleton and it’s got a nasty message beneath it,” Yannuzzi said.  “I don’t think it should be there.”

Read more:  http://standardspeaker.com/news/mayor-graffiti-marred-trestle-sending-wrong-message-1.1480501

Hazleton Area Rail-Trail Bridge To Get Historic Support

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 117-foot bridge that will take the Greater Hazleton rail-trail over an active Norfolk Southern railroad line will be held by supports built more than 120 years ago by the Coxe coal barons.

The bridge will be delivered to the site on May 23.

Tom Ogorzalek, a trail volunteer and local history buff, said the abutments were built by the Coxe family when they owned and operated a railroad near the turn of the last century.

“They were built in 1890 by the Delaware, Schuylkill and Susquehanna (DS&S) Railroad, which was run by the Coxe family to haul their coal,” Ogorzalek said. “Other railroads also hauled their coal.  They made a deal with Lehigh Valley Railroad to haul all of their coal.  Lehigh Valley acquired DS&S, and almost immediately abandoned that track sometime between 1900 and 1905.”

Read more:  http://standardspeaker.com/news/rail-trail-bridge-to-get-historic-support-1.1476971

Montco Coroner: Body Found On Pottstown Railroad Tracks Had No Sign Of Injury

POTTSTOWN — The identity of the 48-year-old man found dead Monday morning beneath the South Charlotte Street bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks is Ronald Sheerer.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121218/NEWS01/121219392/montco-coroner-body-found-on-pottstown-railroad-tracks-had-no-sign-of-injury

Passenger Rail Excursions Planned For Historic Short Line In Boyertown

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sound of the whistle echoed through Boyertown Saturday as the diesel engine left a rail yard near Third and Chestnut streets pulling two hoppers loaded with scrapped steel.

The 8.2-mile downhill trip to Pottstown had begun.

Engineer Fitzhugh “Beanie” Clark said Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad is running one or two trips a week on the historic short line known as the Colebrookdale Spur.  It first became operational in 1869.

The Berks County commissioners bought the line for $1.35 million in March 2009 to save it from abandonment by a former owner, and contracted with Eastern Berks to operate it.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=401732

RAILROAD EMPLOYEES PITCH IN TO CLEAR PATH TO RIVER FOR RESIDENTS, HIKERS & PADDLERS

Duncannon, PA Norfolk Southern Corporation employees will be donating their time as part of the company’s spring volunteer day starting at 9:00am on Saturday, May 12th improving river access points in the Borough of Duncannon, a town whose heritage has long been tied to region’s greater transportation network as a hub community for canals, ferries, rails and trails.  Volunteers from the company’s Enola Diesel Shop will be pitching in with assistance from Borough workers and local Fire Department to help improve a pedestrian and recreational pathway to the river under the railroad arches in advance of a town-wide event with a theme of getting out-of-doors. 

“The river arches represent the physical connection between our historic downtown, the Appalachian Trail footpath and the Susquehanna River Water Trail”, said Borough Councilman, Jack Conrad, “The Borough is pleased to collaborate with the Norfolk Southern volunteers on this important project that further positions Duncannon as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts.”

“Many of our employees live in Perry County and recognize this rail line for the beautiful scenery of the Susquehanna Water Gaps,” said NSCorp. Enola Diesel Shop Senior General Foreman, Archie Glace.  “We’re happy to help improve local access to the river under our tracks and strengthen ties with the communities where our people live and work.”

Employees participating will be using railroad equipment and sweat equity to scrape sediment and resurface the floor of two river arches near the Borough’s business district.  The arch-ways receive heavy use from recreational paddlers and pedestrians accessing scenic views of the broad river and surrounding forested ridges.  In times where local governments are feeling the squeeze of funding cuts to state and federal programs, the Norfolk Southern group’s collaborative efforts with the local community will maximize resources towards improving public safety for pedestrian access following damage from last year’s flooding, helping prevent future erosion, and enhancing the appearance of the river access points.

This upcoming downtown beautification and recreation-based volunteer effort was coordinated with assistance from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Duncannon’s Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee in preparation for Duncannon’s upcoming Appalachian Trail CommunityTM designation celebration being held downtown on Saturday, June 2nd.   The river access improvement suits the intent of the Appalachian Trail Community TM program in bringing greater awareness of the area’s outdoor recreation opportunities to residents and visitors and in highlighting the connection between the health and abundance of the region’s natural assets and the economic vitality of local communities.

About Duncannon Appalachian Trail CommunityTM Advisory Committee
The Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee (DATC), comprised of local officials, Trail Angels, Trail to Every Classroom teachers, business owners, and representatives of non-profit organizations , Trail clubs and the Susquehanna Rovers Volksmarch Club, represents a collaborative effort with the mission of supporting projects and programs that bring the historical, cultural and environmental richness of the Appalachian Trail and surrounding landscapes to the lives and livelihood of the residents of the greater Duncannon area.  For more information on the upcoming A.T. Community designation celebration, visit http://www.duncannonappalachiantrailcommunity.com/

About Norfolk Southern Corporation
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products. http://www.nscorp.com/

Contact:
Kim McKee                                                                                             
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel. 717.258.5771 x208
Fax. 717.258.1442
Email: kmckee@appalachiantrail.org
Web: www.appalachiantrail.org