Old 07-13-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
jdirelan87
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Default First Thread; Highest Concentration of Shortlines?

Figured this would be good for a first thread. Which city has the highest concentration of shortlines? If had to make an educated guess, I would say Chicago. I think Pittsburgh has to be up there; there are nine short lines within 35 miles of PGH (and only one of those is a goofy terminal job that never comes out).

Incase anybody is wondering the nine are (report markings are easiest);
POHC, PAM, BPRR, BLE, URR, AVR, SWP, WLE, TCKR

Last edited by jdirelan87; 07-13-2009 at 07:05 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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I'm sure Chicago is probably number 1 in terms of cities with the most shortlines, but state-wise Pennsylvania is obviously the leader in shortlines. The greater Lehigh Valley area could give Pittsburgh a run for its money.

Reading & Northern (serves Lehighton for NS interchange):
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Delaware-Lackawanna (operates down to Slateford, PA for interchange with NS):
Image © Nicholas Marakovits
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RJ Corman (operates a short piece of the former LV in Allentown):
Image © Brian Szczepanski
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Philadelphia, Bethlehem & New England (former steel mill railroad, now used to haul intermodal and freight for NS and CP):
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Belvidere & Delaware River Railroad (operates small lines in Easton and Phillipsburg, NJ, the latter of which also sees steam excursions):
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The East Penn Railway also has three ex-Reading branch lines nearby:
Bethlehem Branch (connects with CSX at Telford and extends north for several miles)
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Perkiomen Branch (operates from the NS interchange at Emmaus to East Greenville to serve a customer or two).
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Photograph © Dale Woodland


Kutztown Branch (operates from Kutztown to Topton), since the date of this photo the line has become freight only.
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There are also two industry/switching shortlines (Chestnut Ridge and NDC Railroad) but neither one is pictured on RP.

For all PA's shortcomings (bad weather, poor scenery in many places, etc.) the state certainly makes up for it with shortlines. I'd shoot one train on a shortline or regional over five on a Class I any day of the week.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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I take exception to you excluding my company!! We own 6 railroads in the state!
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:32 PM   #4
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Pennsylvania does have the largest number of shortlines as a state. Chicago undoubtedly is shortline heaven, especially if you add in the numerous industrials around the metro area. A couple of others to keep in mind during your travels that might not be very obvious, but can net a very successful day (half a dozen or more) just driving through a geographic area:

East central North Carolina-- head south in a general line out of Raleigh toward Hamlet and you can hit the Atlantic & Western, Aberdeen Carolina & Western, Aberdeen & Rockfish, Laurinburg Southern, and Pee Dee River. Put in a little more range and you've got the Carolina Coastal at Wilson and South Carolina Central at Cheraw.

Central California-- loads of shortlines down the San Joaqin Valley. Head south out of Sacramento and you get the Sacramento Valley, Cal Northern, Sierra Northern, Central California Traction, Stockton Terminal & Eastern, and Modesto & Empire Traction. Expand your range a bit and the possibilities at least double.

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Old 07-15-2009, 03:56 PM   #5
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There are no shortlines within 45+ miles of where I live in Columbia, SC --

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And the three nearest are in completly different directions from one another and you pretty much hit the end/start of the line where power might be miles away.

Bad news for a shortline fan such as myself.

Gerogia has a nice concentration of shortlines, too.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:28 AM   #6
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Peoria, IL actually has quite a few as well. Let's see, there's the Tazewell and Peoria; Toledo, Peoria, and Western; Illinois Midland, Central Illinois Railroad; Iowa Interstate (technically a regional, but whatever); Peoria and Western, and Pioneer Industrial Railway.

Let's see, as for Chicago, we have...Central Illinois Railroad; Chicago Rail Link; Chicago Terminal; Indiana Harbor Belt; Belt Railway Company; (until recently) Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern, (recently) Gary Railway, etc.

Here's a somewhat complete list:
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:57 PM   #7
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As Joe said, Georgia has a pretty nice amount too. Here in northeast Georgia we have the Hartwell Railroad, Great Walton railroad (two branches), Athens Line railroad, Squaw Creek Southern and the Georgia Woodlands. To the west of Atlanta there is the Georgia Northeastern and the Fulton County railroad. In middle and south Georgia there is the Georgia Central, Georgia Southwestern, the Heart of Georgia, Chathahoochee Industrial, the Golden Isles terminal, the St. Marys railroad and the First Coast RR.

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Old 07-21-2009, 01:43 AM   #8
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We've got more than a few up here - Falls Road Railroad; Depew Lancaster & Western; Rochester & Southern; Ontario Midland; Livonia Avon & Lakeville; Buffalo Southern; Arcade & Attica; South Buffalo; Finger Lakes Railway; Western New York & Pennsylvania; Bath & Hammondsport; New York & Lake Erie; New York Susquehanna & Western; Buffalo & Pittsburgh...a majority of these are all-ALCO (or close to it) lines as well...oh how I love living in Western New York. All of the roads above are within about a 100 mile radius of Rochester (easy for a day trip). And that's not even touching on what's across the border in Canada...

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Old 07-21-2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR159 View Post
We've got more than a few up here - Falls Road Railroad; Depew Lancaster & Western; Rochester & Southern; Ontario Midland; Livonia Avon & Lakeville; Buffalo Southern; Arcade & Attica; South Buffalo; Finger Lakes Railway; Western New York & Pennsylvania; Bath & Hammondsport; New York & Lake Erie; New York Susquehanna & Western; Buffalo & Pittsburgh...a majority of these are all-ALCO (or close to it) lines as well...oh how I love living in Western New York. All of the roads above are within about a 100 mile radius of Rochester (easy for a day trip). And that's not even touching on what's across the border in Canada...
Wellsboro & Corning.... Sorry to hijack your post Nick!
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