New York (State). Board of Railroad Commissioners.

Annual report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York for the fiscal year ending .. online

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between the rails. Sufficient help should be had to keep the r^oad
nearer the average of the other lines of this State. Ten thousand
seven hundred ties were placed last year, but not so many this year,
Instead of having spare rail up along the line at every mile post,
five rails are kept at ends of sections. Ballast is needed badly.
New mile posts have been placed since the last inspection. More
attention should be given to keeping the crossing plank in good
repair. Switch locks should be attended to very carefully and
securely fastened when the switch is not in use. The switch lights
and targets are high and good. There are 32 men on 34 miles of
main track, but they have to attend to many other items. Rail-
saw, drill, and bender, should be always near at hand. Bolts and
spike as a rule were noted well in and fairly tight. Too much
attention can not be given these important items. All the cattle
slats are to be renewed this year. Train order semaphores were
up at stations. Telegraph poles were noted too close to the track,
and should be removed at once. Ballast material in bank was
noted and should be utilized. All broken rail at joints should be
replaced. Fences were noted up as a rule. The company sh.ould
have water at bridges, ^t stations, and guard rail at openings.
The track should be raised upon this branch without delay.
Masonry at openings should receive attention. Iron built beams
should be placed at many of the minor oi)enings instead of wooden
stringers. Open pit cattle guards should be filled up without
delay. Arches of wood were being placed in Howe truss bridges
upon day of inspection and bented where needed. New steel struc-
tures should replace these old wooden Howe trusses as rapidly as
possible. Cast-iron pipe can and should be placed at many of the
minor openings. Flint flag station should be remodeled or re-
newed and made larger and fairly comfortable. Upon this 34

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324 Inspections.

miles are 11 trestles, two deck plate girders, three half through
plate girders, four stringer openings, three Howe through truss
bridges, one through Pratt, and two deck plate girders, besides
many openings under 10 foot span. The passenger stations were
noted fairly well in hand as regards repairs, though not enough
attention is paid to painting.

Northern New York Railroad.

(Inspected June 17, 1896.)

This road, formerly known as the Northern Adirondack, extends
from Tupper Lake village to Moriah Junction with the Central Ver-
mont road. The Bombay Branch, extending from the last named
junction to Bolnbay Junction, is now leased and the trains when
necessary run through. The entire road is standard gauge. Con-
siderable improvement was noted since the last inspection, and
much more should be made this season. Nearly a mile of new
siding has been laid at Tupper Lake, Childwold, and Saranac
Junction station. The road is very crooked and many betterments
in alignment could and should be made. Have recently changed
and considerably modified a summit called State Road Hill. The
oflSces have been changed from Santa Clara to Tuppers Lake.
Bridge No. 41, is now a steel deck plate girder of 70 feet span in
place of old Howe trusses. Air brakes, signal and steam heating
have been introduced since the last inspection. Eighteen thou-
sand ties have been placed so far this season. Ties are cut from
local timber, and very little criticism could be made of this im-
portant item. All of the timbers in the structures should be care-
fully examined by boring, and renewals where necessary made at
once. Cast-iron pipe oould be utilized econ'omically in many
places to close up small openings, and it is suggested that this be
done. All trees should be removed that stand close enough to
fall upon the track. Trains are not run at night, but not with-
standing this fact the excessive curvature would alone necessitate
clearing the trees all away. There are 111 structures on the road
proper of 54 miles. This is excessive and an earnest effort should
be made to greatly reduce the number. Your Inspector was in-
formed oast-iron piping is to be used this season to close up old
and dangerous openings. Bridge No. 82 is a low trestle on piles
with caps, many of which are badly decayed. It is 193 feet long
and has 19 bays. No delay should be allowed in making abso-
lutely safe all the structures. A bridge or trestle will stand when
the members are not perfectly sound, but chances are being taken
when the timber is partly decayed. Trusses are not figured upon
as decayed timber, and sudden failure takes place many times where
knowledge and long experience would seem to argue otherwise.

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Inspections. 325

Bolts were ncyticed fairly in at rail joints, although many were
found missing. This should not be. There should be an ample
number of drills along the road; also a rail saw. The highway
grade warning signs should be painted without delay and a nine-
incli letter used. The structure over the St. Regis river is now
bented up. The wooden trusses are decayed beyond anything like
a safe limit. Through plate girders should be erected without
delay. Clearance marks should be placed at every switch. Foot
guards should be placed and kept in good repair. Bridge No. 39,
is over a highway and should be renewed in iron or steel imme-
diately. The president of the company says that the road is to be
bettered and made perfectly safe this season. About f 50,000 is to
be expended. The structures, jmrticularly the trestles, upon the
Bombay branch, should be overhauled. The stringers are not
strong enough for heavy motive power, and general attention
should be given each. The passenger stations were found in a
fair state of maintenance, and platforms generally good.

[The Board was assured by the officers of the company that the
urgent repairs recommended by the Inspector would be promptly
made and the road generally improved.]

Philadelphia, Reading and New England Railroad.

(Inspected May 20, 1896.)

This inspection began at Campbell Hall. There has been no
extension of line since the last inspection. This property is at
present in a receiver's hands. Six sidings, at various points,
have been laid lately, amounting in all to 3,500 feet. Some 14,000
ties were placed upon the main line last year. Seventy-pound
steel rail was noted upon the main line, excepting about six miles.
Cross ties are needed to a considerable extent to keep this road
up and safe. The company's officials promised that this would
be attended to at once. The road was constructed as far as Sil-
vernails in 1890. Joint ties should be in strong condition. Fisher
joint-plates are in use and well maintained. The nuts are kept
in place and tight. Crossing plank should be renewed where
needed; more attention is suggested in this item. Spare rails
were noted up at short intervals. Trees should be removed where
too close to the track. Danger from lightning and high winds
should be avoided. The structures between Campbell Hall and
the Hudson river bridge were found well maintained generally.
Paint is needed in many instances upon the girders. Snow fences
have been erected at a number of points and remain sound and
in good position. Derailing switches were noted at all sidings

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326 Inspbgtions.

having downward grade to the main track. All girders should be
kept free from the back walls. The alignment and adjustment of
track was found very good, considering the condition of the ties.
A number of open pit cattle-guards were noted. These should be
filled up and slats used where feasible. The bridge over the
Hudson river was painted last fall at a cost of f 10,000. The piers
and abutments were all overhauled, grouted and repaired where
needed. Attention was also paid to adjustment of members.
Shims should be removed at once, and assurances were given that
this would be attended to. Since the last inspection a number of
new creameries have been erected at various points along the line
and considerable traffic in milk is now carried on. A number of
wooden stringers were found, which, while not dangerously weak,
should be renewed for proper safety. East of the bridge more
attention should be paid to ties, joints, approaches, floor ties,
guard timber, guard-rail, stringers, and spiking, particularly on
floors. Last year a trestle 1,900 feet long was filled, and a 40-
foot through plate girder bridge placed. This work was much
needed. The track at this point was raised about two and a
half feet. The highway warning signs were noted up in very
good state of maintenance as a rule. This company should pay
more atteution to properly draining the wet cuts. The through
plate girder bridge over the Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railroad,
referred to in last report, should be attended to at once. One
new girder is needed to replace the one now broken and over-
hanging. This bridge is now shored up. The company has had
the matter before them more than once, but have failed as yet to
attend to it, therefore it is urgently recommended that it receive
immediate attention. A derailment or accident upon the Pough-
keepsie and Eastern Railroad at this point, knocking the false
work down, might cause great loss of life. Considerable money
must be expended if this road is to be operated safely. It does
not average well now. A lack of help was noted in the track de-
partment on both branches and main line.

Hopewell Branch,

•This branch was constructed in 1892, and is single track. The
line is laid with 70-pound steel rail and six-bolt angle-bars. Wet
cuts should be properly drained. Too much care can not be
taken upon bridge floors to spike each rail joint fully and spike
every tie. The structures upon this line should receive more at-
tention. There are only four men upon this 12 miles of track,
not enough to keep it even well spiked. A floating gang is placed
upon it for a short time each year. Highway signs were noted
too small as regards the letters. The trees overhanging and

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Inspbotions. 327

standing close to the track should be removed at once. The prop-
erty was found well fenced as a rule, though places were noted
needing repairs in this item. Tile pipe under the roadbed should
be removed; the frost and ice cracks it at ends and sloughing and
caving occurs^ endangering the track. A number of new flag
stations were noted since the last inspection, small, but ample in
size and comfort. The trestles should be watched carefully and
chances should not be taken with partly decayed timber. The
ties should receive attention and renewals should be made at
once where necessary.

Rhinecliff Branch.

This is a single track, 22 miles long. The 56 and 60-pound
iron rail has been relaid with 60-pound second steel since the last
inspection. Five stub switches still exist, though split joints have
been and are gradually being inserted. Eight split points are now
in use. Six men try to take care of this branch, too few in number.
Trees should be removed where too close to the track. The walls
of one minor opening were noted needing immediate attention.
More spikes are needed at rail joints. Grass was noted upon
the track. All of the abutments overhanging or leaning should
be relaid at once. Some small openings have been filled since
the last inspection. The small openings appear in about the same
condition all along the road, poor and patched up. Quite a num-
ber of unsound cross ties were noted. Bolts around frogs and
switches at joints in the open, spike at joints, and on bridge floors,
ties and masonry; also stringers and the like should be given
extra attention. The sided and roofed Howe truss bridges are
as far as could be seen in fair life yet, though iron and steel are
now cheap enough to economically take the place of wood. Cross-
ing plank are needed at many places.

Another inspection of this road was made on November 13,
1896, and the Inspector reported as follows:

To the Honorable the State Board of Railroad Commissioners,
Albany, N. 7.:

Gentlemen. — An inspection was made yesterday of the Phila-
delphia, Reading and New England Eailroad, of improvements
made since the last inspection in May, this year. Between the
Poughkeepsie bridge and Campbell Hall 8,400 cross-ties have been
placed. Considerable work has been accomplished upon piers
4 and 5 in the Hudson river by filling with " grout " and " point-

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328 Inspections.

ing/' Bridges Nos. 128 and 131 have been overhauled and new
floors placed. New elevation block have also been placed upon
bridge No. 124. About 100 carloads of cinders have been placed
between the bridge and Campbell Hall. A new water station
was also noted in course of progress near Modena station. Sixty
coal cars have been rebuilt. Between the bridge and Silvernail
Junction trestles No. 97 and 102 have been renewed entire.
Twelve thousand cross-ties have been placed; they are yellow
pine, oak, chestnut, 6x9 inch section and eight feet long. Some 30
carloads of cinders have been placed. Repairs to flooring have
been made upon all trestles. Considerable work has been accom-
plished in the item of crossing plank, repairs to fences, platforms
and the like. The ditches have also been cleaned out and all of
the wet cuts given attention. Between State line and Silvernail
6,354 cross-ties have been placed, consisting of yellow pine, chest-
nut and oak. The line and surface has been greatly bettered.
Extra men have been employed in the road department and good
work has been accomplished. The trees standing too close to
the track are to be cut away within a few months. The wooden
Howe truss bridges are to be eliminated in the near future, the
one near Gallatin station is to be replaced with a steel deck girder
bridge without delay. This good work should go on as it is ab-
solutely necessary for the public safety. Bolts and spikes are
being placed where needed and general attention given to track
details. Next year the tie renewals should equal the amount
placed this year, and then 300 per mile per year will keep the
road in very fair condition. The Rhinecliff branch has received
5,337 cross-ties and six miles of new fence. Large improvement
has also been made upon the Hudson river dock. The line and
surface of this branch has been greatly bettered and bolts and
spiking have received considerable attention. Every bolt and
spike should be kept in place and all old, worn-out bolts should
be replaced with new ones at once. Extra trackmen have been
employed upon this branch and its present condition shows the
effect of good work. The Hopewell branch remains in very good
condition, generally speaking, and considerable betterment has
been made. The crippled girder over the Poughkeepsie and
Eastern Railroad is to be overhauled and made safe in the near
future. The material furnished and work accomplished by the
receiver of this road is to be commended.



Dated Utica, N. Y., November 14, 1896.

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Inspbotions. 329

Port Jbrvis^ Montiobllo and New York Railroad.

(Inspected June 2, 1896.)

The inspection of this single track road began at Port Jervis.
Your Inspector was greatly surprised to find this road positively
unsafe for the transportation of passengers. It has been neg-
lected so long that extensive work and material is needed before
a proper factor of safety can exist. The cross ties were found,
with little exception, very poor; ties so decayed that dust only
remains for quite long stretches, with spike missing and bolts
gone. While there is a good gravel bed on the line no ballast has
been placed and the ties are imbedded in the mud and soil. The
entire road needs ditching. On the 42 miles of road 30,000 ties are
needed at once. One of the worst features of this road is the con-
ditions of the rails at joints; over-decayed ties are allowed to exist
at the rail, joints, with spike and bolts missing. Many joints were
so loose that the rail seemed sure to turn over as the inspection
train passed along. The above conditions were noticed upon the
steel rail sections. Upon the parts of the road laid with old iron
rail the conditions were worse, if possible. This old material
should be removed at once. Short pieces were noticed from four
feet upwards, with only one and two bolts per joint, with ties too
far gone to hold the spike, which either laid alongside the rail
on the remains of the ties or stood from a half to three-fourths
out of bearing. The rail has been battered and broken at the
ends so that the only wonder is that the wheels remain upon it at
all. Last year some five miles of second steel rail of about 60
pounds per yard was laid. Promises were made by the superin-
tendent that some $50,000 is to be expended in placing this road
in passable condition this year. It has changed hands recently,
and the new owners^ it is claimed, intend to reconstruct the prop-
erty. Twenty-one men is the force to keep up 42 miles of road.
The highway warning signs are unlawful, being too small; the
letters are about six inches in height. The signs have not been
painted in years, so that the letters are all but obliterated. Cattle-
guards are not maintained; trees overhang the track and others
are too near for safety. The alignment and adjustment of track,
particularly upon curves, of which there are many and quite sharp,
is very poor indeed. Stub switches were noticed in very poor
condition. The track for miles was covered with grass and weeds.
The right of way is strewn with brush, decayed ties and debris.
The openings in the roadbed were found, as a rule, to be exceed-
ingly poor. Upon the line between Huguenot and Summitville
the structures must have immediate attention. Trussed stringers
and A-shaped trusses abound, many of which were too far gone.
While some attempt has been made to repair the long trestles.

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330 Inspections.

stringers, caps and posts were very much decayed and in need of
immediate renewal. South of Summityille were some 29^ small
openings positively unsafe. Not a few of the A trusses were
found entirely neglected, parts and members not in bearing, tim-
ber decayed^ nuts loose, floor ties not properly upheld, approaches
dangerous and no protection against fire. These structures should
be replaced at once with iron girders. The small openings re-
ferred to above should be spanned with I beams. The summer
travel begins about June 15. Your Inspector would respectfully
recommend that this road be placed in positively safe condition
at once. Operation should cease until the ties, rail and structures
are forthcoming. If, however, your Honorable Body allows this
company to continue its operation, the speed of trains should not
exceed eight miles per hour and the work of reconstruction should
begin immediately, with weekly report to your Honorable Body of
progress made.

The above report of the Inspector was considered by the Board
and, on May 21^ a copy of the report was forwarded the company
in connection with which the recommendations of the Inspector
were made the recommendations of the Board, and the company
was directed, until repairs were made in accordance with the
recommendations, to limit the speed. of trains upon the road to
eight miles an hour. The reply of the railroad company was re-
ceived on May 23, asking for a hearing before the Board on the
matter, and assuring it that pending further consideration trains
would be operated as suggested. A hearing was had at the
Chamber of Commerce, New York city, on May 27, when thq con-
dition of the road was admitted to be practically as the Inspector
reported. Assurances were then given that the necessary repairs
would immediately be made, coupled with a request for a further
inspection within one or two weeks. Such inspection was made
on June 2, the result of which is hereto appended :

To the Honorable the State Board of Railroad Commisaioners:

Your Inspector has made a second inspection of the Port Jervis,
Monticello and New York Railroad, from Port Jervis to Monti-
cello, in company with the secretary and superintendent, and
would report as follows : Great improvement has been made since
the last inspection. Large quantities of cross-ties have been
placed, and more are being placed. The rail joints are receiving
a full number of bolts, and the spiking is ample. A drill and
rail bender have been purchased and the work of drilling the old
iron rail for necessary bolts is well in hand. Your Inspector saw

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Inspections. 331

eyidences of betterment along this entire branch. Nothing of
moment has been accomplished upon the Summitville Branch and
the speed will, the superintendent informed your Inspector, be
kept at a minimum until needed repairs are made. Some 30 high-
way grade warning signs are in course of construction, and will
be erected in a few days. Enough good rail is at hand to replace
all short pieces. The structures, bridges, trestles, cattle-passes
and the like should all receive a very close inspection by the
bridgemen, and boring should be made upon all timber members.
A new truss bridge of iron will replace the old one across the
creek in a very short time. No delay should be allowed in this,
for chances with an old bridge should not be taken. Nut locks
are used; large gangs of men were at work upon the day of in-
spection. Your Inspector would suggest that the company be
now allowed to run upon its accustomed schedule to Monticello.



Dated, TJtica, June 4, 1896.

Upon receipt of the above report the previous order was modi-
fled to the extent of permitting the company to run its trains on
former schedule time between Port Jervis and Monticello, limiting
the speed to eight miles an hour upon the Summitville Branch, en-
tirely devoted to freight trains, until the necessary repairs were


(Inspected Aprfl 15, 1896.)

This property has been considerably bettered since the last in-
spection, but much more should be accomplished to place it in
average condition. The suggestions made in the last report have
been attended to fairly. All of the stub switches should be re-
moved. The highway warning signs are in very poor condition.
Such of them as are up are not lawful, and can not be read a few
feet away. Highway signs should be conspicuous else they fail
to warn the public. The entire road is now laid with 65-pound
steel rail, and the sleepers were found, with few exceptions, strong
in life and fairly spaced, of good section and many of yellow pine.
Some ballast has been placed in places, but much more is badly
needed. The passenger station at Poughkeepsie has been en-
larged and remodeled and now presents a fair appearance. Last
year at Upton Lake, about 14 miles from Poughkeepsie, a new
summer and pleasure resort was constructed, with switch, cov-

Digitized by


^2 Inspections.

ered platforms and picnic buildings. Four acres of land were
purchased, and the improvement cost about |15,000. All the pas-
senger stations were painted last year. One second-hand engine
and two new ones were also added^ together with two coaches.
A new pumping station was noted at Stanfordville; also a new
car and engine-house at Boston Comers. The road is now entirely
fenced in. The siding at Ancram lead mine was extended last
year. New closets were noted at Poughkeepsie. The rail joints
in the yards should be kept full in the items of bolts and spike.
The curves upon this road should be attended to at once; they are
in poor adjustiAent; not proper in elevation, each having " humps '^
and "flats," and no easement. Every tree large enough to do harm
by falling upon the track should be removed. More attention
should be paid to maintaining cattle-guards. Proper tie spacing, so
as to have the rail joints strongly supported, has not been given
the attention it should. The bridges and trestles upon this road
should be looked after at once. Not enough care is taken in
making the floors safe, in keeping the masonry strong and secure,
or protecting the trestles from fire. Guard-rails were not noted,
and the guard-timbers, many of them, are either too much decayed
or are not large enough in section or properly bolted. Where
Washouts have occurred this spring* temporary pile trestles have
been erected, and poorly, too, for the only idea seems to have
been to get the trains across. A derailed truck upon many of the

Online LibraryNew York (State). Board of Railroad CommissionersAnnual report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York for the fiscal year ending .. → online text (page 37 of 90)