In southern France on the Cote de Azur, the GECP runs “Train Pignes” steam on a portion of the metric gauge track from Nice – Digne-les-Bains, operated regularly by the Railways Provence.
You also come to find the simple joys of travel of yesteryear in old cars towed by an authentic steam locomotive, historical monument, which will take you through the colorful landscapes of the hinterland of Nice and Provence, olive trees to chestnut. Restored and maintained by an association composed exclusively of volunteers, the steam train runs on Sundays each year from May to October.
Union Pacific Railroad has been marking the occasion all year, and now it’s official. Yesterday, the Class I turned 150 years old.
UP was founded July 1, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act. The railroad — which helped construct the first transcontinental railroad, survived multiple economic crises, supported the military through various conflicts, and overcame numerous hurricanes, floods and droughts — is just one of a handful of companies to reach the 150-year milestone, UP officials said in a prepared statement.
“We believe President Lincoln would be as proud of today’s Union Pacific as we are,” said Jack Koraleski, interim president and chief executive officer. “Union Pacific has never been stronger or better positioned to serve our 10,000 customers. … And [we] play a key role in the nearly 7,300 communities of which we are a part.”
The Class I continues to build its rail network to support U.S. businesses and the nation’s economy, UP officials said. The railroad has invested more than $31 billion the past 10 years in infrastructure improvements and has set a record $3.6 billion capital spending budget in 2012.
Some ongoing infrastructure projects include adding a second line along the Sunset Corridor, which runs from Los Angeles to El Paso, Texas; constructing a $400 million intermodal and fueling facility in Santa Teresa, N.M.; completing about $500 million worth of capacity improvements and maintenance projects in Louisiana to help accommodate agriculture, chemical and crude oil demand; and improving the Central Corridor through Blair, Neb., by cutting 25 miles from the distance trains need to travel around Omaha, Neb.
The former Troy & Schenectady line was still operating when the Northway (I-87) was built (1960’s) and there still was a grade crossing on the Northway a short distance south of the “Twin Bridges” over the Mohawk River (this was probably one of only a very few grade crossings on an Interstate Highway in the United States). It wasn’t there long, as the line was cut back within a couple of years to an industrial site just east of Route 9. You can still see where the line passed under Route 9 perhaps a mile north of Boght Corners.
During the period that the line crossed Interstate 87 (ETT has a typo “89”) at Dunsbach Ferry, the following instruction appeared in the Employee Time Table under “special instruction 103 public crossings at grade: Manually controlled traffic signals:” “Trains or engine must stop in rear of stop sign and a member of crew must operate pushbuttons in manual control box. After traffic signals have been operating for at least twenty seconds train or engine may proceed over crossing, signals must be restored to normal position after movement over highway has been completed.”
See more about the T&S Railroad
UPDATE in 2012:
Railroad and trolley historian and author Gino DiCarlo has done some research and actually found pictures of this crossing.
See his article on “CROSSING THE NORTHWAY”
Update June 3, 2012 from Gordon Davids:
The T&S Branch highway grade crossing was in place and active on opening day of I-87 in 1959. Traffic signals hung over the highway, and cross bucks were on each side of the road.
The state engineers told us at the time that the railroad was up for abandonment, and the state wasn’t about to spend the money necessary for a grade separation. They got a waiver from the Public Roads Administration (pre-FHWA) to permit the crossing for a limited period. I think they had to extend the waiver a few times.
I looked on Google maps street view today, and saw an aluminum pole alongside the northbound highway and an aluminum instrument case still in place just south of it. I’m sure that they were part of the highway signal system that protected the crossing.