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Trains in the middle of freeways


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#1 DET63

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 03:09 AM

For a couple of miles between Kalama and Woodland, WA (neither of which are station stops for Amtrak), Amtrak (and UP and BNSF freight) trains run in the I-5 median. This means you can look out the right window and watch cars traveling along the freeway a few feet away from the train. (This is easier to do going n/b, since I believe the track is closer to the freeway lanes on that side.) I believe the Pioneer used to run for a short distance in the I-84 median in the Columbia Gorge.

Are there other places on the Amtrak system (as opposed to subways or other rapid-transit or commuter-rail systems) where the train travels or used to travel on the median of a freeway?

#2 Spokker

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 03:28 AM

I know that some Amtrak trains used to use the Gold Line ROW in Pasadena, CA, but did they also use the 210 freeway median? http://www.railpictu...?...667&nseq=18

In Southern California, Metrolink trains travel in the median of Interstate 10 for a short stretch. It's not Amtrak but it's something. http://www.railpictu...?...1822&nseq=3

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 08:42 AM

I know that some Amtrak trains used to use the Gold Line ROW in Pasadena, CA, but did they also use the 210 freeway median? http://www.railpictu...?...667&nseq=18

In Southern California, Metrolink trains travel in the median of Interstate 10 for a short stretch. It's not Amtrak but it's something. http://www.railpictu...?...1822&nseq=3



The 210 median is currently used by MTA Gold Line light rail trains.

The 10 freeway median is used by Metrolink's San Bernardino Line, however, sometimes the Sunset Limited uses that route also.
Othewise, the Sunset Limited has the choice of using UP's Alhambra Sub from Los Angeles t El Monte, or this "former State Street" line
down the median of the 10 freeway. On a side note, the speed limit down the 10 freeway is a full 79, nice to blast by the cars that may be moving
15-20 mph during rush hours!

#4 The Metropolitan

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 08:56 AM

I *think* there is a brief portion of Highway median type running on the Atlantic Coast services south of Richmond, VA. I seem to recall something of this nature lasting all of 2-3 minutes before diverging.
PRR to Harrisburg...WM to Hagerstown...B&O to Cumberland...Ma&Pa to York...

Oh, the trains I missed being born too late!

#5 saxman

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 09:53 AM

In Austin the Texas Eagle runs in the median of the MoPac freeway just north of the station for a few miles. Of course we know MoPac was named after the Missouri Pacific Railroad. I wonder how many drivers know that?
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#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:03 AM

In Austin the Texas Eagle runs in the median of the MoPac freeway just north of the station for a few miles. Of course we know MoPac was named after the Missouri Pacific Railroad. I wonder how many drivers know that?

There are so many new people here in Austin that perhaps you and I are the only ones who know this Chris! :lol: As the previous poster said it's neat to highball past the log jam traffic and see the look on the facesa of the drivers that don't realize a railroad runs down the middle of their freeway!

I think they probably believe that MOPAChas something to do with the Pacific Ocean where most of them came from! :lol:
Hope youre having a great Thanksgiving, Im sure youve seen all the posts on the Eagles, Im glad so many care about "our" train! :)
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#7 daveyb99

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:11 AM

In Austin the Texas Eagle runs in the median of the MoPac freeway just north of the station for a few miles. Of course we know MoPac was named after the Missouri Pacific Railroad. I wonder how many drivers know that?

There are so many new people here in Austin that perhaps you and I are the only ones who know this Chris!


Here is some trivia for ya: When the City of Austin started planning the a north-south road on the east side of Austin, it was to be considered a sister road to the MoPac. Somehow, it was aligned with the old Missouri-Kansas right of way, hence the name ---- MoKan.

Yep, Austin would the have the MoPac and the MoKan. (The east highway was never built as proposed, instead, an unnamed toll-road now exists there.)

#8 rrdude

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:16 AM

My FAV is the MoPac too. I used to commute via that route often when I lived in Austin. Wish they'd still run trains thru downtown though....... kinda like the new commuter rail is almost gonna do from the East...

#9 daveyb99

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:24 AM

Not totally in the median, but the Fort Worth station sits at the interchange of I-35W and I-30. As #21 and #22 pass through Tower 55, they pass above and below the highways.

TOWER 55, Fort Worth, TX



Not AMTRAK, but the Washington METRO Orange Line runs in the median of I-66 from a little west of Rosslyn out to Vienna/Fairfax. Some stations are in the median as well.
Wash METRO Orange Line is the underground exit westbound, pan left for more.



Not AMTRAK, but the Chicago CTA line to O'Hare airport runs median of I-90 for a ways.
Chicago CTA O'Hare

Edited by daveyb99, 26 November 2009 - 10:24 AM.


#10 daveyb99

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:35 AM

Here is the Austin pictures:

Map of area - Station to MoPac

Median access - South end of MoPac (looking south)

Median access - North end of MoPac (looking north)

#11 Rafi

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 11:02 AM

I *think* there is a brief portion of Highway median type running on the Atlantic Coast services south of Richmond, VA. I seem to recall something of this nature lasting all of 2-3 minutes before diverging.

Correct! All southerly Amtrak trains out of Richmond not going to NPN run in the median of I-195 (the feeder to the Powhite Parkway) for about 2 miles (see map below) before diverging to run parallel to route 76/195 as it crosses the James River on a pretty dramatic trestle.
Posted Image

Here's a shot of the run on my last trip on the Silver Star this past October:
Posted Image

And just to add a couple of subway mentions:
The DC Metro's Orange line runs in the median of I-66 between Ballston and Vienna
The Baltimore Metro runs in the median of I-795 between Old Court and Owings Mills.

-Rafi

Edited by Rafi, 26 November 2009 - 11:07 AM.

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#12 the_traveler

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 11:05 AM

One of the LA median runnings (I forget which freeway) was used years ago (in the 1990's :lol:) by the SWC. The Desert Wind ran from San Bernadino to Fullerton to LAX. The SWC ran from San Bernadino to Pasadena to LAX.

IIRC, the Surfliners do some median running somewhere between LAX and SAN.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#13 wayman

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 12:12 PM

Our Louisiana friends must be taking a holiday (imagine that, today!), for no one has mentioned the Huey P. Long bridge! For the railroad, this bridge is miles long, with an extremely long lead-up to the river on each side. But as the river draws near, the highway rises to meet the railroad and splits to surround the train on the central portion of the bridge. Here are some photos that show this well, though you might notice that none of them show Amtrak trains. Sadly Google Image Search turned up nuthin' for that, because the photographers all showed up at the bridge on days the Sunset Limited wasn't running :P

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by wayman, 26 November 2009 - 12:15 PM.

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#14 PRR 60

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 01:12 PM

The Pacific Surfliner route is in the median of I-5 (San Diego Freeway) for a little over one mile in Camp Pendleton just north of Oceanside.

#15 DET63

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 01:53 PM

With the new bridge for n/b traffic on I-680 between Martinez and Benicia, CA, trains crossing the railroad bridge are effectively in the median. Of course, this isn't obvious to either train passengers or to motorists, since the railroad bridge is much lower than the freeway spans.

Although they're not Amtrak tracks, there are several miles of BART running in the median of CA 24 and I-580.

#16 leemell

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 02:56 PM

I know that some Amtrak trains used to use the Gold Line ROW in Pasadena, CA, but did they also use the 210 freeway median? http://www.railpictu...?...667&nseq=18

In Southern California, Metrolink trains travel in the median of Interstate 10 for a short stretch. It's not Amtrak but it's something. http://www.railpictu...?...1822&nseq=3


The Sunset Limited used to stop at the Pasadena Station before the 210 was built. The route was changed sometime before the 70's, but freights continued to use it until the late 70's. The tracks were torn out in the late 80's and then about ten years later reinstalled to Rosemead Blvd near San Gabriel for the Gold Line.

#17 the_traveler

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 03:34 PM

... Pasadena Station ... The tracks were torn out in the late 80's.

:huh:

I took the SWC from NDL to LAX in the mid 90's, and rode on that track. I didn't move to that area until 1994! I'm not sure if it stopped in Pasadena, but I remember at least passing the station!

So if the tracks were torn out in the late 80's, what did the SWC run on? :huh:
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#18 leemell

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 03:38 PM

... Pasadena Station ... The tracks were torn out in the late 80's.

:huh:

I took the SWC from NDL to LAX in the mid 90's, and rode on that track. I didn't move to that area until 1994! I'm not sure if it stopped in Pasadena, but I remember at least passing the station!

So if the tracks were torn out in the late 80's, what did the SWC run on? :huh:


Maybe it was in the early 90's, but they definitely ripped them out, I used to drive it every day and lamented that they were doing it.

I just found it, 1993.

Edited by leemell, 26 November 2009 - 03:58 PM.


#19 battalion51

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 08:07 PM

There aren't any other places I can think of off the top of my head that haven't already been mentioned as far as medians go. But I can think of a few places where interstates and tracks parallel each other and make for good pacing. I-95 and the South Florida Rail Corridor in several spots, I-495 and the Northeast Corridor in Delaware, I-89 and the NECR between Waterbury and Essex Jct...

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#20 DET63

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 11:47 AM

The south end of the freeway-median running referred to in the OP is at an interchange with Dike Access Road, meaning there are several layers of roads and railroad at what would otherwise be a fairly simple diamond interchange.




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