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  1. #61

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    Hmmmm....River raft it over.....How about......just wondering....a FANTASTIC SUPER ZIP-LINE! Probably have to get some historical background first on how during the Civil War, people Zipped back and forth into HF.....
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  2. #62
    Furlough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Not sure if this was posted. A "train" guy posted a youtube video of the damage. shows the cars, and bridge from the HF side. The bridge footage starts at about 5:22. Also has a lot of other info which is interesting.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUh6...Pf_QIt0E0uCYHc
    The video was very interesting and informative. I would guess that the worst part, and perhaps what will be the hardest part to repair for the walkway, is the metal structure that the walkway was attached to.

    Furlough
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

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    The clean up process and rebuild both I imagine are going to be time consuming. Depended upon their motivation. So is CSX trains responsible for all damages and repairs?

  4. #64

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    Some possible river crossing alternatives:cross 1.jpg:zip line 1.jpgcannon 1.jpgEvekKnievel-1024x768.jpg
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  5. #65
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    I hiked in 1983. At the time the current (now out of service) railroad bridge into Harpers Ferry was not open to foot traffic.

    I now understand what you are saying about 340 — looks to be a very dangerous road, and especially so if you were to start walking it (SOBO) where the AT crosses it now, well away from the bridge. That would be crazy

    While it might be possible that there are old/legacy paths that get you across the river the way I crossed it, that may not be the case at all.

    A hiker who wants to avoid a shuttle or hitch so as to walk all the way from ME to GA could get himself into a sticky situation by just looking at a map without understanding exactly what you pointed out.

    I expect the ATC will layout some alternatives soon, since there will always be some people who will insist on waking an unbroken line from ME to GA.
    Back when the AT was routed away from HF, using the Loudoun Hts>US340>Sandy Hook Bridge routing, it was before my time. However I have done dayhike loops in the late '90s and early '00s starting and ending at HF that followed that description. Ironically, the last leg used the C&O Canal and the now-damaged footbridge before reaching HF.

    In December 2015, I drove to HF to do it again, stopping in at ATC before the hike. Laurie was there and informed me that would not be possible because a property owner close to US340 had closed access. (So I did another hike in the area.) She also said there was a newer issue involving crossing the RR tracks adjacent to the C&O Canal. If this is still accurate info (I think it is) then there might be an issue reclaiming this as a detour prompted by the damaged bridge.

    But back to 20 years ago. I recall there was an abandoned roadway, right after you crossed the Sandy Hook Bridge, that veered off to the right. I also recall one very faint blaze which is likely no longer visible. So there was no need for me to cross US340 there to somehow head back to HF on my circuit hike. It wound around to a local road you stayed on briefly that led to Sandy Hook Rd. (it may have even been part of Sandy Hook Rd.), and then you crossed the tracks near a small store to wind up on the C&O back to HF (this is where Laurie said there was an issue involving the RR blocking foot access there). If by chance that abandoned road at the end of Sandy Hook Bridge still exists, theoretically a temporary detour could be made by using Sandy Hook Rd. going the other direction AWAY from HF, eventually turning right on Keep Tryst Rd., and meeting up with the AT again someplace near where it interfaces near the Weaverton parking area. So, instead of using the old Loudoun Heights routing which is closed by a landowner, NOBO hikers would retrace steps SOBO across the newer Shenandoah River Bridge but instead of heading SOBO on the AT, just stay on US340 all the way -- eventually crossing the Sandy Hook Bridge and following the detour I laid out above. Yes, walking along the roadway of US340 is not the best in safety but it worked for generations of AT hikers and also dayhikers later on. We contend with worse safety issues elsewhere -- today.

    Or, as has been suggested here, maybe a shuttle plan can be temporarily arranged by PATC or ATC, or a coordinated effort independently by area shuttlers.

  6. #66

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    This makes for interesting hiking, doesn’t it?!?!?

  7. #67
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furlough View Post
    Maybe the Harpers Ferry whitewater rafting businesses - River Riders or River and Trail Outfitters could be induced to give raft rides across the Potomac.

    The more I think about this the better I like it.


    My last section hike ended in Harpers Ferry. We finished a little early so toured the historic section of town and crossed the Potomac. So even though I've literally crossed that bridge I would like to start my next northbound section in May 2020 from Harpers Ferry. It would be cool to cross by boat if at all practical .

    However if necessary I suppose I will have to get shuttled to the east bank in order to continue north.

  8. #68

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    water crossing could be problematic bc of current. but interesting and challenging nonetheless!!

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    water crossing could be problematic bc of current. but interesting and challenging nonetheless!!
    Yea, I was thinking the same thing. Especially in the spring. You'd end up way down stream. It looks like fun though, with the white water rapids and all. There must be rafting there in the spring already.

    I can't remember how the trail went through there in '89. I think the way it does (or did) now. But I would imagine in the 70's and 80, both hiker traffic and road traffic on 340 was a lot lighter then it is today.

    During the floods the year before, they used shuttles? Not sure that is a viable long term solution. I imagine those who's job it is to solve these types of problems are working to do so. Just have to wait to see what they come up with.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  10. #70

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    Everyone relax. ATC will figure something out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kNvcxwJVs4

  11. #71
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    Hopefully the walk bridge can be repaired. The ATC has done a great job removing road walks on the AT in Northern Va. There used to be a 1 mile road walk thru Linden and a longer road walk, off and on between Rt. 50 and Rt. 7 after Paris Va.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Not sure if this was posted. A "train" guy posted a youtube video of the damage. shows the cars, and bridge from the HF side. The bridge footage starts at about 5:22. Also has a lot of other info which is interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUh6...Pf_QIt0E0uCYHc
    This is a really good informational video. And I noticed he mentioned the speed limit a couple times at 5 mph through there. The train cars were empty so not a weight issue. I know there investigating the situation, but it would have to be track failure or speeding right? It's not like someone went out there and put a quarter on the tracks and caused all this . So csx or track repairs ? Either way the equipment and money they have in all reality if not tied up in some stupid court ,shouldn't take long to do these repairs we're only talking 100' , 1/3 of a football field.

  13. #73
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    This is a really good informational video. And I noticed he mentioned the speed limit a couple times at 5 mph through there. The train cars were empty so not a weight issue. I know there investigating the situation, but it would have to be track failure or speeding right? It's not like someone went out there and put a quarter on the tracks and caused all this . So csx or track repairs ? Either way the equipment and money they have in all reality if not tied up in some stupid court ,shouldn't take long to do these repairs we're only talking 100' , 1/3 of a football field.
    A few train oriented websites have suggested that the derailment is a classic case of “stringlining”.

    This is makes intuitive sense — imagine a train running along the curve of a clock face with the heavy cars in back at “9 O’clock” and the light/empty cars in front at “12 O’clock”. Now imaging tugging the “string” from the front even at at slow speed, and you can visualize how cars at the front of the train could pull off the track towards the inside of the curve.

    My concern with seeing a repair done quickly is not so much with the actual construction.

    While undoubtedly the repairs are more complicated than they look to a non-engineer, the derailment happened where a whole lot of smart and well-connected people are paying attention. As such, I would bet that CSX (or whoever genously allowed the AT to pass over the bridge they own) might normally go the extra mile to see the walkway was repaired.

    Rather my concern is that someone — the bridge owner/railway, NPS or some other authority — will want to study the heck out of what happened to make sure that the repair is not inherently unsafe given the track geometry. If that happens, any approval to begin construction would get delayed “indefinitely”.

  14. #74

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    Though it does not look like a lot of damage in photos and video snippets, in the engineering world ANY damage in the approach or in the span over a river like this is quite serious. I have seen railroad bridges hit by trucks going under them take a long time before deemed ok to use without much visible damage. Engineers (both internal to the Railroad and outside consultants) will need to look the entire span over to determine the extent of the damage before the first bolt is removed or replaced. Prior to all that happening, determining why the derailment occurred will need to be investigated.

    I would doubt much existing material would be reused in repairs as opposed to being replaced to make any kind of quick repair unfortunately. From this particular video and other news photos/footage, it looks like is some considerable damage to track and components for two, maybe three spans from the HF side of the river. Some of the HF shore stonework is damaged, which indicates movement of the track supports, which in turn can weaken one or more of the stone supports in the river. It is also possible the impact of the wreck affected the entire span, which may need work as a result.

    Unfortunately we won't know much for a while but I'm sure the ATC is out today looking at routing detours that can be used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    But back to 20 years ago. I recall there was an abandoned roadway, right after you crossed the Sandy Hook Bridge, that veered off to the right. I also recall one very faint blaze which is likely no longer visible. So there was no need for me to cross US340 there to somehow head back to HF on my circuit hike. It wound around to a local road you stayed on briefly that led to Sandy Hook Rd. (it may have even been part of Sandy Hook Rd.), and then you crossed the tracks near a small store to wind up on the C&O back to HF (this is where Laurie said there was an issue involving the RR blocking foot access there). If by chance that abandoned road at the end of Sandy Hook Bridge still exists, theoretically a temporary detour could be made by using Sandy Hook Rd. going the other direction AWAY from HF, eventually turning right on Keep Tryst Rd., and meeting up with the AT again someplace near where it interfaces near the Weaverton parking area. So, instead of using the old Loudoun Heights routing which is closed by a landowner, NOBO hikers would retrace steps SOBO across the newer Shenandoah River Bridge but instead of heading SOBO on the AT, just stay on US340 all the way -- eventually crossing the Sandy Hook Bridge and following the detour I laid out above. Yes, walking along the roadway of US340 is not the best in safety but it worked for generations of AT hikers and also dayhikers later on. We contend with worse safety issues elsewhere -- today.
    Miller Lane is off Sandy Hook and heads towards Rt 340, if you look at this map https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ha...!4d-77.7388818 you'll see that power lines still follow the old roadbed. I hikes this in the early 70's and recall walking across the 340 over the Potomac. I just can't recall how we got to the back onto the AT.
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  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    A few train oriented websites have suggested that the derailment is a classic case of “stringlining”.

    This is makes intuitive sense — imagine a train running along the curve of a clock face with the heavy cars in back at “9 O’clock” and the light/empty cars in front at “12 O’clock”. Now imaging tugging the “string” from the front even at at slow speed, and you can visualize how cars at the front of the train could pull off the track towards the inside of the curve.

    My concern with seeing a repair done quickly is not so much with the actual construction.

    While undoubtedly the repairs are more complicated than they look to a non-engineer, the derailment happened where a whole lot of smart and well-connected people are paying attention. As such, I would bet that CSX (or whoever genously allowed the AT to pass over the bridge they own) might normally go the extra mile to see the walkway was repaired.

    Rather my concern is that someone — the bridge owner/railway, NPS or some other authority — will want to study the heck out of what happened to make sure that the repair is not inherently unsafe given the track geometry. If that happens, any approval to begin construction would get delayed “indefinitely”.
    Thanks something I certainly didn't think about "stringling" but makes sense. I think most of us learned something there.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    Miller Lane is off Sandy Hook and heads towards Rt 340, if you look at this map https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ha...!4d-77.7388818 you'll see that power lines still follow the old roadbed. I hikes this in the early 70's and recall walking across the 340 over the Potomac. I just can't recall how we got to the back onto the AT.
    Yeah but like previous posters pointed out it's probably private land these days . You can also see sandy hook rd just on the other side of the bridge running parallel to the AT and c& o canal. I think you have to go up keptryst rd , then make a right on sandy hook rd

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    ....... Engineers (both internal to the Railroad and outside consultants) will need to look the entire span over to determine the extent of the damage before the first bolt is removed or replaced. Prior to all that happening, determining why the derailment occurred will need to be investigated.........
    Good point. The NTSB surely is investigating of the accident as well the West Virginia and possibility Maryland state transportation agencies who will also likely be involved in bridge inspection and any rebuilding process.
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  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Though it does not look like a lot of damage in photos and video snippets, in the engineering world ANY damage in the approach or in the span over a river like this is quite serious. I have seen railroad bridges hit by trucks going under them take a long time before deemed ok to use without much visible damage. Engineers (both internal to the Railroad and outside consultants) will need to look the entire span over to determine the extent of the damage before the first bolt is removed or replaced. Prior to all that happening, determining why the derailment occurred will need to be investigated.

    I would doubt much existing material would be reused in repairs as opposed to being replaced to make any kind of quick repair unfortunately. From this particular video and other news photos/footage, it looks like is some considerable damage to track and components for two, maybe three spans from the HF side of the river. Some of the HF shore stonework is damaged, which indicates movement of the track supports, which in turn can weaken one or more of the stone supports in the river. It is also possible the impact of the wreck affected the entire span, which may need work as a result.

    Unfortunately we won't know much for a while but I'm sure the ATC is out today looking at routing detours that can be used.
    That second to the last paragraph is probably worse case scenario. Damaged stone work and stone supports in the river.

  20. #80

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    I'm old enough to remember the slog along the Highway from Sandy Hook bridge into HF, not fun. At the time we thought about crossing on the railroad bridge, which was illegal. I did it once and survived... but you would be in big trouble if a train came because the only place to walk was in the middle of the tracks.

    I hope they repair the walk bridge soon. It was a wonderful improvement to the AT.

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