Broadway Ltd Route being rebuilt

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dlagrua

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At one time the PRR Broadway Ltd was one of the prime routes from NYP to Chicago. It was a luxury train that had its own dedicated route to Chicago. After leaving Pittsburgh, the line did not use the current Amtrak water line route but went though Crestline, Columbus, and Lima in Ohio and Ft Wayne, Valpariso and Gary in Indiana.

Amtrak continued the train until 1995 but after a decision by Conrail to abandon the Western segment through Valpariso and Gary , discontinuance was necessary. Fast forward to 2015 and the American oil boom. The water line route has become overcrowded and CSX has decided to rebuild the line. Work crews are currently laying track and there is info here: http://allaboardohio.org/2014/12/22/fort-wayne-line-rebirth/

This doesn't mean that the Broadway Ltd will be returning but with the parallel route to CHI operational the possibilities for passenger service will exist.

Perhaps forum members that have traveled on the Broadway Ltd and those in the area can provide additional info.

BTW, my posts do not accept links so the url is hand typed.

Here is the LINK which wasn't typed correctly, either, but I found it.
 
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G

Guest

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A few errors: Corecting

It is NS that is rebuilding this line, not CSX. At the time of the Conrail split, NS got the former New York Central "Water Level Route" west of Cleveland. CSX got the NYC line east thereof and in order to reach Chicago ran down the former NYC line toward St. Louis to the point where it crossed the ex Baltimore and Ohio line, which was already CSX. I think the point of connection was at Crestline OH, but not sure. The ex B&O line which and been single tracked previously was re double tracked. NS already had a route into Chicago from the east, the ex Nickle Plate if I remember correctly.

At the time of the Conrail formation the ex Pennsy route west was downgraded, but was maintained for the Broadway for a few years.
 

MikefromCrete

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The former PRR line through Ohio and Indiana is owned by CSX, operated by a short line, and being rebuilt by NS, which has trackage rights. This rebuilding will improve the possibility of a return to passenger service, but of course, doesn't guarantee it.
 

dlagrua

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Anytime I hear of a major route being rebuilt it is good news. At one time I believed that the route was lost forever; lightly used, poorly maintained and the track from Valpariso to Gary, IN was torn up and the ROW abandoned. Now demand for freight has caused the rebuilding. I read that there was a diamond crossing at Gary, IN that the route had but I do not have info on whether or not it is being put back in service.

While the old Broadway Limited route will be restored for freight service, at this point passenger service isn't likely but there may be some positive news. In Ohio there is an advocacy group that is pushing for passenger service from Columbus to Chicago. If the passenger rail demand continues to rise, who knows what the future will bring?. What is strange that when Amtrak was formed, the Broadway Ltd was their main NYP to Chicago train but Conrail and poor revenue caused its discontinuance. Today the situation and the demand, might be completely different.
 

railbuck

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At one time the PRR Broadway Ltd was one of the prime routes from NYP to Chicago. It was a luxury train that had its own dedicated route to Chicago. After leaving Pittsburgh, the line did not use the current Amtrak water line route but went though Crestline, Columbus, and Lima in Ohio and Ft Wayne, Valpariso and Gary in Indiana.

Amtrak continued the train until 1995 but after a decision by Conrail to abandon the Western segment through Valpariso and Gary , discontinuance was necessary.
Scratch Columbus, that would have been substantially out of the way.

The map in the linked article shows the trackage pretty well. The original PRR route used by the Broadway through 1990 is in "fat" blue and black. Crestline is at the east end of the blue segment, which is currently the Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern (CFE) short line. Starting in 1990, the Broadway (until 1995) and its successor the Three Rivers (until 2005) used the ex-B&O route, the thin blue line that rejoins the PRR north of Pittsburgh. Although some (most?) of this route has had double track restored, the passenger infrastructure is pretty well gone. Not that there was that much to begin with, the stops in OH and IN really were Limited. Any near-term restoration of the Broadway would almost certainly use the current route of the Capitol, the thin black line through Toledo and Cleveland, in order to share stations and personnel with the CL and LSL.

There has been a study for a corridor route Chicago - Ft. Wayne - Lima - Columbus which would use the CFE to east of Lima. Any improvements made to the CFE would naturally reduce the cost of implementing this corridor, though there's still a substantial gap between 40mph freight and 110mph passenger.

At some point waaaaay down the track, if the Columbus corridor is operating and there's money to restore Columbus-Pittsburgh, a resurrected Broadway could potentially operate via Columbus instead of via Cleveland. But that will not happen any time soon, if at all.
 

dlagrua

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Thanks for the additional info railbuck. I would say if the Broadway is ever brought back it would not make sense to use the CL/LSL tracks as there is already enough passenger service to all cities on that route. The old B&O route would be a possibility. What would seem to make more sense is to serve the cities that lost service when the original Broadway route was cancelled. Regardless restoring the Broadway Ltd line is a long shot right now but who would have thought just a few years ago that the PRR line would ever be rebuilt?
 
T

TT

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The prospect of reorganizing a new Broadway Limited or other potential Amtrak services is to a degree dependent upon advocacy groups coordinating efforts to bring the case(s) to TPTB. I am not sure whether there is a coordinated effort to enable advocacy groups to lobby for Amtrak improvements, but if there isn't, someone must stand up and take the lead.

I don't live in Columbus, OH but the thought of a city that size (along with Dayton nearby) not having Amtrak service is really

absurd. There is great potential in the potential routing from (Chicago) Valpo - Ft Wayne - Lima - Springfield (Dayton) and Columbus to Pittsburgh.

It is time to take the bull by the horns and coordinate an advocacy for this train to happen.
 

WoodyinNYC

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If this revived route diverts some traffic from the NS lines in Indiana that suffered the meltdown last year, then it's got to be good news all around.
 

Anderson

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IIRC there's a group in Ohio and Northern Indiana pushing for passenger service on the line, albeit to Columbus (it peels off somewhere in Ohio to hit the bigger terminus).
 

jis

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NS is shooting for upto 10 oil trains on this route. Beyond that they will have to renegotiate trackage rights with CSX or the short line (not clear to me who)Whoever wants to run passenger trains will have to negotiate trackage rights with CSX or the short line)

The split off towards Columbus is at Crestline I believe. East of that on this line it is NS AFAIK.
 
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cirdan

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I was very surprised to read this line still exists at all.

I always had the impression it was ripped up, gone and forgotten many long years ago.

I agree that it is unlikely to see any passenger trains for the foreseeable future.

Recreating legendary trains of the past just because they can is no good financial policy for Amtrak.
 

railbuck

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The split off towards Columbus is at Crestline I believe. East of that on this line it is NS AFAIK.
The Columbus corridor would most likely split from the CFE at Dunkirk (shown in thin light blue on the map linked in the OP), but there could be two or three other options farther east, including all the way to Crestline and backtracking slightly southwest.
 

TVRM610

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Recreating legendary trains of the past just because they can is no good financial policy for Amtrak.
Well... I don't think they have ever done that. The Broadway Limited would probably do much better financially than a train such as the Sunset Limited.
 

FormerOBS

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For perspective, here's a brief description of the old passenger routes across the northern and central parts of Ohio (East to West):

!. New York Central Water Level Route. From Boston and New York Grand Central, Buffalo, and Erie Ohio cities Ashtabula, Cleveland, Sandusky, Toledo. To Elkhart, Gary, and Chicago. Current route of the LSL (and Capitol Ltd. west of Cleveland). Some trains cut off at Cleveland to Bellefontaine, Indianapolis, and St. Louis via NYC's Big 4 line. Current condition of the Big 4 route unknown to me.

2. Nickel Plate Road. New York area to Buffalo via Lackawanna. Buffalo to Chicago via NKP. Ohio cities are Ashtabula, Cleveland, Bellevue, Fostoria. Continued to Chicago via Fort Wayne. Continued from Bellevue to St. Louis. Mostly single track. The St. Louis line is now largely abandoned or seriously downgraded.

3. Erie RR: From the New York area via the Southern tier. Entered Ohio near Youngstown, then proceeded west to Youngstown, Akron, Mansfield, Marion, and Lima. Then served small towns in Indiana (bypassing Ft. Wayne) until Hammond. Terminated in Chicago. A branch ran from Marion to Dayton. The line was known for generous clearances, but was longer than most competitors. Now mostly abandoned. A few portions may exist in downgraded condition.

4. B&O RR: From Washington DC, through Pittsburgh. Entered Ohio near Youngstown, then served Youngstown, Akron, Willard, Fostoria, Deshler, Defiance (a college town that always had pretty good patronage. Then passed a short distance north of Fort Wayne, then through Amish territory (good patronage) and Gary on the way to Chicago. A very busy CSX corridor. A branch from North Baltimore serves Toledo and Detroit. A branch south from Willard carried sleepers to Wheeling, but most if this last route is abandoned, or downgraded and spun off to shortline operators.

5. Pennsylvania Railroad across Pa. from NYC to Pittsburgh (current Pennsylvanian route). PRR's Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago line entered Ohio south of Youngstown and served Alliance, Canton, Mansfield, and Lima. Crossed Indiana via Ft. Wayne and on to Chicago. A major branch (called the C&P) runs from Alliance to Cleveland. This is the former Broadway Limited Route, now used by the Capitol Limited from Pittsburgh to Alliance to Cleveland. A branch ran from near Mansfield to Toledo, but I think parts of this line have been downgraded or abandoned.

6. Pennsylvania Railroad Panhandle Route, same as no. 5 NYC to Pittsburgh; entered Ohio at Steubenville (home of Dean Martin!), served Steubenville, Dennison, Newark, Columbus, Xenia, and Dayton. Then west through Richmond and Indianapolis, Indiana to St. Louis. There was a branch to Cincinnati via Xenia. This became Ohio Central (now Genesee & Wyoming) east of Columbus. Condition of track west of Columbus is unknown to me. The condition of Gould Tunnel between Steubenville and Dennison might be a problem.

7. There were other B&O routes to St. Louis via Cincinnati farther south, but I believe they have been abandoned, downgraded, or have capacity problems.

I hope this provides some context.

Tom
 

FormerOBS

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For a Chicago to Columbus routing, the Pennsylvania RR used to have a service west from Columbus serving Springfield, Ohio, Logansport, IN, North Judson, IN, and Hammond, IN. I don't know the current condition of that route, but I believe there may be a viable line west from Columbus to Indianapolis, where an added Columbus train would increase service between Indianapolis and Chicago. As for the Dunkirk, Ohio to Columbus segment mentioned above, I am curious about the current condition of that segment. Anybody know?

Tom
 
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MrFSS

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For a Chicago to Columbus routing, the Pennsylvania RR used to have a service west from Columbus serving Springfield, Ohio, Logansport, IN, North Judson, IN, and Hammond, IN. I don't know the current condition of that route, but I believe there may be a viable line west from Columbus to Indianapolis, where an added Columbus train would increase service between Indianapolis and Chicago. As for the Dunkirk, Ohio to Columbus segment mentioned above, I am curious about the current condition of that segment. Anybody know?

Tom
I lived in that area west of Columbus for a few years. It is my understanding that all the old PRR track is now completely gone. The track to IND is still there and has heavy freight traffic on it.
 

dlagrua

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According to all aboard Ohio ( in the link that I posted to start this post) its seems to indicate that a rebuild of the PRR route is underway. That would be the fat blue line on the map that attaches to the fat black line route. The area that I have questions on is the segment in Western IN where the line heads north from Valpariso to Gary. I believe that was the section abandoned by Conrail that is being rebuilt.

In any case passenger service on this route will only be re-established when the demand gets high enough (it may be there now) and the political will to put service in place is there. It obviously isn't right now. The good news is that tracks will be there if and when the time comes. The immediate good news is that the route may lessen the oil traffic logjam on the current LSL/CL route.
 

FormerOBS

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If it weren't for the political climate in Ohio, I would suggest Columbus - Indianapolis - Chicago at the best option. This would cut out Lima and Fort Wayne, of course. As it is, I suspect the governors of both Indiana and Ohio might stand in the way of any Columbus - Chicago service. If it were to happen, Columbus to Pittsburgh to Philadelphia could become an option, if Gould Tunnel in Eastern Ohio can be brought into good condition. Then an extension from Indianapolis to St. Louis and Kansas City for a connection with the SWC.

I know, I'm asking a lot.

Tom
 

jis

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What is the current status of the Panhandle route between Columbus and Pittsburgh? I know that at the Pittsburgh end the original RoW and the Panhandle Bridge has been repurposed, though I understand that there are alternatives possible to get to Pittsburgh Amtrak station, though I am not sure of the details off the top of my head. What about the rest of the route to Columbus?
 

kneemeister

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There is no longer a direct route between Columbus and Indianapolis the PRR is completely gone east of Indianapolis. As is the old PRR thre Logansport. The train would have to go South to the B&O or North to the Big Four before going west, The only Mainline thru Indianapolis is the Big Four from the Northeast and then the Alternating sections of the original Big Four and PRR going west.
 

librarian

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The Panhandle Line between Columbus and Mingo is operational and has been upgraded with the shale industry in Eastern Ohio for oil transport. The Gould Tunnel just south of me is operational and seems to have had some repairs and is sending rail traffic to Pittsburgh on the former Wabash Bridge. The Panhandle Line continues up through Steubenville and across the Ohio River Bridge to Weirton, WV where it ends. The rail to Pittsburgh was removed. Access remains by following the Ohio River from Steubenville to Conway Yard at Rochester, PA, on the River Line. Much longer, but it does connect.
 

jis

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Ah! Thanks a lot. I sort of knew that the Panhandle connection at the Pittsburgh end had been severed but that there was an alternate routing available. Thanks for filling in the details!
 

railiner

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While I would like to see my 'beloved' old Broadway Limited resurrected, and back on its home rails, strictly for nostalgia.......my practical side thinks it would be better to run a reborn Broadway on the Capitol route west of Pittsburgh....

As mentioned, the passenger station infrastructure is already there. They could adjust the schedule of the now three trains between CHI and CLE to spread them out more, and give passengers on that segment the beginnings of an almost corridor level of choices, which hopefully would eventually receive even more trains in the future.

The best thing about restoring the P.FW.&C. line is providing a good alternate route to hopefully divert a lot of the freight traffic from the Cleveland-Chicago line, thus freeing the congestion there...
 

jis

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Under current trackage agreements apparently they can divert only 10 per day.
 
M

Midlands Steve

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The abandoned ex-PRR route east of Indianapolis, to Richmond and Dayton, would be an excellent passenger route. This abandonment occurred under Conrail in the early 1980s. In 1999, Conrail was split between NS and CSX. Had this split been made before the abandonment, I wonder if either NS or CSX would have improved, and retained, this route?? Anyway, imagine a revived route serving Pittsburgh, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas City. Major population centers with lots of potential passengers to fill the trains!
 
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