The Bridge Over “The Bridge Line” Battle Finally Comes To An End

NS-Train-37T-5-9-2016 (3)

Norfolk Southern Train 37T sits idle on the main line at Taylor Yard waiting for a new crew @ around 4:30 p.m.. The train was parked here in the morning of Monday, May 9 because of the line being closed about 10 miles north due to the demolition of the Sunset Road bridge in La Plume Twp.. It would be after 7 p.m. before this train would finally move north to Binghamton and Buffalo, NY.

By Clayton Over
Staff writer for The Times-Tribune
(parenthesis are mine)

Crews demolished a bridge at the center of a long, legal dispute involving local landowners, Canadian Pacific Railroad and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on Monday Morning (May 9, 2016).

The Sunset Road Bridge in La Plume Twp., which spanned (Norfolk Southern) railroad tracks, is no more.

The kerfuffle over the bridge started in 2011, when PennDOT temporarily closed the crossing after a hole appeared on the shoulder and a chunk of the bridge fell on the Canadian Pacific Railway lines below. Local residents Ed and Bernadette Schwartz, who used the bridge to access a portion of their property that houses a horse farm, filed a lawsuit that year to have either PennDOT or the railroad repair or replace the bridge.

Neither side claimed responsibility for the bridge, and both an administrative law judge and the state Public Utility Commission, which has jurisdiction over rail highway crossings, ruled the railroad was liable for the bridge. An administrative judge also ruled the bridge should be demolished.

The Schwartz’ also maintained in their lawsuit that the railway was obligated to build a new bridge based on an agreement included in a 1917 deed for the property. The railroad disputed their claim and the courts ultimately ruled in the railroad’s favor.

Mr. Schwartz said demolishing the bridge would impact his farm, adding that to reach acreage on the other side of the now-destroyed span, he would have to travel about three miles out of the way and would likely have to sell that part of his property.

“It’s just not right,” he said.

PennDOT spokesman James May said the only involvement the department had with the demolition Monday was closing the road and putting up signage marking it as such.

Canadian Pacific officials did not return a request for comment Tuesday afternoon. That railway sold all of its lines in the area to Norfolk Southern late last year.

Bridge Over The Sunbury Line Battle Finally Comes To An End

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Author:Railfan AC

AC is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, a long haul trucker, a transportation enthusiast and a lifelong lover of trains. AC's mission is to travel America documenting American railroading in the 21st century while educating those who want to know about the importance the railroads play in our daily lives including, but not limited to, the movement of goods, services and more.

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