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Thread: who would build a train track down in the middle of a city

  1. #1
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    Default who would build a train track down in the middle of a city

    so i see and do not know why but why would anyone build a train track down in the middle of the road in a big city. to me it does not make any since.

    switchmen37

  2. #2

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    Most likely the tracks were there first and the city expanded around the station.

  3. #3
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    If you study a map of railroad trackage in Denver, Colorado, there were tracks down all the streets in the warehouse districts. Remember that railroads came before large trucks.
    Last edited by pitkin; July 24th, 2021 at 11:31 AM.
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    Back in the old days in the US, you did not want to be from "the wrong side of the tracks", which referred to social status or wealth, and whether a guy or gal was a match for a marriageable possibility. Famed in song and story.

    EDIT: I am also minded of the city of Reno, Nevada, which after over 100 years of train traffic running through the middle of the city, built the big "trench" through the middle of town, so now the tracks are below street level.
    Last edited by Forester1; July 24th, 2021 at 12:11 PM.
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    https://youtu.be/7kS-rNtBPQ4
    A smallish town called Fauresmith in South Africa.
    World peace is a bit far off, lets work at Trainz peace for now

  6. #6
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    There are train tracks down 1st Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. I'm not sure if they are in service or abandoned.

  7. #7
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    Virtual Railfan, run by Jointed Rail members 22alpha, norfolksouthern37 and yutzk, have two webcams that have trains running straight thru the center of streets: Ashland, Virginia and La Grange, Kentucky. Included are links to the webcams:
    Ashland, Virginia:
    Owner of Freeman Locomotive Works.

  8. #8
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    And La Grange, Kentucky:


    Here's all the livestreams they have: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOI...1N2BvrsBjhNlag
    Owner of Freeman Locomotive Works.

  9. #9
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    Here's one in Victoria.

    Last edited by Azervich; July 24th, 2021 at 08:18 PM.

  10. #10
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    You also use to have street cars running in the streets.

  11. #11
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    I recall that Rockhampton in QLD has track that runs down the middle of the street. It was interesting being on the Sunlander and seeing the traffic just outside.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RailPilgrim View Post
    I recall that Rockhampton in QLD has track that runs down the middle of the street. It was interesting being on the Sunlander and seeing the traffic just outside.
    Correct.

    The north Queensland main line runs along Denison Street Rockhampton. It runs past small businesses and many 100+ years old Queenslander houses (wooden with corrugated steel roofs). Check it out on Google maps street view. https://www.google.com/maps/@-23.373...7i13312!8i6656


    I lived in "Rocky" in the 1950's when the first diesel powered Sunlanders passed through. Fond memories.
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    In the U.S.-
    For anyone who doesn't understand tracks down the center of a town consider reading some about railroading history. At the time the towns sprang up it was due to the railroad being there. (Railroads were in compitition with canals in the early days. Read about Erie Canal.) If you were going to start a lumber mill and there were no roads or trucks to take your lumber out to other markets wouldn't you build as close to the railroad as you could? Having your business right on the tracks gave you a big advantage and many times was the difference between success and failure.
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  14. #14
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    In Baltimore there were many tracks running along streets. When I got a job on the east side of town trains ran from there down to the harbor. I worked nights and got behind a train going 5mph or less for about 12 blocks. I was unfamiliar with the area so didn't know the streets that would get me around the train.

    Rob

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    yes trains were there before trucks and cities built around the tracks ok, you have a train track and you built a city around the train track, station, but dont they think its strange to put a track in the middle of the street back then; have the street goes along the track not letting the track go down the middle of the road where traffic is . i guess i have to actually live in the city to understand.

    switchmen37

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