W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Work and Events => Topic started by: John Kokas on June 24, 2009, 01:37:53 AM

Title: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 24, 2009, 01:37:53 AM
Since there is a graded "gap" to TOM, I would think it is time to think hard about the grade and on whether or not it makes sense to make TOM siding a true run-around.  What is decided will dictate how the grading is completed.  Since in previous discussions it was agreed by many that it would make sense to have a stop to join with the conservancy trail, logic would dictate a run-around for ease of operations and safety.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Allan Fisher on June 24, 2009, 03:27:07 AM
Actually, the original siding used by the original WW&F was the safest way to go - we don't want the big kids to let off the hand brakes and have cars roll down the mountain and across Rte 218. One of the problems we have to address is water source for the Fire Department in the area between the top of the mountain and Carleton Brook - our thoughts have been to possibly park the rebuilt Bridgton tank car on the end of the siding to fill that need.

The Sheepscot Valley Conservation Trail is at the bottom of the mountain between Carleton Brook and Rte 218.

 The railcar may be the choice for transportation north of Alna Center, with only one or two of the trains from Sheepscot going past Alna Center to end of track.

Once we start building railroad down the 3% , we won't be running passenger trains past the top of mountain until track is built across Carleton Brook and on to the level plain between Carleton Brook and Rte 218.

Remember that our average train ridership in the Spring and early fall is less than 8 passengers per round trip.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on June 24, 2009, 12:53:26 PM
Someone suggested (I forget who, but I think it was during a Thursday night Chat Session) that we build a run-around at TOM, but do so such that the North switch faces the opposite direction, and install another switch on the main line to create a crossover.

Operationally, the south siding switch would always be set for the siding. A northbound passenger train would take the siding and drop the cars south of the crossover. The engine proceeds through the crossover, then runs around the train (using the main.)

This would minimize the possibility of a run away going down the mountain. There should still be plenty of room for the Bridgton Tank Car to be stored at the stub end of the siding. One could even install a derail between the tank car and the crossover, to prevent a runaway crashing into the car (or to prevent the car from entering the main.)

Once we reach 218, we could pull the crossover to put the TOM back to its original configuration.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Allan Fisher on June 24, 2009, 03:32:02 PM
Every switch off a main track in dark territory (non-signalled) is a potential hazard. They can be deadly if that pesky animal, the human, makes any error of omission or commission. Switches at the top of heavy grades can be especially dangerous.

Now, if we could just get rid of all our freight and passenger customers, we wouldn't need no stinking switches!  ;) 
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Keith Taylor on June 24, 2009, 03:41:12 PM
Every switch off a main track in dark territory (non-signalled) is a potential hazard. They can be deadly if that pesky animal, the human, makes any error of omission or commission. Switches at the top of heavy grades can be especially dangerous.
Allan, as you know even in signaled territory a break in the rail can be dangerous! I had some teenagers break the lock off of a facing point switch at Northampton, PA on the L&S mainline. As I approached they threw the switch lining me for the Northampton and Bath, where we hit a standing cut of loaded coal hoppers at 25 mph. The engine ended up on it's side. Never underestimate the ability of teens for evil!
Keith
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on June 24, 2009, 04:04:18 PM
To play devils advocate (or more accurately, a computer engineer who is slowly learning how real railroading gets done) could the two switches for this crossover and the derail be be linked together via levers (or whatever those pipes are called that used to be common at interlockings, etc.)?

That way, there would only be one lever to throw, reducing the possibility of human error. Of course, there could still be meddling kids, but we're always going to have those. Then again, the person throwing the switch would have to remember to check 2 sets of points and frogs before giving the go-ahead to the engine crew.

Hmm. Much more complicated than I first thought.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on June 24, 2009, 04:09:44 PM
To play devils advocate (or more accurately, a computer engineer who is slowly learning how real railroading gets done) could the two switches for this crossover and the derail be be linked together via levers (or whatever those pipes are called that used to be common at interlockings, etc.)?

"Ground frames", which basically do what you describe, seem to be somewhat common in the UK, or at least on the Welsh roads we were on.  Throw one lever and a whole bunch of neat movement would happen.  I think they may have been called interlockings here in the US.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 24, 2009, 07:55:15 PM
I have seen crossovers with one switch stand linked to both switches. There were fairly common the the Reading, where I recall seeing a number of them on the Bethlehem Branch.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on June 24, 2009, 08:04:04 PM
Quote
Now, if we could just get rid of all our freight and passenger customers, we wouldn't need no stinking switches!

Sounds like Guilford.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on June 24, 2009, 08:17:55 PM
I have seen the dual throw switch arrangement that Wayne mentioned.  It works well but requires more maint and could be a problem in the snow.  Another possibility is to make the south turnout a spring switch, lined for the siding.  That way the south switch would not have to be thrown on standard run around moves.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 24, 2009, 09:32:19 PM
This discussion has several aspects. If we're running trains with only 8 passengers, I think we're following the original WW&F model too closely.  ;)  The railcar should be the only vehicle operating if that's often the case.

If the question is how we facilitate getting the locomotive to the south end of the train at Top of the Mountain, there are two ways to do it.

One way is to build the siding as a single end track and station no. 51 there to pull the train into the siding while the road engine rests in the clear on the main track. A load of gravel dumped at the end of main line rail will serve as a soft landing if something should start to drift away. Note: the Strasburg RR operated in this manner at Leaman Place Jct. for several years, using Plymouth no. 1 to pull trains past no. 31 to get it on the other end of the train.

The second option would be to build a switch and a temporary ramp from the siding down to meet the main track alignment to form a runaround track, with both switches on the siding elevation. When the time comes to build north from Top of the Mountain, the temporary track and switch would be removed.

Regardless, I think we need to push on to Top of the Mountain this season and next spring, since it is the logical point at which to stop for a breather. During the hiatus, repairs to the slide and washouts can be accomplished, along with construction of the Carleton Brook bridge, Sheepscot yard track changes, leach field and restrooms, etc. 

At Top of the Mountain, changing directions would probably be easier than at Alna Center because the siding is on less of a grade, and the prospect of a southbound train waiting on the siding at Alna Center for a northbound to charge past is interesting.

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Paul Horky on June 24, 2009, 10:14:57 PM
If the crossover idea is used then only one switch need to be through at that end as the main line switch can be set into the siding unless a train is going on down the mountain. This way the crossover acts as a safty if an operating rule is put in place that if a train runs the south switch the train must stop before reaching the crossover.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 24, 2009, 11:44:39 PM
Lots of good comments.... Seems to me that we may be hung-up on keeping the siding at the old elevation. (why?)  is this a good solution or a need to be prototypical?  Remember NG lines were laid out to be CHEAP to construct, but not necessarily best practice.  I would suggest as part of the grading to possibly "shave" some feet of elevation at TOM to create a level passing siding area.  It will help in a couple of ways - first limit the possibility of rolling equipment; second, ease the grade both into and out of TOM;  and third, if there is extra excavated material, use that material to start repairing the first wash-out so equipment could be able to access the major washout/landslide.  Is it a bit more work, yes -mostly for a dozer, but I think it would be a lot better in the long-run for everyone concerned.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 24, 2009, 11:51:47 PM
Oops forgot!  The spring switch idea is a dandy one.  New Hope & Ivyland uses that exact setup with their station turn at Peddler's Village / Street Road. (for those who have taken the trip)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on June 25, 2009, 12:33:35 AM
...the prospect of a southbound train waiting on the siding at Alna Center for a northbound to charge past is interesting.

The more likely prospect is of the northbound waiting for the southbound to wheeze its way up the Mountain and wearily plod on to Alna Center...

Of course none of us have really any idea how trains are going to perform on the Mountain, but if Cockeye curve (1.5-ish percent) and the grade beyond Trask's is any indication, twice the grade will give engines a tough time of it.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 25, 2009, 12:58:23 AM
I remember the conversations about the possible run around styles at TOM during one of the few Thursday night discussions I was able to make. I think it was me that made the suggestion for the crossover. There are a few potential drawbacks of this.
1. 2 more switches to machine.
2. Clearance. Will there be enough room for a 2 car train to be in the clear for the run around?
3. Making sure there is atleast 30' of siding left for the Tank car.

If I recall correctly, the siding was atleast 6 cars long. Possibly longer. May have to measure it out and see what we can do in the area that is there, draw up a plan with some measurements and see what the powers above think of it. I know it would be a lot easier to understand if it can be seen what is being discussed. And also make it understood any switch other than the switch in the location of the original is temporary.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 25, 2009, 01:36:40 AM
The reference to trains passing at Alna Center was made in connection with turning trains back at Top of the Mountain, which may be the operating routine for some time. Actually, except on special occasions, I don't think there will be much need to pass trains at Alna Center, even after we're running to Route 218.

And concerning spring switches, at the WK&S near Allentown, Pa., where I hang out when not in Maine, we have a crossover with two spring switches, which we use to run around the train at Kempton. It works just dandy.

If we have a single-end siding at Top of the Mountain, we'd need about 180 feet of track for clearance on the siding, and 120 feet or so on the main track. If we're going to park the tank car up there, that still leaves 150 feet, plenty of space for three passenger cars or four freight cars. I would think we'd only park the tank car up there during times of greatest fire danger.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Allan Fisher on June 25, 2009, 01:54:30 AM
We've got at least two, and probably three years before rail gets laid to the TOM (Unless someone has an extra $100,000 they want to give).       Everybody take a deep cleansing breath, hold it a few seconds, and blow it out. Now there, don't you feel better.  :)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on June 25, 2009, 02:03:48 AM
Aw, but it's fun to dream...
Armchair railfaning at its best  :)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Keith Taylor on June 25, 2009, 11:04:50 AM

And concerning spring switches, at the WK&S near Allentown, Pa., where I hang out when not in Maine, we have a crossover with two spring switches, which we use to run around the train at Kempton. It works just dandy.


Of course, you have to be sure to make a complete move through the spring switch! I have seen more than one instance where a train tried to occupy two tracks at the same time...never with any degree of success.
Keith
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 25, 2009, 11:31:02 AM
Keith, in over 40 years of operation, that particular scenario has yet to present itself at Kempton. It's pretty hard for that to happen with a saddle-tanker or a single diesel unit. :D
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Keith Taylor on June 25, 2009, 07:45:07 PM
Gee Wayne, when I first started on the Lehigh Valley RR and was working as a hostler at Oak Island Yard, the roundhouse foreman said that I had to go in and tell the Division Superintendant about the locomotive I derailed. When I told the Supt. that I had derailed the Apollo-1's power, he asked which direction the lead unit was facing. I replied that it was headed north. He said..."Son, the tracks go east and west on the Lehigh Valley RR!" I replied..."Yes, I know, you see that is the problem!" A spring switch at the east end of the service tracks was the instigator of that episode.
Keith
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on June 25, 2009, 08:10:43 PM
If you think that spring switches are not a problem, just look what happened to the Nebraska Zephyr train set at Illinois Railway Museum. While backing thru a spring switch, the consist derailed causing hundreds of thousands $$ of damage and putting it out of service for over two years. The cause: Operator Error. The consist was going onto the wrong track, so just stop and back up. The only problem was the spring switch under the consist.
Allan will back me up(pun intended) that spring switches are dangerous to operate over when not paying attention.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 26, 2009, 02:46:25 AM
Jeez, guys, lighten up. I wasn't advocating for or against spring switches. I just remarked on my experience with them. They were and are fairly common in rapid transit and trolley operations, where I have seen hydraulic dampers used to reduce the impact on the point slapping against the stock rail. The old Reading equipped many switches on its lines with sprung no. 1 rods, and I can only suppose that was to avoid damage if run through.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Paul Horky on June 26, 2009, 04:27:29 PM
As Wayne said lighten up you're going to talk yourselfs out of a good salution for a temporary end of track. If you want to get technical any switch  can be dangerious. That said I beleive you have good training of your operateing personal [ and even then accedents can happen ] but the only way to ensure no accedents happen is to not operate at all. Don't nobody want to see that correct? Now for some real pipedreaming how about a turntable on the tail track. This would not be a wood table but one of the industral type. Think there is a Steve H. picture of one in use up in Canada.

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on June 26, 2009, 06:31:53 PM
Since there's no room alongside the track for a turntable, we could get real crazy and build the turntable structure over the mainline track a little further to the north, as the track drops away that much as it heads down the Mountain.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Hussar on June 26, 2009, 07:03:56 PM
What to do at TOM? Build the Visitor's Center! Check out the Snowdon Mtn Ry... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/8118973.stm

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Paul Horky on June 26, 2009, 07:14:23 PM
Guess I misunderstude how TOM spur ran. I thought it angled away from the mainline. Also the type TT I had in mind would only be about 20 ft in dia. just long
enough to spin an engine around.
 On another matter At TOM I think it was Allan said the reason for the tankcar up there is some kind of fire protection agreement with the local fire department. Can someone advise  when the rep. of the Headtide tank was built a tank was uptained from the SR&RL then maybe I'm misunderstanding but then a new tank was uptained and used so are there 2 tanks.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on June 26, 2009, 08:17:37 PM
TOM spur did angle away from the mainline, however ours will probably parallel.

However there isn't much land on the north side of the end of the spur.  The spur is on the top of the hill, the grade drops down through a cut in the hill.  Not too far beyond the end of the spur the hill ends and drops sharply down, eventually intersecting the grade and turning the cut into a fill.

When we started building the HT tank replica, we traded a steel tank for rail with the SR&RL.  Later we decided a new tank would be a better idea, so we bought a new tank, which is now inside the structure.  The ex-SR&RL tank is sitting near the woods unused.  Last year we bought one of the tanks from the larger of the two B&SR tankcars from MNGRR (the "car" part of the tankcar has probably disintegrated).  Eventually we will build another flatcar to put under it (and repair the tank itself, of course).
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Nyle Buxton on June 26, 2009, 08:20:35 PM
 Does anyone know what the W&Q did as they were building the ROW in the 1800's, were sidings built and then removed later as the line was extended?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 26, 2009, 08:33:42 PM
Steve you stole my thunder with Mt. Snowdon - just what I was thinking.  A bit more modest but I think the conservancy would jump on board if they were included.  I believe in previous discussions (old web site) there was mention about using the ROW as a walking trail to connect with the conservancy area for the near term.  Also Wayne, right on with spring switches; WK&S has never (as far as I know) had an accident with them.  Same with New Hope and they have some major carloads running over it everyday.  Even SEPTA (philly transit) has commuter rail lines with spring switches for passing sidings in use everyday.  Bottom line, if you don't inspect it, maintain it, and pay attention to it during switching, ANY switch can be dangerous.  
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 26, 2009, 10:55:52 PM
On the subject of spring switches, I'm just now back from a visit to the Strasburg Rail Road, where the runarounds at both ends of the railroad, as well as the passing siding in the middle, are all outfitted with spring switches. Seems to work just fine for them. :D  I'm just sayin' -- not advocating for the WW&F to do the same.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Hunt Dowse on June 26, 2009, 11:48:51 PM
I have to admit I don't really know my switches yet, so I looked up switches in Wikipedia to get an overview.  It's a good article and down the page there's a picture of the "three-way stub switch at Sheepscot station on the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway"!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_switch
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 27, 2009, 12:24:47 AM
The more I think about it, for safety reasons, I would be against the spring switches. I'm not saying they are unsafe or anything, but if you are going to change direction, a set of eyes on the ground verifying the switch was properly lined would be the safest way to go. There is not a lot of room there and the engineer/fireman might not be able to see the points from the cab. If we had all kinds of room so you could see them, that would be one thing. But we don't.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Paul Horky on June 27, 2009, 12:37:51 AM
So my mind isn't playing tricks there are 2 water tanks. is the old one we got from the the SRRL in good enough shape that it could be used atTOM as part of the system for fire protection? The tankcar would still be needed to transport water up to TOM then transfered to the tank for addisonal capasity
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Hussar on June 27, 2009, 12:45:26 AM
Thought this view looking north beyond the end of track might help explain Top of the Mountain a little better...image is from early spring of this year.

(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-8/342468/Lookingnorth2atoaktomsm.jpg)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Vincent "Lightning" LeRow on June 27, 2009, 12:49:10 AM
I think we should lay the siding in it's origional configuration. then, instead of stationing an engine or running the switch, put a winch at the end, like the origional SRRL had in the old stone fort to pull in the dead locos, and wind the cars into the siding.  it would definantly be uniqe and probably the safest way to go. I do believe that most of our cars have brakes.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Paul Horky on June 27, 2009, 03:08:40 AM
A cable safe I think not. Cables around the public is asking for trouble. Cables can part and if under tention can wip around with such force it can cut a person in two.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 27, 2009, 11:17:32 AM
Thanks Steve for putting the picture back up.  As they say, "a pic is worth a thousand words".  Look closely - If one was to shave 3-4 feet in elevation from the high point (about the height of the sign on the right side), bring some of that material back towards end of track, you would have a nice runaround area and a smooth approach to the station.  The rest of the spoil goes the other way to fill the first wash-out.  This is a really basic grading job - get me a dozer........
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on June 27, 2009, 10:20:36 PM
So my mind isn't playing tricks there are 2 water tanks. is the old one we got from the the SRRL in good enough shape that it could be used atTOM as part of the system for fire protection? The tankcar would still be needed to transport water up to TOM then transfered to the tank for addisonal capasity

The tank from SR&RL, which is a standard barrel-shaped steel tank, is fairly rusty and has a substantial sized spot which has eroded out part of the steel.  The pitting was why we decided not to use it. 
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 27, 2009, 11:07:02 PM
What the picture doesn't show is the percent of grade there. At the road crossing, it goes from a .5% incline to about 3%. Changing the elevation at the end of track will only make things worse.That will make the end of the siding virtually unusable as it would be unsafe to leave a car there unattended.

  I have drawn out a map and will post it as soon as the photo host I use comes back up.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 27, 2009, 11:26:14 PM
I may be a bit dense, so perhaps someone can explain to me the logic of parking the tank car full of water at TOM. Unless a locomotive happens to be nearby, I don't understand how that can help the Alna Fire Department, since the siding is inaccessible to normal vehicles. If the train is not running, there would be no means to move the tank car to a more accessible location. Perhaps Paul Horky has a better idea -- place the unused water tank somewhere close to the yet-to-be-built fire road and use the tank car to transport water to it. Add a valve and fittings near the bottom of the tank so fire vehicles can draw from it and a bottom drain to empty it before winter.

However, some thought may be given to outfitting the tank car with flood nozzles that would allow a good wetting-down of the roadbed on the mountain a couple of times a day during periods of high fire potential. In addition, we may want to consider a clamp-on spark arrestor to be placed on the locomotives' stacks during those times. See photos of B&H nos. 7 and 8 at times. Finally, we may want to consider having a track car and our fire car follow trains by 10 minutes during extreme fire danger periods, such as is done on the Durango & Silverton and Cumbres and Toltec. We also did this years ago at WK&S.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 28, 2009, 12:40:49 AM
We have run the fire train, immediately following the steam train, pulled by the Brookville. We have found a gap of only a couple of minutes is all that is needed to find the hot spot. This was before the spark arestor in the 10 was fixed. Now if anything hot comes out the stack, it's usually water.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike the Choochoo Nix on June 28, 2009, 02:55:59 AM
I think I was the one that suggested the runaround at the Top of the Mountain during Thursday nite chat. My idea was that a northbound train would pull into the siding. The loco would uncouple and pull past the second switch and then reverse going southbound and slightly downhill to run around the train. A third switch would have to be added to continue building track toward Head Tide. To review, the points on the second switch would be in the siding not in the main track.

Mike Nix
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ken Fleming on June 28, 2009, 01:29:37 PM
I started as a "greenhorn" on the Mount Rainier on the fire patrol.  It was 2 men with two Indian pumps, two shovels and two rakes.  We used a 4 man speeder.  I am sure that #51 could serve the purpose.  We only operated when the fire threat was posted by the state as High.  We followed the train by ten minutes.  They would finish their run a round by the time we arrived at Mineral.  The fire patrol was required by the State of Washington.  At TOM the fire patrol would wait on the main and then take the siding when the train is ready to depart South.  If a problem occurred that the patrol could not control, the dispatcher would called and the fire train would be dispatched.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 28, 2009, 11:57:25 PM
Mike, perhaps it was you. I don't recall. Who ever made the suggestion, this is what I came up with that will best fit the location without changing the grade and enabling us to return the siding to it's original configuration at a later date with minimal effort. The crossover is only temporary and can be removed once another is installed farther North. The clearances still need to be checked and this is only a suggestion. I roughly put in the camp road and all locations are not final. Subject to approval from the roadmaster.
(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-11/1225939/TOM.JPG)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Hussar on June 29, 2009, 12:49:11 AM
Wow, very cool. Thanks for drawing that up, Mike.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 29, 2009, 01:37:21 AM
That's exactly what I had in mind, Mike. I don't have the knowledge to draw on my computer. A temporary ramp from the northern end of the siding down to the main track elevation could later be removed. If there can be 120-150 feet of safe side clearance between the tracks, we'd have plenty of room to run around. The north end tail track would only need to be about 60 feet long beyond the switch.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on June 29, 2009, 12:59:00 PM
Very nice drawing Mike,   There are 3 switches and I suggested using a spring switch only for the south switch.  There are good and bad things about spring switches but if the ss has a high level switch stand with large targets the safety factor is improved.  The ss would only be in service until the mainline reaches Head Tide at which time it is converted to a standard switch and the other two (crossover) switches are removed. 
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Hussar on June 29, 2009, 01:02:21 PM
Just to keep the discussion going, could the "temporary" crossover switch on northern end of the siding be a stub switch?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Paul Horky on June 29, 2009, 02:49:24 PM
Stub switches in this application would not be a good idea couse if the switch is not lined correctly a move through one would cause a derailment. A better idea would be to make these 2 switches V switches. A V switch is like a spring switch only when trailed through it stayes alined to the way it was originally set the points do not change. This means if a move is made through the wrong side the switch must be alined by hand if a backup movement is made unless the move is completly run thru the switch.
The good thing about a V switch is it can be trailed thru from either side with no harm no foil.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike the Choochoo Nix on June 30, 2009, 12:24:47 AM
Nice job Mike,
 That is exactly what I was thinking might work.  It's good to hear that an onsite inspection shows that it is possible.
Mike Nix
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Allan Fisher on June 30, 2009, 02:28:34 AM
Racor 22 switches are even more difficult to maintain than Spring Switches.

Let's cool off this siding and switch discussion from afar - We must not let our enthusiasm get us into a situation at the top of the mountain that possibly might someday cause an incident that could jeopardize the future of the museum.

I say this as a transportation officer at Penn Central in the 70's who spent all his time rerailing cars, and as the System Director of Operating Rules for 18 years at Conrail who spent much of his time working with the FRA & NTSB trying to prevent catastrophes.

Risk Management and Safety are not new tools in the railroad industry or at the WW&F.

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dwight Winkley on June 30, 2009, 10:42:19 AM
The only on site inspection was to dig around and find the location of the switch. Some slide plates were found. No other measurements have been taken. Here's the problem for thoses on this forum who have not seen the lay of the land...
There is very little room north of the switch site before the down grade begins. At the location of what we think is the location of the spur end.(again no measurements taken) the spur track is located  more than 6 feet higher than the main line.
An other problem is from the old ditch lines, you see that the spur track left the main line at a very slight angle. So you lose lots of track space to get to the clearance point. This location (of the switch) may be the top of the mountain, but it is the location of some very wet land.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dana Deering on July 01, 2009, 10:45:07 AM
Adding to what Dwight said:  Bob Longo and I went to TOM a couple of years ago with a metal detector and found some slide plates for the switch and I took measurements from there to the woods road.  I have them written down but not right in front of me at the moment but 256 feet seems to clatter around in my cranium.  And that was just to the woods road.  We also went along the mainline and siding and found spikes in situ that gave us a pretty good idea of the angle of the siding as it left the main and, as Dwight said, the angle is very acute, making the fouling point quite a distance north of the points. Finding space for running around there would be a challenge. If the Board were ever to decide to put some sort of crossover/runaround there it would have to be just enough to get a locomotive around because there just isn't much room there unless the ditches are all reconfigured.  Even then there just isn't a whole lot of space.  The track pitches downgrade very sharply after crossing the woods road and that further limits what can be done there.  I would not recommend any kind of permanent runaround arrangement there for safety reasons.  Even a temporary arrangement would require train crews to be extra cautious and alert when making a runaround move there.  We still have some time before we reach the TOM with rail so there is plenty of room for discussion.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on July 01, 2009, 05:03:26 PM
Back in the days before we did run-arounds at Alna Center, I was operating a train with #52 and coasted to a stop roughly where the north switch is now. As I disengaged the clutch in preparation for reversing, the train promptly started to roll backwards. It was very unnerving. I guess my point is that Alna Center, where the grade is imperceptible to the eye, is plenty exciting. Switching at TOM would be REALLY exciting.

-John
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Robert Hale on July 01, 2009, 06:31:49 PM
Why not run all the way to TOM, the do a reverse move to Alna and then run around the train? At TOM build a small siding long enough to have a tank car, flat car and a loco (fire train or work train) parked there. Use a earthen birm at the end and a locking de-rail and switch to protect the main and siding. Also at the end of the siding install a large pole so you can attach a heavy chain to secure the equiptment as well for added safety. Just my .02 worth.
Rob
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on July 01, 2009, 07:05:53 PM
Why not run all the way to TOM, the do a reverse move to Alna and then run around the train?

That is what we currently do, although we have taken to doing the runaround first and pushing to the end of track. This permits passengers in the open car to see the end of track and to view the TOM, which is only a few hundred yards further ahead. It has worked just fine. Since we used to back all the way to or from Alna Center before the runarounds were installed, we have considerable experience doing that. There are only two crossings between Alna Center and TOM, both of which have good sight lines and essentially no traffic. The safety tradeoff here is between a one mile backing move and a possibly very dangerous runaround. I favor your backing move suggestion.

-John
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on July 01, 2009, 08:59:02 PM
Deleted by author.


Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Vincent "Lightning" LeRow on July 02, 2009, 03:05:17 PM
Just from observing what people have said on this topic, including myself, i think backing up is the safest.  It's something all of the brakemen have experience with.  also, it seems as if a runaround at the ToM would be verry tricky.  The grade does some funky things around that area.  what looks level to the eye is really a steep grade!  that leaves verry little wiggle room.  while backing upp at least you can look ahead of the train and anticipate whats hapening.  It's a lot easier to signal an engineer to slow down than a free rolling consist!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Joe Fox on July 03, 2009, 11:15:28 AM
The siding at TOM, is fairly level, or at least that is how it appeared the last time I was there. Shortly after the woods crossing, the main starts to go down hills, showing evidence of a very steep grade. I don't understand what everybody is concerned with for the 1. something back up move south to Alna Center. I would much rather see that, so that the railroad grade at TOM remains the way it was back when the railroad was in its glory in the early 1900's.

As far as spring switches, I personally would much rather to not see any ever exist on the railroad. Working with them at Conway, and seeing videos of Strasburg, they are very dangerous. I have heard of equipment going on the ground because of them, and also, if you have a spring switch, its been my experience, that the train crew doesn't look at the points, even though they are supposed. No offense to the museum or anything, but I personally feel that if spring switches are to be used, then I will stop being a member of the train crew. They may be faster and easier, but I just dont like them. Get down and throw the switch, and the funny thing is that the ones that want spring switches are the ones that aren't going to be throwing them.

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on July 04, 2009, 02:43:46 AM
Ok,...
(wow, I go away for what was supposed to be 2+1/2 weeks, then turns into about 6 weeks and look what happens!)
I see a lot of good points in this discussion.
As far as spring vs non-sprung switches and or crossovers goes, there's an easy solution....
go with what we know WORKS now! The crews are used to the backup moves from AC already, so why change that? Why change the original config of the siding? I admit, the idea of a runaround SOUNDS neat, but would the added work and the questionable safety be worth it? Granted, it's not for me to say, but my vote would be "When in doubt, refer to the original manufacturer's specs!"
Maybe that's just the Navy in me, I dunno.
As for the tank and the fire train, I thik someone (Paul Horkey) is onto something here, but here's how I'd do  (or try to do) it:
1) Fix the "spare" tank and maybe line it with plastic or add metal (weld/rivet?) to it or both, but "make it fast." (and by "fast" I mean the Naval term for "secure", not the common term for "expediant."  ;) )
2) Once the siding is in place at TOM, place the tank convenient to the siding.
3) Dig a well for a pump, ala the Sheepscot WT, and use the "spare" tank to store water for filling the B&H tank, and possibly locomotives if.when needed. (I'm anticipating this could be a right-handy arangement once steam locomotives start working the Mountain grade.)
4) Station the fire train at TOM durring the times of highest fire-danger (as was previously suggested.)
5)Drain the tank at the end of each summer, prior to the freeze.

Well, that's my $0.02 worth. Mere opinion, far from "Law." ;)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on July 04, 2009, 03:07:45 AM
Cosmo-

Rather than drill a well at TOM, how about filling the B&H tank at Sheepscot, running it to TOM, and using a gasoline powered pump to transfer the water to the stationary tank for the "seasonal fill". All other steps the same as you suggest.

-John
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on July 04, 2009, 03:18:53 AM
Well, that's a possibility too.... but...
do you mean using water from the tank at Sheepscot?
I guess that's plenty do-able, but I'd at least explore the well possibility first.
And since the statioary tank is supposed to be there to support filling the tankcar,... seem's kinda superflouous...
but then, so does hauling a bunch of folks into the woods just to turn around and bring them back.  ;)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ken Fleming on July 04, 2009, 08:03:53 PM
Another thought on TOM.  We all realize that going beyond TOM is going to be several years and many dollars away.  If having a run around at TOM is not practical,  then why not have a "temporary" run around as close to TOM as the ROW permits?  It can be removed in five or more years, when Head Tide is reached.  This would keep Alna Center open for two train operation, provide engine first operation for almost entire operating track and still leave room at TOM for tank car and with spur at TOM, place for work trains.  We could run engine first to EOT, then back only short distance to temporary run around.  Return to Sheepscot engine first with meet, if necessary, at Alna Center.  Picture a #9 train meeting a #10 train at Alna Center, both running engine first.  The siding itself could use some of the lighter rail that we all ready have.  After all this just another thought, don't kill the messenger!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on July 12, 2009, 10:30:11 PM
At Friday night's board meeting the vote was to restore the Top of the Mountain as it was - with a single siding, one switch.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on July 12, 2009, 10:45:58 PM
Good decision as it stops all the "what if's" from many sources.
Now, what is the timetable for TOM?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on July 13, 2009, 12:02:58 AM
Misinterpreted post. Removed by author
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on July 13, 2009, 06:04:06 PM
I'd like to thank the BOD for considering all of the options that were presented both in this discussion forum, and by the other members. As a non-BOD member, I appreciate the time, care, and dedication that goes into making decisions that affect the entire railway. It is also appreciated that the BOD has chosen to announce this decision via the discussion forum - so to end the speculation as to what we should or should not build at TOM.

Now that the decision has been settled, let's all look forward to building to the TOM and beyond.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on July 13, 2009, 10:24:12 PM
I had envisioned a plan for the train to stop on the siding, uncouple the engine and run around the train. This would be the safest way to do the runing around if at all possible so the cars are in a safe location, in a spot with less of a grade than Alna Center. Cars won't roll uphill, and on the siding, it is uphill in either direction. As has been pointed out before, TOM will probably be the stopping point for passengers for several years, while we repair the washout and install the bridge.
   Laying the track in it's original location has been part of my thought all along. Remove the switches when we reach a new end to be used in another temporary runaround.
   So, to the Board, Thanks for the early decision. We know where you stand and it gives me plenty of time to make my case. ;)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ken Fleming on July 13, 2009, 11:08:39 PM
I agree with the BOD decision as to "restoring" the railway to its original ROW and track plan.  I however there is a lot of difference between restoration and reality.  Having a operable track plan until we are ready to restore makes sense, also.  We have two wash outs, a landslide, one very big bridge to build and the problems of getting the FRA's blessings to cross route 218.  Any switches used would move to Head Tide.  Five or more years of smooth operation while "restoration" takes place would make real revenue sense.  I agree with you Mike, but spitting into the wind, only gets one wet.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on September 30, 2009, 05:10:03 PM
Mike, perhaps it was you. I don't recall. Who ever made the suggestion, this is what I came up with that will best fit the location without changing the grade and enabling us to return the siding to it's original configuration at a later date with minimal effort. The crossover is only temporary and can be removed once another is installed farther North. The clearances still need to be checked and this is only a suggestion. I roughly put in the camp road and all locations are not final. Subject to approval from the roadmaster.
(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-11/1225939/TOM.JPG)
Nice idea Mike. I think this is a great idea.  :) ;) :)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Tom Casper on September 30, 2009, 05:22:26 PM
I need to nit pick on labeling.  Sidings have switches at both ends, Spurs don't so that is the spur at TOM.

Tom C.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Allan Fisher on September 30, 2009, 11:54:33 PM
Afraid you have possibly used a local or regional definition - but google the standard dictionaries and railroad definition books, and you will see that siding can be used to define either a passing siding or a siding to set off cars.

A Spur can be a branch line, a track to set off cars for an industry, or a siding.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on May 04, 2014, 01:55:34 AM
Most discussions that I've seen about the siding at the Top of the Mountain have talked about southbound trains splitting their consists, taking half their cars up the mountain, storing them there, going back down to get the rest of their cars, climbing up to rejoin the stored cars, and proceeding southward. From the lay of the land at Top of the Mountain, it appears that the siding there was a stub that was facing point for southbound trains. The switching moves to accomplish the sequence just described must have been really messy.

I propose that the major use of this siding might have been to safely brake a northbound train. With only manually applied brakes, it must have been a real problem to apply the brakes going down the mountain. With the switch being trailing point for northbound trains, leaving some cars tied down up there would be a big help and quite easy to do.

Either scenario must have involved a passing siding somewhere up north to do the necessary runarounds.

-John
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on May 04, 2014, 02:13:59 AM
I don't understand your concern about southbound trains doubling the hill, John. A railroad I worked on used to make this type of move on a regular basis, especially if it was raining or snowing, to get our trains up a four-mile one percent grade. We would go at the hill until we stalled. We'd tie down the back part of the train and take the head end up to the siding at the summit, back the cars into the siding and tie them down, then head back for the rest of the train. When we got that part to the summit, we'd cut it off on the main track, back in and pick up the rest of the train, tie it all together on the main track, make an air test and head on. Back in the days of steam, the predecessor railroad often placed a helper on the rear end to boost the train up the hill. We didn't have that option since we had only one locomotive!

As for northbound moves, how would a south facing switch be helpful? How would you get cars into the siding, especially if the switch is on the ascending grade? I can see that with a heavy train, it might have been prudent to stop and tie down a few brakes before heading downgrade, with a brakeman or two positioned to tie down more as necessary.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Keith Taylor on May 04, 2014, 03:37:53 PM
Wayne....I believe John is saying that the switch is facing point when headed south.

Keith
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on May 04, 2014, 03:59:59 PM
Wayne....I believe John is saying that the switch is facing point when headed south.

Keith

Keith....You have read my posting correctly.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on May 04, 2014, 04:29:37 PM
Perhaps I was confused by John's original message. The switch at Top of the Mountain was trailing point for southbound trains and facing points for northbound, at least in my understanding. I suppose it is possible that northbound trains would cut off part of their train on the main track at the summit to enhance their safe descent, but there really would be no need to set them out on a siding. They could simply tie down the brakes and cut off before heading down the hill. If memory serves me, there was a double-nded siding at Head Tide where the front portion of the train could be set off.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on May 04, 2014, 04:38:04 PM
Wayne, et al.

Yes, my view was the TOM siding was facing point northbound. This made the most sense. I have walked the ROW there several times and there appears that the siding could have no other orientation.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mark Spremulli on May 04, 2014, 06:02:00 PM
Kinda somewhat off topic, is the siding at the top of the mountain going to be restored when the rail reaches the spot and what will it be used for?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Steve Smith on May 04, 2014, 08:02:50 PM
I was part of the winter ROW clearing party at TOM two or three times, and my observation agrees with Ira's. I also recall being impressed at how quickly the main lost elevation compared with the presumed track bed of the spur as one walked northward. Bad, bad place for a runaway.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on May 04, 2014, 08:20:42 PM
Just to clear up any confusion....

If you face north from the current end of track, you are facing down the Mountain.  The TOM switch and track went off to the left right.  The TOM end of track was a good deal higher in elevation than the main line at the location as it went down the Mountain.  Thus a southbound train would reach TOM, throw the switch, perform a back-up move to shove the train onto the siding, then return for the rest.  It was laid out to benefit a southbound train.

[corrected: ECL]
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on May 04, 2014, 08:45:33 PM
Didn't work, James. If one is facing north at the current end of track, the Top of the Mountain siding was to the right.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 04, 2014, 09:23:53 PM
Based on rough measurements yesterday, TOM siding was 375 feet long from the frog, ended in an earth berm, and was as near level as could be for that spot. 375 feet meant there was probably 340 feet of usable track there, making it about a 10 car siding.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on May 04, 2014, 09:52:28 PM
Having walked that section multiple times, both Wayne and Mike are correct in their last posts.  If the "older" members remember, we've had several lively discussions on this forum regarding the future layout of TOM and the benefits/drawbacks of a run-around at that location.  Maybe it's time to reactivate that thread.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on May 04, 2014, 11:26:31 PM
Didn't work, James. If one is facing north at the current end of track, the Top of the Mountain siding was to the right.
Wayne is, of course, correct.  Being left handed, I often confuse my left with my right.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on May 04, 2014, 11:34:48 PM
As I was told in the military:
 "It's your other left"
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on May 05, 2014, 12:39:46 AM
According to "Two Feet to Tidewater" northbound ToM siding had a facing point switch on the east side of the railway with a capacity for 7 cars.  Both sidings Head tide is shown as facing point as well, this time on the west side of the main.  These are shown as stubs rather than passing sidings.  There is no mention of car capacities in Head Tide.

Steve
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 05, 2014, 01:09:01 AM
John,

   I did all the measurements for the run around idea that was discussed in the other thread to verify it will work.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on May 05, 2014, 02:34:32 AM
I have combined the old and new threads for a continuous discussion on the Top of the Mountain siding.

Notes:
1. Mike's map of his proposal is no longer available (perhaps he can repost.)
2. About 2/3 way through the thread, the BOD announced that the vote (at that time) was to restore the TOM to its original configuration as a single ended stub siding.
3. Since then, we have since purchased the property surrounding and to the west of TOM. This will allow us to discontinue the "woods road" which happened to be right where a north switch (crossover or otherwise) would need to be placed.

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on May 05, 2014, 12:55:33 PM
Department of Corrections:

Stephen is correct about the track design at Head Tide station. There were two sidings, both on the west side of the main line, one north and one south of the station, both with trailing points south. I stand corrected!

Cheers -- Wayne
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 06, 2014, 01:52:54 AM
I will do up a new drawing to include measurements that I took. Maybe tomorrow.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 11, 2014, 12:35:25 PM
Better late than never

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2a5988ef-0891-4258-93cc-b0ba064b93a2_zpscb34f939.png)


Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on May 11, 2014, 03:25:25 PM
Looks right to me.  Thanks for re-posting Mike - the addition of the temporary crossover wraps it up very nicely.  Now the big question, when do we get started?   ;)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Brendan Barry on May 11, 2014, 03:39:50 PM
Top of the Mountain pictures

Taken from # 52 parked at the end of track. The siding was on the right side of the picture.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0552.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0550-1.jpg)

Looking southbound up the mainline towards present end of track. Top of the Mountain siding ended on the enbankment on left.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0569.jpg)

Looking south from the approximate end of the siding.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0580.jpg)

Standing on the mainline looking south up the mountain. Yellow arrow is the end of the siding.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0567.jpg)

Approximate location of switch into siding. One switch point and possible closure rail were found in this location. Mainline is the flat area going downhill in the center. Siding ran on embankment to right.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0558.jpg)

End of siding embankment looking up from mainline.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0562.jpg)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on May 11, 2014, 03:58:55 PM
Thanks for the drawing, Mike, and for the photos, Brendan.

Two things occur to me in viewing these items. First, the north switch on the siding could be moved north as much as 15 or 16 feet. Neither of our locomotives is more than 20 feet long, so there would still be 10 feet-plus of tail track. Secondly, given that the main line curves a bit to the west as it nears the summit, the train could be left on the switch, offering a little more clearance at the south end of the siding.

I'm thinking it would be nice to have some sort of platform at Top of the Mountain to allow passengers to detrain and observe the runaround movement, and perhaps some riders would enjoy a stroll down the grade toward the stream crossing or a walk into the woods. A simple platform comprised of a couple of ties and some 2 x 8 or 2 x 10 planks would do the trick. I've heard that at portion of our new property abuts that of the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association, and perhaps we could link up with their trail.

One more quick thought. The temporary north switch off the main track should be firmly spiked and locked to the diverging position except when needed to access the main track north of the siding.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on May 11, 2014, 05:13:57 PM
Two things occur to me in viewing these items. First, the north switch on the siding could be moved north as much as 15 or 16 feet. Neither of our locomotives is more than 20 feet long, so there would still be 10 feet-plus of tail track.

Obviously, you haven't heard of our South African member who is sending us a Baeyer-Garratt. :)
-John
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on May 11, 2014, 06:19:17 PM
Hmmm. I must have missed that announcement. Oh, well, by the time it arrives we will have extended the line to Week's Mills and will be able to turn it on the wye there.....
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 11, 2014, 08:15:54 PM
Due to the grade separation, moving the temporary siding switch North would mean filling in some between the tracks and changing the appearance of the TOM. The reason for the switch in the location I have selected is that when we remove it, it will look like it did before we started. Trying to keep it as original as possible was the big "sell" to the powers above to get the approval. Significant changes to the grade or surrounding terrain would not be in keeping with the whole idea.

Track laying will be in October for the Fall Work Weekend. And we anticipate the track to be put into service following the Spring work Weekend. Of course if it happens sooner, it would be great.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on May 11, 2014, 09:18:07 PM
Fortunately now there's no need to maintain the camp road, so we can eliminate the need for a double crossing there.

During our exploration a couple of weeks ago, we took the trail less traveled back from Porcupine Palace.  The trail came across what appeared to be the remnants of a long-ago road that went down to stream.  Some long-time Alna residents seem to think it's what left of another east-west road with a ford across the stream (the first being the one at Alna Center).  This would be an interesting road to have for a road crossing at TOM, and is probably the location of the first Alna station.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on May 11, 2014, 09:33:31 PM
"Due to the grade separation, moving the temporary siding switch North would mean filling in some between the tracks and changing the appearance of the TOM. The reason for the switch in the location I have selected is that when we remove it, it will look like it did before we started."

Since we have heavy equipment now, couldn't photos be taken of the present topography, along with measurements, and things be restored to original appearance in the future?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Philip Marshall on May 11, 2014, 09:47:29 PM
Thank you Mike for the map and Brendan for the photos. They're really helpful for those of us "from away" who haven't been up to Top of the Mountain in person yet.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 12, 2014, 01:24:55 AM
We can do anything with the equipment and the grade, but for no more than we would gain (175 ft is adequate for a 4 car train) would it be worth the effort? The grade separation gains so quickly after the road the either the siding would have to be moved further East and the main line raised to make the crossover work.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Reidy on May 12, 2014, 01:49:09 AM
Thanks Mike and Brendan for the diagram and photos.

Now the big question, when do we get started?   ;)

Based on Brendan's first two photos, it looks like Fred is ready to start!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on May 12, 2014, 12:38:19 PM
Thanks Brendan for the pics.  I'm just looking at all that nice straight timber ready for cutting and sawing for new building post and beams. (hint-hint)  Extending mainline track and especially TOM siding would make a great starting point for a logging operation and the occasional log train.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on May 12, 2014, 09:09:08 PM
[Mod's Note]
A discussion regarding dropping cars using gravity and not locomotive power/flying switches, etc. has been moved to the General Discussion section of the forum. While such movements may have happened historically by the original railroad, such actions are not permitted at the WW&F Railway Museum.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 13, 2014, 12:12:57 AM
Thanks Ed. On top of things like usual.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on May 13, 2014, 12:46:22 AM
Glad that this thread has not been side tracked.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on May 13, 2014, 12:50:54 AM
Lets not switch this to puns
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Reidy on May 13, 2014, 01:01:55 AM
Lets not switch this to puns

Agreed.  Ed understood the gravity of the topic and wisely gravitated to creating a new topic.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on May 13, 2014, 01:13:06 AM
Err.. Looks like I'm going to be pressing the split/move buttons again to shove this topic into Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery.

Another thread derailed by the spur of the moment.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Reidy on May 13, 2014, 01:20:36 AM
...derailed by the spur of the moment.

Oh Ed -- I'm so disappointed.  No willpower to avoid puns?  Be strong like the rest of us!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Reidy on May 13, 2014, 11:10:39 AM
Mike/Brendan -

Any thoughts on how the Kubota will be brought up to the top of the mountain?  I'm assuming that's what will be used for grading.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ken Fleming on May 13, 2014, 11:46:20 AM
The Kubota will fit on a flat car.  It can handle its own ramp(s) for loading/unloading.

Or, a simple four-wheel cart could be built to "hy-rail" the Kubota.  The Kubota would lift itself up, roll cart under, lock in place and then use #51 or #52 to push to work site and remove cart.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on May 13, 2014, 10:04:50 PM
Has it been determined where we will get the necessary 60# rail for the TOM extension?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on May 13, 2014, 10:21:51 PM
I think we have enough 60# rail on-hand to extend the track to TOM and build the siding (and a temporary run-around, if that is what is decided.) What I believe we are lacking are suitable ties. (And possibly misc. hardware and switch components.)

Thanks to a generous donation, we will soon have enough rail to extend the line to Trout/Carlton Brook.

-Ed
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 14, 2014, 12:14:48 AM
The Kubota will probably get trucked to Rosewood Stables, then driven to the EOT. The tractor may drive all the way up from Sheepscot since it would be quicker than loading and unloading.

I am going to hi-rail the excavator when I have a chance. I have an idea, but no time. I also need to have some machine work done on an axle, so that will take time. It will be self propelled, with the rail gear removable when not on the iron.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on May 14, 2014, 01:21:59 AM
I saw the announcement about donation for the rail but not where the rail was coming from.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on May 14, 2014, 01:29:23 AM
Hi Ira,

We are working on a deal with a museum on the East Coast who just replaced some rail on their main and has about 35 or 40 tons available at near scrap value.  Wayne has been our contact.  Shipping is far more reasonable, and total price tag more attainable, than a gondola full from out west. 

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 07, 2014, 11:49:57 PM
Main line and siding were surveyed today. Main line surveyed to about 600 feet. Clearance to clearance turns out to be about 190 on the siding, because the South Switch will be located further south than I had figured. The stakes at an angle are the ditch line, with some of the ditching material needed to fill in where the south switch will be.

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/TOM1_zps57727348.jpg)


I put the camera right down to the grade stake height for this one

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/TOM2_zpsdb8a6b5c.jpg)

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/TOM3_zps91ea1593.jpg)

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/TOM4_zpse99a2a8c.jpg)

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/TOM5_zps6fcbca48.jpg)

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 08, 2014, 11:54:26 AM
Nice pics Mike! Things are shaping up but looks like you guys could really use a flail mower and tractor there.  If it would be a thing we need and could use let me know.  I may be able to get one donated for the museum.  (60"-72")
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on June 08, 2014, 12:58:24 PM
John;
We have tractors it's the flail mower we could use especially if we could use it on the Kubota arm.
Dave
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 08, 2014, 01:16:03 PM
Dave,

the one I have in mind goes on a 3 point hitch behind a tractor with spline shaft drive.  Think it came off a Ford-New Holland tractor.  The only difficult part will be getting it from PA to ME.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 08, 2014, 05:07:39 PM
John, we have 2 tractors that it would fit, and several places that it would be very useful, saving our labor for places we can't get to.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 08, 2014, 10:27:54 PM
Aww come on Mike!  Putting it on an existing tractor would be too easy for you.  I figured that you already had a design to put in on a rail mounted contraption from ROWMOW Mfg.   :D
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 08, 2014, 11:14:52 PM
Well I would not say no to a challenge, but we could try it out on a tractor in the mean time. How's that?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on June 09, 2014, 01:54:11 AM
John,
Would it fit in Wayne's Honda Fit?
Dave
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 09, 2014, 11:41:22 AM
Surely you jest !!!!!  And don't call me Shirley...... ;D
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on June 09, 2014, 04:49:56 PM
I was jesting to see if I could get a rise out of Wayne!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on June 09, 2014, 05:32:09 PM
Put something like that in a Fit and you'd have a VERY "low-rider".
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on June 09, 2014, 06:02:17 PM
Ha. I've been out of town since Friday morning so I missed all this. I could probably get the mower into my Fit, but it's probably a bit heavy for it. Actually, there may be a U-Haul truck making a trip north with some donated track tools, a set of hy-rail gear for Mike and some other not-Fit-friendly items. So maybe the mower could ride along.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 09, 2014, 11:38:31 PM
I am liking the sounds of the trip North.....
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on June 10, 2014, 12:29:54 AM
Speaking of transportation here in Rutland they just pulled a bunch of ties out as part of a crossing replacement project.  I think many of them look to be good relays.  If they are available is there a way to get them to the museum/ could transport be arranged?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on June 12, 2014, 12:28:32 AM
To continue past TOM, how far North can we go before major earth work?
Do we need to do any rough grading or stumping?
Just curious.

Ira
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 12, 2014, 12:38:10 AM
Ira, rough wheel measurement from end of track was just over 1000 feet. This is the first "washout" or missing trestle or something. Cattle underpass maybe. But a gap in the ROW. After that would be the slide, though I did not measure to that to know how far.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on June 12, 2014, 08:04:42 PM
And the answer to my second question is......................





Thanks for the following replies.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on June 12, 2014, 09:24:35 PM
And the answer to my second question is......................
The first 3/4 of the way to the washout is wide and clear, but there is a substantial boggy area that will require ditching and grading for drainage management. The area is similar to one that we found some years ago just south of Sutter's and an area just north of Sheepscot Mills. Grading, ditching, road cloth, and generous ballast solved those problems, so I imagine that the new area will also be tamed.

The last 1/4 of the way to the washout is a nice woodland path, but needs some small tree removal and ditching.

-John
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on June 12, 2014, 09:42:41 PM
I walked it in 2008 to measure for our town plan, and I have 675 feet from the Fossell washout to the big slump.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on June 12, 2014, 11:32:28 PM
Mike can explain it better but I believe the plan is to start at the end of track and scrape the grass, etc. off the grade.  When the ground is bare the grade can be checked for level and fixed with the high spots cut and low places filled.  The ditches need major work, especially where the woods road crossed.  Excavated material can be used to fix the grade where the crossing was.  Once the ditch work is done, the area will dry out and we'll see if we need road cloth or extra stone for sub ballast.  The woods road crossing reminds me of the area at Albees crossing which had holes full of water.  I have photos of how boggy it was.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on June 13, 2014, 08:18:35 PM
Sorry Ira, missed part 2. No big stumps on the grade from TOM to 218 because it was used as a skidder road a couple of times from Fossils to 218.

The stumps at TOM will need to be removed first. Then the ditching can fill the holes and level the grade as Start said, also some of the ditching will be used to make the south switch a little more foot friendly. Plenty of ditching will need to be done on the east side because it is non existent. The ties from the siding were against the bank. West side ditch is in good shape, but needs to be cleared of a stump or two, re-ditched where the woods road compromised it, plus cleared of some wood we cut one winter North of the road. This junk wood can be hauled out onto the back lot out of sight to a RIP site (rot in place) that isn't so visible.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on June 13, 2014, 09:10:48 PM
Thanks again. Mike.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on August 24, 2014, 01:59:50 AM
A little treat for you tonight. I did a little searching and found some pictures Bill Reidy took 7 years ago. I recognized the location so I took some current ones today.

To see Bills, click the links.
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2007011519285916091.jpg&order=byposter&page=13&key=breidy (http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2007011519285916091.jpg&order=byposter&page=13&key=breidy)

Current shot
(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2014-08-23111625_zps409e7732.jpg)


http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?2007011519331321685.jpg (http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?2007011519331321685.jpg)

Current shot.

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2014-08-23111635_zpsc38a2da0.jpg)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on August 24, 2014, 03:17:11 AM
I trust the two-buckets-and-a-plank bench will be returned to its normal place by "Eastman Lake" for the ice skating season. ;D
-John
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Fred L. Kuhns on August 24, 2014, 03:25:46 PM
  Mike,  Thanks for the pictures from the pasted. Additional clearing of trees and brush will most likely happen this winter ?  How much future north will the side track extend ?  Thanks again for pictures of the progress being made on top of mountain siding.   Fred L. Kuhns
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on August 24, 2014, 10:06:14 PM
Fred, directly across the grade is a dead apple tree (the forked one with no bark). The side track will extend to the stake that is visible to the left of that. There is actually an earth berm there that we can restore to use as the end of the siding.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Hussar on August 24, 2014, 11:38:21 PM
Awesome! Thanks, Mike!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on August 25, 2014, 03:16:24 AM
The pencil drawing I did for the museum several years ago (prints for sale in the Gift Shop) got the scene pretty close to what we're seeing in these photos. And I did that from a visualization I made from amongst the pucker brush after the initial tree clearing!  I'll have to give myself a little pat on the back.

Richard Symmes
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on August 26, 2014, 12:23:41 AM
Yes Richard, you did a nice job on those, as you have with the rest of your work.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Fred L. Kuhns on August 26, 2014, 02:52:46 AM
   Mike, Thanks for the answer about the length of the siding.  Fred L. Kuhns
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on August 26, 2014, 12:27:08 PM
Has an "official" decision been made regarding a "temporary" run-around at TOM or will it be just a stub siding?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on August 26, 2014, 02:04:38 PM
We are planning a temporary run-around at Top of Mountain, switches for which will subsequently be moved to bottom of the mountain when we're ready to move to there.  We'll leave Alna Center run-around where it is. 
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on September 01, 2014, 08:35:11 PM
With the run-around a "go", can I assume that we'll be using Mike's proposed layout for it?  IMHO it's the best one proposed.  Also, will the start of this be on the schedule of events for the fall work weekend?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 01, 2014, 11:56:53 PM
Yes John. It is the safest and the way to get the most out of the siding. I can't take all the credit for the idea, but I did push it pretty hard...
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dylan Lambert on September 02, 2014, 07:22:07 PM
I know authenticity is important and everything, but why not just leave the siding where it is? Seems like TOM would make a decent staging area for work parties...
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dwight Winkley on September 03, 2014, 01:48:30 AM
The spur track will stay at TOM. Only two of the three track switches will be removed. This will happen when the main line gets to the bottom of the 3%-2% grade.
dwight
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 03, 2014, 01:56:35 AM
Dylan, just a refresher, this is the rough idea I pushed for. The measurements were estimated, and the siding is actually going to be a bit longer, so we can run around a 4 car (2 coaches, Open car and Caboose) easily. As Dwight said, once we are ready to move north, the blue line and the switches associated with it go away, and it will be returned to a close to original configuration, albeit slightly longer.
(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2a5988ef-0891-4258-93cc-b0ba064b93a2_zpscb34f939.png)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mark Hendrickson on September 03, 2014, 02:10:19 PM
So how far past TOM can we go with out major wash out repair work?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on September 03, 2014, 03:02:25 PM
Not very far. It's maybe 1000 feet to the first washout from the temporary crossover.

But because of the grade, there is no sense in trying to operate any regular trains anywhere north of the Top of the Mountain until we get to the bottom of the hill (route 218.)

For a map (and related discussion) see:
http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php?topic=793.0 (http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php?topic=793.0)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 03, 2014, 04:00:13 PM
I think the figure was 800 feet from current end of track to the missing culvert (washout).  Then another 800-ish feet to the landslide.

Ed is correct - we'd rather not try stopping a train (using hand brakes, if we have the crew) on a severe downgrade in regular operations.  Not to mention getting the train going again uphill!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 03, 2014, 07:31:15 PM
If what Ed and James say above is the case, why are we going to the expense and hassle of a third switch at Top of the Mountain? Why not build the south switch and the switch off the siding at the north end and not worry about the other one at this time? We would save a set of switch timber, a frog and a pair of points, in addition to the time required to lay out, cut and fit all the rails for the third switch. Just asking.....

If we follow our usual track construction model, the track at Top of the Mountain will be built this fall, and next spring we'll place the ballast and surface and line everything. Therefore, it seems to me that we are putting the cart before the horse, so to speak, since it will be at least a year and probably longer before we are able to begin undertaking the major construction projects required to continue north from Top of the Mountain. Perhaps I'm not seeing the big picture, but it seems to me there are several issues to be addressed before we start laying track down the mountain.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on September 03, 2014, 07:54:41 PM
Hmmmm...  Wayne, you do have a good point.   :-\
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on September 03, 2014, 09:37:52 PM
Actually, I wondered the very same thing Wayne stated.
Why go to the extra effort with no real gain. Just make it a run around as at Sheepscot and Alna Center.
The wheel has all ready been invented.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 03, 2014, 09:44:00 PM
Well...we don't need a third switch right away on the mainline at the top of the grade, but we will need one eventually so that we can put track down the Mountain.  And it won't be wasted work - we'll need it at the bottom of the Mountain by 218 for a run-around down there. 
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 03, 2014, 11:11:21 PM
I know the decision has already been made, and I know what it is. I know we have a pair of new points and a new frog for the south switch, but do we have four more serviceable points and two more serviceable frogs for the north end? Do we have enough switch timber on hand? What about slide plates and riser plates?

And let's face the facts. If we build a quarter mile of track each year, which has been our usual target, it's going to take at least four years to reach Route 218, AFTER the necessary repairs have been accomplished AND the bridge is constructed over Trout Brook.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on September 03, 2014, 11:14:06 PM
Well I'd tend to agree with you for the most part James except for the last part.  If you look at Mike's sketch, the two switches that would be moved are both right-hand switches.  A true run-around has both left and right hand switches.  Although you could "panelize" the switches, one would have to be taken completely apart and reconfigured to change it to a left hand switch (new points and match rail), so you really don't save anything in time, labor, and material.

What I'd also throw out is we should look carefully on how to build the RR from TOM to Rt. 218.  IMHO it might be more efficient to start at Rt. 218 and build south.  Better access to the bridge site, ease of moving materials, and a much shorter distance to cover for oversized equipment and construction components.  Just thinking out loud - jump in with thoughts.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 03, 2014, 11:57:05 PM
At present we are planning only the one switch at ToM this fall- that being the "original" switch.  It hasn't been discussed but construction may want to stop short of future protential switches.

With all due respect to Wayne's idea- it hasn't gained too much traction only because we want to retain ready access to the main line for both construction purposes and railcar operations.  In fact the railcar is being viewed as an important aspect of our operation during the years that we have track on the mountain but don't operate trains over it yet.  It will be an important piece to maintain member and visitor interest during what will likely be a number of years.  I suspect we'll operate some trains down there for special occasions with some help getting out of the hole. 

We just don't want the main line that out of reach.

The only different arrangement we might do is accept a very, very short runaround and make it conventional by making the north main switch with points facing north.

There has been some discussion of building south from 218 but when one considers the lack of any staging area or even parking adjacent the row there- it really becomes considerably less practical than using our existing railroad to move material and build northward.

Just my thoughts- based on recent discussions.   It can all be brought up and discussed again of course.

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 04, 2014, 12:06:04 AM
It will be much easier to build the bridge over Trout Brook via 218 access -after all it's only a few hundred feet away.

As for the switch - I see John's point.  Maybe we can be clever about it and force the connection to the siding to be a left hand switch.  We'd have to have some track pointing in funny directions on the siding.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 04, 2014, 12:19:59 AM
The biggest reason, and this is a big one, for the switches arranged like I have put in the drawing is safety. The grade drops off to be about a 2% grade where the North switch in my configuration is planned. Any switch with North facing points will be on the 2%, unless it is very short, and by short I mean no longer than 100 feet, and then it will still be close. the grade starts at about the 300 foot mark from the current end of track. I know my proposed idea may seem out of the ordinary, but to be able to get the most out of what was there, have a passing siding we can use for a special train, and be able to put it back like or similar to the original configuration was the reasoning for this.

Look at the before and after pictures I did 2 weeks ago to see the drop I am talking about. Siding is somewhat level. Lets not be lazy and build something that we wont wish was bigger as soon as we put it in service.

As for the right hand switch, we won't be done building track so there will always be a place for it, eventually.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 04, 2014, 12:37:34 AM
Fair enough on Mike's reasoning, and I see Wayne's origonal idea- although I feel that the second main line switch, allowing access, albeit infrequent, down the Knutson as it is built.

Fwiw- I don't see the conversion of one hand of switch to the other as much of an obstacle.  With proper attention to detail nearly all components could be reused.

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on September 04, 2014, 01:27:16 AM
Again, after all is said and done, Mike's layout makes the most sense; safety wise, cost wise, operationally, etc. and provides for future expansion without any extra changes.  Jason, you are also correct that most of the switch components could be reused.  BUT the points and match rail need to be machined to specific dimensions. (I'm preaching to the choir there) Otherwise, we need to place a further order for those pieces with the Baltimore mfg. group, (like now....) as that is a bit of a long lead item.

So in the words of one of my favorite comedians:  Let's "Git 'er done!"
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 04, 2014, 08:36:25 AM
My drawing is not accurate and I don't know why I did not think of this before. the tail of the siding actually turns away from the main as the grades separate. The switch on the siding was figured to be a left handed one, using this curve as part of the switch. I will have to update my drawing to reflect that.

Mike
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on September 04, 2014, 01:21:44 PM
There you go - all problems solved.  Where's my Staples "That was easy" button when I need it  ;D
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 04, 2014, 01:30:18 PM
As I said, I already knew the decision had already been made. I was hoping to stimulate a bit of discussion. That happened.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on September 04, 2014, 09:41:53 PM
I, too, have often thought that building south from 218 to the bridge made alot more sense. The ROW is wide enough for storage and vehicles can be parked off road.
The bridge then becomes more accessable.

Have we started the permiting process or when will it start?
Knowing Government, if may take more than a few years to get the necessary permits.

Yesterday was a good starting date for the process.

Ira Schreiber
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on September 04, 2014, 11:46:55 PM
Ira, I too have been advocating but I don't know if we have any more land than just the ROW along 218.  I noticed from some real estate websites that there would be a great staging area just off 218 if one could obtain use of, or acquire the pie slice of property between the ROW and the creek.  Looks about 1 1/2 Ac.  Don't know if this belongs to the Conservancy or not but if it does, maybe we can make a deal with them.  Hopefully, others with more knowledge of the details there can fill in the missing pieces.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on September 04, 2014, 11:49:39 PM
That "slice" is the Sheepscot Valley Conservation's parking lot and information kiosk. Using it for a staging area might be tricky.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 05, 2014, 01:42:51 AM
Here is a QUICK edit to my map.

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2ff76c6b-9888-4eb6-8525-ec320220a6b1_zps123d94ea.png)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on September 05, 2014, 12:48:23 PM
Mike, I think you meant "quick edit" instead of "quit edit" - just so folks don't think its being dropped.  ;)

Ed, thanks for filling in a missing piece of the "pie".  Since it has been discussed before about the possibility of a "station" and parking area being set-up at Rt. 218, would it make sense to partner with the conservancy to create a "multi-use" facility that could serve both the conservancy and the museum with the intent of using it as a gateway between the organizations?  I believe that it would help attendance (and donations) to both groups as an added attraction for visitors who would come for one type of visit and end up getting a 2 for 1 bonus.  I could see this as a big bonus for school charters where kids would get the Social Studies / History lessons from us and the Environmental / Life Science lessons from the conservancy folks on the other end of the RR.  Just brainstorming - comments welcome
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ken Fleming on September 05, 2014, 01:16:47 PM
Why not a simple run around like at A.C.  Then when we are at our 218 area, pull the switch and move it there.  Its going to be a matter of a few years before that time and I am sure the ghosts of WW&F past won't mind the impurity.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Stone on September 05, 2014, 03:25:35 PM
I can see the logic behind the proposed crossover, given the slope of the land. A trailing point switch from the north end of top of the mountain spur would involve an extremely steep grade to reach the rapidly descending main track and allow for no safety factor if a train were to get too far north in the siding. Even taking a lite engine down such a ramp would be very risky.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bernie Perch on September 05, 2014, 05:08:10 PM
Did anyone consider installing a small temporary turntable (enough for the wheelbase of #11) on the tail of the T of M siding?  This would replace one of the three switches but leave the rest as Mike recommended.  I would recommend something similar to what the Huntsville & Lake of Bays has on their line, about the size of the Kennebec central's or like what was at Edaville.  The pivots are from old scrapped excavators.  There would be no need for a pit or anything fancy.  I am recommending this because of the installation of the turntable at Sheepscot.  This would also facilitate turning the "T Model Ford" (as my great uncle called them).  Under the right conditions it may be easier to install than a switch.

Bernie
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 05, 2014, 05:59:52 PM
I've had an interest in a light weight, movable turntable for some time.  Just as Bernie describes- minimal prep, easy to relocate as the rail head advances.  I think the idea has merit.

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 06, 2014, 12:53:34 AM
Mike, I think you meant "quick edit" instead of "quit edit" - just so folks don't think its being dropped.  ;)


Guess I was too quick with my quick edit. You caught me :)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 07, 2014, 01:36:22 AM
Well, I think I have done enough for this year. I do not want to get too far ahead, but I may work up there one more day, get a little further North. Depends on a few things though. But how about some pictures.

Standing on the ramp at the End of track
(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2014-09-06153210_zps1bc3aba8.jpg)


Looking across the grade toward the siding.
(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2014-09-06153256_zps2712aca6.jpg)


Just south of the camp road ( or where it used to be) looking North. Notice the rapid height change between the grades. Siding is to the right and is almost level, and the earth berm at the end is original, just enhanced with a little extra topsoil.
(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2014-09-06104341_zps83421417.jpg)


Turning and facing south. Grade stakes on the right are the center line for the Main. Stakes on the left are the center for the siding.
(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2014-09-06153838_zpsaa1cbf6a.jpg)


Lastly, looking south from the end of the siding.
(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/2014-09-06153911_zps63786a45.jpg)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on September 07, 2014, 11:59:41 PM
Didn't the Phillips & Rangeley RR have a small "gallows" turntable at Perham Jct. where the Barnjum Branch diverged from the main line?  Something such as that might work at Top of the Mountain.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 08, 2014, 12:17:45 AM
After Bernie's suggestion, I looked over the siding by the berm, and I believe one could be put in there without too much work, other than cutting a few trees and sliding the track far enough East so the turntable isn't hanging over the embankment while being turned.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Glenn Christensen on September 08, 2014, 04:10:12 AM
Hi Guys,

The cranberry bog utility lines in Mass, used small, moveable turntables for turning the 4-wheeled dump cars, flatcars, and 4-wheeled Brookville locos like our #51.

They consisted of little more than a steel disk that rested flat on a level spot of ground.  A short length of bog track, with a pivot plate welded to the rail base at its center, was dropped over a pivot bolt pointing upright at the center of the disk and sat on rollers to allow it to spin around the pivot.  A super-fancy version might have a heavy-duty coil spring set around the pivot bolt, between the bottom of the bog track pivot plate and the steel disk and a simple locking lever, but these enhancements are optional for practical use.

It was elegantly simple in design and in use and the while unit could be lifted by a small number of willing bodies.


Best Regards,
Glenn
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Philip Marshall on September 08, 2014, 05:00:30 AM
Didn't the Phillips & Rangeley RR have a small "gallows" turntable at Perham Jct. where the Barnjum Branch diverged from the main line?  Something such as that might work at Top of the Mountain.

Yes, there was a turntable at Perham Junction but I think it was full size, big enough for the SR&RL 2-6-2s (barely -- there's a famous photo of engine 16 with its tender hanging off the end!).

Something like the small turntables used on the KC and the Monson might be more appropriate, just the right size for a small Forney. I believe the Monson turntables were based on Mansfield's Billerica & Bedford turntable, for which drawings are available. (It's often said that the Monson turntables were only used for the snowplow but I think the engines also were turned in the early years of the line. Why else would the Monson Junction water tank have been on the turntable lead?)

-Philip Marshall
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 09, 2014, 11:35:58 AM
I forgot to mention this. About 470 feet of Main Line and the siding is ready for track. It should give us around 750 to 800 feet of track to lay this fall, if we cover everything that has been prepped. Then in the spring, cut in the crossover switches to complete the runaround.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Kokas on September 10, 2014, 10:30:54 PM
I'd say go with the switches at TOM and do the "temp" turntable at the future roundhouse site.  Might help attract donations for construction if folks can visualize it.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 11, 2014, 01:21:38 AM
According to the fund drive letter, they want to start work on the permanent turntable, which will be the foundation.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 16, 2014, 01:25:30 AM
The dirt work is complete for this year. Some secondary measurements were taken today, and due to the grading that was done, the south switch will be at the current end of track. This will make the run around long enough to safely rejoin the main with a North pointed switch. The switch should be between the 300 foot mark and the old camp road. North of that becomes steep. This northern switch will still most likely be temporary, and removed when we have the next run around to the north completed, putting the siding back to an as built siding. Building it this way saves building one switch, and should enable us to put it in service during the spring work weekend. I can do a quick drawing for the new plan if there is some interest.

Mike
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 16, 2014, 01:45:08 AM
Go for it, Mike.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ken Fleming on September 16, 2014, 02:11:24 AM
 :) Smart way to do it.  Throw in a simple shelter and we'll have our Northern terminus for a few years.

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on September 16, 2014, 02:35:39 AM
Here is "some interest". Go for it.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 16, 2014, 12:09:11 PM
I'll do it up tonight.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Glenn Christensen on September 16, 2014, 11:21:49 PM
:) Smart way to do it.  Throw in a simple shelter and we'll have our Northern terminus for a few years.



What about using Prebles for the shelter?


Best Regards,
Glenn
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 16, 2014, 11:40:04 PM
Currently we plan to use Prebles as a drop point for utilities, when we get ready to bring everything in to one location and bury utilities between buildings on campus.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 16, 2014, 11:54:22 PM
So... We're not ruling out mike's x-over plan yet--- we're looking at the feasibility of building 3 switches...

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ken Fleming on September 17, 2014, 12:55:26 AM
K.I.S.S.
It's a principle that works.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ira Schreiber on September 17, 2014, 01:04:39 AM
Build the switch at the shop. Load on a flat car with the excess overhanging the other flat car. Check the side clearances and move it north.

Repeat two more times.
You can leave off the through rails and that would leave points, frog and guard rails. It will work.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 17, 2014, 01:09:30 AM
Here is my interpretation of Jason's suggestion to me. Hope it makes sense. And he is currently thinking about the crossover idea. Time will tell.

(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/WWandF%20Ry/c8e112f2-e2e2-4c27-953f-48af852b69fa_zps2581bc34.png)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jon Chase on September 17, 2014, 08:12:21 AM
For sake of further discussion, is there really any need for a runaround at TOM, temporary or otherwise?  Reference has been made to operational safety.  I'm not involved in WW&F operations, but based on my experience on other railroads I do wonder what would actually be gained by running around cars at TOM and then pulling them up The Ladder with the locomotive at the south end, in the current absence of automatic train brakes. Logically, the practice of pushing cars south from EOT, which has been done successfully for some years now, seems "safer" in the event of a coupler and safety chain failure (however unlikely we hope that is). The present mode of operation north of Alna Center completely avoids this risk.    

On the other hand, avoiding a potentially dangerous stop on a steep grade at a new EOT partway down The Mountain is also entirely logical, particularly with a major washout or landslip just beyond.  Utilizing TOM siding, in its original stub-ended format, as the temporary "main" line would also accomplish this.  The switch itself could normally be clamped in the thrown position, with a procedure for authorizing removal of the clamp established in the operating rules so as to allow access down the grade for work trains or other special operations.    

By way of reference to Ken Flemming's "keep it simple" comment, this would eliminate paying for, building, and ultimately removing one or two superfluous switches, would allow accurate restoration of TOM siding including keeping the mainline switch at its original location, and would satisfy both of the critical safety functions mentioned above - which I believe are the essential ones identified in every discussion of this issue.  

-Jon Chase (looking forward to seeing other work weekend regulars in a few weeks)
    
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 17, 2014, 11:00:09 AM
Actually, we have been shoving cars North the mile from Alna Center for the last few years. The reason to have a run around would be to have the locomotive on the head end in both directions. This is the best position for the locomotive operationally.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 17, 2014, 11:05:47 AM
Mike posted as I was writing this, but I'll post it anyway.

Jon, our operating procedure for several years now is to stop at Alna Center northbound, run the locomotive around, and push to the end.  So we are pulling the cars upgrade at the Ladder on our way south.

Before we acquired this property, there had been discussion about putting a runaround somewhere north of Alna Center.  If we had been unable to get the property, thus making further expansion northward impossible for the time being, then we would have done this.  The best candidate spacewise would have been at Rosewood Crossing.  While we have successfully pushed cars for years, pulling cars is much safter than pushing.  This runaround is on level ground, making chances of a runaway less likely than at Alna Center.  It will enable our second sections to meet us at end of track and return much sooner than they currently do.  Operationaly the runaround is a major win for us, however temporary it is.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 17, 2014, 11:31:43 AM
Qualifying the "pushing cars is much safer" comment.  In the event of a derailment of a lead wheelset due to a track issue or grade crossing "issue", having the mass up front has clear advantages over having it out back continuing to shove. 

I understand Amtrak and many commuter agencies shove all the time- but at least in the case of the Downeaster, Amtrak is required to have a dummy locomotive on he dead end not only for cab controls but for leading mass as well.  At least I heard that somewhere- but I'll back down on that claim quickly if debunked.

Plainly we're not counting on a derailment of any sort.

Annoyance level concerns with shoving include the fireman needing to watch for signals on right hand curves (when shoving), and train slack management when using train brakes.

We could build a stub siding and station a locomotive, and volunteer to live up there, to help with runarounds.  There's already a cabin up there for the volunteer to stay in.  I hear the fishing ain't bad (or good), and te scenery's decent.  Any takers?

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jon Chase on September 17, 2014, 01:44:03 PM
Jason and James, thanks for explaining the reasoning.  As I said, my comment was was offered for the sake of discussion, so I guess it worked ... in any event, one thing which occasional participants like myself can always be assured of is that whatever the given project may be, the background thought and planning has been extensive and well-considered.       

Regarding my evident unfamiliarity with the actual current method of regular operation north of Alna Center, I guess I need to ride the train more often! 

Thanks again, and see you in a few weeks.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on September 17, 2014, 01:50:13 PM
I happened to accidentally select the earliest posts (2009!) in this thread rather than the most recent ones. There are posts there suggesting that fire safety would be greatly enhanced if the Bridgton tank car were posted on the siding. That idea suggests retention of the spur shown in Mike's diagrams.

-John
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Glenn Christensen on September 17, 2014, 07:04:07 PM
Currently we plan to use Prebles as a drop point for utilities, when we get ready to bring everything in to one location and bury utilities between buildings on campus.

Thanks for the info James!


Best Regards,
Glenn
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 18, 2014, 06:59:10 PM
I am more than pleased to know that we will have an actual runaround track atTop of the Mountain, at least for the present. Jason's explanation of the operational advantages to a runaround needs no further discussion. However, I have to wonder if i'm the only person questioning the need for a third switch and the stub siding. I know for a fact that we have a shortage of serviceable frogs and switch points, as well as limited inventory of switch timber. I cannot for the life of me understand the value of that short stub from an operational perspective. It won't help much with the operation of a second section (Model T), since the same routine as currently employed at Alna Center can be used, and presuming the main line extends a few rail lengths beyond the north switch, there would be head room for the tamper to get in the clear if necessary.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 18, 2014, 07:32:03 PM
Ok- taking a break from welding switch slide plates out front as parents wait to pick up kids.  

First off we are planning on a conventional runaround at this point.
I rediscovered the no 10 frog that we rejected for the north yard, and designed a stub switch around it.  Along with the no 8 frog that Wayne rediscovered last week the 3 switch plan was still in the running, until...

To answer Wayne's question- the operational advantage of the 3 switch plan would have been additional length between fouling points, allowing a longer train to be runaround.  This is due to the fact that the north switch for the 3 switch plan could have been further north than the north switch for the conventional runaround.  It had been supposed that this gain would have been as much as a car length.

After seeing how the stub is laid out- as it works out the north switch for the 3 switch plan would have to be further south than otherwise to avoid a sharp reverse curve into the stub.  As laid out and graded the stub is at a no 8 frog angle off the main.  Because of this the actual gain between fouling points is about 10 feet.  We discovered that yesterday; along with te desire to avoid building a 3rd switch, that's when the conventional runaround got settled upon.

We also discovered that the conventional runaround will clear a 4 car passenger train, which is rare.

There was some disappointment that we wouldn't have that unique stub off into the woods, but that will come with time.

So- there you have it!  

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ken Fleming on September 18, 2014, 10:46:53 PM
 :)Yea!  Finally an answer. We'll see it I get up there next Spring.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 19, 2014, 12:54:33 AM
Could not get any interest in looking this over before I graded it so it is what it is. Oh well. Graded to what was there. On the bright side, next year we can grade to the first washout, which would give us approximately 600 feet to lay track on in the fall..
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 19, 2014, 09:24:29 PM
Mike, all,

I didn't mean to imply any offense in my message.  In fact the way it has been graded is the best possible recreation of how it probably was.  I don't believe any amount of planning could have or should have changed the result.  It is what it is, and it'll be fine both for now and when later reworked to the original configuration.

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 19, 2014, 11:41:56 PM
Correct Jason. I was not trying to sound (is that correct when you are reading it) like I was taking offense, but was trying to be funny. Sarcasm is hard to set into type when you can't emphasize what you want where you want.

And the only thing that was changed from the original was the addition of a ditch on the East side, and using the material to lengthen the siding. The Main is going to be in the original location, as well as the siding. Both centers were marked before grading.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 24, 2014, 12:06:18 AM
Ok , today was day 2 of our ToM switch construction week.  Yesterday Rick Sisson and I first cut and bent the closures and stock rails for both switches, after which we punched spike holes in the slide plates I made last week.  Lastly we verified the car barn corner markers in preparation for digging to set posts.

Today we had a great weekday crew consisting of Fred Morse, Jonathan St Mary, Dwight Winkley, Eric Schade and myself- all taking our work train to the north end for laying out switch parts.  Stewart Rhine was manning the fort back at Sheepscot, doing some 'yard' work and hosting some interesting visitors.

Today we managed to re-line the end of track to allow the switch to be properly placed.  After this we set out switch ties, and retreated for lunch.  After this we used Ichabod to retrieve yesterday's crop of prepared rail and set them out.  By the end of the day the two stock rails, two points and two closures were in their rightful place.  A solid days work.

Tomorrow will see te frog and main rails go out, along with hole drilling and some spiking. 

We plan to build the north switch as a panel on 118 next week.  We have a plan to move it from flat to ground once the track reaches the right place.

We'll keep updating on this fun week!

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 24, 2014, 12:34:23 AM
We have a plan to move it from flat to ground once the track reaches the right place.

That would be a very large crew of people, right?   ;D
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 24, 2014, 01:52:14 AM
A chain and a sturdy tree will do the trick.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 24, 2014, 10:16:10 AM
Plan is:  "Ok Dana, here's your switch!" 

We do have a few firmer ideas than that...

I forgot to mention that we were joined by new-ish volunteer Phil in the afternoon.  Phil has been helping in no 9 a day a week for a about 2 months- and joined the fun at ToM.  I'll get his last name today...

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on September 24, 2014, 02:35:29 PM
Here are two photos taken by one of the switch crew members on 9/23/2014.
(http://www.wwfry.org/pics/for_forum/TOM1_9-23-14-JSM.JPG)


(http://www.wwfry.org/pics/for_forum/TOM2_9-23-14-JSM.JPG)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Brendan Barry on September 24, 2014, 05:30:44 PM
Work train going north this morning.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0476-1.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0467-1.jpg)

Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 24, 2014, 11:55:48 PM
Today's crew- Fred, Eric, Jonathan, Brendan, Phil and myself (Stewart at Sheepscot again) made more switch progress.  Jonathan and Eric made the closure steps while Fred and Phil got the train ready. I got there after my eye appointment, conned Brendan into coming, and off we went.  Set the frog and two main rails, drilled holes to bolt and heel space points, bolted up all joints, safety spiked the switch.    A lot of this involved staging moves between Alna Center and ToM, and several Ichabod set ups-- all using up time.  Forgot the switch layout back in the shop so we left the curve spiking for tomorrow, along with guard rails. 

It was a beautiful fall day- perfect for this work.  Tomorrow will be less perfect and have a smaller crew- so we'll see what gets done.  We are well underway though.

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Brendan Barry on September 25, 2014, 12:34:30 AM
Pictures from today.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0477.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0480.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0485.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0497.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0509-1.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0514.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0522.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0528.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0530.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0536.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0541.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0547.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0557.jpg)

Jason's photography

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/image-29.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/image-30.jpg)

Fred is accepting cushion donations. ;D














Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 25, 2014, 12:37:46 AM
I see the chairs have been set out for the supervisors.  Which one will Dana use?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on September 25, 2014, 06:20:48 PM
More progress today:
(http://www.wwfry.org/pics/for_forum/TOM3_9-25-14-JL.JPG)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 25, 2014, 06:38:07 PM
Thank you Ed!

Today's crew, Fred, Phil, Stewart and myself set final point alignment and closure curve, and spiked the entire switch- except for 1 spoke as we literally ran out.  I think Fred drove most (98%?) of the spikes... 

All it needs is throw bar, stand and guard rails.  We plan to start the stub switch Monday.

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Philip Marshall on September 25, 2014, 06:49:29 PM
Wow -- the switch looks great!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 25, 2014, 07:31:18 PM
That is one fine looking switch! If we were to have a track laying race... I'd want Fred spiking on my team!  In all seriousness, very nice work to the weekday crew!

Steve
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on September 25, 2014, 09:23:52 PM
Wow, great work, guys! I am really impressed that you knocked this out in three days with such a small crew! Well done!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Fred Morse on September 25, 2014, 09:26:42 PM
I think my complaining made Jason think I did more than I did.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on September 25, 2014, 09:32:50 PM
Maybe- I dunno, I didn't count...

Anyway, Fred's in the picture for scale- to prove its two foot gauge.  Stewarts in there to prove its in Maine.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on September 26, 2014, 12:24:28 AM
Nice work guys.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 26, 2014, 01:18:57 AM
Did you ever get Phil's last name?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Sample on September 26, 2014, 01:40:16 AM
Great progress - this will give us a jump-start for the Fall Work Weekend!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on September 26, 2014, 11:03:16 AM
I'm thinking we can have competing track laying crews!  Whoever finishes first gets to rub it in to the other team.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on September 26, 2014, 12:28:41 PM
...or help the other team finish!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dwight Winkley on September 26, 2014, 09:44:04 PM
Most likely the main line will be built first. The side track will than be built while the north switch for the main line is unloaded from the flat car.
dwight
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Brendan Barry on October 03, 2014, 04:29:27 AM
Jason's pictures of the south switch of the runaround.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/image-40.jpg)


(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/image-39.jpg)

Stub switch for the north end of the runaround being built on flatcar 118 at Sheepscot.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0565.jpg)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Keith Taylor on October 03, 2014, 11:49:11 AM
The first photo shows the switch installed backwards. The operating handle should be on the outside of the track.
The way it is set up the operator has to stand on the ties to throw the switch and he/she is in between the switch stand and the track. If he/she were to trip and fall, they would land on the track or switch stand and possibly be seriously hurt.

Keith
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dave Crow on October 03, 2014, 11:52:48 AM
Keith, I was wondering the same thing.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Keith Taylor on October 03, 2014, 01:07:33 PM
The switch at the south end of the runaround at Sheepscot is installed backwards as well.

The operating handle should always be on the outside so when you throw the switch you don't encounter and tripping hazards,

Keith
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dave Crow on October 03, 2014, 02:42:56 PM
Hmmm... looking at the photos on Facebook, it seems that the person operating the switchstand faces south instead of trapped between the switchstand and the switch itself.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on October 03, 2014, 02:56:12 PM
The handle travels parallel to the head blocks, not the rail.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on November 18, 2014, 01:45:03 AM
I spy Ichabod.....
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alna,+ME/@44.0951056,-69.6241783,278a,20y,90h/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x4caded7b33a79bb9:0xc7478cd6aed0e353 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alna,+ME/@44.0951056,-69.6241783,278a,20y,90h/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x4caded7b33a79bb9:0xc7478cd6aed0e353)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Sample on November 18, 2014, 02:16:13 AM
Hopefully Google will take some post-foliage aerial photos this year - the images done during the leaf season hide most of what many of us want to see.  In my part of Connecticut Bing photos are not as recent but many were taken when the leaves were down - much better for us explorers!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Reidy on November 18, 2014, 11:13:07 AM
I spy Ichabod.....
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alna,+ME/@44.0951056,-69.6241783,278a,20y,90h/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x4caded7b33a79bb9:0xc7478cd6aed0e353 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alna,+ME/@44.0951056,-69.6241783,278a,20y,90h/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x4caded7b33a79bb9:0xc7478cd6aed0e353)


Good eyes, Mike.  I never would have spotted that.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Brendan Barry on May 22, 2015, 11:01:49 PM
Top of the Mountain run around is officially in service. Dana moved the red flag to the end of the mainline and Fred did the first run around move at T.O.M with 52 and flat 126 today.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/IMG_0465.jpg)

We also changed out the ground throw style switch stand with a shop built harp style switch stand on the north cross over switch. The harp style switch stand has more leverage for throwing the stub switch.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/IMG_0470.jpg)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 23, 2015, 01:16:58 AM
What was wrong with the other switch stand? I can see some visual alignment confusion with this one...
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on May 23, 2015, 01:20:03 AM
Someday we'll be saying, "Gosh - remember how excited we were to reach the Top of the Mountain."
-John M
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Andre Anderson on May 23, 2015, 02:55:22 AM
What was wrong with the other switch stand? I can see some visual alignment confusion with this one...


According to the caption, it has more leverage than the other style of switch stand.

Andre
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Reidy on May 23, 2015, 04:18:11 AM
Thanks, Brendan, for the photos.  Wish I could have been there today -- I even had a rare Friday off today from work.

Did the gravel on the flat car get dumped anywhere?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Brendan Barry on May 23, 2015, 02:29:19 PM
First scheduled passenger train just used the new siding.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on May 23, 2015, 03:19:53 PM
First scheduled passenger train just used the new siding.
Does anyone have a picture?

-John M
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Paul Uhland on May 23, 2015, 05:56:05 PM
Beefing up that switch stand is understandable because those hard-headed stub rails must literally bend starting about six ties back.
Since that mast doesn' t swivel, I'd say the non-turning target needs to be raised for better visibility, and the switch's open/closed position indicated in the timetable.
I've thrown a few standard-gauge switches during my ATSF summer switchman days.  ;)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Gordon Cook on May 23, 2015, 09:16:57 PM
What was wrong with the other switch stand? I can see some visual alignment confusion with this one...


We 'could' move the attachment point for the throw rod above the pivot.
But that would mean the stand puts a vertical force vector on the throw rod since the attachment point is offset from the plane of the rails.
Maybe add an extra lever in the middle to reverse the motion? This also has the advantage of cancelling thermal expansion in the rods.

I got more...   ;)



Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on May 23, 2015, 10:06:37 PM
Does anyone have a picture?

Ask, and ye shall receive....
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xta1/v/t1.0-9/11265557_10153000263246871_1130680648950318456_n.jpg?oh=62d86582169bc2629accce2845ebe909&oe=5609B9D3&__gda__=1438987934_25276173864f1a03b659848b0e36a490)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Brendan Barry on May 24, 2015, 04:35:52 AM
First train of the day.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0458.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0464.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0467_1.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0479_1.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0486.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0491_2.jpg)

Last train of the day.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0499.jpg)

Dana ran 10 to the end of the siding for a photo op. Number 10 is as far north as you can go and 10's tank truck is sitting on a piece of original WW&FRy rail that was found while clearing at T.O.M

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0518.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0527.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0531.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0552_1.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/DSC_0564_2.jpg)
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on May 24, 2015, 11:23:27 AM
Thanks for the post B. 

Nice photo essay of the first run around move at TOM for those of us who missed it.   
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John McNamara on May 24, 2015, 12:54:20 PM
Great stuff! :D
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Glenn Christensen on May 24, 2015, 04:45:12 PM
"First class" Gentlemen.

"First class" indeed.


Best Regards,
Glenn
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on May 24, 2015, 09:05:48 PM
I have got to say, the whole time grading up there last year, I had this very picture in my head. So glad it has come together so well.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: John Stone on May 24, 2015, 09:06:31 PM
Beautiful!
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on May 24, 2015, 10:39:55 PM
Outstanding!
A huge "Well done" to everyone involved.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Paul Uhland on May 26, 2015, 08:31:09 PM
TOM Extension turned out tops. Well done.
Extensive gallery of construction pics posted on NGDF was super impressive.
Suggestion--with a light fence post and a 2'x2' square of plywood?, make an official EOT red board to set between the rails, have a ceremony when it is advanced to the latest mainline end.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Dave Crow on May 27, 2015, 03:01:57 AM
I thought the plan was to have the train set off in the siding where it is relatively level - and no chance of rolling downhill - instead of tying up on the mainline and having the locomotive run around the train by using the siding?
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Joe Fox on May 27, 2015, 03:08:45 AM
Where the train is left on either track, forms a bowl towards the South switch, heading towards Alna Center. The main line has about a 3 car level spot, and then at the frog at the Main line stub, the grade begins to descend north.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: James Patten on May 27, 2015, 11:00:09 AM
We thought it best to leave the train on the main line, in case a train is having trouble on the downhill they have some level ground to regain control.  If they don't then the mainline switch is lined for the siding, and the spur/siding switch is aligned for the spur so that there's extra room to stop the train.
Title: Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
Post by: Bill Sample on May 27, 2015, 01:06:33 PM
Time to break out my "Top of the Mountain" T shirt!  This was an important date in WW&F history - well done!
And thanks for sharing the photos.