Author Topic: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]  (Read 12005 times)

Ira Schreiber

  • Museum Member
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2008, 09:40:15 PM »
OK, if you are serious about a tamper and feel that we have the talent to construct a tamper. Seashore trolley Museum has a large, ex CSX, tamper that they will be scrapping in the near future.
Although way too big and wide for the WW&F, the basic machinery can be used. IIRC it is an eight head unit.
Buy using a much smaller hydraulic pump, a smaller unit can be fabricated.
Well, who wants to start cutting and welding?
The WW&F would NOT sponsor this project but hopefully it could be a joint venture.

Mike Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Superintendent
  • ********
  • Posts: 4,166
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2008, 09:47:45 PM »
Duncan, I would hope he skipped the chimney and put it on the track.  This does make a good wish list item, for the future of course. What would work best for the museum would be the donation of one. Nothing out of the kitty that way. Anyone got a few hundred grand they want to part with?

 Ira, I would have to look at that one again. If it the one I'm thinking of, there would be a lot of cutting. A large machine. But if donated, it can be done.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Ira Schreiber

  • Museum Member
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,076
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2008, 09:58:41 PM »
Mike, that is the one. A big machine but just like eating an elephant, one bite at a time!
The Cat diesel is reputed to be in good running condition, it was just an obsolete machine when retired.
It is actually owned by three members, one of whom is deceased. I have spoken to one of the owners(alive)and he is willing to dispose of it.
The main thing is that it could be an excellent parts source for constructing a small tamper for our 2' track.
Dave's point about saving the backs of our members is right on. The bigger we get, the more to maintain. I, for one, do not wish to stop building north but the reality of maintaining a longer railroad sure pops up.

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,672
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2008, 11:16:58 PM »
Okay, so a mechanical tamper would be great. But let's be realistic. We have a major project on our hands right now with the restoration of no. 9. We need restrooms and a parking lot and a roundhouse and...  Rebuilding a full-size standard gauge tamper for use on our railroad would be a major project and it wouldn't be cheap or easy. And the reality is, for every hour of service working, expect an hour or better of down time repairing and fixing things.

If we are really serious about a tamper, there is a small spot tamper in central Massachusetts that could rather easily be regauged to 24 inches. Someone has to take the initiative to approach the current owner and negotiate a price (or even a donation) and get ti to Maine. Anyone who wants to tackle this, let me know, and I'll provide additional information. Another option would be a Geismar "Minima," a very basic spot tamping machine, which may be available through federal surplus.

Unless someone hits the Powerball lottery, buying a new two-foot gauge tamper from Plasser would bust our budget for the next 5 years.

Stewart "Start" Rhine

  • Museum Member
  • Trainmaster
  • *******
  • Posts: 2,816
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2008, 02:03:24 PM »
It's true that tampers have a tendency to shake themselves apart.  We had a tamper on the Maryland Midland that we called the "welders full employment critter" because it broke parts so often.   I know they are high maintenance machines but I think it would be great to have one on the WW&F.   Yes, it helps save the crew but the main reason is for passenger safety.  Our track gets heaved when the frost comes out and joints and sections get low from the downward force of passing trains.  A small (maybe home-built with factory parts) machine would come in handy fixing low spots.  One of our most important records is our safety record.  Our track crew does a great job and giving them another tool in keeping good track helps preserve that record.  Yes, there are many projects in the works and the tamper project is probably a couple of years in the future but that doesn't mean we can't shake the trees.  As Wayne said, we can probably find parts for one.  Good things happen at Sheepscot, remember that our air car was built with little expense to the railroad.  I hope we can do the same with the tamper.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 07:26:24 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,672
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2008, 09:49:35 PM »
Stewart's thought of building a spot tamper from factory parts merits consideration, especially if we could persuade the other Maine two-footers to participate in the project. Perhaps we could get plans for one from the Australian division of Plasser, and working in concert with the American division, make it happen. A production machine with shoulder jacks, movable heads, laser leveling, etc., is probably beyond our capabilities. Another thought is to look for a used two-foot machine in Australia and negotiate a reduced rate for shipping to the US.

What a project like this needs is someone to take the lead and see it through to completion.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 03:13:21 AM by Wayne Laepple »

Mike Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Superintendent
  • ********
  • Posts: 4,166
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2008, 11:34:28 PM »
I like the idea of modifying a small tamper to fit our needs. Some of us know the location of such a tamper. I plan on checking into this in good shape in the near future and try to formulate a plan. Then present that plan to the board and go from there. It's going to take some leg work, but if we can get what we want or need, it might be worth it.
Mike
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Bill Hanks

  • Hobo
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2008, 09:06:37 PM »
At Puffing Billy here in Australia we have a tamper for our 2ft 6in railway. I believe it was actually built using the tamping components of a surplus 5ft 3in gauge tamper.  It was acquired in the 1990s when we were rebuilding from Lakeside to Gembrook adding 6 miles to the 8 1/2 miles we already had.  In one weekend we layed down 1462 metres of 'skeleton' track with only every third sleeper (ties in American speak) installed, by 70 volunteers. With the track suitable for use by trolleys and light works trains, the additional sleepers were slid under the rails and spiked, then the ballast was run out.  During the weekdays after, the tamper was used to pack and line the track and needed only a few people to do the work.  Prior to obtaining our own tamper, we used and still have electric 'Kango' jack hammers for hand packing under the sleepers; these are mostly used now during spot repairs to the track.
There are a number of 2ft gauge sugar tramways in Queensland that run fairly large locos hauling long rakes of cane bins,  Many of these lines use 60lb rail on concrete sleepers and have heavy equipment including tampers to maintain these railways.  Some of the 2ft cane locos today weigh as much as 40 imperial tons having been converted from 3ft 6in or 4ft 8 1/2in diesel-hydraulic units.
The track laying days were good fun with substantial numbers of volunteers turning up.  Good luck with your efforts.
Yours in steam,
Bill Hanks.

Mike Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Superintendent
  • ********
  • Posts: 4,166
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2008, 09:42:21 PM »
Sounds like you get about the same amout of volunteers over there for special events too. When we lay our track out, we don't skip anything. Experience has taught us that if you lay it all out, it goes smoother. While you place every 3rd sleeper, we lay them all and install a brilliant contraption called instatrack to the rails. This keeps them close enough to gauge to allow the work train to proceed to the end of the rail, to lay the next length. Once all the rail is laid out, the work train is removed and spiking begins. Complete the spiking and gauging and start the process over again with more ties.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

James Patten

  • Global Moderator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,285
  • Loco for 6
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2008, 01:01:40 AM »
This discussion came up last weekend at Sheepscot.  Jason has ideas for a home-built contraption, which would basically be four tampers hanging off of a central shaft, counterweighted so that they could be easily lifted and lowered.  However it's never gone past the idea stage.

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,100
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2008, 12:59:36 PM »
James - keep brainstorming and put this into your discussion.  Some years ago I operated a very small Fairmont 4-head switch tamper as part of a contract job.  It was a squeeze-type versus a vibratory tamper but was adjustable for the switch jobs.  This might very well be the right platform for which a 2 footer could be based.  The second advantage was due to it's small size; it could easily be trailer'd on an Eager Beaver trailer and towed by a pickup truck.  I know there are some still out there, if you would wish to pursue - I can put some feelers out.
Moxie Bootlegger

Mike Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Superintendent
  • ********
  • Posts: 4,166
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2008, 11:54:28 PM »
I heard Jason's idea today and it looks good on paper. John, these small tampers you speak of, do they only do one rail at a time? There is one similar to that at the Grafton & Upton in Mass.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,100
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2008, 08:53:58 PM »
Mike you're right on the mark.  If one like that is available close by (i.e. G&U) then one should take a very hard look at it.  The best part of this type of equipment was how it could easily vary it's width (heads) as one tamped through the point rails and frogs.  If one could find extra heads it wouldn't be all that hard to add a second side to the main beam.  The only thing needed to add is extra hoses and manifold the supply and return lines for the hydraulics.  A bit of work but not rocket science.  One should also be able with a Fairmont platform to change the guage as the axles are not tapered. (oops - will have to redo the keyways and mounts)  If you guys are serious, I can make a couple of inquiries - I think there is one still in my area.
Moxie Bootlegger

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Dispatcher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,100
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2008, 11:29:24 PM »
Mike,

Wayne p.m.'d some pics of the G&U tamper, looks like a good starting point.  If the museum can get it for "nuttin", then go for it.....  Will require a lot of TLC though.  One thing to make sure of is being able to get seals for the hydraulics and parts for the vibrators.  If not, then one should have second thoughts on this unit.  Keep me abreast of how things go.  I'll spend some time combing the brush down this way.
Moxie Bootlegger

Mike Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Superintendent
  • ********
  • Posts: 4,166
    • View Profile
Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2008, 12:23:45 AM »
I don't want to jinx anything by saying much right now, but if something develops, I will make sure it is noted on here somewhere. As far as condition of that specific unit, Surface rust makes things look worn out or well used.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...