Author Topic: 2017 Spring Work Weekend  (Read 6634 times)

Fred Morse

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2017, 10:01:31 PM »
I had though about that plan also Joe. We will have to keep the track clear from Alna Center to TOM while doing ballast. Doing the ballast could keep about Thirty people busy. Others could tamp South of Alna Center. Of course all this could change at the last minute.

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2017, 11:20:32 PM »
Your point is well taken, Joe.  Let's remember that on Saturday, we usually have enough track volunteers to split the crew, while on Friday and Sunday there's usually only enough for one crew.  We can discuss making the priority for Satirday's split off crew main line maintenance. 

Getting the mountain extension serviceable for Mike this summer must remain top priority for the track crew.

I want to talk to Dana about a possible special day for the mill siding at ToM- if it gets laid into the woods a bit, we can do a building layout this summer. 

See ya
Jason

Mike Fox

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2017, 11:34:58 PM »
TOM is only graded to the woodline. Would need a few dry days this summer to get the recently cut section ready for track. No large stumps there so that will make it easier.
Mike
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Bill Baskerville

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2017, 12:27:05 AM »
Good points Mike. 

That is another good reason why the Board and our local folks make the hard choices.

Bill
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2017, 09:26:12 PM »
I have to agree with Joe here. We sorely need to spend some time on the track, raising joints, surfacing and even changing out a few rails, to improve the quality of the ride. This is not only better for the passengers, it's better for the equipment. This vital work keeps being pushed off, in the apparent belief that it will be done at another time. Every time someone wants to organize a work crew to do track maintenance, no one shows up. And with the new proposed schedule with the first train out at 10:30 a.m., the work window shrinks even more. This is going to come back and bite us someday.

Bill Baskerville

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2017, 09:43:17 PM »
In my personal opinion, Mill siding work can be done with a smaller crew maybe on a normal Saturday or planned track extension day in the summer. But the neglected main line should really be priority over the siding. Although the main line is still in decent shape, my fear is if we continue to do "preventative maintenance" in the near future we will need to put a lot of work into it. What currently needs to be done is more than any ONE man or even five man crew can handle by themselves. Where as the siding can be done with a crew of 5-10 which could potentially be organized in the summer.

Joe is correct.  Last year a small crew of four put in the TOM switch in three days, and we were novices.  If memory serves the track was later put in by another small team.

Bill
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Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2017, 09:52:57 PM »
A couple minor points of correction.

The new schedule creates a wider work window- the former schedule had the first train out at 10:00 and the last one out at 3:30.  New schedule calls for 10:30 and 3:00.

Joe has made a great effort to try to organize dedicated track days- but his real work schedule typically prevents him from announcing it more than a few days in advance.  By that time there is often other work scheduled that can't rightly be ignored.  Even st that- there have been successful efforts to put together track maintence crews.  Granted, not nearly enough.  I know Joe's perspective is coming from that of changing many ties alone.

We'd like to get into a pattern of scheduling track work days farther in advance- preferably a regular program of, say, first and third Wednesdays, or Saturdays, of the month or some such. 

As for work weekend- I'm looking into changing some of the lower priorities to favor maintenance.  The mountain work must remain top priority as our permit with the Army Corps has a work window and an expiration date.

See ya
Jason

Wayne Laepple

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2017, 10:10:11 PM »
I'll concede the extra half hour on the morning schedule. I thought the first train was at 11 a.m. Regardless, a track gang realistically has less than three hours to go out and get some work done before it has to clear up for the first train. Obviously, spot tie replacement work could take place under traffic, but it must be carefully planned and coordinated, but surfacing low joints or changing out rails is another story. Perhaps the better idea would be to organize a track gang with some of the regular weekday folks once or twice a month, even for four hours or so in the morning. Track maintenance is not as glamorous as building new track or working on equipment, but it needs to be done.

What are the parameters of the Corps of Engineers work permit? What's the expiration date? How far down the mountain does it extend? What can we do, and what are we not permitted to do?

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2017, 10:22:30 PM »
A once or twice a month, 4 hour session, weekday track program is just what we've been discussing.  It was meant to be implemented last summer, but the turntable consumed all of our weekday resources. 

The Army Corps permit is Mike's domain so he can correct or elaborate as needed.  The first permit authorizes repair of the first, large washout, and two minor corrections north of it (install a culvert to drain a ditch and repair a minor washout).

The work window ends in early October.  Generally, Mike needs to finish some prep work before then, allowing a major (fall work weekend) project to complete the large washout repair.  The fall work weekend part of the project is out of the Army Corps' preview, but only if Mike finishes the prep work in the work window.

I believe the expiration is 2 years.  That leaves the following summer's work window to complete the next two minor repairs under this permit.  After that, another permit will be sought for the next two years of work. 

I'm being vague on details as the permit hasn't formally been approved yet- although the Army Corps rep has indicated that it'll will be. 

Once it is formally approved, I'm sure Mike will announce the details of the plan.  It's a very interesting and fun plan. 

See ya
Jason

Wayne Laepple

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2017, 10:38:36 PM »
Fair enough.

Bill Reidy

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2017, 10:42:50 PM »
For what it's worth, I could attend a Friday work session.  Mid-week would be much harder.

Any possibility of a couple/few Saturday track work sessions once the weather breaks, before Saturday trains resume in May?  And/or a Sunday work session or two in May, before the Sunday train schedule starts?

Joe Fox

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2017, 10:53:21 PM »
Changing ties is not much fun, and maybe we can coordinate something to change as many as we can in May and early June. I estimate we will have around 30 to 40 ties to replace this year, which includes the left overs from last year.

Mike Fox

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2017, 01:12:00 AM »
I do like the dedicated work days. We used to have volunteers show up just to do track work in the morning, and by announcing a dedicated day or days a month, I think some will be able to plan to help again.

Army Corps Permit outlines the dirt work portion only. Any earthwork needs to be completed by October 1. If all goes well, I should have all permit required work done before then, and all we have to do is fill in some low spots, which do not require permits.

I need to set up a DEP site visit, end of March and get their blessing, and also Jason and I can discuss the future projects on the Mountain with them to get a sense of direction we may need to take, or find out what we need to do to be able to do what we want, which is restore the ROW.

Our one visit with the Army Corps rep went very well and was very informative. And I expect the same from the DEP.
Mike
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Greg Klein

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2017, 02:27:16 PM »
Though weekends are usually my free time, I could make a weekday track day if there was enough warning.

James Patten

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Re: 2017 Spring Work Weekend
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2017, 06:25:38 PM »
Email from Stan Swanson:

Quote
Ralph Harris and I will be up for work weekend next week so we are checking in to see how our carpentry skills might best be utilized.  New passenger car perhaps?  Looking forward to seeing you all.

Any ideas, please respond here and I'll get back to him.