Author Topic: TOM Phase 1: Passenger Platforms and Hiking Trails - Official Work Thread  (Read 4913 times)

Stephen Piwowarski

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One possibility might be to install a culvert section and build an platform out of ties and fill that would be a high level platform like AC or Sheepscot, but have the added benefit of matching up to the existing grade of the land. Mike, is a culvert section up for grabs or are those earmarked?

This differs from our standard platform style but it might serve us well. I will broach the subject at the August board meeting. That will help to determine a course of action.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 06:37:27 PM by Stephen Piwowarski »

Jason M Lamontagne

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Joe's platforms are a "now" idea.  If we want to improve the visitor experience this summer- July, August 2017, we could set up Joe's platforms at ToM in a couple of hours.  Not saying something purpose built wouldn't be better- that should be done, but to me it's a no brainer to make this happen now. 

see ya
Jason

Wayne Laepple

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How about putting two or even three of Joe's platforms side by side perpendicular to the track? They would bridge the ditch and offer access to the cleared area. Side by side they would be wide enough to accommodate two coaches. Might need to put a couple of ties parallel to the rails at the edge of the ballast to support the platforms at the right height..... Maybe dig the other end of the platforms into the embankment so there is no step off the ends.

Jason M Lamontagne

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Very similar to my thoughts.  Next year could be better, if desired.

Stephen Piwowarski

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What is outlined above will be our temporary solution. Hopefully, they can be set out tomorrow or Thursday and will be in use for the weekend. From there, we can make the suggested improvements- perhaps just north of the temporary platform structure built from Joe's platforms.

Also, are we putting the car a little bit before the horse- or should I say the platform a little bit before the station? I'm thinking if we build a temporary platform for unloading people, but there are no trails, signs, or things to do other than the discussion we've already been having with folks on the train the platforms won't get the use we anticipate.

What motivation will passengers have to detrain at ToM when their only option is to reboard the train 5-10 minutes later? To make the platform worthwhile and a true improvement for visitor experience, I believe it needs to be paired with a reason for being. We've had some good ideas discussed here and hopefully, in time, we can capitalize on them.

Steve
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 03:39:20 AM by Stephen Piwowarski »

Joe Fox

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I'd like to point out that even though our railfan clientel don't pay the bills, they would appreciate anything done to look historic, or be able to be removed for such events.

And yes, I think putting two platforms side by side will work great up there for now and will allow our visitors a chance to explore the "pasture"

Bob Holmes

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Has there ever been discussion about a couple of picnic tables at TOM?  I don't know what our stance is on such an idea, but it would give another reason to go there between trains.  (And after all, many railroads had picnic/excursion trains back in those days...)

John Kokas

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Having a picnic area would be a wonderful addition to either Alna Center or TOM.  It's cheap, easy, and adds another dimension for family time at the RR.  I remember EBT had a very nice picnic area that I and my family enjoyed over the years.  Only added work is trash can set-out in a.m. and pick-up in p.m.  That way you don't encourage critters to visit and hang out.

Stephen Piwowarski

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Keep discussing these great ideas, however don't be dismayed if they don't happen immediately. We have lots of other projects happening, as outlined above, and only so many people to accomplish them. We'll take care of the important details first, then go back and catch the little ones. I do like the idea of picnic tables somewhere at ToM (or possibly A.C.) though!

I also agree with Joe that whatever we construct that is not temporary should be authentic or authentically-based. I'd say railfans would appreciate it, but the general public NEEDS it to provide the correct historical context. I once read a research paper on experience-based museums showing with each 'non-conforming' element visitors identify in a visit, the overall value of that experience decreased in that visitors mind. Its important stuff!

Steve
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 02:26:53 AM by Stephen Piwowarski »

Fred Morse

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At the TOM, I think we need a building first. When trains were one hour apart people didn't mind waiting between between trains. Now with only 4 trains a day not many people would stay that long. Not many have ever stayed at Alna Center where we have a table and building. There's no shelter at TOM in case of rain.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 02:19:04 PM by Ed Lecuyer »

Bob Holmes

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Steve, great job today with you, Fred and Isaiah creating a really nice platform at TOM.  Post pic soonest.

As we discussed, I'll keep throwing out ideas as they occur, with the hope that some might even stick:

I do like the idea of Prebles as a near-term structure at TOM.  If on skids (like an ice house), it would be easier to move.  We could bring it back in the winter as ticket office for the Xmas trains.

In the long term, an Alna like station would be better, with the idea that it could then be moved to the end of the line at 218 (or Head Tide).

Since we're planning to put the shingle mill and sawmill toward the end of the spur, we would want to be sure any trail systems connects to them.  In the meantime, we could put up a couple of kiosks (a la National Park Service) that would feature articles and pics of those two mills.

I share Fred's concern of a 1 1/2 hour layover on the current train schedule.  We'd have to make sure there's enough to do to make the wait enjoyable (hence maybe picnic tables).

That's it for now.  Thanks.

Roger Cole

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The Strasburg Railroad has a picnic area with picnic tables, a hand pump for water and genuine outhouses (after all, it is in Amish country).  It is located at the half-way point where a passing siding was built several years ago.  It is quite popular and many folks get off to have a picnic and catch the next train back to Strasburg.  Of course, in the busy summer season, they have two trains running at half-hour intervals.

Bob Holmes

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Steve, in thinking about our discussion today, I think an easy next step would be to designate a picnic area at TOM with a path from the new platforms.  It would require some mowing of a new picnic area and the path.  I'm thinking a bit to the left of the platforms and up on level ground but I could be just guessing.  If we dedicated an area maybe 2-300 sq ft (??).  I would be willing to find and donate two picnic tables to the project.  (That could also be the head of a new trail.)

Paul Uhland

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Picnic areas,  developed at TOM and at well-mowed  Alna Center sound perfect.
Paul Uhland

Joe Fox

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I noticed the platform at ToM last weekend. They look nice, however I would put a railing up along the back side and maybe sides to prevent people from falling into the ditch. Theres quite a drop off there.