Author Topic: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?  (Read 945 times)

Alex Harvilchuck

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2017, 12:14:40 AM »
You'll have to come and see that for yourself.

I'd bring my heavy equipment and spoil everyone's "fun".  ;D

Carl Soderstrom

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2017, 03:47:46 AM »
The WW&F is a Museum, so it is supposed to be done as it was "back in the day", otherwise
it would just be a railroad.

Beside if you do it as a volunteer it is "fun", if you did it at a job there would be no end of complaints.

Just have fun doing what you all do best. 

Paul Uhland

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2017, 05:22:37 AM »
There are those who try to control situations they are convinced would become  better run and easier if, in their limited view,  more efficient, quicker ways to work are followed, paying no attention to, in this case, more  historically appropriate  labor enthusiastically accepted and enjoyed by unpaid volunteers doing the work at a WW&F-acceptable  pace who draw strong satisfaction from it as their compensation.

The last thing I'd do is try to "improve" operations of a successful organization from afar by critical advice aimed at its methods, especially when I have never shared their actual work and cared not about WW&F's  work history/methods. 
 





   
Paul Uhland

Bill Baskerville

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2017, 12:06:42 PM »
As an opinion of one, I know I never do such physically demanding work at home as I do at the WW&F railroad. At home I pay for such arduous tasks and for all repetitive work tasks.

At the railway I do them for the pleasure of accomplishment and the joy of being part of a team.

Bill

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2017, 12:33:37 PM »
It doesn't mean full automation, but I was thinking of things along the lines of ....

Laying out the ties before the 3-day work window with a smaller crew so the larger crew can get going immediately laying, aligning and spiking rail.

* This has been done a number of times, especially north of Sutter's Crossing in 1999 when the tie hauling was done with pickup trucks.  Using trucks only works when there is an enter and exit road for the grade.  Setting ties out from a work flat with a group of volunteers works better and is more enjoyable.   

Quote
Use an A-Frame Derrick with a roller to move/position the rail sections in place off of the work car - this is how they took the rails up on the Rio Grande Southern with a Goose and a trailer car. The derrick would be good for maintenance

* Using the crane on the flatcar has been done a few times but it is slower (with hook up and disconnect) than pulling sticks from the lower work flats.  The biggest problem with the crane on the flatcar is side clearance, it is difficult to work in cuts due to side swing.

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A hydraulic dump car for spreading ballast on newly spiked track to work in tandem with the tamper.

* There is a set of drawings for a Portland Company hopper car that was designed for the WW&F around 1900.  The plans were circulated on the old forum years ago.  There was much discussion about building a car that was never produced.  In looking into the construction, the price tag was high for a car that would only be used once or twice a year.  Trucks alone are over $20,000 so the project has been dormant.   

 
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I can see the "fun" part being laying the rail and spiking it down, but hand shoveling ballast off a flat car? Sounds like a sore back to me. It's just like tamping and the reason why Big Joe exists. It means more time can be spent on the art of spiking and aligning new rail instead of the drudgery of shoveling rock.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 07:04:27 PM by Ed Lecuyer »

Jeff Schumaker

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2017, 01:35:59 PM »
There are those who try to control situations they are convinced would become  better run and easier if, in their limited view,  more efficient, quicker ways to work are followed, paying no attention to, in this case, more  historically appropriate  labor enthusiastically accepted and enjoyed by unpaid volunteers doing the work at a WW&F-acceptable  pace who draw strong satisfaction from it as their compensation.

The last thing I'd do is try to "improve" operations of a successful organization from afar by critical advice aimed at its methods, especially when I have never shared their actual work and cared not about WW&F's  work history/methods.   

Well said, Paul.

Jeff S.

Alex Harvilchuck

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2017, 05:43:38 PM »
Thanks Stewart for the information on the derrick and the prior attempt with laying ties out with the pickup! I had seen the old plans for the Portland Company Hopper Car, I completely agree about priorities consider the scarcity of trucks.

I just worry about someone throwing their back out or injuring themselves and suing the Museum. Look at the whole thing with the hot coffee cup and a McDonalds Drive-Thru. All it takes is one negative judgement against the Museum and it is all over.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2017, 07:13:58 PM »
I'm a computer guy. Physical labor and I do not get along well.

That said, I actually enjoy being part of the "shovel ballast off the flatcar" team. You basically stand around and do nothing until the ballast arrives, the gravity does most of the work as you guide the ballast from the flatcar to the railbed. In 15mins, the car is unloaded and you are standing around chatting with about 20 of your newest friends until the next load arrives (which was loaded by a front end loader, and often is delivered via steam engine.)

That is part of the "fun" of the WW&F; everyone works at his/her own interest, speed, and ability. And if you want to try something new, you are welcomed and not ridiculed. (Also, the general lack of "railroader language" is pretty refreshing too.)

Do we worry about lawsuits - certainly. Everyone is always on the lookout for safety issues; and is encouraged to say something when the situation warrants.

Could we do things faster - maybe. But just as the charm of the train ride is the journey more than the destination, so too is it as we rebuild Maine history.
Ed Lecuyer
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Ira Schreiber

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2017, 10:18:31 PM »
Ed has summed it up well.
We enjoying doing it "our way"

Alex Harvilchuck

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2017, 10:30:22 PM »
The last thing I'd do is try to "improve" operations of a successful organization from afar by critical advice aimed at its methods, especially when I have never shared their actual work and cared not about WW&F's  work history/methods.   

I seem to remember quite a few posts on how to pour concrete slabs better.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2017, 11:27:36 PM »
[Moderator's Note]
Please, let's not get into a tit for tat match on sharing of ideas.

The point of the discussion forum is for discussion. We share ideas and (usually) the best ones somehow get implemented. The final say, of course, are the decisions made by our voted Board of Directors. If you really want to know the ins and outs of the railroad, feel free to attend a BOD meeting.

With over 1200 members, we have a LOT of expertise on almost every subject imaginable. I don't think there is anyone reading this forum that wouldn't want to spend more time at Sheepscot. Some visit on a daily basis, some once a year, and some may never even see the WW&F in person. However, we all share the love of the narrow gauge and want to see it thrive. Let's stay focused on that goal, and not get hung up on really minor details.
Ed Lecuyer
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John McNamara

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2017, 11:31:01 PM »
Well said, Ed. I was just in the process of sending you a message that things were getting a little out of hand here.
-John M

John Kokas

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2017, 11:50:23 PM »
Ed and John,   Ditto ..............

Bob Holmes

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2017, 12:18:38 AM »
Alex, the many ideas about pouring concrete slabs actually contributed to a better pour.  Many ideas feed in, and often the really good ones are followed on the fly.  That's the beauty of our railroad.  None of us ever expects to have the best solution, we just want to contribute to the end result.

Joe Fox

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Re: Improved Efficiencies & Mechanization for Track Building?
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2017, 11:37:48 AM »
To see some negative comments on here astound me.

Alex, first off let me say that there is nothing wrong with trying to find easier, and maybe more efficient ways of doing things. So please don't let others offend you.

As far as building track everyone works at their own pace, and no one does what they feel uncomfortable with. And I think 1200' of track built in one weekend is amazing with an all volunteer crew, and no one pressuring anyone. 20 guys on a 30' rail makes it nice. And currently theres not much point in trying to lay rail any faster than normal because of the grade problems that lay ahead. When we go to build track next year, we can build around 1100', then the next track building will only be able to go as far as the next grade area needing attention, etc.