Author Topic: AMTP in Pithiviers, France  (Read 13656 times)

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2019, 05:29:53 PM »
THE AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY 1966- 2019.   PART 2

Hello! In the early two thousand and ten years the AMTP was in a predicament. The turn out  was low ,hence financial problems. Moreover there were fewer and fewer volunteers  especially in the track crew.
The association could no more call on external contractors to carry out the trackworks. Solutions had to be found. In 2012 the BOD decided to apply to the Département du Loiret , the owner of the ROW, for funds. After quite a lot of steps and meetings the Departement du Loiret finally pledged itself to repair the whole line contrary to all expectations . But in France the procedure is very long when it comes to spending  taxpayer money in other words public funds.
Meantime the track conditions were worsening and the Transportation Department bureau in charge of the safety of the French tourist RR had required the AMTP to do over the sections in disrepair.  How to sort out that tricky situation when the ridership has fallen to  3900 and when there are hardly 15 volunteers to operate the whole association?

To be continued....

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2019, 07:04:41 AM »
AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY 1966-2019.  PART 3

Hello ! In 2012 the AMTP hit rockbottom with less than 4000 riders and a fistfull of volunteers. In July the director in charge of the operating volunteers had to reluctently call on a former AMTP member and volunteer for lack of engineers.
That guy that had a lot of drive was very clever at mechanics and quite efficient but well known for being bossy and full of himself .Beggars can't de choosy ! When he was aware of the track disrepair, he soon enrolled two buddies of his that were ,as himself ,volunteers on a northern French tourist two-footer. Then he brought togather again a small track crew that repaired the worse spots in 2013.
Over the past few years the AMTP had a good relationship with an other tourist two-footer the Rillé Lake Steam Train, AECFM. That guy talked that association BOD and volunteers into giving the AMTP trackcrew a helping hand. The AECFM volunteers knew a lot about trackworks since most of them worked as trackworkers for the French National RR Company SNCF.
They brought along their two-foot gauge tamping machine and two home made small hopper cars to spread ballast around the ties . Of course the AMTP purchased ballast, crossties and coach screws and rented an all-purpose backhoe loader to remove the decayed ties and ballast and to load the hoppercars with fresh ballast.
From 2014 through 2017 in only 3 works weekends, the worst sections were fully repaired, properly tamped and lined. In exchange the AMTP gave the AECFM volunteers 2 freightcars whose restoration was not planned and quite a lot of equipement they were interested in.

To be continued....

Gary Kraske

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #62 on: March 10, 2019, 07:17:25 AM »
Thanks for a the history of your AMTP line over the years.  Your narratives bring your railway alive!

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #63 on: March 11, 2019, 04:06:14 PM »
My pleasure Gary, I'have been a member for over 46 years and an active volunteer for 43 years. I spent some of the best moments of my life on that RR that I still  visit every month and support. Every week I upload AMTP recent and old photos on my fb page with captions or burbles in English especially to WW&F members. So if you are interesting, feel free to log on to  fb Alain Delassus AKA Uncle Srooge.

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #64 on: March 14, 2019, 04:04:43 PM »
AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY 1966- 2019 PART 4

 Although the track was being partly repaired and the ridership was on the rise the association leadership went through a tough time from 2014 through 2016. Finally in February 2017 a new and young leadership was voted and the couple of troublemakers quitted.
 If a few sections of the main had been properly repaired over the past few years, most of the line was still out of condition. A safety issue would soon bring up again. That was the reason why  the new and full of drive AMTP President ,Sebastien Delefortrie, got fast in touch with the President of the Conseil Géneral du Département du Loiret to remind him of the pledge made by the Departement, owner of the ROW, in 2012 . See part 2 of this story, reply#60.
 After quite a lot of meetings, expert appraisals, and paperworks, an agreement was signed between the Departement du Loiret and the AMTP in late 2018. The agreement stated firstly the expense paid in 2013, 2014 and 2016 by the association to repair partly the track would be refunded. Secondly the repair of the rest  of the main line would be carried out and paid by Departement du Loiret .Thirdly the AMTP pledged itself to keep up the track regularly and properly for the next 10 years.
 The Conseil Général appealled to a well-known French company, specialised in trackworks for the SNCF, to carry those important works out that started in mid December 2018.

To be continued.....

Bill Baskerville

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #65 on: March 14, 2019, 08:35:44 PM »
Alain,

Sounds like the AMTP president stuck a good deal with the Conseil Géneral du Département du Loiret.  It is easier to maintain a track that is in good condition than to bring back a deteriorated section of track.  I hope the next installment includes that the AMTP is making good on it's track work promise and not letting it go to rack and ruin.
B2

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John McNamara

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2019, 12:38:40 AM »
There's no "rack." It's strictly adhesion. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Bill Baskerville

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #67 on: March 15, 2019, 03:24:36 AM »
There's no "rack." It's strictly adhesion. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
John,

From you I would expect nothing less.
B2

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ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #68 on: March 15, 2019, 06:42:35 AM »
Alain,

Sounds like the AMTP president stuck a good deal with the Conseil Géneral du Département du Loiret.  It is easier to maintain a track that is in good condition than to bring back a deteriorated section of track.  I hope the next installment includes that the AMTP is making good on it's track work promise and not letting it go to rack and ruin.
Hello Bill,
I fully agree with you about the deal, it's a good one. It has not been a bed of roses to make it. In 2012 the Departement du Loiret reluctantly acknoledged it was the ROW owner and subsequently was not too eager to carry out the works it had promised. On the other hand, for some reason,  the former AMTP leadership wasn't not too eager to remind the Conseil General of its pledge. Finally things  were sped up and the agreement was signed all due to not only a change in the AMTP leadership but in the Conseil General leadership too.
The so much hoped-for trackworks are almost finished, a test train has been planned within the end of the month. I trust the current AMTP leadership to keep up the track properly. AMTP officers are less than 40 , dedicated and active and the whole BOD stand by them. Above all a friendly atmosphere is prevailing again among the volunteers, which I consider it the basic premise to achieve anything. 


ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #69 on: March 15, 2019, 07:02:09 AM »
There's no "rack." It's strictly adhesion. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
John,

From you I would expect nothing less.
Hello John !
Sorry, no matter how hard I try, I don't figure your pun out, which means  my English needs still improving, I don't doubt it.

Harold Downey

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #70 on: March 15, 2019, 02:36:52 PM »
Let me try:   This is a two level pun.  First, the correct phrase is "wrack and ruin", where the word wrack is an old english word that has the same meaning as wreck.  A "rack" is a linear gear used typically with inclined cog railways that can't rely on wheel friction or adhesion

Bill Baskerville

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #71 on: March 15, 2019, 03:26:16 PM »
Thanks Harold.  for correcting my use of terms and for the great explanation.
B2

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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #72 on: March 15, 2019, 04:33:03 PM »
Quote
Sorry, no matter how hard I try, I don't figure your pun out

You're not alone, Alain. No matter how hard we try, sometimes we can't figure John out either.
Ed Lecuyer
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ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #73 on: March 15, 2019, 05:01:48 PM »
Thanks a lot Harold, I knew wreck, rack and cograil but not wrack and rackrail. It makes sense by now.

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #74 on: March 29, 2019, 11:23:35 AM »
Hello! How time flies. In reply # 49 on June 21st 2018 I told you about the stop mechanical signal called the square located at Pithiviers Station exit towards Bellbat. Today I'm going to tell you about the second mechanical signal called the red disc that comes from a long gone three- footer.
It's located at the foot of the steep thight curved incline that goes up  to  Pithiviers Station at around 876 feet from it. The red disc is a home signal that shows a white fringed red round iron plate  when it is on. When it's off it shows nothing because the plate is paralell to the track . At night it shows one red light when on and a white light when off.
The signal is interlocked with the engine shed  yard switch located on the main halfway between the  red disc and Pithiviers Station. The switch stand is automatically bolted in its two positions by a notch. It you want to reverse the switch towards the yard to run a light engine from the station down to the engine shed for exemple, you must put the red disc on, beforehand. If the switch is lined and bolted  towards the main you can put the red disc off or leave it on to protect switching in Pithiviers station such as a run around move.
The red disc, as a home signal ,involves trains that come from Bellébat . According to the AMTP rulebook an enginner that spots the red disc on must proceed at restricted speed,actually 3.5 mph , from the home signal foot. He must stop right before the switch whatever its position and ask the station agent or the dispatcher for orders by using the phone beside the switch or by blowing a whistle to get his attention.
As the switch is located on a 0.27 curved rising gradient it may be tricky to start the train in motion again especially when the rails are wet or greasy. But with a little sand  and  some skill a full-fledged engineer don't need a helper.
I'll soon resume my column about the AMTP trackworks story.