Author Topic: AMTP in Pithiviers, France  (Read 16098 times)

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #75 on: April 05, 2019, 11:49:10 AM »
AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY  1966 -2019 Part 5

Hello !
The trackworks undertaken and funded by the Conseil Général du Département du Loiret, the owner of the ROW, are over. A test train ran on March 26th. Conseil Général du Loiret ,Colas Rail Co and SYSTRA Co representatives were on board as well as the AMTP officers and track manager. SYSTRA Co is specialised in railroad engineering and trackworks supervision. This company was mandated by the Conseil Général du Loiret to make an audit of the track before the works start then choose the contractor and oversee the works. Actually the AMTP did not have a say in the works carrying out in so far as the ROW does not belong to the association.
When the test train was back to Pithiviers Station, Conseil Général représentatives and AMTP officers were not satisfied, to put it midly. Sad to say but despite  changing  2400 ties and  supplying 551 short tons of fresh ballast the track looks like both a winding road and a rollercoaster. A few spots even feature some dangerous cross fall. Of course every representative has promised the AMTP that they'll see to fix up what is wrong. But apart from the most dangerous places that will be hopefully do up in the few next weeks, I'm afraid that the track won't be properly lined and tamped before the start of the operating season at Easter.
 I'll keep you posted.

Bill Baskerville

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #76 on: April 05, 2019, 03:00:55 PM »
... But apart from the most dangerous places that will be hopefully do up in the few next weeks, I'm afraid that the track won't be properly lined and tamped before the start of the operating season at Easter. ...
Alain,
What a shame.   :-\
Hopefully the track can be repaired enough to run at restricted speed until further repairs can be completed.
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ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #77 on: April 06, 2019, 02:31:45 PM »
Bill, Restricted speed , for sure.The riders of the test train were sat in an open car. AMTP open cars are more steady than the closed ones that come from a three-footer streetcar. They are a bit wider, higher and more heavy than the open cars and have a tendency to sway quite a lot on their trucks when the track is not properly lined.

Wayne Laepple

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #78 on: April 06, 2019, 07:59:52 PM »
Hello Alain --

This report is no surprise to me. When I was railroading, I quickly learned that track contractors will do the work as quick and dirty as they can and then head for home. After my first bad experience, I always had an inspector on the job as long as the contractor was working. I also wrote specifications for the work into the contract, so that there was no question of how the job was to be done. While it sometimes cost a bit more, I was then certain that the work would be done correctly!

So sorry the work was not up to standards.

Cheers -- Wayne

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #79 on: April 08, 2019, 12:59:15 PM »
Hello Wayne. Your right, track contractors that had carried out trackworks for the AMTP over the past years had always more or less botched the work. This time the AMTP was not even allowed to put its two cents in on the works although it is the user of the line  and liable for the rider safety. SYSTRA was in charge. Fortunately Colas Rail the contractor already came back to Pithiviers to  repair the worsen parts . Last weekend the AMTP checked out steam locomotive 062 #10 cuppled with an open car and the engineer told me that even at 16 mph, the permitted maximum speed, the engine was fairly steady. I think we'll be definetly aware of the after works track conditions at the end of the Easter long weekend and the run of several heavy trains with closed cars in the consist.

Best regards.
 

Bill Baskerville

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #80 on: April 08, 2019, 02:12:13 PM »
Alain,

Sounds like things are improving just in time for your Easter opening.  Good news all around.

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ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #81 on: April 08, 2019, 11:25:42 PM »
Bill
Comforting piece of news indeed. I'm going to Pithiviers at Easter, I'll keep you posted.

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #82 on: May 08, 2019, 06:33:26 AM »
AMTP TRACKWORKS STORY 1966-2019  Part 6

Hello !
At Easter I was in Pithiviers. It was the AMTP first operating days. During that long weekend a lot of trains ran on the line to take 705 Easteregg hunters and their parents to Bellébat an back. I rode the first train along with the AMTP train master and much to our surprise the track condition was not that poor. But then again Colas Rail Co had been back to Pithiviers for a couple of days to fix up the dangerous parts (See part 5). As long as the trains don't run over 14 mph it's OK and that speed is enough to stick to the shedule that allows 20 minutes for the ride.
But the track has not been still properly tamped and lined and we have to wait until the end of the operating season to take stock of the track condition and to contemplate what to do during the offseason. According to the rather disappointed AMTP President the association might appeal to the trackcrew and rig of the Tourist RR of Rillé once again to finish off the work ( See part 3) or better yet purchase a tamping machine and a couple of ballast hopper cars and do it by ourselves.  As regards the second solution that I consider the better and the more efficient because it's a longterm solution, the AMTP  has of course to find the funding but I guess our resilient President has an idea.
To be continued.

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #83 on: May 22, 2019, 01:46:55 PM »
TRACKWORKS MY TWO CENTS

Hello ! Every tourist RR owner knows that the MOW is essential in many respects but it's a never ending task that calls for time, money and  quite a lot of workforce. Track works are mostly gruelling and tedious plus they don't save the volunters' back and joints. Calling on external contractors costs an arm and a leg and ,sad to say, the work is often botch.
I think that the best bet for a tourist RR is to maintain the track by itself but to this end it has to purchase or build machines and equipments that relieve the volunteer pain and save time. The AMTP does not own anything but an old gas engine powered coachscrew driver. On the contrary,the WW&F owns quite a lot of rig like tamper ,rails and crossties gantry, tie changer machine etc.
IMHO the only equipments that might improve the trackcrew efficiency and save time and pain would be a couple of customized hoppercars to spread evenly and precisely ballast between and around the ties and an electric automated hammer to drive the spikes in.
In order not to be burn as a French heretic in the #9 firebox I 'm making things clear, hoppercars and automated hammers are only intended for MOW not for Montain Extension long work weekends.  If you burn me all the same you won't be surprised if you find clinker on the grate,I'm not first rate fuel anymore.

Benjamin Richards

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #84 on: May 22, 2019, 05:02:51 PM »
TRACKWORKS MY TWO CENTS
In order not to be burn as a French heretic in the #9 firebox I 'm making things clear, hoppercars and automated hammers are only intended for MOW not for Montain Extension long work weekends.  If you burn me all the same you won't be surprised if you find clinker on the grate,I'm not first rate fuel anymore.

Thanks for a much-needed laugh!!  ;D ;D

Bill Baskerville

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #85 on: May 22, 2019, 08:03:37 PM »
If you burn me ... you won't be surprised if you find clinker on the grate, I'm not first rate fuel anymore.
Alain,  Your last sentence was one of the best ones I have ever seen in the forum.  Not only that, nothing was lost in the translation.  Well Done!
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Bob Holmes

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #86 on: May 23, 2019, 02:12:30 AM »
Alain, you are truly hysterically funny.  You have also added a lot to our Forum, and I hope you continue to contribute for a long time to come.  If I ever get back to France, I will be certain to visit your railroad.  I do hope you can come here and spend a week at the WW&F.  You will get the royal welcome from all of us.

Bob

Steve Smith

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #87 on: May 23, 2019, 02:58:57 AM »
Alain, you humor reminds me of how hard I laughed at Jacques Tati's hilarious movie Monsieur Hulot's Holiday way back in the 1950s. Non-stop laughing all the way through. My rib cage was sore for several days afterward

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #88 on: May 23, 2019, 03:08:24 PM »
Hello ! I thank you guys so much for your kind replies, be sure they make my day happy. I like humor and I love yours, unfortunately  my knowledges in English don't always enable me to figure out your terrific puns
 Every WW&F members are by all means welcome in Pithivers and it would be a treat  to show them around the AMTP museum and facilities and to take a ride with them to Bellébat.
As regards this forum I second to Bob when he wrote in Letter of encouragement reply #4 " it is a remarkable daily connections that I treasure"; Moreover it enables me to merge my life long passion for the railroad and my 13 year old one for American English.
Some day I'll get to Alna to meet the WW&F familly I hear from everyday on this newsy forum and fb. By then I'll go on telling you about the AMTP idiosyncrasies and try to make the WW&F known in France through narrow gauge RR enthiousast fb groups. I wish I would convince  a few French railroad lovers to join the WW&F but  the language barrier is a hell of an obstacle. It's kind of weird because every French student learn English at high school for six years but they are quick to forget it  when they leave. Doing that is my humble contibution to the great task the WW&F started 30 years back.
Best regards.

John McNamara

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Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« Reply #89 on: May 23, 2019, 04:32:05 PM »
I like humor and I love yours, unfortunately  my knowledges in English don't always enable me to figure out your terrific puns. 
I understand most of the puns, and I am deeply sorry. ::)
Please be careful what you wish for.
-John M