Author Topic: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread  (Read 60690 times)

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
    • View Profile
Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« on: June 24, 2009, 01:37:53 AM »
Since there is a graded "gap" to TOM, I would think it is time to think hard about the grade and on whether or not it makes sense to make TOM siding a true run-around.  What is decided will dictate how the grading is completed.  Since in previous discussions it was agreed by many that it would make sense to have a stop to join with the conservancy trail, logic would dictate a run-around for ease of operations and safety.  Thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 02:33:40 AM by Ed Lecuyer »

Allan Fisher

  • Museum Member
  • Brakeman
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 03:27:07 AM »
Actually, the original siding used by the original WW&F was the safest way to go - we don't want the big kids to let off the hand brakes and have cars roll down the mountain and across Rte 218. One of the problems we have to address is water source for the Fire Department in the area between the top of the mountain and Carleton Brook - our thoughts have been to possibly park the rebuilt Bridgton tank car on the end of the siding to fill that need.

The Sheepscot Valley Conservation Trail is at the bottom of the mountain between Carleton Brook and Rte 218.

 The railcar may be the choice for transportation north of Alna Center, with only one or two of the trains from Sheepscot going past Alna Center to end of track.

Once we start building railroad down the 3% , we won't be running passenger trains past the top of mountain until track is built across Carleton Brook and on to the level plain between Carleton Brook and Rte 218.

Remember that our average train ridership in the Spring and early fall is less than 8 passengers per round trip.
Allan Fisher

Ed Lecuyer

  • Administrator
  • Supervisor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,814
    • View Profile
    • Historical Topo Maps
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 12:53:26 PM »
Someone suggested (I forget who, but I think it was during a Thursday night Chat Session) that we build a run-around at TOM, but do so such that the North switch faces the opposite direction, and install another switch on the main line to create a crossover.

Operationally, the south siding switch would always be set for the siding. A northbound passenger train would take the siding and drop the cars south of the crossover. The engine proceeds through the crossover, then runs around the train (using the main.)

This would minimize the possibility of a run away going down the mountain. There should still be plenty of room for the Bridgton Tank Car to be stored at the stub end of the siding. One could even install a derail between the tank car and the crossover, to prevent a runaway crashing into the car (or to prevent the car from entering the main.)

Once we reach 218, we could pull the crossover to put the TOM back to its original configuration.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum

Allan Fisher

  • Museum Member
  • Brakeman
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 03:32:02 PM »
Every switch off a main track in dark territory (non-signalled) is a potential hazard. They can be deadly if that pesky animal, the human, makes any error of omission or commission. Switches at the top of heavy grades can be especially dangerous.

Now, if we could just get rid of all our freight and passenger customers, we wouldn't need no stinking switches!  ;) 
Allan Fisher

Keith Taylor

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 03:41:12 PM »
Every switch off a main track in dark territory (non-signalled) is a potential hazard. They can be deadly if that pesky animal, the human, makes any error of omission or commission. Switches at the top of heavy grades can be especially dangerous.
Allan, as you know even in signaled territory a break in the rail can be dangerous! I had some teenagers break the lock off of a facing point switch at Northampton, PA on the L&S mainline. As I approached they threw the switch lining me for the Northampton and Bath, where we hit a standing cut of loaded coal hoppers at 25 mph. The engine ended up on it's side. Never underestimate the ability of teens for evil!
Keith

Ed Lecuyer

  • Administrator
  • Supervisor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,814
    • View Profile
    • Historical Topo Maps
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 04:04:18 PM »
To play devils advocate (or more accurately, a computer engineer who is slowly learning how real railroading gets done) could the two switches for this crossover and the derail be be linked together via levers (or whatever those pipes are called that used to be common at interlockings, etc.)?

That way, there would only be one lever to throw, reducing the possibility of human error. Of course, there could still be meddling kids, but we're always going to have those. Then again, the person throwing the switch would have to remember to check 2 sets of points and frogs before giving the go-ahead to the engine crew.

Hmm. Much more complicated than I first thought.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum

James Patten

  • Global Moderator
  • Trainmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,741
  • Loco for 6
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 04:09:44 PM »
To play devils advocate (or more accurately, a computer engineer who is slowly learning how real railroading gets done) could the two switches for this crossover and the derail be be linked together via levers (or whatever those pipes are called that used to be common at interlockings, etc.)?

"Ground frames", which basically do what you describe, seem to be somewhat common in the UK, or at least on the Welsh roads we were on.  Throw one lever and a whole bunch of neat movement would happen.  I think they may have been called interlockings here in the US.

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Inspector
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,274
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2009, 07:55:15 PM »
I have seen crossovers with one switch stand linked to both switches. There were fairly common the the Reading, where I recall seeing a number of them on the Bethlehem Branch.

Ed Lecuyer

  • Administrator
  • Supervisor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,814
    • View Profile
    • Historical Topo Maps
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2009, 08:04:04 PM »
Quote
Now, if we could just get rid of all our freight and passenger customers, we wouldn't need no stinking switches!

Sounds like Guilford.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum

Stewart "Start" Rhine

  • Museum Member
  • Trainmaster
  • *******
  • Posts: 2,779
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2009, 08:17:55 PM »
I have seen the dual throw switch arrangement that Wayne mentioned.  It works well but requires more maint and could be a problem in the snow.  Another possibility is to make the south turnout a spring switch, lined for the siding.  That way the south switch would not have to be thrown on standard run around moves.

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Inspector
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,274
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2009, 09:32:19 PM »
This discussion has several aspects. If we're running trains with only 8 passengers, I think we're following the original WW&F model too closely.  ;)  The railcar should be the only vehicle operating if that's often the case.

If the question is how we facilitate getting the locomotive to the south end of the train at Top of the Mountain, there are two ways to do it.

One way is to build the siding as a single end track and station no. 51 there to pull the train into the siding while the road engine rests in the clear on the main track. A load of gravel dumped at the end of main line rail will serve as a soft landing if something should start to drift away. Note: the Strasburg RR operated in this manner at Leaman Place Jct. for several years, using Plymouth no. 1 to pull trains past no. 31 to get it on the other end of the train.

The second option would be to build a switch and a temporary ramp from the siding down to meet the main track alignment to form a runaround track, with both switches on the siding elevation. When the time comes to build north from Top of the Mountain, the temporary track and switch would be removed.

Regardless, I think we need to push on to Top of the Mountain this season and next spring, since it is the logical point at which to stop for a breather. During the hiatus, repairs to the slide and washouts can be accomplished, along with construction of the Carleton Brook bridge, Sheepscot yard track changes, leach field and restrooms, etc. 

At Top of the Mountain, changing directions would probably be easier than at Alna Center because the siding is on less of a grade, and the prospect of a southbound train waiting on the siding at Alna Center for a northbound to charge past is interesting.


Paul Horky

  • Museum Member
  • Baggageman
  • **
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2009, 10:14:57 PM »
If the crossover idea is used then only one switch need to be through at that end as the main line switch can be set into the siding unless a train is going on down the mountain. This way the crossover acts as a safty if an operating rule is put in place that if a train runs the south switch the train must stop before reaching the crossover.

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2009, 11:44:39 PM »
Lots of good comments.... Seems to me that we may be hung-up on keeping the siding at the old elevation. (why?)  is this a good solution or a need to be prototypical?  Remember NG lines were laid out to be CHEAP to construct, but not necessarily best practice.  I would suggest as part of the grading to possibly "shave" some feet of elevation at TOM to create a level passing siding area.  It will help in a couple of ways - first limit the possibility of rolling equipment; second, ease the grade both into and out of TOM;  and third, if there is extra excavated material, use that material to start repairing the first wash-out so equipment could be able to access the major washout/landslide.  Is it a bit more work, yes -mostly for a dozer, but I think it would be a lot better in the long-run for everyone concerned.

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2009, 11:51:47 PM »
Oops forgot!  The spring switch idea is a dandy one.  New Hope & Ivyland uses that exact setup with their station turn at Peddler's Village / Street Road. (for those who have taken the trip)

James Patten

  • Global Moderator
  • Trainmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,741
  • Loco for 6
    • View Profile
Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2009, 12:33:35 AM »
...the prospect of a southbound train waiting on the siding at Alna Center for a northbound to charge past is interesting.

The more likely prospect is of the northbound waiting for the southbound to wheeze its way up the Mountain and wearily plod on to Alna Center...

Of course none of us have really any idea how trains are going to perform on the Mountain, but if Cockeye curve (1.5-ish percent) and the grade beyond Trask's is any indication, twice the grade will give engines a tough time of it.