W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Maine Narrow Gauge RR Co. & Museum => Topic started by: Bill Piche on March 23, 2012, 11:44:26 AM

Title: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: Bill Piche on March 23, 2012, 11:44:26 AM
From Mike Moulison,
Hey everyone! I hope the winter has been good to you. The MNGRR track crew will be kicking off the season on April 14th and 15th. We have a contractor, Railworks Inc., coming in with three guys and some machines to help us out. We will be attacking the switches on the railroad, doing tie replacement, and possibly some more ballast work. This is a great (and rare) chance for our volunteers to work with a professional track crew; this is a major learning opportunity! We also plan to get a lot of track work done in a short amount of time, so we need your help. Come join us if you can; work will run 8AM-6PM both days. You should bring steel-toed boots, safety glasses, and work gloves. Lunch will be provided by the museum. Please email me at boilermanmike331(at)aol.com if you plan on attending. Also, please indicate which day if you can't do both. Thanks for your support
Title: Re: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: Mike Fox on April 13, 2012, 07:59:09 PM
Joe and I will be at MNGRR tomorrow to help with track work. I have been wanting to do it for a while and now things are lining up. Hoping for a great turnout with lots of help.
Title: Re: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: Mike Fox on April 14, 2012, 07:33:09 PM
Interesting day today at MNGRR. Work finally got underway about 9:30 after some last minute planning and a safety meeting/briefing. 4 contractors and around 10 volunteers started the day off. Around lunch there must have been 15 volunteers or more.

I Jumped right on the tie crew and started pulling spikes. The contractors used a backhoe to remove them. We replaced 8 or more ties at the west switch of the west end run around track by the Back Cove trestle. Then went and did two at the east switch of the run around.

There was another crew jacking and tamping another section of track.

And finally a small crew was repairing bolts by removing the old bad ones that could not be tightened and replacing them with new.

Welding and more trackwork is planned for tomorrow. Great way to spend a day.
Title: Re: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on April 14, 2012, 07:43:13 PM
Got any pics Mike?
Title: Re: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: Joe Fox on April 14, 2012, 08:49:07 PM
A few pics were taken throughout the day, however, none by the "Fox Team". It was really good, and work, once started, went at a decent pace.
Title: Re: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: Mike Fox on April 15, 2012, 09:43:52 PM
I forgot my camera. There was ample opportunity, though the pictures I would have taken may not have been rail related. ;)
Title: Re: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: John McNamara on April 15, 2012, 09:54:46 PM
I forgot my camera. There was ample opportunity, though the pictures I would have taken may not have been rail related. ;)

As the smiley face suggests, the MNG ROW is located adjacent to a walking/jogging path where the scenery on this sunny and somewhat warm day was, shall we say, very attractive in some cases.
Title: Re: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: Bill Piche on April 18, 2012, 09:13:56 AM

I am pleased to report that our major track work weekend, April 14th – 15th 2012, was a huge success. We had a fantastic volunteer turnout: Brian Durham, Hans Brandes, Griffin Bourassa, Dakota Dumont, Colby Miles, Jeff Ferland, Hansel Van Fardon, Kyle Collins, Bill Piche, Joe Fox, Mike Fox, John Mcnamara, Corey Boucher, Tim Averill, Vincent Lerow, and Mike Moulison. Thank you all for your help. Additionally, we hired Railworks Inc. to lead the major work, provide equipment, and train some of our volunteers. There crew of Tom, Ryan, and Wayne were a huge help, and many of us walked away have gleaned some new skills and knowledge for having worked with them.

The work for the weekend was divided into three categories: tie replacement, stone work (leveling, tamping, lining, etc.), and joint bar work. Crews replaced 15 switch timbers total on the coach track switch, yard switch, and both switches at bridge siding. Additionally, Railworks was able to do some grinding and welding on the points and frogs to improve their condition.

Over the weekend, we managed to change out an additional 25 mainline ties, improving gauge along the way. Another crew spent the majority of the weekend picking up the once listing and leaning track on the west side of Cutter St. After a great deal of lifting and tamping, plus about 2.5 flatcar loads of ballast, I’m pleased to report that all of the major dips and leans on that stretch of track have been nearly eliminated. Finally, a group worked both days tightening and replacing track bolts. On Sunday, with the help of Railworks’ rail drill, we replaced 2 broken joint bars, inspected and tightened over 100 joint bars, and improved the sharp corners that had developed at Fish Point. While not perfect, the curve around Fish Point has been improved a great deal.

Safety, as always, is first and foremost, and besides a few sunburns everyone went home safely. We got a major head start on this year’s track improvement campaign, and we learned a great deal from working with a professional track crew. We had what must have been one of the greatest turnouts of young volunteers in MNG’s history, and all of the veterans did an outstanding job teaching and encouraging our younger, newer volunteers – this has been a major area of improvement recently at MNG.

Of course, this track work weekend would not have been possible without grant money received from the Morton-Kelley Charitable Trust: thank you! I would also like to thank our wonderful executive director, Allison Tevsh Zittel, for both her work securing this grant and for all her support coordinating the actual track work weekend. Thank you Arthur Hussey for allowing me to cancel most of the revenue runs so this track work could happen with minimal interruption and for taking pictures of the work as it was in progress. Finally, thank you Jerry Angier for delivering pizza without anchovies to our crews!

Moving forward, the track crew plans to use the rest of the new 5ft. ties on the mainline between Fish Point and Cutter St. and also between Trails West and the bridge. We will also be doing a lot of stone work in those areas. I will keep you posted here on the news blog and also on our facebook page regarding dates and times for track work this season. Even if you aren’t physically able to help the track crew, we are developing a wish list of track tools that we would love to acquire; a donation of one of the tools on our list or some funds to be used towards purchasing one of these tools would also go a long way in helping us maintain a safe railroad for the public enjoyment of our historic trains. Remember, track work is as important at MNG as cleaning the toilets, so thank you for your effort. Once more, thanks again to everyone who helped make this weekend a success.

Mike Moulison
Track Foreman
Title: Re: MNG Track Work Day 4/14 + 4/15
Post by: Joe Fox on April 21, 2012, 04:04:28 PM
I must admit, I was surprised at how well the volunteers listened to the Railworks crew. When my other co-worker Joe and I went to MNG with a rail drill, Mike had said for every one to listen to what we had to say, and it didn't work well at all. Talking with the contractors, 2 of them had just barely started working track for about 2 years. I was surprised, but I taught them a few things, and they taught me a few new things as well. I've worked track full time year round now for 4 years on a standard gauge, and 3 years before that at the WW&F, and I must say, you can never stop learning, and no matter how much you may think you know, you can never know it all about track work.