Author Topic: ROW Cutting  (Read 2563 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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ROW Cutting
« on: September 15, 2010, 05:44:06 PM »
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ROW Cutting has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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Mike Fox wrote:
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We started cutting more Right of Way Today. We got about 75 feet completely done. Eric L. and others had gone through earlier this year and taken some down so that helped a lot. We had a small crew of 5 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. The cutting will continue as time allows on Saturdays all winter or until the snow gets too deep.
Mike

BM1455 replied:
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Spent another four hours cutting small stuff and stacking it up, at Judy's land.  There is only a verry little bit left there now that I can doo myself.  (About an hours worth...maybe)
If I can get away from work on Friday I may go up there and do some more and sart working back over Dave's land towards the north end of the siding.
Eric.

John McNamara replied:
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Hopefully there will be no cutting this coming weekend, as we have had trouble previous years with lack of crew for Victorian Christmas (everyone was off in the woods cutting). Since this is an event to thank our neighbors and provide them with all sorts of things to see and do, plus the likelihood of a fair size crowd, we'll need lots of volunteers, not only for train crew but for guides, cookie and drink servers, gift shop sales, platform attendants, etc.

Joe Fox replied:
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John,

I would love to give out tours and things like that, since that is what I love to do, only when there isn't any work crews working on the track.  I have been told by other volunteers, and by passengers that my yard tours are extremley good, and I had one guy pay me for the tour. I took and put the money in the donation box when I got the chance. I think Fred said that the ROW cutting would continue the 23rd, but I am not 100% sure though.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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Another day of cutting today. About 100 feet was cleared on the west side and only 25 or 30 on the east. We had a good size crew, even in the rain. To top the day off, Dave Olszewski found a rail on the east side of the siding. It was bent to a degree that I think it was an original siding rail. Probably the one North of the frog. It only had one bolt hole on either end and the rail ends were broken off, not cleanly cut. It was found only 4 feet or so from the grade of the siding. No camera today because of the rain but maybe next time we will get a picture.
Mike

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Another day of cutting today. About 100 feet was cleared on the west side and only 25 or 30 on the east. We had a good size crew, even in the rain. To top the day off, Dave Olszewski found a rail on the east side of the siding. It was bent to a degree that I think it was an original siding rail. Probably the one North of the frog. It only had one bolt hole on either end and the rail ends were broken off, not cleanly cut. It was found only 4 feet or so from the grade of the siding. No camera today because of the rain but maybe next time we will get a picture.
Mike

Don't forget to tell Bob C, (Ash  Man) to come  there and remove ash from there. He need to bring about 20 empty buckets there.  James told me that we were crazy for work there during rain. I told him that it was fun and can't wait to build new track there. We must be brave. Mike told me where old siding was. I was looking for part for Fred's chairsaw. I found rail instead. Dave

Mike Fox replied:
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Another sucessfull day up in the North Woods. 125 feet. Now we are at Clarks Camp Rd. Crossing. 4900 feet North of Alna Center. Thankfully we don't have to walk the whole way. A couple more weekends should reveal the end of the siding and the end of the level grond.
Mike

BM1455 replied:
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We got another 150 ft of R.O.W. done today.  The length of the siding is now clear.  One more good day of cutting and we will be on Judy's land.
You can now realy see the down-grade coming off the top of the mountain now.  It starts quickly from the high point and does not mess around much with a transition.
Eric.

MikeW replied:
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I was amazed how that pitched right over into a steep grade.  Does anyone know what percent grade that is?  Will #10 be able to pull cars up it?

James Patten replied:
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It's about a 3% or so grade.

John McNamara replied:
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I was amazed how that pitched right over into a steep grade.  Does anyone know what percent grade that is?  Will #10 be able to pull cars up it?

I keep telling Jason that we'll need to keep #52 available for helper service  

BM1455 replied:
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I was looking the Google maps satelite photos that I printed off last year of the Alna Center to Head tide section of ROW.  I noticed that if we get through Judy's section this year, and we can repeat the same amount of cutting for each of the next two years, we will be at the trestle!  The Kelly's section is the same distance as Judy's and Clark's put together.  The section north of Kell'y on to the trestle is about the same as Kelly's section.  Most of that last section is reasonably clear already.
After that point, there is only about three days worth of clean up between the trestle and the highway.
Eric.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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I keep telling Jason that we'll need to keep #52 available for helper service

Good one, John!
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Hello John,
Why do you tell Jason to keep #52? Do they rent #52 from someone? I thought WW&F RR own it.

Dave

Fred L. Kuhns replied:
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Can someone please tell me the total distance from Alna Center to Headtide? When in the future will the riight away be cleared so that a person would be able to hike from the end of the track to Headtide or is that a possibility at the present time?

John McNamara replied:
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Yes, we do own it. I'm just teasing Jason because he periodically says that he wants to reach Wiscasset so that he can run #52 into the harbor. He says that because he is such a steam engine fan. I, in turn, tease him that Diesels are very important to our operation. The whole thing is just a typical steam fan / Diesel fan rivalry

James Patten replied:
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Alna Center's location is either 6.4 or 7.0, depending on what source you look at.  Head Tide was at 9.1.

Dave, regarding #52, Jason would like the WW&F to be an all-steam railroad, he has no particular love for diesels.

Mike Fox replied:
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Fred,
To answer you question directly, you can walk from end of track to Head Tide as long as Trout Brook is low enough for you to walk through. Can be navigated by stepping on stones when the level is right. There are a couple of trees to duck under or over and a washout to go around but it can be done.  And if by chance you walk to the brook and it is to high, you can drive over to the 218 grade crossing area and walk back to Trout Brook or continue onto Head Tide. A VERY scenic walk.
Mike

Joe Fox replied:
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It will be nice to have the track go all the way to trout brook.
_________________
“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-

Joe

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Some terrific pics from this past Saturday from Josh Botting. Thanks Josh!

1st Image - looking north at the day's progress...things are really starting to go downhill fast!  


2nd Image - looking north from TOM.


3rd Image - Looking south from TOM.

_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Steve, Thanks for the update photos!

Joe Fox replied:
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Thanks for the photos Steve.
_________________
“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-

Joe

jwhoughton replied:
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Nice photos of the ROW clearing.  They raises a question, however.  Why do you clear so wide a path?  Is it to provide good visibility for the train crew?  It seems that it is a lot of work to clear so wide.  Or do you guys just love to cut down trees with chain saws (it is fun!)

John Houghton

Joe Fox replied:
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John,

I think that the trees are cut so wide, because of visibility, but mostly because of the tree limbs and other misc things that might fall onto the right of way. However, I don't honestly know the answer to that question, but what I typed seems logical.
_________________
“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-

Joe

Steve Zuppa replied:
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All of the above plus the fact that we don't want to be like other "train rides" that subject their passengers to the "green tunnel" effect of having the trees crowd the right of way with  branches brushing the sides of the cars as we pass.
Steve
_________________
"Keep to the code!"
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Josh Botting replied:
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Not to mention the fire danger.

MikeW replied:
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I think the open right of ways is more prototypical - just look at old photos.  Also, clearing trees back from the grade helps to prevent blow downs that foul the track.

I was wondering after last Saturday's work: has anyone looked into selling the stumpage to a logging contractor?  Is there enough marketable timber to make it worthwhile?  One harvester/feller buncher with a skidder could clear a large amount of grade in just a few days.

dwight winkley replied:
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ROW is cleared wider at TOP due to the side track at this location.

James Patten replied:
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The railroad right-of-way is 66 feet wide.  We usually cut about 20 feet to either side of the center line, or 40 feet wide.  The cutting was extended out 33 feet on the east side at the Top of the Mountain for the siding.  When the siding ended, the cutting abruptly went back to 20 feet.  Most of the west side is 20 feet, but I think for the road crossing for Dave Clark it was widened some.

In the very early days of right-of-way clearing they brought in a logger to clear everything out.  Zack says it took two years to clean up the mess, because of course they left all the branches and stuff behind.  A few years ago a logger came and got a lot of the trees along the ROW north of Albee's.  They too left a mess and it took us a while to clean it up.

dwight winkley replied:
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ROW is cleared wider at TOM due to the side track at this location

jwhoughton replied:
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Thanks for the wealth of info from all responders to my ROW width question!

John

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Some terrific pics from this past Saturday from Josh Botting. Thanks Josh!

1st Image - looking north at the day's progress...things are really starting to go downhill fast!  


2nd Image - looking north from TOM.


3rd Image - Looking south from TOM.
/i]

There are new photos at Nerail Photo. Thank to Bill Reidy for great photos there. See them at http://photos.nerail.org/show/?order=byposter&page=1&key=breidy

Can't wait to build new track there.  

Dave

Stewart Rhine replied:
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The right of way is cleared back to where the original line fences were.  Years ago, Maine State law required railroad lines to be fenced off.  There are remaining portions of line fence near HB trestle, n/e side.  The ground within the line fence was the property of the railroad.  In most places it was measured as 3 rods wide.  It is kept clear for the above mentioned reasons of visibility and safety.  Other reasons are for clear ditches and culvert intake, and the most important (as Josh noted) fire control.  It's easier to stop a grass fire by the tracks than chase a woods fire.  Also, over hanging branches can catch fire by sparks from the stack.

John McNamara replied:
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I think you mean 4 rods, as a rod is 16 and 1/2 feet. Thus, 4 rods would be 66 feet, which I think is the magic number.

Josh Botting replied:
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Much of the fence is intact, N. of 218 along the river. much of it is closer to the ROW than 33' though.


jkb

Dana Deering replied:
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Why 66 feet you might ask?  Or maybe you don't but I'll tell ya anyway.  In the old days surveyors laid out roads using a "chain".  A surveyor's chain is made up of 100 links, each link is 7.92 inches long.   100 links = 66 feet  (4 rods). Towns were laid out in "Ranges" divided by "Range Roads" which were always one chain wide.  As you can imagine it was cumbersome laying out roads this wide through the woods with a 66 foot chain so many of the roads within a Range were laid out in half chains, 33 feet, which is why most of the roads in Maine have ROWs of 33 feet. Those roads were always referred to as "Two Rod Roads". If you find a road with a ROW of 66 feet it is probably on old Range Road.  When the railroads came along they adopted the standard practice of laying out the ROW one chain in width, hence the 66 feet.
Now you know more than you'll ever need to know about chains, rods, and links.

Dana

Bill Sample replied:
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Thanks, Dana - you never stop learning on the WW&F Forum.  We have a Four Rod Road down here in Berlin CT where the 1st station was and I'll bet its ROW is 66 feet.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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John. You're right, I did mean 4 rods.  The dang 3&4 are too close!

Dana, I've heard some of the explanation of rod/chain measurement before but your post completes my understanding of the practice.

Dana Deering replied:
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Thanks, Stewart.  Now you can tell people you are restoring a Maine Three-Linker and enjoy the confused look on their faces!

Dana

Mike Fox replied:
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Another day of cutting today. 125 feet. Had to fight with the fires keeping them going. Wet snow covered material. Those of you familiar with the Top of The Mountain area, we are now at the boiler culvert North of Top of the Mountain. About 25 feet and we will be on Judys land.
Mike

BM1455 replied:
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Congratulations.
You are now only 8/10 of a mile from the Rt.218 crossing via the railraod.  It is not as far from the top of the mountain to the highway crossing as most people think.  If we get Judy's land all done this year we will only be 6/10 of a mile from the crossing.
Eric.

Joe Fox replied:
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Not much cutting was done in the morning, but a lot of cutting was done once Steve Zuppa showed up to give us a hand. When we went back for lunch, it seemed like we weren't going to get much cutting done, and then when we returned from lunch, everbody got into gear, and did an excellent job. Sort of like the track crews on track laying weekends. At first it seems like not much is going to be accomplished before quiting time, and all of a sudden, things just happen. Talk to you guys later.
_________________
“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-

Joe

BM1455 replied:
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The tree removal crew had another great day today.  We were able to get another 200 feet cut off!  We are about half way accross Judy Fosel's land now.  There are a number of larger trees on this section so we will leave the logs there in one peice to be retrieved by a logger.  We have cut off most of the smaller stuff on this lot already but I suspect another two weekends and we will be done altogether with this section for this winter.
Eric.

Dave Olszewski replied:
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The tree removal crew had another great day today.  We were able to get another 200 feet cut off!  We are about half way accross Judy Fosel's land now.  There are a number of larger trees on this section so we will leave the logs there in one peice to be retrieved by a logger.  We have cut off most of the smaller stuff on this lot already but I suspect another two weekends and we will be done altogether with this section for this winter.
Eric.

Also logger cutted alot of trees by track. I was wondered if they will build new houses  there or they just cut trees and sell logs? It won't  be pretty to see clearcut  lot from train in future.

Dave

Fred L. Kuhns replied:
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To the tree cutting crew when will you finish for the season? Your progress appears to have reached a record year in cutting and clearing the right of way. Very interesting to read and watch the progress of the passed weeks and months.

James Patten replied:
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Our record is clearing about 3000 feet in one winter.  That was the year we started at the power lines and cleared to Humason trestle.  We may clear about a 1000 feet this year, maybe.  We'll stop when the snow goes away.

Fred L. Kuhns replied:
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Thanks James for your answer to my question about the row cutting, I guess the pictures cause the distance to look longer. The Museum forum helps keep interest up all year long. I for one really appreciate the effort of each person bringing the latest happings to the Forum.

James Patten replied:
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I also forgot to mention that we'll probably be clearing for a new parking lot, on the lot west of the Percival house lot (the Boudin property) for a while, as the snow is several inches deep and we have to walk in nearly a mile to get to the cutting area.

My opinion is that clearing for parking (and building a parking lot) is more important than clearing right of way.  Parking was one of the most clearly identified needs from our survey for the long range plan.

Mike Fox replied:
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OK. Here is an Update for the final day of Right of way clearing. About 100 to 150 feet North of the first washout North of Top of the Mountain has been cleared. Today was just around the washout itself.Another surprise when it was cut, there is a gentle curve to the east in this section. Here are some pics taken at noon(ish).
Mike
Looking North from the Washout

Looking North from the end of the cutting

Looking south from the North end of the cutting

Looking south from the washout

And looking south at the Top of the Mountain

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Great pictures, Mike -- thanks for posting!

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Mike,  Thanks for the pics.  The grade looks super, it's a great preview of what I'll see in May.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum