Author Topic: Rail Display At Alna Center  (Read 7241 times)

Paul Crabb

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Rail Display At Alna Center
« on: March 15, 2012, 06:23:18 PM »
Stewart: A suggestion to add to the project list. There is a piece of original rail in the grass at Alna Center. Being a museum I think it needs to be a display. Thus my suggestion is to build a couple of simple posts with brackets to hold the piece of rail about 2 1/2 to 3 ft off the ground and then have some kind of plaque or sign on it that describes what it is and include a few facts about it. Another thought is to also put the piece of rail found at Top ofthe Hill with it and maybe just for comparison a short section representative of the mainline rail we are now using. I would think the posts and brackets can be pressure treated wood. Making a sign is the hard part. Maybe there is a sign shop in the area that would make it up and they'd be allowed to put their business info along the bottom of the sign so they get some advertising benefit. Just a thought. Paul C.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 08:49:11 AM by Ed Lecuyer »

Fred Morse

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Re: Spring 2012 Work Weekend, 4/27 - 4/29
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 08:38:57 AM »
I've mention for years the rail should be raised up however there seemed to be no interest. How high should it be so that kids running don't trip over it or bang their heads on it. Also a small sign saying there's posion ivy in the area behind it.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Rail Display At Alna Center
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 09:20:23 AM »
I've decided to make this its own thread, since it is probably outside of the scope of the Spring 2012 Work Weekend.

That having been said, I know that on some standard gauge railroads, it was not uncommon to have rails set on racks along the ROW. I think these were done at section breaks. The racks I have seen were made of discarded rails with some sort of mounting shelf welded to it.

For examples, see:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/18331229@N03/2502060457
http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=65403

Did the WW&F ever do something like this? Or any of the 2ft lines? Even if they didn't it would make for a nice display that wouldn't look "out of place".

I suggest that the sign be removable in case it shows up in a photo angle.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 03:45:12 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
Ed Lecuyer
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Stephen Hussar

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Re: Rail Display At Alna Center
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 09:25:28 AM »
I think this is a nice idea, anything that helps tell the story is very worthwhile. Along the same lines, I shot this display at the B&O Museum in Baltimore. It shows the progression or evolution of rail. It would be enlightening for visitors to see a cross section of our 56 lb rail, next to the stuff that Amtrak or the Maine Eastern runs on...


Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Rail Display At Alna Center
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 10:26:37 AM »
Boston's Museum of Science has a similar display of rail weights and uses.

I think a rail comparison display would be better served as part of a larger display (in a proper visitor's center) that compares Std. Gauge to Two-Foot Narrow Gauge. The rail at Alna Center should be displayed in context out on the line, without comparison to present-day railroading, in my opinion.
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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Rail Display At Alna Center
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 01:06:04 PM »
Here's a really good pic of the type of rail rack I was thinking of:
http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=50478

In fact, I am almost certain where there is a set of these, within pretty easy access of a former grade crossing along an abandoned line in Walpole, MA. Wonder how hard it would be to dig them out and transplant them?
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John McNamara

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Re: Rail Display At Alna Center
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 03:16:20 PM »
Quote from: Ed Lecuyer
In fact, I am almost certain where there is a set of these, within pretty easy access of a former grade crossing along an abandoned line in Walpole, MA. Wonder how hard it would be to dig them out and transplant them?

No need to do that. We can build those. Heck, we build steam engines!
-John

Joe Fox

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Re: Rail Display At Alna Center
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 07:41:37 AM »
A lot of railroads, to save work on building rail posts out of scrap rail, put the spare rails up on notched out blocking, about 3 feet off the ground. They were cheap, and easy to construct, and would last about 50+ years.