Author Topic: Track Maintenance  (Read 2208 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Track Maintenance
« on: December 13, 2008, 05:17:59 PM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
Track Maintenance has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
Some formatting may have been removed or modified from the original postings that appear quoted in this topic.
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Joe Fox wrote:
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I have noticed over the past week or so, that Davis Grade is un level, and when the train goes at regular speed, the cars tend to sway alot. Dana, is this one of the things on your need to do list for next year? Talk to you guys later.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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This is possibly caused by frost. It has finally been below freezing enough that it could cause that.

Josh Botting replied:
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I think that the track has been  fairly uneven there for a while, riding in the locomotive, it is especially evedent.

Joe Fox replied:
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When James, Fred, Dwight, Steve Smith, and me put ballast down in Dana's tamped holes, I noticed that some ties looked like they were right on top of the ground, and other ties looked like they were in the ground.

Joe

Dana Deering replied:
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Joe,

The Davis Grade section lies entirely on clay.  The ditches have filled in over the last few years due to the banks sliding. Since the water can't drain off very fast the whole section is basically afloat. I was able to spend one day with a small crew this fall getting as many of the rough spots out as possible but one day is not enough.  Then, once the clay starts to freeze and thaw all bets are off.  The challenge has been and always will be to get enough people to do track work.  Priorities always seem to be elsewhere and it is hard to get much done in the three hours on Saturday morning before the trains start running.

Dana

Joe Fox replied:
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Dana,

I know exactlyt what you mean. When ever you want or need a track crew, say the word and I am there. I see that the people who have put down my idea on the tamper, aren't the people who are usually with the track crew. I remember Steve Hussar saying that him and Gordon I think spent five hours tamping the short stretch between Phantom Crossing, and the Trestle, and didn't make much head way. As of right now, I can think of 3 spots that are going to require frequent attention for tamping. These three would be Davis Grade, Phantom Crossing to Humason Brook Trestle, and the section that we just put the paper on. Talk to you later.

Joe

Bill Reidy replied:
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Dana,

Depending on the turnout, would it help to have some folks do some ditching during the spring work weekend?

Bill

Josh Botting replied:
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Hey now Joe,

Alot of us spent a lot of time on those tampers.  I think I rember last spring you were on the train all day while we ran tampers, no need to point fingers here.

2 summers ago I got emails on when track work was going to happen before trains run. Not this summer though.

Dana,

If the grade is clay, we definatly should ditch it ASAP, less it slump as the section to the north did.  If this all keeps up, there may be no deep frost this year, however I am sure that the clay will still be nice and muddy....

fjknight replied:
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Joe,
. . . . .   Priorities always seem to be elsewhere and it is hard to get much done in the three hours on Saturday morning before the trains start running.

Dana

Dana,

Retirement is less than a week a way for me and one of the things I hope to do is spend more time helping out on the WW&F. One of the problems I have is that Saturdays are not particularly available. I'm just wondering if there are few more guys like me that could spend a weekday working on the track when there wouldn't be a concern about trains running. Perhaps 3 hours on a Saturday morning to learn what needs to be done then left to work during the week to finish the job.

Frank Knight

Joe Fox replied:
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I was on the train then Josh, but that wasn't such a big deal because there were seven tampers on the track. Before trains run, and it's not on track laying weekend that we need more help, it is during the regular maintenance work that we need the extra hands. However, most of the people in the yard would rather stay in the yard than help us work on the track. Some of the "regulars" onlyl think that track work/ maintenance should be done durring the track laying weekends. You have to do the track work every week in order to keep the line running. It is unfortunate that Dana can never get the crews that he would like to have. As I have been told by many people at the museum, you have the people who come down to work every weekend, and then you have the people that come just to play/ride on the train. On days when I am asked to do track work by Dana because he can't be there that weekend, and I ask to get a small crew together in the yard, and I am told that we would do the tie replacements later, and that has happened every Saturday that I was there for between the late June, and the Halloween trains. I have given up hope in trying to get a small crew together to work on track.

For example, I told Dana the week before Victorian Christmas that I was going to remove the ballast between the flange way, we were supposed to do that a week or two before with a small crew, however, as all ways when it comes to track work, it didn't get done. So I told Dana, that done or not, I was going to let him know that I at least attempted it. It took me 3 hours to remove 250' of ballast in the flange way. It was a slow process, as the ballast had to be chipped with a pick ax. The week or two before, it could have been done with extreme ease.

In short, I think it would be great if we could have a bigger track crew, and that a lot of the people who work on the train all the time should help with track work every once in a while.

Joe

Dave Olszewski replied:
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The photo that train was unvent there. I did not remember where did I take it. I see railroad cross sign on right on window.

I hope we will fix it in Spring. It would be nice if we work on track often like every Saturday. Or we need more volunteers to work on track.


Dave

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Dave,  Thanks for posting all the great photos.  The one above was taken northbound at Sutter's.

Josh Botting replied:
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Joe,

You clearly miss the point.  You forget that we all voulenteer to have FUN!  By point the finger at all of us, saying that no one does any work, but of course you, than you piss the people who do the work off.  Not this summer, but the one before there were was track work most Sat. mornings.  However it was the same 5 or so people every week.  This summer I was not aware of any planned track work mornings.

Either way, if you want to get things done Joe, Relax a BIT.  5 is not enough to really do more than a few hours of work.  For those of us who are no longer young and destructable, 3 hours of being on the wrong end of a tamper is quite enough.  However that said, more weekends should be planned for next summer.  Although it is up to the people who are responsable for the track sections, not you Joe, to plan that.  If the request is made for crew, we can get enough crew to get small things accomplished.

Rember that we are all here to have fun, and that most of us have lives, familes, and work to worry about.  To steal a phrase, "together we can make a differance"

Mike Fox replied:
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I think things need to be scheduled and kept that way. It works for the #9. Couldn't we come up with a schedule like that. Track work every 4th Saturday or the first Saturday of the month or ever other weekend? Something so it becomes routine. Then the other projects that usually distract us can wait until the non track work Saturday or be done during train time if it can be. And if you can get on a schedule and have 4 or 6 guys show up regularly for this, great. If you get more, even better. As the line gets longer, the more we will have to look after and work on. 3 hrs once in a while won't get it done.
Mike

Josh Botting replied:
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Mike,

I was thinking that we should schedule maintanace in a similar fashion to the #9 work weekend.  However we cannot depend on Dwight, James, and Dana to be there every weekend running a crew of 5 to fix the track.  We are fairly limited in when we can do maintinance, due to passenger traffic.  We have lots of projects going on, we may not be  capable of scheduling a crew at this time, I know I have no idea what my summer schedule is.  But a week before I have a good Idea.  However, if we set dates, people may be able to schedule around those dates.  I know that if someone asks for help, I usually make it a point to try to perticipate in the project.  There are proablly about 10 people or so who are experienced at this type of work.  If we can get half of these people, and some new learners, we can acomplish a good piece of work in the morning time available.

Joe Fox replied:
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Josh,

I am sorry for making you, or any of the other volunteers mad, I was just trying to help state the point that more people are needed to help do the things that may not be fun, but in the long run, truely help the museum. As one of the track laying weekend shirts say, "Many hands make light work." I still think that it would be great to have a road master assistant, who would keep in touch with the road master via emails.

Joe

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Dave,  Thanks for posting all the great photos.  The one above was taken northbound at Sutter's.

Your welcome. Did I meet you before? I did not remember your name, Stewart. I am hearing impaired.

Dave

Joe Fox replied:
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Dave,

Stewart was the other brakemen on the Halloween night train with the Deisel 52, Flatcar 118, and Coach 8.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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Josh,
I am in the same boat when it comes to summer Saturday scheduling.  I usually don't know until the night before if I am available that Saturday. But I come when I can. Anyhow, I was thinking that if there was a set schedule, and it was stuck to, things could get done. Track maintenance should come first as that can't be done during train time. Then any other projects that don't interfere with train operations can be done during the day. Just an Idea I have.
Mike

MikeW replied:
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I offer these comments as observation only and not at all as criticism, so please no one take any offense.  I am unable to come to Alna very often due to family and work committments.  Over the years I have had mixed success at joining in on work details.  Sometimes I arrive and it is clear what is being done and how I can help.  Other times I have shown up on Saturday morning and can't find out who is in charge of volunteers and the day's projects.  Twice I have left after feeling like there was nothing I could contribute.  The track work weekends are much better since one only needs to get to where the work is, see what's happening and then grab a shovel.

My point is that it would be much easier for us infrequent helpers if there was more communication as to what is going on.  For starters, I like the idea of having a regular time for track work as suggested already in this forum (this would be much more predictable).  Second, I suggest that there be a standard time to meet in the morning and discuss the day's projects, make assignments, etc.  It should be really clear who is in charge.  Third, I would use this web forum to regularly post the upcoming weekend's projects, and solicit committments from volunteers.  I think a special forum category should be started just for this purpose.  I for one would be more inclined to help if I knew beforehand that I had a specific task ahead of me.

All in all, I think this operation is the best I've ever been involved in!  Everyone is very dedicated and hard working, and the results are obvious (just look at the great track, equipment, etc).

Dana Deering replied:
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Good points well taken, 2Ft.  I think this forum will be a great help in communicating such things going forward.  I can tell you that any Saturday that I am there I start at 7AM and usually have a plan.  I don't usually hold a meeting in the morning in summer because of the limited time to get out there and get at it.  But I will work on doing better at getting the word out.  Thanks!

Dana

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

MikeW replied:
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Glad you like my suggestions.  It would be great to know what is needed and when.  For example, I enjoy (and am reasonably good at) rough and finish carpentry, and painting (including sign painting).  On occasion I have hit it right and gotten to provide these (Vern and I did quite a bit of work on the freight house etc in the past), but usually I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time.  (BTW That's not to say I don't like or won't do track work.)  A running list of projects and matching people up with them would be great.

gordon cook replied:
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Maybe someday we can recreate the Mason's wreck!! 

Mike Fox replied:
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Gordon,
let me know ahead of time. I think I'll be sick that day.

Joe Fox replied:
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Steve I like your phrase, "fun should all ways take a backseat to track maintenance." That is a very good phrase to live by for railroading. If the plans for track work get around, I am sure that the crews might be bigger than three, if people are free.

Joe

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Thanks Joe, et al. Just trying to maintain a convivial atmosphere...
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill
Ed Lecuyer
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