Author Topic: To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...  (Read 22066 times)

Wayne Laepple

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2016, 09:57:38 PM »
It has been suggested that obtaining a waiver to cross Cross Road at Sheepscot would be a lot easier than crossing Route 218.

Ken Fleming

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2016, 12:07:02 AM »
Weighing the distance that we actually extend ROW South of Cross Road versus falling under FRA rules.  I think staying bounded by 218 (North) and Cross Road gives us nice length Mainline and NO FRA.

Joe Fox

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2016, 12:22:22 AM »
The problem is Ken customers want scenery. And the best scenery lies on either side of a public road. And I actually believe crossing Cross Road would be as simple as two reflective cross bucks and a flagman to protect trains crossing. So in reality crossing Cross Road would be cents on the dollar as compared to crossing 218. However we will not know for sure until that day comes.

Mike Fox

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2016, 10:32:49 AM »
Wayne,
Long gates would not be needed. The signals could be put far enough away from the crossing so the gates are at a 90 degree angle. I have never seen a gate on an angled crossing that comes down parralell to the tracks.

Traffic counts may play into the requirement for signals and gates.
Mike
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Ira Schreiber

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2016, 02:12:56 PM »
Bear in mind that the local governing body as well as The State of Maine will determine what protection is required. Since service will be very sporadic, it may be as simple as cross bucks and a properly attired flag person. This really makes the most sense, to me.

Wayne Laepple

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2016, 04:36:38 PM »
With the angle at which the track would cross the road, long parallel gates would be necessary. Otherwise it would be too easy for stupid people to drive around the gates!

And just for the record, you'd never get me out in the middle of that road with a flag or a fusee! I've had entirely too many close calls with yahoos who think it's fun to try to scare the flagman.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 05:32:04 PM by Wayne Laepple »

Joe Fox

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2016, 06:05:25 PM »
Route 218 doesn't have nearly as much traffic as Route 16 in the Conways. I would be very surprised if they require us to have gates. I really think the advance warning lights and red lights would suffice. Only way to find out is when we get there.

And gates usually only go to the yellow center lines, so no matter what, angled rail crossings are easier to swerve around the gates any way. The only real way to prevent that would be quad gates and I know for a fact 218 does not have that kind of traffic.

Bernie Perch

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2016, 06:11:38 PM »
I do not understand why people would want the railroad to cross Rt. 218.  It would increase the ride by about 4 minutes time and once you get beyond the "cut", the fill is cut off by a road which is several feet below the level of the roadbed and someone's depressed back yard is beyond that.  If there was the remote possibility that several more miles could be built beyond the 218 crossing then it could be worth it.

I believe that when the railroad reaches the 218 crossing, the railroad will be long enough to satisfy the average tourist.  Also, track maintenance, especially on the hill is going to be considerable.  Will the next generation be willing to do that kind of work?  At what point will the railroad reach when only all the work will be just maintenance and there will be no time for building.

As far as traffic goes, it takes only one of Wayne's yahoos to do considerable damage.  On our trips up to Maine, he has discussed some of these incidents.

Bernie
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 08:26:39 PM by Bernie Perch »

Paul Uhland

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2016, 06:18:27 PM »
The 64-mile, 3-foot gauge Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad runs May-October,  crosses NM/CO 2-lane Highway 17 at 4 places, also a forest road, US 285, various unprotected,  private mountain ones.  
The major crossings have only unlit sawbucks, no gates, pavement markings and round crossing warning signs along 17 and at 285.
Used to help flag them.
Gasoline tanker semis never stopped at the crossings, per federal law.
Luckily, never witnessed a serious incident., had a few close calls, though.
 
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 01:48:28 AM by Paul Uhland »
Paul Uhland

Benjamin Campbell

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2016, 09:00:49 PM »
A couple of vintage ‘wig wag’ crossing signals would be awesome (in addition to modern flashers?). I would think that the regulatory powers would be happy with red flashers rather than gates. The Rockland branch is built for relatively high speeds and has very few if any gated crossings.

I imagine that a railroad crossing at such an angle is tough on motorcycles and certainly bicycles. Would it be possible to lower the angle slightly while staying within our right of way?

I totally agree with Joe – scenery is key and some of the nicest stretches we have access to are on either side of the roads in question.  Between 218 and the cut is fabulous and paralleling the road for a stretch won’t hurt either. People love to wave to drivers and vice versa. Great visibility and advertising.

If only to the first bend -  I think it would be great (and educational) to see track south of Cross Road even if we didn’t immediately connect it to the main line. It would give visitors a sense of Sheepscot station being on the mainline rather than a terminus. We could trundle hand cars over the pavement and let visitors experience main line handcar travel down to the beautiful scenery at the bend.

John McNamara

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2016, 09:21:29 PM »
If only to the first bend -  I think it would be great (and educational) to see track south of Cross Road even if we didn’t immediately connect it to the main line. It would give visitors a sense of Sheepscot station being on the mainline rather than a terminus. We could trundle hand cars over the pavement and let visitors experience main line handcar travel down to the beautiful scenery at the bend.

There has been some talk about installing an isolated stretch of track south from Cross Road. Use of the Model T railar was mentioned, but handcars would be even better, as they are much more portable. :)

Keith Taylor

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2016, 09:35:26 PM »
How many folks on this list have been involved with a fatal grade crossing incident?
Well I have and it is something you live with for the rest of your life. Do we need to cross a pubic highway just so a tourist can take a scenic photo? And then run the risk of one of our crews having to live with the memory of a serious accident. And I can attest to the fact that we already have a beautiful scenic trip.
Keith

Joe Fox

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2016, 11:47:24 PM »
The difference is Kieth no matter what we run that risk. Secondly at slow speeds that risk is virtually zero.

The pros far out way the cons. I cross hundreds of crossings every day. All of which have more traffic than 218. Trespassers are far more of a concern than a vehicle ignoring crossing signals or flagman. Rules can always be set into place as well for certain things.

A more pressing issue is new volunteers, etc.

Bill Baskerville

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2016, 12:46:49 AM »
Our crossing either road is, I would guess, at least five years away.  Doing so brings FRA oversight, which is a good operating goal, but actually having it might also bring lots of additional problems.

The suggestion that we build a section South of Cross road for the hand car or even the Model T Rail Car would provide a better solution to give folks additional scenery to visit, and perhaps additional motivation to purchase a second ticket that would not only give them a ride on a different vehicle, but new scenery.  It would also provide something do do between trains as the schedules would no longer be interconnected. 

More importantly, Bernie and Joe have hit key issues.  They both revolve around attracting volunteers.  We already have problems staffing for our current scheduled operating days and special events.  Additionally, we always get a larger turnout for 'new main line pushing north'.  Not so much if we are just maintaining what we have, or building sidings, etc. 

As Joe stated, our most pressing problem is attracting new volunteers to help maintain what we already have and have a larger pool of qualified operating staff.  I wish I knew the solution.  But I would think we need to focus on the next 5 years.

My two cents, and we all know what that is worth.

Bill
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Wayne Laepple

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To Cross or Not to Cross (or to Cross Cross Road?) That is the question...
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2016, 08:22:10 AM »
My concern isn't so much that our train might hit a vehicle on a crossing as it is that a vehicle would hit our train. There is a big difference between a 125-ton GP-40 and one of our little teakettles. The only sure protection would be those solid steel gates that rise up out of the pavement, like those that are deployed around some buildings in Washington, D.C.!

However, as some folks have noted, we have plenty of railroad as it is, and finding the people to maintain what we have is a problem even now.