Author Topic: Leaves on The Mountain  (Read 2815 times)

John McNamara

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Leaves on The Mountain
« on: December 08, 2022, 01:13:14 PM »
Recent posts have indicated that 52 and 7 (and 9?) had difficulties with poor traction on The Mountain due to wet leaves on the rails. NHN has had similar problems at the Ossipee Pit in NH, and I was aboard a train that took three attempts to leave Rockland ME.  How about a WW&F rail head cleaning system ?:
https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2021/10/leaves-on-the-line-excuse-blown-away-by-new-rail-cleaning-system/
This was probably not a problem in the old days, as photos indicate few if any trees in the area.


Bill Baskerville

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2022, 01:51:29 PM »
During the FWW I took 52 and an early morning 4 car work train to TBS.  The fall leaves and frost were on the rails.  On return and after two attempts up the mountain we left the two coaches north of the bridge and took the two flats up with no problems.  The return trip with the two coaches also had no problems.  The previous day with the same 4 car train and dry rails were no problem. 

Doubling the hill... it's not just a myth.
~ B2 ~ Wascally Wabbit & Gofer ~

Bill Reidy

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2022, 07:23:30 PM »
During the FWW I took 52 and an early morning 4 car work train to TBS.  The fall leaves and frost were on the rails.  On return and after two attempts up the mountain we left the two coaches north of the bridge and took the two flats up with no problems.  The return trip with the two coaches also had no problems.  The previous day with the same 4 car train and dry rails were no problem. 

Doubling the hill... it's not just a myth.

The experience was discussed in this October 2022 Work Reports thread post.  It was a brilliant, unexpected moment recreating a bit of WW&F history some 90 years later.
What–me worry?

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2022, 08:48:02 PM »
Even full-size 2022 railroads have trouble with leaves on the track. In the Philadelphia suburbs, it is not unknown for a commuter train to slide right on past the station platform in the fall. They have tried all sorts of things, from giant rail-mounted leaf blowers to chemicals to wash the sticky sap off the rail. I guess that was one of the reason way back in the early 20th century that railroads kept the weeds and brush and trees well back from the track.

Benjamin Richards

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2022, 09:48:05 AM »
I'm reminded of the Argentine engineer L. D. Porta, whose work demonstrated that adhesion can be increased dramatically through the use of several complementary strategies, including sanding, rail washing and tire profiling. I don't know whether he ever had to contend with the likes of North American autumnal leaf litter, though.

His solutions strike me as elegant because they involve no additional gadgetry.

https://www.martynbane.co.uk/modernsteam/ldp/adhesion/adhesion.htm

Rick Rowlands

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2022, 08:37:14 AM »
On the 6% grade here at the J&LNG, if we do not get some good speed at the bottom of the hill we will stall out before reaching the top.  Once stopped, getting started in the upward direction is very difficult.  The first trip of the day is always the worst and if the rail is wet we have sanders on all the way up. That usually takes care of the issue but the occasional slip on the hill keeps the engineers on their toes.  It is only going to get more interesting as our train gets heavier with the addition of a new build caboose coming in a year or so.

 
Rick Rowlands
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J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
Youngstown, OH

John McNamara

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2022, 12:22:10 PM »
I saw an article in "Pocket" about the Long Island Railroad's use of a high-tech (heaven forbid) solution to the leaf problem.
Here's the solution: Lasers! https://www.laserprecisionsolutions.com/

John M

Bill Piche

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2022, 12:30:05 PM »
I saw an article in "Pocket" about the Long Island Railroad's use of a high-tech (heaven forbid) solution to the leaf problem.
Here's the solution: Lasers! https://www.laserprecisionsolutions.com/

John M

Lasers would be fine, John, but you'd have to find a way to make them using steam.
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"Any day with steam is a good day." - me

John Kokas

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2022, 01:09:02 PM »
How about steam powered leaf blowers  ;)
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Keith Taylor

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2022, 04:17:18 PM »
i think flame throwers would be more fun….

Graham Buxton

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2022, 07:23:52 PM »
i think flame throwers would be more fun….
Given the era that  is the Museum' preservation mission, it seems to me that a portable  acetylene generator (feeding a burner AKA 'flamethrower') would fit right in with both preservation  (history) and practical (removing those pesky leaves).  8)


Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbide_lamp



These generators work by dripping water onto calcium carbide, releasing acetylene gas.  And in that era acetylene was used for locomotive headlamps.  Some railroads used the gas for interior lighting of passenger cars.

Acetylene Locomotive Headlamp examples, see pages 38-39: https://www.star1889.com/pdf/Star-Catalog-8-circa-1915.pdf

Interior lighting reference: https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_American_Railroad_Passenger_Car/bz0OBGxRjjcC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=ACETYlene+lamp+railroad+passenger&pg=PA420&printsec=frontcover

More details on acetylene gas history here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brief-history-commercialization-acetylene-calcium-carbide-rob-moyer

Oh, and the flamethrower? ... here is a possibility for a design:




 ;D :P ;)
Graham

Stephen Lennox

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2022, 07:48:13 PM »
Maybe just some hearty men with the snow brooms and sweeping the few areas of leaves might work just as well..... and cheaper too. Just saying.....

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2022, 08:29:06 AM »
I have as much concern with the leaves covering ties, preventing daylight from drying them, and from decomposing leaves fouling ballast, causing tie rot.  Ideally the leaves would be kept clear of the track out beyond the ditches.  We’ve talked about leaf blowers for this purpose- but haven’t tried yet.

Thanks
Jason

Bill Piche

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2022, 10:35:02 AM »
I have as much concern with the leaves covering ties, preventing daylight from drying them, and from decomposing leaves fouling ballast, causing tie rot.  Ideally the leaves would be kept clear of the track out beyond the ditches.  We’ve talked about leaf blowers for this purpose- but haven’t tried yet.

Thanks
Jason

They work pretty good on the small scale stuff. We just have to be careful about buildup either in the ditches or right along the ROW. Don't want to worry about trapped water or errant sparks causing any considerable consternation.

I'd also be interested to know if we're going to send a crew out one of these work weekends to shovel the ballast that's above the ties off to the side of the tracks or to other (nearby) parts so that it's not covering the ties, either. That can help with snow ops since you've got to get more snow before you start worrying about compacting in the gauge.
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Brian Whitney

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Re: Leaves on The Mountain
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2022, 04:09:28 PM »
Very well said! The ballast that is up to the rails in the guage in multiple places is causing premature rot on the ties as well as excessive ice and snow build up. Removing the excess ballast would be a good work weekend project. Preventative maintenance always pays off.