Author Topic: Track ROW  (Read 2237 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Track ROW
« on: January 25, 2009, 08:17:59 PM »
Track ROW has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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jockellis wrote:
Looking at the photographs of right of way work the volunteers have done, I cannot but wonder if that of the original WW&F was as beautifully manicured and ballasted as today's version.
I saw a before and after  abandonment photo of a Colorado NG and a year after the track was taken up, the photographer recorded a scene which appeared totally pristine and without any traces of railroad or man.
Jock Ellis
Cumming, GA

James Patten replied:
When the railroad first began, the ROW may have been as nicely manicured as it is now.  However, once the late 20s/early 30s hit, the section crews all got laid off and things started to grow.  If you have the Locomotives volume of Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot Valley (vol 5 I think), there's a photo taken from the fireman's side of the engine which shows vegetation encroaching on the track.

As for ballast - the WW&F used gravel as ballast, and untreated wood ties.  I'm sure it looked OK during its heydays in the oughts and teens, but toward the end I'm sure it looked pretty seedy.  The WW&F never used stone, probably because they would have needed to import from elsewhere.

Wayne Laepple replied:
Back in the day, keeping the right of way clear back to the right-of-way fences was necessary as a means to reduce the threat of fires set by passing engines. During the winter months, when track work was suspended, section men cut and cleared brush along the line.

medry replied:
Funny, I was just thinking about this this week..

The ROW,  ballast, grading that are in place now are basically "better than new", far beyond what the original WW&F could afford.

What I was thinking we should do is have some track representing the WW&F as it was at the end: lightweight rail, ratty untreated ties, gravel ballast, and minimal or no grade levelling or straightening. This could be put in place for a couple hundred feet on the ROW immediately south of Cross Rd., and would provide visitors with a good counterpoint to the well manicured line on the north side. No need to actually connect across the street -- keep the FRA at bay -- plus, not actually running trains on that stretch it would enhance the post-abandonment effect.

It'll be an eon until we run south of Cross Rd, if ever, but this would be a relatively cheap and easy way to utilize that real estate to enhance the overall WW&F museum experience.

-- Mark E

Ira Schreiber replied:
I like the idea of a "before" rendition but where would Allan Fisher park his truck

jockellis replied:
I once read a conservationist magazine in which the editor told of a bunch of bottled water drinking do gooders (my mind's idea of them) clearing off the right of way of some long forgotten Western mountain railroad for a walking path. The woman editor said that the work they did was harder and more worthwhile than the work done by the original track crews. I wanted to laugh but at the same time I wanted to cry because the woman had so little sense of reality.
Jock Ellis

Josh Botting replied:
Let me tell you all, that is a great place to park your black Toyota Tacoma........

Fred L. Kuhns replied:
James Patten, when will the winter crew return to clearing additional right of way?  The  row will age with time and the work done in the present will be what the people of today expect and appreciate.  The ride is great because the row is well maintained.  What the railroad faced in 1930's is not what we are bringing back to life. The railroad today is much like it was when first built.  A very good two foot railroad.

James Patten replied:
ROW clearing will most likely continue next winter (winter of 08-09), as this year we need to concentrate on work back at Sheepscot to clear for a parking lot (long overdue) as well as thin out the woods some to get an idea of the general lay of the land.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum