Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Carbarn Switch rebuild started

I started to rebuild the carebarn switch this past weekend. This is another of the switches from the KAO Kampground south of Durango which I purchased about 10 years ago along with most of the railroad. This one must have been used in some obscure location on that railroad as it was not complete (missing a guard rail - no signs of ever having it) and the other guard rail was not installed correctly. Where this switch will be located on a built up section of the switchback, it HAS to be correct. This switch was also badly bent sometime in it life before getting here and so it had to be straightened. There are still subtile signs of where these bends were but I figure when it is installed all these bends will straighten out.

Carbarn Switch being rebuilt

First task was to remove the old ties and straighten the rails. Once straightened, I began to cut the ties and install them using galvanized sheet steel between the rails and switch points and the ties. Away from the points I can use regular tie plates. Along the frog and guard rails I have to use more sheet steel as barriers. This is because the modern wood preservatives eat aluminum if they stay in contact.

Headblocks and points, where the rail was so badly bent.

I managed to rebuild the switch and get everything secured. I began to fix the one guard rail by grinding the foot off and started to manufacture the other one. But grinding makes the metal get hot and so I stopped after halfway. It was time to go to supper by then anyway.

Frog and guard rail plates - made of galvanized steel and shaped over the ties.
The next steps are to complete and install the guard rails, build another rotary switchstand and install the switch throw rod with its spring rigging. Once completed, the switch will head to Pine Hill siding to await installation on the switchback as the track proceeds down the hill.
This switch will be a cousin of the engine house (house track) switch at Pine Hill. It will not be powered like the switchback main switches since this siding track is a storage track.
RGS #10, 302, 300 and 301 parked on the bridge to make room.
At the same time the switchback is being built, a new switch will be built for the bottom of the switchback which will be another powered switch. Underground wiring will connect the upper and lower switches, the battery up near the chicken coop at the wind turbine and all the controller boxes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Small Update

Well, nothing much has been happening on the RGS over the past few weeks. It has gotten quite hot here again and I have been helping friends get ready to move some rail to Illinios. I also took a week and went fishing in Alaska. I had some luck and had some nice fish for good eat'n for a while.

This coming weekend will be cooler and will be a good time for me to begin work on rebuilding the turnout switch for the carbarn which will be in the middle of the switchback. I also need to place an order for more ballast and will try to do that for next week. It might be a good time to take the #10 locomotive in to get the engine fixed by someone who does it professionally. I'll need a good locomotive like that to help.