Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31, 2010 - Switchback progress

Over the past 2 weeks I constructed the new lower switchback switch which, like the one at the top, it a motorized switch allowing me to control the switches from either end of the switchback without having to get off the train.


The new switch has the standard 3 aspect LED light signal head; Red for when the motor is running changing the direction (when the points are not aligned to either normal or reverse,) amber for when it is aligned reverse (the switchback itself) and green for the regular tracks.


The signal was hauled down and parked on the engine house track on the 4686 flat car and parked until the grading is completed for it (subroadbed ballasting using the driveway gravel.) It's on buckets so it would clear the switch stands and swivel over the gondola being used as the idler car between the flat and locomotive.


RGS #10 was out on the road with all three gons working the ballast train (buckets on the right.) This picture is taken from the lower track of the switchback and the house track shows in the middle below the train which will extend over to the new engine house (when built.)


This is the mid-switchback signal. It repeats the signal from either farther up the hill or down the hill depending upon what side you are on. They only show red and amber. If the switch is set normal and green, this signal flashes amber. If the car barn switch just ahead is lined reverse for the car barn, the lower signal will show steady red for going uphill and flashing red for down hill. This is because this is not a spring switch and the train can not run through it.


The carbarn switch and the mid-switchback signal. Additional work for the carbarn siding will be completed after the lower track for the mainline is ready for fill. This lower track will be built up on a retaining wall since it is above the creek in a narrow area when the creek cuts into the hill.


Looking upgrade from Oak Falls where the new switch will be installed. This area has not been ballasted yet as the landscape fabric and final grading for the switch has not been completed. It will then be ballasted and the tail track installed up to almost the creek (yeah, it's close...)


Looking downhill along the newly graded stretch of the switchback to the switch location.


RGS #10 with train in ballast duty today. The newly rebuilt RGS #302 is the car right ahead of the locomotive. It is a well performing car now.


RGS #10 and the ballast train parked at Pine Hill Crossing for ballast unloading.