Friday, April 8, 2011

Progress April 8th, 2011

No photos yet, but the track continues to be built down the switchback. The switch position was tweaked a little, angling it more to the right so put the straight track in alignment between the upper and tail tracks. The first 10 feet of the tail track was laid and ballasted and tamped in place. The next 10 feet of track will be built this weekend hopefully. The curve above the lower switchback track angled in more to the inside of the curve, which meant additional ballasting which was fine as it continues to settle and needs tamping from time to time.

I hate to say it but much of the railroad needs me to load up 6 buckets of ballast on a car and just look for the locations where the track settled this past winter. Lots of low spots but the section below the crossing at Wood Spur switch has remained pretty darn level after working on it last fall. I know of a dip just near the Pine Hill siding switch. And several other small spots needing tamping. The upper track of the switchback there is a little loose track near the top and then it's good to the drain below the s-curve where the track I have been working to take the bent-down sag out of. The car barn switch, well, it's a rebuild of an old switch and just plain, well, wrong... I'm going to have to replace it with a new switch made of new parts so it will not be so twisted. I'll end up moving that old switch into the carbarn yard so it's a move of about 15 feet to the north is all. In fact, I'll have the subroadbed ready for it before I swap out switches. I might even make the new switch another electric switch which means more controls from up the hill. Definately I need to add another signal up the hill from the car barn switch since that signal down there does not show well from the upper switchback switch. It will be visible from the other end of the upper tail track when done however. Not a problem to make these and wire them in. Just have to do it...

I did go back and take another look at the alternate route for Bridge 2C but I decided it put all the alignment out of whack. So I decided NOT to change the survey there. I will have to do a LOT of digging it appears, but I will reuse all that dirt as fill dirt. It means the eastern abutment of Bridge 2D (the big one) will move. In fact I am planning on moving the bridge's western abutment to the north about 5 feet. What it means it the eastern abutment will need to move slightly to the south which opens up the approach into a wider curve. At the same time I will actually place the tallest bridge bents on either side of the creek so I will not need any special center span over the creek. The concrete piers will be built up to 12" above the surrounding ground so the mud sills will remain above the water at all time. In fact, I have only seen two storms which would come close to reaching that high. So it's rare. With the bents centered at the creek and working back in 5' intervals, that will shorten the bridge by 5 feet most likely which is good for all the fill dirt to be used

Six of the 4' long Tanglewood bridge sections has been moved onto the property. These were abandoned in Farmington and saved by Fred and I'll use them on bridge 2C and probably some of the bridges on the left hand curve below Pine Hill. At least four of five more are to come along with the Wood Station water tower. I might end up renaming my "Telluride" area to Wood Station. Wood Spur would remain Wood Spur but the "station" would move to the barn.

The survey below Pine Hill after Bridge 3A (which is about 10 feet or so from the end of Bridge 2D - yeah - lots of creeks in that area) needs to be completed still. A lot of the dirt below the end of the upper switchback tail track will go down to the left hand curve here. I'd like to use fill dirt where practical but sometimes a bridge is just easier to build when the fill gets above 2' deep for me. However, this area is a place I could likely get the tractor into so that might speed things up. It does mean that gap between bridges will have to be the road crossing so the old logging road which went down this "ridge" would be reused somewhat. In fact, after the left curve, the railroad is poised to be down on the right side of the old road, or very close to it. So I will have to redo the road a little at the crossing. The trick is fitting in Bridge 2A which is the last 20 feet of track for the upper switchback tail track. It actually is slightly crossing the old road grade which was buried under huge piles of dirt when the house was built. The train track's alignment was pretty much fixed so the road will have to be redone slightly to the west. Of course I need to redo the entire upper section of this road which has been part of the yard down there. In fact the front yard of the house is this old road which is why NOTHING WILL GROW THERE. But the road access is actually from over in the field along the cow pasture - which oddly enough is a better way to access the lower property if I can cross over the tracks after the "M.P. 3 bridges." I am tempted to cut over and use it instead but when we have rows of tomatoes growing in the gardens, there is no access down there except by rail - kind of like Elk Park along the Silverton train. In fact, most of the railroad is not accessible because of the terrain.