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Sunday, May 23. 2010
Saturday Track Report - The early ... Posted by Frank DeVries in Track Department at 12:33
Thanks to the CN, and a malfunctioning crossing, I was up and out of the house by 5AM arriving at IRM at 6AM.
Saturday, May 8. 2010
Neither rain, nor hail, nor stormy ... Posted by Frank DeVries in Track Department at 20:41
...will keep the track department from completing their scheduled tasks.
So it was a typical spring day at Union today... Cloudy, with peeks of sun, occasional rain, and yes Virginia, Hail. For the most part it was simply cloudy and dry.
The day started around 8:30 with myself showing up and getting the Model 50 Burro fired up. Given the cool 40 degree weather, I needed to cut out one of the hydraulic pumps to get the engine to turn over and warm up. Tom showed up at 9AM and about the time the 50 was warmed up. We shut down, engaged the hydraulic pump and off to yard 13 for more work setting out track panels.
We broke for lunch around 12:30 with only the panels across the broken rail to set. We came back and made short work of setting the panels, and adjusting a few more on the good side of the break. Some OTM was picked up, a few loose ties moved out of the way, and we headed back to the barn. Upon our arrival back on 11-2 track, we found the track cart from the dog pull last week. We set that off, and parked the crane. About that time, Steve showed up in time to help fuel and add hydraulic fluid to the machine, and get the rail tongs on the hook for tomorrow.
The panels for yard 13 are now all laid out, with one spare for filling in some gaps. Cropping and drilling are next. We will have to get the hydraulic cart moved over to yard 11, so it is close to the work. Adam and Marcus will be the Sunday gang.
New photos have been posted on the IRM members photos website at http://www.irm.org/gallery/album247
Saturday, May 1. 2010
Today started later than usual with Tom and myself as the crew. We started around 9:30 with a fuel up of the 50 burro, the 30 burro, and the regulator. We then set to work to fix the starting circuit after the wiring harness melted on the overheated engine a couple weeks ago. A replacement low voltage circuit was installed with a new starting switch installed in the battery switch compartment. Much easier than trying to use jumpers under the crane. Once installed we tested the fix, and then went to work with the 50.
Monday, April 19. 2010
Sunday's gang consisted of myself and Tom Hunter. Jeron Glander joined later in the day. Riding off the success at Four Mile Siding last weekend Tom and I prepped tools and material on the crane, flat and caboose combo and headed East to finish building the siding. We didn't waste any time when we got there pulling the storage cars from the siding and using the crane to connect the last two track panels. I realized we had forgotten lock washers to finish bolting them together but all of the joints have a bolt on each side until we can pop a few more in. After finishing off the second panel an investigation into a low oil pressure issue was found to be a hot engine... A little Too hot. It looks like the water pump has failed or the radiator is severely clogged. But with no coolant flow on the top of the radiator it brought our crane use to a severe halt. With the crane shut down Tom and I moved on to spiking up all the remaining ties in the section we had installed the rail in last week. Using track jacks, air compressor and spiking gun we had one entire side spiked up in no time. Prepacked lunch followed in the 529 and then onto spiking the other side.... After restarting the air compressor, without fail, it sputtered off and wouldn't restart. Upon investigation of this issue we figure a bad fuel pump. Fuel in, no fuel out... How about some hand spiking to ease the frustration? Of course! We spiked up the entire other side by hand just in time for Jeron to arrive with the Ballast Regulator. We set the panels in a rough line and Jeron, who reinstalled the rebuilt hydraulic cylinder earlier in the day, plowed stone from the siding into the new track. Getting late in the day we called up for a 'tow' back to the property not risking an engine failure without coolant..and were grateful to see Joel Ahrendt, Warren Lloyd and Kyle Merkel arrive with the ComEd 4 electric steeplecab to help us back. While waiting, Jeron managed to drag nearly enough stone for a first lift on the new track to the very end of track. The end will need somewhere around 12-18" raise but it's very close to complete as is. The 'in service' trackage was officially extended roughly 80' and the last of it will be extended another 80' once we make a good raise and tamp.
Sunday, April 11. 2010
The day started with Brian Harp and Tom Hunter refilling the hydraulic tank in the Amtrak Regulator. It drank roughly 40 gallons of fluid severely depleting our 55gal drum of oil. We'll have to get more soon.. After I arrived and met up with Steve L. we prepped for a day at Four Mile Siding. Tom ran the crane with work train with Brian as the conductor and headed east to switch out the siding, while Steve and I switched Barn 2 to retrieve the Hydraulic power pack and motorcar. We followed east and began by moving trees with the crane. BIG trees. The biggest tree we had to slide down the track on two ties and teeter it off with the crane into a wide clearing. The tree maxed out the crane's capacity at near 10,000 lbs but Tom managed to set it off very nicely. A few more large limbs were moved out of the way as well before we had the room to begin building track. We cut, drilled and installed a stick of 112lb rail and gaged the track to set everything up for the first panel to be hooked up. We gage spiked a few ties under the new rail for the crane to roll onto to hook up the first panel Jeron Glander arrived via the North Shore 714 with a gift of bottled water and helped us out for the rest of the day. We lifted the first track panel out of the way first to clear the ground of limbs and sticks to get a relatively smooth foundation for the new track. Tom then set the new panel in place and we bolted it all up with relatively little difficulty. We cleaned up and headed back to the property around 4 o'clock. All that is left is the hookup of the next two panels and finish spiking 12 or so ties. One more day and we'll be ready for the regulator and brush cutter to begin their work. Thanks to Brian Harp for joining us this weekend. I hope he can join us again in all of the festivities before next year's annual meeting. On a bad note- the J585 refuses to start now. The starter problem has gotten much worse and it no longer spins the engine over to crank.. Flywheel replacement time? Looks like a return of the 580 is imminent.
Saturday, April 10. 2010
Track Department report April 9/10 Posted by Frank DeVries in Track Department at 22:47
Sunday, March 28. 2010
Track Dept Weekend Report Mar 27, 28 Posted by Adam Robillard in Track Department at 23:02
Saturday Report ---
The day's primary project was the joint effort with the Signal Dept to get the very large Corwith Tower lever machine into our Spaulding Tower. This proved to be no easy task. The entire lever machine is roughly 20 ft in length and weighs nearly 9000lbs... The signal dept can report further on its future but our part was the heavy lifting with the Model 50 Burro crane to get it into the lower level- through the doorway. Tom Hunter ran the crane and after a few test lifts near Barn 9, we lifted the machine near the station and ran it into the Tower very slowly and carefully. We were successful in getting it in the building around 2PM and hit lunch. Lets hope that machine never has to leave the tower again!
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