The Rubber & Rawhide Railroad

Progress Report for 1st January 2009

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This Page Created on January 1st, 2009
Switchstand pads in short supply!

East Yard Delayed by Switchstand Pads!

After a month's hiatus, there is finally substantial progress being made in the build out of the East Garage Rail Yard. With the recent delivery of new roadbed material, promissed track supplies, and a sufficient supply of switches, management finally released their hold on work projects for this facility. Strangely, the first activity necessary was catching up on a couple dozen delayed switchstand pads! These small, rectangular blocks protect the delicate switch stands from accidental damage. To facilitate the rapid Northward expansion of the R&R, roadbed supers were looking the other way when their crews built a new switch roadbed section without including this crucial item.

Cutting and drilling these small pads is trivial, but retrofitting on the switches installed without them was very labor intensive! Almost all of yesterday was devoted to the careful marking and removal of existing roadbed, then transporting it to the porch workshop. There the pads were clamped in place and attached to the switch roadbed assemblies. Finally, the retrofitted roadbed sections had to be reinstalled, and track alignment checked.

East Yard Progress!

Once the task of updating the switch position roadbed sections was completed, fairly rapid progress was made in installing Switches. The photo at right shows the yard collector track now fully populated with turnouts for all six planned sidings! In the linked photo, the relief track (the long roadbed section in the foreground) and the three sidings closest to the garage now have their North turnouts installed.

Even though this action has not increased the available sidings, the track laying department felt it was the most efficient expenditure of time and material. By installing the remaining five switches at once, they reduced the rework requirements, alllowing this important track section to be aligned and fabricated to permanent standards.

Yard Collector Track
East Garage Feed Line Switches

East Garage Feed Line Switches still in short supply!

Despite the progress on the North end of the Yard, the progress on the Southern, "feed" end has been less encouraging. We're still four switches short. Those are on order, but other projects will have priority until the last turnouts (we hope) are delivered! In the photo, it can be seen that the Yard feed now stops abruptly after the third siding's switch.

West Porch Activity!

Finally, there has been movement on the West side of the Porch Division. This area of work had been held in abeyance while the Lot Perimeter mainline was being completed. Now, Engineering and Supply have determined jointly that the rail lengths freed by installation of the East Garage turnouts was sufficient to allow this project to proceed. In the photo at right, the roadbed crew has already fabricated the sections needed to complete the new connection between the South Diver's Wye and the Eastbound Porch line.

Roadbed Sections for Porch Connection
Porch Connection Roadbed set in place!

Porch Connection Roadbed set in place!

Almost faster than we could report it, the Right of Way folks, working with Union Spaders, cut the sod and smoothed the sub-bed for the new line! This photo was made before the sections were firmly bolted in place, so the alignment is if anything even smoother.

The track crew was watching from the sidelines as this activity unfolded. They have already moved some of the salvaged rails into the area, and expect to rapidly complete this joining of the Eastbound Porch with the South Diver's Wye. Will the Westbound Porch's confusion of sidings and switches now feel the energy of this burst of activity? Stay Tuned, and Railed!