The Rubber & Rawhide Railroad

Progress Report for 23rd January 2009

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This Page Created on January 26th, 2009
Rubber and Rawhide Railroad Construction Phase Official Definitions
Phase I All of the original Front Yard destinations, including Hercules Junction, Discobolos Station, Marcellus Station, Jupiter's Loop and Diver's Loop. This Phase was initially completed on 31 July 2008.
Phase II The House Perimeter Route, including necessary rebuilds of the Diver's Loop area and the Front Porch Division. Tracklaying was completed on 2nd October 2008.
Phase III–A The first section of the Northern zone of the Lot Circumnavigation Route completed, specifically the Serpentine, and approaches to and through the Frozen Frog Falls Bridge and its Eastern Approaches. Roadbed completed 31st October 2008, track opened for service 2nd November 2008.
Phase III–B The remainder of the Lot Circumnavigation Route from its intersection with Phase I near the Leather Oaks Garage, through the East Garage Yards North to Neptune's Knoll and thence West to the Leather Oaks Pond. Track completed 17th December 2008. Yard collector switch installation completed 1st January 2009.
Phase IV–A The Western half of the Memorial Bell Tower Route, including the section of trackage linking Phase II (the House Perimeter Route) with Phase III-A. Roadbed completed 31st October 2008, track opened for service 2nd November 2008.
Phase IV–B The Eastern half of the Memorial Bell Tower Route, including the important Bridge of Lake Orin lane is currently in the early construction planning process. Completion estimated for early to mid February 2009.
Phase V–A The Sago Palm via Arab on Horseback Loop, connecting to both Phase II at the old Garden Path, and to Phase III-B at the Bronze Trio Interchange. Roadbed completed 23rd January 2009, tracklaying reaches cantilever bridgehead 26th January 2009.
Phase V–B The infamous Beyond the Briars Route, from Bronze Trio Interchange to North Neptune Switch. Roadbed completed 21st January 2009. Tracklaying to be determined.

Phase What?!

Well no one caught it, but our engineering department chief finally appoached Publicity, "Do you know what the Phases are"? he asked politely. Well of course, we do, Phase I was the original, Phase II was the House Perimeter, III the Lot Circumnavigation and IV the Serpentine, and . . . . "WRONG ! ! ! " the reply rang out! The table at left are the official, should we say, received (?) definitions for each construction phase of the Rubber & Rawhide Railroad. Make a note of it, we may all be tested later!

Southern Portion of Sago Route Roadbed Progress.

The photo at right looks East towards the Bronze Trio Interchange. Roadbed sections roughed in through this richly vegetated region. The Green Frog with Umbrella is perched on the Rubber Creek Headwaters at Season's Springs. Note the one section of parallel trackage in the Northern Rubber and Rawhide territory. The line already in use is the North Garage connector between the Lot Circumnavigation and House Perimeter Route.

South Sago Palm Route
Roadbed installed by Horse!

Sago Route Roadbed installed by Horse

Once all the roadbed was cut and fit for Phase V-A, of course some would say Horse got preferential treatment. Not so, this was the last section set, so he benefitted from our advanced installation practices. Besides, connecting to the two existing sections and a steel bridge was a lot more tedious than a comparatively simple run!

Southern Steel Bridge to House Return Switch

Southern Steel Bridge to House Return Switch

This little section was the trickiest to get right. The switch had to be set carefully to match alignments from the bridge, the Bronze Trio interchange and the House Perimeter route while maintaining reasonable grades.
Phase IV-B Roadbed Sketched

Phase IV-B Roadbed Sketched

With the Sago Route roadbed construction completed, the crew took a quick look at their last major task, the much delayed Phase IV-B Memorial Bell Tower Loop. While some access has been possible to the MBT via the House Perimeter Route, travellers are denied views of the Bridge over Lake Orin, the Celebrated Pewter Spitting Frog and a host of other delights. While we've imagined some grumbling about the delays, there are real engineering obstacles to overcome too. The first, and the one addressed here, is the exact position of the grade crossing from the East MBT Switch southward towards the Rubber Creek. The alignment depicted here seems to be best for a manageable grade crossing.

Further Progress !

Due to inclement weather over the weekend, the expected track installation on recently completed roadbed (which now totals around 150 feet without track !) was further delayed. Rather, work continued on rail preparations so that expedited progress may be expected when weather conditions improve. Over a whole case of flexible track was drilled and tapped.