We continue to hear disparaging remarks from the Porch Dwellers! A petition is circulating to the effect that insufficient service is still being provided to the Porch Division of the R&R RR. Even though Julio now has his own curbside track, and that line is being used as the primary connection for most service by Operations, he still feels that service times to many parts of Leather Oaks are too long! Filtering through his diatribes, in which he tries to enlist Atlas in tilting the world his way, he does have one or two valid points. Somehow he overheard a discussion between the R&R RR chief electrician and Operations, that the Return (reversing) side of the Diver's Loop Wye can no longer be used. It is quite true that with the installation of the House Perimeter Route (Phase II), operation of the Return side would pose a potential short circuit to all other trackage. To date, Engineering has not seen an electrical solution to this issue.
In essence, Julio's suggestion is that the Return side of the loop be reconnected to the South side of the Porch Division. This would involve restricting its use to only our short line (Four-foot Diameter capable) equipment. The idea has been passed up the stream to our Roadbed and Trackage Steering Group to make the final assessment and determine what other changes would be entailed.
Unfortunately, this was not the end of Julio's complaints. He also was concerned that folks had to visit all of those dead gods, etc in the front yard before getting to see the "real" metal folks in the Northern reaches of the Leather Oaks Garden. Apparently, being of metal himself (well, painted tin can, but you won't find me reminding him), he figured out that with the removal of the Wye switch at the Western end of the Porch, there would be space for a smaller footprint turnout to "somehow" connect directly with the Northbound House Perimeter Route and thence with the Memorial Bell Tower Loop and on to the Frozen Frog Falls Bridge and its spectacular views of our two prominent Bronzes residing in or around the Leather Oaks Pond.
Engineering did "look" at the area this afternoon, and it wouldn't be impossible. Considerable additional work needs to be done, clearing the project in concept with the primary users of the Western Footpath, to-wit Lawn Maintenance and Pedestrians. Also, to maintain our usual minimum mainline curve radius, the first few feet of the West Wall downslope would have to be redesigned. The design might even be forced to include yet another track crossing. Why can't a tin man be content with an occasional oil can maintenance?
We consider this a "nice to have" but not necessary modification. Legal is also concerned because of the precedence it might set. There are several other situations along the R&R RR where involved parties might feel they have not received the best service possible. No, we will NOT mention them!