The Rubber & Rawhide Railroad

Progress Report for 26th February 2009


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This Page Created on February 26th, 2009

Jupiter's Loop Rebuild Completed

We'll spare you the interim photos of painted roadbed and the tedious process of reinstalling the track. The end result, with the curved downgrade gently meeting the brick-levelled mainline certainly is a substantial visual improvement!

There have been a couple of other issues raised that may not be that evident from the photographs alone. The first is whether this slender assembly is rugged enough for traffic. Trust me, you can stand on it and nothing will happen. Unless you lose your balance! The aluminum plates span two-thirds of the width of each section, and the stainless hardware bolting the sections together allow almost no flexing or pivoting.

We continue to get comments regarding the steepness of the grade. Remember, according to the Rubber and Rawhide operating instructions, this is always a downgrade! There are actually several sections of R&R mainline with downgrades similar to the eight and a third percent of the Jupiter's Loop! Oour primary intent in redesigning the Loop was to change to the aluminum plate construction and to better regulate the grade. Jupiter likes it steep, we hear!

There were several alignments considered for Jupiter's Loop when the Railroad's Phase One was under design and construction. One of the more interesting alternatives would have continued the Loop all the way to North Marcellus Switch, with the track following roughly the Monkey Grass to Aspidistra Elatoir demarcation line. We felt the one chosen had the best visual impact while minimizing intrusion on Daddy Live Oak's Monkey Grass Sward.

Jupiter's Loop Rebuild Completed

Alternative Power Arrangements for Leather Oaks Pond, Neptune, et al.

While the roadbed crew, Beautification Officials and track laying team were all fully occupied, our Chief Electrician contemplated his former masterpiece, the power feeder for the Leather Oaks Pond. That was the original purpose of the line, to provide power to the host of pumps that continually add life to that Aquatic Feature.

A secondary funtion of the line was also a connection point for the extensive yard lighting. But then along the way, other uses multiplied!

In the photo at right, the junction had grown to provide ciruits to Neptune, the Bronze Trio and the Memorial Bell Tower. Preparatory to disassembling the line, alternative power arrangements were made for all users.

Alternative Power Arrangements
Subterranean Power Rebuild

Subterranean Power Rebuil

The 10 gauge cables were way down there, but were finally fished out and reconnected in the box under the bridge pier. The orange cable will feed the relocated outlet for Neptune and the Bronze Trio.

Power Circuits Restored, Phase IV-B Progress Continues!

Two days and two trips to Lowe's later, the Power was finally restored to the Leather Oaks Pond feed, with all users back on line. The roadbed crew lost no time in installing the two remaining Phase IV-B sections South of the Bridge Over Lake Orin.
Power Circuits Restored, Phase IV-B Progress Continues!
Phase IV-B roadbed layed in place.

Phase IV-B roadbed layed in place.

Most of the remaining Phase IV-B sections had been previously cut and placed in their approximate locations. The crew lost no time in restoring the pre-cut sections in order, and making the four or five remaining pieces to fit. In the photo at left, all eleven sections have had their splice plates installed and are placed in their final order.

Phase IV-B ready for Track Installation!

Past practice on the Phase V-A roadbed and trackage to Horse's Plaza via Big Sago had shown the roadbed preparation crew all the tricks they needed. They soon had the crushed granite material of the garden path picked and graded down ready for final laying of the Phase IV-B roadbed. The eleven sections of roadbed were rapidly installed as each area was prepared.

In the photo at right, part of the removed material has been worked back alongside the roadbed sections to help stabilize them in place. The original contours of the path will not be restored until the track has been installed and grade crossing work completed.

We hear that the annual path grooming at Leather Oaks is to begin soon. It will be nice to see the crushed granite of the paths again, as it's now largely hidden by damaged vegetation!

Phase IV-B Roadbed Completed!