The Rubber & Rawhide Railroad

Progress Report for 26th April 2009

Boots and Mask Logo
This Page Created on April 27th, 2009
Mainline and Yard Lead Separated!

East Garage Mainline and Yard Lead Separated

Somehow it had looked right but never quite. It was only when Major Mack and I were discussing future operations in the East Garage Yard that it finally dawned on me. My nice symmetrical parallelogram rail yard either had no mainline or every track was potentially the main!

Well, that's not too bad when you say it real fast, until one considers the corrolary. If there is no separation between the yard and the mainline, then every operation in the yard involved stopping any train movement on the mainline. Oh, THAT's why they are so carefully separated!

The photo shows the new mainline roadbed in place. The yard was moved Westward about nine inches to accomodate the new track, leaving generous separation between the yard lead (the first track) and the new mainline.

One seedling Loquat tree was sacrificed to obtain right of way for the new yard lead. Even though not clear in this photo, there is ample clearance for all trains passing the Cleyeria shrub.

Where does the Yard Lead End?

What a question! We figured there had to be at least as much space as on any of the sidings, or about fifteen feet south of the first yard switch. Unfortunately, that meant that there would have to be two tracks along the front of the garage.

At first, our rail laying crew went hog-wild and extended the yard lead all the way to the sidewalk! An anxious, bean counting accountant asked for a second opinion, hoping to save about $100 worth of track. After some negotiations, everyone agreed that a switch could be installed between the Motorcycle and Trike doors. The curve between the sidewalk and the Motorcycle door was re-worked to restore it to Mainline standards. Purists on such things may be alarmed to note that the curved side of the switch does carry the Mainline, but this is a frequent occurence on the Rubber & Rawhide!

Mainline and Yard Lead Switch
Yard Lead and Mainline in front of Trike Door

Yard Lead and Mainline head East!

The two tracks are separated an inch further that has been out custom in yard lines only. Grade Crossing work has been partially completed, and the four pipe culvert was relocated and repurposed to handle the parallel tracks.

Two Sweeping Turns

Despite all of the reconfigurations, the original rails were successfully repurposed to serve only the East Garage Yard. The Mainline will employ the more Easterly track, allowing full yard operations regardless of mainline schedules.

The next two sections of track installed on the Mainline will be quite a challenge, with a chain link fence a scant eight feet from the corner of the garage. That's probably why the Grade Crossings haven't been completed yet.

Intimidating Track Laying Challenge
Garage Railroad Portal

Garage Entry Portal

For some time, the management has been negotiating with contractors to build an entry portal for the Rubber & Rawhide to access indoors facilities offered by the Leather Oaks Garage. Alas, repeated requests had not proven fruitful.

Finally, our own Fabrication shop took on the project. It appears they helped themselves to some found material, especially from the Roadbed Department!

Entry Portal and Garage Yard Relationships

The rebuild of the East Garage yard to accomodate a separate Mainline used some precious real estate that had been reserved for the Entry Portal track.

Our roadbed and tracklaying crews worked carefully together to assure the continued feasibility of the Entry. Surveying was also called into the discussion. Measurements indicate that there will still be adequate clearance between the Yard collector track and the Entry Portal tracks. (The Mainline stays East of the Yard until the last Switch before the Bamboo Corner sprinkler head.) There will be a slight upgrade as trains are pushed up to the head of the yard. The Grade will still be significantly below R&R maximums.

Entry Portal and Garage Yard
Two-track Entry Portal

Two-Track Garage Entry Portal

Yes, there are two tracks! This was the most difficult part of the equation, finding space for a switch along the Entry Portal lead track. An equipment supplier didn't make this any easier, when they miss-sent one of the recently ordered switches.

Our Right of Way and Drains and Trails departments will be working closely together to build appropriate supports under the Entry Portal. Once that work is completed, construction of the roadbed, and completion of the East Garage Yard should progress rapidly!