The Rubber & Rawhide Railroad

Progress Report for 29th June 2009

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This Page Created on June 29th, 2009
Approaches Raised on the MBT Route

Approaches Raised on the MBT Route

No sooner had the roadbed crew done patting themselves on the back for the outstanding job they did in adjusting the Memorial Bell Tower Loop's big grade problem, a heavy rain had them looking in the opposite direction! The localized flooding reminded everyone that the neat, low-lying grade crossing that blended in so nicely on the Garden Path, also was a great silt and leaf collector.

This photo was taken after the really rather simple repairs had been completed. And, this time, most of the leaves had been kept off of the track by the garden hose acting as a debris barrier.

Surveying Saved the Day!

It had seemed such a little thing at the time, just dipping down to the prevailing elevation of the path, and then climbing back up towards the Bridge over Lake Orin. But that little dip when regained made what would have been trivial grade of less than four percent into one almost twice that much.

Our surveying crew found that if we raised the Grade Crossing three inches, the track would be on a dead level from the Pottery Frog Switch clear to the other side of the Garden Path!

Careful observors will note that the old Main Line was also raised from Pottery Frog Switch through the Parasol Plantings, as this track was also prone to debris builup.

Garden Path Crossing Raised!
Old Main view of Garden Path Crossing

Garden Path Crossing Viewed from the West

Yes, the Parasol Plants do want a bit of pruning! The important point is the rain protection the line bought by raising the grade crossing three degrees.

As there is still some surface runoff down this path, no earthen fill was employed under the roadbed: Three four-hole bricks placed narrow side down were employed for primary support. Then clean gravel was built up on each side of the crossing. Finally, the crushed granite was tamped back in place atop the new structure.

Three Raised Grade Crossings

Looking West again, from alongside the Sago Palm, the completely made over grade crossings of the Garden Path still fit in nicely with their surroundings, while now offering smoother operations for engineers and passengers alike.
Three Raised Grade Crossings
Closeup of newest Grade Crossing Improvements

Grade Crossing Closeup view

This final photo shows dramatically the improvements in grade management in this area. Practically all track visible is at an essentially constant elevation!

Is it all over? Will there be more grade crossing remakes? Funny you should ask! Another more modest downpour occurred this afternoon. The newly elevated crossings stayed completely clear. But, those two tracks over by the Bronze Trio? You know the ones at the beginning of the Marshy Path, which becomes the Marshy Bayou slightly after a downpour? Well, a couple of inches couldn't hurt them too much, and then those new culverts our grounds management folks tried installing a couple months ago might actually do their job!