The Rubber & Rawhide Railroad

Progress Report for 20th September 2009
Diver's Loop Double-Tracked!

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This Page Created on September 25th, 2009
The Serpentine joins the Great Green at the Diver's Loop

Ambtious Plans Revealed!

The Rubber & Rawhide Railroad has unveiled an ambitious plan to fully separate the operations of its classic "Great Green" route from the long haul but low-revenue Lot Circumnavigation route.

CRyO Harold notes that a major source of friction between the Leather Oaks higher reaches and its lower swamps is the necessity to share trackage. The 161 foot section (almost a full scale mile) between the Diver's Loop and Jupiter's Summit begins as the Serpentine joins the Great Green route halfway around the Diver's Loop.

Obviously, any move towards separating the two routes must begin at the Diver's Loop, here seen in a stock photo.

The Work Site

Management had long resisted double-tracking the section, fearing the wrath of the Leather Oaks garden community from any further encroachment on the Skeletral Stream's watershed. The Rubber & Rawhide Railroad's Rails and Roadbed crews worked together, engineering a solution that drastically reduced the impact. Their plan called for slightly rotating the West Porch Crossing while adjusting the Serpentine for a smooth transition to the old Diver's Loop alignment at its closest approach to the new wooden fence.

The photo at right was made just before work began.

Getting ready to Double Track!
Double-Track Roadbed Sketched in Place

Double-Track Roadbed Sketched in Place

We could have stuck in lots more words and not made the new idea as clear as this one photo does! The existing West Porch Crossing and East Diver's Switch roadbed sections have been disassembled, and the critical pieces laid in place. Note the earthen track marking the old alignment.

Yes, the Serpentine Switch has been removed. We'll addresss that in a moment.

Double Track Loop Begun!

It took a day of adjustments, and then our roadbed and track crews made quick work of grade adjustments, rail assembly, etc. In the photo at right,the new Great Green track stops at the now missing Serpentine Switch. Note the Serpentine now follows the old Diver's Loop alignment.
Double-Tracking in progress
West Porch Crossing and the East Diver's Switch

The West Porch Crossing Reworked!

The West porch Crossing's Southern and Eastern approaches have been straightened and the entire roabed and track assembly rebuilt to our Railroad's highest standards. We're commited to smooth operations on what will still be the Rubber & Rawhide Railroad's nerve center.

Double Tracking of Diver's Loop Completed!

Wow! It looks like the railroad has always been like that!

As noted earlier, one casuality of double tracking of an already tight curve was the switch connecting the Serpentine with the Great Green and Porch trackage.

Hercules's eleventh labor, you might take it, was his insistence that his backyard pals still have full rail access. He did concede that the old "bypass" could become the new Lot Circumnavigation main line.

Diver's Loop Double Tracks
<Crossover Construction under way.

Crossover Construction begun

After substantial design and engineering delays, a suitable full crossover was shoehorned into the space between the Diver's Loop and North Hercules Crossing. (As part of Management's negotiations with Hercules, his North and South Junctions were removed.)

In the photo at left, the existing "Hercules Bypass" track has already been tied into the Western side of the Crossover.

Crossover Completed!

One moderate-sized azalea, already severely trimmed during Phase I construction, was relocated to a more appropriate site near Marcellus.
Completed Hercules Crossover
Crossover and Diver's Loop Work Completed!

Crossover and Diver's Loop Work Completed!

This photo gives an overview of the finished project. The first and hopefully most difficult part of the new Phase VI trackage has been completed!

The Hercules View of the greater West Porch area

It appears that our big man with the apples and club has a even better view than before.

You know, I bet we'll be hearing from Hercules again. Stay tuned!

Hercules View