spacer BSM Track Updates . . .

John LaCosta

Track Updates for March 18, 2001

John LaCosta    Saturday (3/10)

     The track gang (Josh Lepman, Ed Amrhein, Chris Howell, Chris, Rick Obbink and I) continued to work on the second track. Track work was late starting as we tried to get the air compressor to work, only to find out that it had a bad magneto and could not make enough spark to run. Just getting to the air compressor was a major job with about 10 traction motors to be moved, each weighing about one ton. A quick run up to the end of the line and with a borrowed compressor more ties were spiked to the rail.

     Sunday (3/11)

     Bob Krueger was Dispatcher with Bill Robertson, Dennis Falter and Fred Schneider as crew.

     Wednesday (3/14)

     If the car house wasn't already packed, a new item was added, a ballast tamper. The tamper is currently standard gauge, but will soon be converted to Baltimore gauge. Since the only place left to put the tamper was between one and two track, next to the inspection pit, temporary track was built to get it from the trailer its position next to 3828. Josh Lepman, Justin Thillman, Ed Amrhein, Mark Dawson, Buster Hughes and I helped in the move.

     Meanwhile, Chris and Gene Carson contined to work on 4533.

     Saturday (3/17)

Track Crew     In what is getting to be the weekly fitness meeting, the track crew (Josh Lepman, Ed Amrhein, Chris, Dan Lawrence, Dave Crow and I continued spiking the 2nd track. For those who have not been to watch, the ties are adjusted to the proper position using long bars (the ties are quite heavy and a lever makes it a lot easier to adjust). A tie plate is located under the rail and on top of the tie, the tie plate helps hold the spike close to the rail and also minimizes the wear of the rail into the wood tie. While two of the crew hold the tie against the rail using two long bars, a third person on the gang sets the spikes (big square shaped nails) into the wood tie. If the tie is not held up tight to the rail, trying to hammer the spikes into the tie would be very difficult. While the tie is still held up against the rail the air operated spike hammer is used to drive the spike into the tie. While the air operated spike handle is normally used, the old fashion spike hammer still needs to be used on occasion when the spike is too near the rail of track bolt and the air hammer will not fit.

     With the car house very packed, work has started on clearing the area next to the car house so that another storage track can be built. This track will be an extension of four track off the north avenue loop. Rick Obbink and Ed Amrhein started clearing the area up.

     Sunday (3/18)

     Dave Crow was Dispatcher with David Baynes and Andy Blumberg as crew.

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