spacer BSM Track Updates . . .

John LaCosta

June 18 to June 30, 2007 Update

John LaCosta    The track gang has continued to move forward on the extension of four track to the car house. In the last two weeks the rail has been leveled, gauged and welded. To prevent the rails from leaning in/out from each other, four seven foot pieces of old t-rail were welded to the bottom of the girder rail. These rails, along with the gauge rods will hold the rail when the concert is poured in the next few weeks. The welding not only included the t-rail “ties”, but also every joint bar was welded to assure a good mechanical and electrical connection. Once the concrete is poured, it would be very difficult to fix a loose joint. Alignment of the two rails to one another requires a lot of friendly persuasion, i.e. lots of track jacks. It took a combination of the track jacks, gauge rods and a very large pipe wrench to get everything lined up in order for the welder to do his job. The next tasks are to finish installation of the two compromise joints at the front of the Car House and to install a drainage system under the track.

Welding Track

All of the gauge rods are inplace and the welder is preparing to weld one of the joints. The welding not only prevents the joints from loosening, but also ensures a good electrical return.
Adjusting the gauge

No mater how hard you try, some things need a little help to line up. Ed is using both track jacks and a cabler hoist to adjust the track to the proper gauge before the welder works on the next joint.

The Line crew had an emergency call this past week when the contractor who will be working in our area noticed a large tree that was down on our overhead line. When we arrived, it was also being held by the communication cable that runs from the Visitor’s Center to the 22nd Street Shop. The tree, while not as large as some along our line had pulled the overhead line to about 8 feet above the rail, less than the height of our cars. We started to carefully trim the top of the tree to reduce the weight on the line and continued trimming using the line truck as a platform. Once the weight was reduced, we pushed the line car under the tree and continued to trim away. With the tree trimmed away from the overhead wire, we worked on getting it off the communication line using the backhoe to take some of the load.

Tree almost cut down
All of the over hang has been cut away from the lines, now for the tricky part, cutting on the other side.
Tree on line
Ed surveys the tree on the line before we start to remove it.
The restoration group continues working on the restoration of car 127. A large part of this work requires removing dirt and old paint and varnish. This is a slow process, but the results are well worth the wait.
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