Saturday, May 22, 2010

Downed tree

Keith Berry and I joined the Folsom, El Dorado and Sacramento Historical Railroad Association during a maintenance-of-way excursion on the old Southern Pacific Placerville Branch on Saturday, May 8, 2010. After putting two hi-rail trucks on the tracks near the Mother Lode Drive grade crossing, we headed east to inspect the line and note areas of excessive vegetation growth.

The crew encountered its first obstacle about one-quarter mile short of the Blanchard Drive grade crossing.

In order to cut the larger branches, Marcus Ferrill climbed inside the forest of branches. As a Naval Reserve hospital corpsman who served with the United States Marine Corps on active duty, Marcus volunteers with the FEDSHRA when he's not on reserve duty.

It took the crew about forty minutes to clear the tree from the right-of-way. From the left, Ray Retalick, Dennis Taylor, Keith Berry, Eric Olds and Marcus Ferrill raise their chainsaws in victory.

"Thanks to Marcus Ferrill, Ray Retalick, Keith Berry, Steve Karoly, and new (FEDSHRA) member Dennis Taylor for coming out on Saturday to clear brush along the line in El Dorado County," said crew leader Eric Olds in an email. "We had a full day of work ... with numerous chainsaws running at any given time ...."

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