Saturday, December 18, 2010

There is a better way to remove ties

I've previously posted pictures of the crew removing railroad ties the hard way. We often resort to prying, kicking and pounding the tie out from under the rail. While it's time consuming, our method gets the job done, especially in remote areas.

Last week El Dorado Western Railway President Keith Berry let me download these photographs from his camera. They gave me a chance to view track work on the weekdays. Since I work in Sacramento Monday through Friday, I miss the weekday projects.

This photographic series show how the crew used Bob McCormack's backhoe to remove a dozen ties on the historic Southern Pacific Placerville Branch rail line on Friday, November 5, 2010.

Ben Cuhna and Jeremy McCormack (both bent over) guide a rotten tie out from under the rail as Bob pulls it with the backhoe. While difficult to see, the crew wrapped a chain around the leading edge of the tie and attached to to the bucket.

Jeremy observes as the backhoe operator pulls a rotten tie out with the claws on the bucket.

The CP&LT No. 4 track inspection car waits at Hagen's Crossing on Oriental Road in the Town of El Dorado. The ties on the Southern Pacific push car will soon be inserted under the track.


featheredfibers said...

I have a question: With the recent "no priority use" ruling, how much of an impact will that have on your timing of getting the El Dorado Museum site up and running?

Also, once excursion trains are running between the El Dorado Park site and Missouri Flat, what is the predicted excursion trips per day expected?

It is obvious your group is working very hard to meet your goals.

Steven C. Karoly said...

Thank you for encouraging comment, Carla. The El Dorado Western Railway looks forward to the day when it can give you a ride on one of its living history trains on the historic Southern Pacific Placerville Branch rail line. It will be a fun time for all.

I doubt the recent action by the Board of Supervisors will have any impact on the site of the El Dorado County Historical Railroad Park. The park was approved by the supervisors in August 2009. And the park operating area was recently approved by the supervisors in November.

Park infrastructure has already been planned by county DOT. The grant application that was submitted last spring included a request for funds for roads, restrooms, depot building, parking and trails. Until such funding is approved, county museum volunteers are moving ahead with track rehabilitation throughout the park operating division.

Since the grant request doesn't include any funds for track work, volunteers are funding renovation through the reuse of salvaged track material and with funds donated to the El Dorado Western Railway Foundation. Railway volunteers are currently giving over 400 hours per month of their personal time to make this project a reality in 2011. We are preparing for rail operation without the use of any county funds.

At this point, I can't predict how many trains will operate each day. It could be a few as two or three trains or more. I can assure you that we will be working to make sure we have adequate trains scheduled each day to meet the anticipated demand.

I would like to invite you to the historic Town of El Dorado when the El Dorado Western Railway begins offering passenger rides in 2011. Passengers will ride on historic rail cars and will participle in the museum's living history program. Along the route, passengers will find out, through active participation, how the railroads of El Dorado County helped built it to what it is today.