Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Track rehab on west end of Placerville Branch

Eric Olds, vice president of the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad, graciously allowed me to share this update on track work on the western end of the Placerville Branch:

Saturday, Ethan Doty, Jim Fryer, Philip Rose and I commenced track rehabilitation on the initial operating segment for the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad. Ethan, P&SVRR assistant roadmaster, ably instructed us newbies on the finer points of tie replacement, and we had a grand time.

Jim and I are both Cal Poly SLO grads. We discussed how the day's activities reminded us of Cal Poly's "Learn By Doing" slogan as we discovered successful and less then successful ways to wrestle old ties from the roadbed and insert relays.

One particularly satisfying aspect of the day for me was hearing the ring of the spike maul as new spikes were driven into place. I have a new appreciation for those who went before us constructing this portion of the line in 1863-1865 with simple hand tools and hard work, Our dedicated volunteers are willing to do the same to be a part of the historic reactivation of this grand line.

Eric Olds

Ethan Doty pulls a new tie under the rail with a pair of tie tongs as Jim Fryer digs out the trench with his hand. In the background, Philip Rose prepares a trench for the next tie.

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