Replacing west end siding switch with straight through track. ( place and bolt north rail ).
We met at Fleischmanns at 10:00 AM and saw that we needed to lower about 5 ties on the north side rail. So after our brief safety and planning meeting we got to it and lowered them.
From our previous measurement of the north rail, we needed 132 feet of rail or 4 sticks of 33 foot rail. Since we had one rail we needed three additional rails which we were able to pull from the west end of the siding. Everything was going fine and we were able to pull three good rails from the siding, remove the half rail from the north main and drop all four rails on the north side before a late lunch.
After lunch Al and I joined Doug O. who had started bolting the rails together before lunch. As we got to our last rail we got the surprise. Our four rails were too long by a little over an inch. We tried everything we could think of to take up the space at the rail joints but it was still a no go.
Okay, at 3:30 PM it was now time to switch to plan B. So we removed one of the 33 foot rails and put back the half rail, then back to our rail stock to get one of the damaged rails and cut off a good piece that would fit. However, we needed to go back to Arkville and get the rail saw and rail drill. So we did. After measuring and attaching the rail saw we proceeded to cut the rail. But noooo, we could not keep the saw running. It seems to have a fuel issue and we tried a few basic things to get it to stay running, and at first had some success, but then it acted up again. Debating if we should take it apart in the field, it started to rain at about 5:00 PM. At that point It was clear, God, we got the message, called it a day and went home singing “we shall overcome”. I brought the saw home and will clean the carb and fuel system to be sure it runs for Friday’s work day.
I would like to thank Doug Kadow for coming by and giving us moral support. Thanks Doug !
Next work day, Friday, we will saw the rail to length and drill the bolt holes and bolt it in as well as hand tamp the ties up to the rail height and spike the south rail. Time permitting, we will do the same for the north rail.
If anyone is interested in coming during the week please let me know. We are planning an additional work day for Fri this week in an attempt to open the track for the NARCOA meet on July 11.
Many hands make light work and we can really use the help !