TRACK EXPANSION
JULY 3-10, 2009
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Last weekend the Critter developed a problem with the electronic controller.  I sent out the part for warranty replacement, but
meanwhile I started work on a 115-foot expansion of the main line.  It will include two straightaways, a bridge, and a run through
a grove of trees.
8 DOWN, 4 TO GO - By Monday I had finished construction on 8 track
panels out of a total of 12.  I have construction time down to 35 minutes
including tie cutting.
THE SOURCE OF THE FILL DIRT - Out in the main pasture there's a hill
that I can smooth out, and the work is a lot easier with the tractor's front end
loader!
BRIDGE SITE - between the two forked trees there is a low area.  This will
be the site of an 8-foot girder bridge.  The track will run directly at the camera
in this view.
PREPARING THE FILL - Using the tractor, I moved the fill dirt, flattened it
out with the bucket, and compressed it by running the tractor over it.
BUILDING INSPECTOR - Piney is checking my work, making sure I used
the right kind of fill, whether I spread it properly, and how well I tamped it
down.
ASSISTANT BUILDING INSPECTOR - Smokey is checking the
dimensions of the concrete blocks that will be used for bridge abutments.
CHIEF BUILDING INSPECTOR - Charlotte is pointing to the revisions I
have to make to pass inspection, namely a pair of turnouts and access to the
original route.
BUILDING SITE - Paul is riding over the site of the new turnout that Charlotte
wants me to build.  He's riding in the last car so he can see the train's rocking
motion.
SURVEYOR'S MARKERS - The new line through the trees is all staked out,
this angle from the bridge site.  In the distance is a pipe that Paul brought for a
culvert.
SURVEY CONTINUED - From the culvert the line goes between the trees
and back to the original line.  I guess we can call it the "Calvert Culvert."  Or,
as Dick suggested, get a lot more culverts and call it the Culvert Central!