COMPLETING THE BRIAR PATCH BRANCH
JULY 1, 2012
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PLANS CHANGE - Charlotte came up with a good idea: instead of running
the line along the fence, why not through the woods?  The pegs designate the
new route.
STUMP-BE-GONE - A stump from a recently-cut cedar tree was in the way
of the new right-of-way. So I got out the chain saw and cut it another 3 inches
deeper.
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TRACK MOVED - We unbolted five sections and moved them over.  There
were a lot of roots to deal with, so we had to use thinner ties in several spots.
BRIDGE MOVED - This time we moved it on a trailer (the "Goat Tote")
instead of dragging along the ground behind the golf cart.
COMPLETED - Bella and Candy check out the new line.  The finishing details
are just about done now, including the bridge girders, adding ballast, and fine
tuning.
STUMP REMOVAL - Next to the "double stump" there was another stump
to get rid of.  This time we uprooted it using the tractor and a good bit of axe
work.
STONE MASONRY - I felt like a stone mason while fitting stones on the
bridge approach.  The gaps will be filled with #57 crushed stone.
ON TO THE BRIDGE - Candy checks out Daddy's work.  The tracklaying
has progressed to the other end of the bridge.
BRIDGE APPROACH WITH 4X4'S - On the other side we're using a pair of
3-foot 4x4's.  Also notice there are 1/2 x 1 inch stringers under the bridge ties.
GOLDEN SPIKE - At least it's the last track bolt connecting the two sides of
the new track.  There was just enough rail to finish the project.
ROOT IN THE WAY - A large root was sitting where the missing tie should
be.  I didn't want to chop out roots, so we'll modify the ties to fit.
OVER AND AROUND THE ROOT - Half of the tie is now only 1 inch
thick.  Also notice the adjacent tie has been hewed with an axe to fit around
the root.
FIRST TRAIN - I'm riding behind #2 for a test run on the new track.  Candy is
wearing the cone because she just got spayed a few days ago.
BRIDGE GIRDERS - A couple of 8-foot 2x10's have been cut with rounded
corners and painted, ready to bolt onto the bridge deck.
VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE -This shows the track from the bridge to
Sassa-fras Junction.  The ground was undercut a few inches around that double
stump.
TWIN SPAN - The two bridges match up fairly well, although they are not
very high above the creek. After a heavy rain, water is definitely flowing
underneath.
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