BUILDING THE CROSSING
LAST STEP IN THE TRACK EXPANSION PROJECT
JUNE 1-6, 2010
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MY HELPER - Bella stayed with me for a lot of the construction work, always
willing to cool me off by giving me a big lick in the face whenever she could.
CANINE CROSSING - In this action shot, Bella was running over the
crossing, paws never touching the track. The crossing is almost done.
BEFORE - The sharply curved track will have to be moved for now.  
Charlotte insists that I replace it soon...or else!
AFTER - The track has been moved to its new location, and soon the new
route will be fully connected.  No Golden Spike Ceremony this time.
CLOSEUP - The original route (upper left to lower right) is basically
unchanged except for two large ties and grooves in the rail.  The new route's
rails are bolted to the large ties.  Two rails in the center will complete the basic
crossing.
ESS CURVE - By bending the track into an ess curve enabled us to have a
90 degree crossing.  Besides, the curve fits in well with the rest of the railroad.
VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE - This time the camera is pointed south
toward the new route in the woods.  We still need some ballasting and the
finishing details on the crossing.  But hopefully the trains will be running in a day
or two!
COMPLETED CROSSING - With the two center rails installed (the vertical
ones in this picture), the crossing is now complete.  The gaps are 1/4 inch
wide, 3/16 deep.
SIDE VIEW - In addition to numerous #10 screws, all rails have been drilled
on the base and secured with drywall screws to keep from sliding back and
forth.
FIRST RIDE - This is the first train driven over the new crossing, and it worked
just fine. The gaps give a nice clicking sound as the train passes.  The initial
ballast is al-ready applied, but all the new trackage will need adjustment over
the next few days.
THE FENCE - BEFORE - The previous owners had fenced off part of the
property and the underbrush was growing thick.  So I moved the fence back for
more room.
THE FENCE - AFTER - This has opened up a nice area, basically a 60 x 40
foot right triangle.  I used pruners, a trimmer, and a mower to clear the
underbrush.
MAKING MORE ROOM FOR TRAINS
JUNE 18-20, 2010