Monday, March 9, 2020

We are working on the railway . . . 2020 version

45 degree power poles?
Winter storms in the Pacific Northwest can yield hurricane-force winds and torrential downpours, and so far the winter of 2020 has not disappointed!  Already rain and wind events have caused falling trees to knock down power lines, rain to trigger land slides, and even a little snow to add some extra days off for local school kids.  Normally, the Train Museum is able to avoid major impacts, but not this year.  

The ballast shoulder was displaced by the
tire of a large truck that drove up the track.
Two separate incidents involving contractors working for the local power company resulted in damaged track when the bucket trucks used to work on overhead lines drove up the tracks.  If the trucks had been equipped with hyrail attachments (railroad wheels), there would have been little impact.  However, the weight of the truck tires surcharging on heavily saturated soils pushed down many otherwise effective ties so they were no longer supporting the rail, displaced the ballast shoulder so it no longer provided lateral support, and broke the back of several dozen railroad ties.

A hyrail excavator
removing damaged ties.
Early in March RailWorks arrived to begin repairs in zones at Snoqualmie Falls and just east of historic downtown Snoqualmie.  In all, 38 ties are being replaced and approximately 350 feet of track is being surfaced, lined and dressed.  Even on small project like this one, most of the work is being performed by machines including a hyrail excavator, tamper, and grapple truck.  The work is expected to take approximately four days and will wrap up by March 15.

No comments: