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Journalism is dead.

As usual, the drive-by media got it wrong. They reported that 50,000 ties need replaced, which is enough ties to boardwalk (replace every tie) the entire railroad. However, from the R&R article, "...Garner said that was inaccurate and that they only need to replace 16,000 ties before the FRA will allow them to operate revenue-producing excursions..."

16,000 ties means they will replace roughly every third tie, if these ties are needed over the entire railroad. However, it could also mean that they will boardwalk some sections and do nothing with other sections, depending on condition. That work gets them to at least Class 1, and maybe Class 2. It's still a big job, but not as bad as we originally thought it was.

@ES44AC posted:

Now I completely understand they'll do what it takes to get by, but I would imagine for an engine as large as 1309 (especially when compared to 734) they would benefit greatly to replace as many ties as possible.

Actually, the 1309 will be easier on the track than the 734 was.

It has to do with axle loading and flexibility, and the 1309 has better stats here than the rigid frame 734 locomotive.

AXLE LOADING is the weight carried by each axle on the locomotive. That's what determines how much wear will be imparted to the track when the locomotive moves over it. While it is true that the 1309 is heavier than the 734, that weight is spread over more axles. Consequently each axle places a lighter load on the track at any given spot than the 734 did.

FLEXIBILITY has to do with how much the locomotive will wear the track in curves. Because the 1309 is a six-coupled, articulated locomotive, it is much more flexible than the eight-coupled 734. The term "six-coupled" refers to six drivers coupled together via their side rods. Eight-coupled refers to a locomotive with eight drivers coupled via their side rods. An articulated, six-coupled engine can negotiate curves and rough track better than a rigid-frame eight-coupled engine.

Back in the day, these light, six-coupled articulateds were used on branch line mine runs. In other words, they were assigned to run on the worst track on the railroad, because they could handle it better than a rigid-frame loco, and they were also easier on the track.

This is one of the reasons why the WM Scenic chose this engine in the first place. It is an excellent choice for a locomotive that has to run almost every day on less than perfect track.

But the R&R article stated the FRA noted the track issues last summer.

But we are hearing about it now?

I know there has been the virus....

Number 90 has a point.  1309 during rebuild had issues.  Track does not suddenly self destruct....  HW one car funeral observation may be spot on.  Maybe a whole new management group neefs to be installed.

But there coud be collateral damage.  There arr some very well run rail museum and operating groups.  But one or two "bad actors" makes everybody look bad.  This could turn people off to support ANY rail organization........

But the R&R article stated the FRA noted the track issues last summer.

But we are hearing about it now?

I know there has been the virus....

Number 90 has a point.  1309 during rebuild had issues.  Track does not suddenly self destruct....  HW one car funeral observation may be spot on.  Maybe a whole new management group neefs to be installed.

But there coud be collateral damage.  There arr some very well run rail museum and operating groups.  But one or two "bad actors" makes everybody look bad.  This could turn people off to support ANY rail organization........

Maybe a whole new management group neefs to be installed. ( quoted from above)

So??....that would be you?.....are you offering to take the job??.....those that think they can do a better job, .....go ahead and step forward!....how simple it is for some guys to run a railroad from an e-z chair,.....🙄

Pat

One of of the reasons we are most likely hearing about it now is because of 1309. Sure there may have been something of note that was printed somewhere about the track issues prior to the restoration of 1309, but now with all the press around it running things come to light.

I know that before the BR&W started working on restoring the tracks to Lambertville, the town had been having meetings about turning the rails into a footpath like much of the old rails that ran along the Delaware River. I don't know if this was a ploy by the town's committee to put pressure on the railroad to forfeit the land in favor of the town or to pressure them to fix the rails. Either way it is a weak argument by the town's committee. I remember my late mother talking about it saying she didn't think it was a good idea. Most of the track goes through backyards and heavily wooded areas. Some areas have a ton of wildlife including bears. Eventually the town stopped talking about it. That probably was due to how much of tax payers money would be needed to go to converting the rails to path not to mention purchasing the path back from the railroad.

...Number 90 has a point.  1309 during rebuild had issues.  Track does not suddenly self destruct....  HW one car funeral observation may be spot on.  Maybe a whole new management group neefs to be installed...

You are being awfully hard on them, Dominic. And you have obviously bought into the totally misleading Drive-By Media's so-called "story" about this. And as usual, they got it wrong.

The railroad does not need 50,000 ties. It needs about 16,000. And they will get those ties installed. But their focus has been in getting the 1309 done first. With the 1309 ready to go, they can use it as a fund raising vehicle to raise money for the track rehab.

But there coud be collateral damage.  There arr some very well run rail museum and operating groups.  But one or two "bad actors" makes everybody look bad.  This could turn people off to support ANY rail organization........

I don't see this happening at all. Well-run organizations build their own relationships with industry officials and railroads. I know a little about this because of my 34 years as Operations Manager for NKP 765. Here's an example:

Back in 1985 we solicited the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad (P&LE) to run trips with the 765 between Gateway Yard in Struthers, Ohio and Station Square in Pittsburgh. Two years prior, the P&LE had dealt with some serious operating problems with another steam locomotive that had run on their railroad. When we went into the P&LE offices for our first meeting with their company officers, the Vice President of Operations opened the meeting by saying, "This ain't that g**-dammed <name here> engine is it?" When I told him it was not and I showed him a couple of letters of recommendation from company officers at other railroads we had run on, the doors opened and we enjoyed a great relationship with the P&LE.

@Big Jim posted:

What the WMSR doesn't need is more doom & gloom armchair railroaders!

AMEN!

Last edited by Rich Melvin

Historically, in that area, stranger things have happened. The Big Savage Tunnel, (project) was at least $8 million. Lets run the tracks to Myersdale, PA and make this a real ride.  IMO, Mike CT.    Eventually, every one of us, all 315 million, have to look at the national debt, (where projects, like this, tend to be financed),  about $75,000/each.

Last edited by Mike CT

Rich brings up a great point about 1309 being the vehicle for fund raising. Where I am at, #60 is the draw since it is the only steam engine in the area and it's main attraction. Every year prior to the pandemic, the BR&W would release their schedule of "Steam Days" to promote their passenger service. The days are a small number of weekends due to the crew being volunteers as well as the possibility of a no run for #60 due to unforeseen events which they state on these promotions. It will be interesting to see how things come together for them in the coming months.

@Lehigh74 posted:

Up and running.  Three hours Cumberland to Frostburg and back.  Considering stop time in Frostburg for shopping and lunch, that sounds about right so I’m thinking there won’t be a massive speed restriction.

2021 Reopening (wmsr.com)

The reopening link above actually says, "Passengers will experience a 3-hour round trip aboard the train with a 90-minute layover in Frostburg, for a total time of 4 ½ hours."  That's one and a half hours on the train each way.  According to the Route page on the WMSR website it is 16 miles from Cumberland to Frostburg.  Looks like 10 mph to me.

@Rich Melvin posted:

Thank you, Rick. Your comment perfectly describes everything the "drive-by media" reports on these days.

Journalism is dead...now go ride the WSMR! 

Rich; I will do just that as soon as the 1309 is on line been there several times before, my next trip is Strasburg when the museum opens and ride beshind the J again this time the wife and I are going to do the dinner ride. Come join us would love to meet you..

Rick, I genuinely appreciate your invitation. We might be able to do this in the fall.

The Lovely and Gracious Linda and I are planning to travel west in the motor home this summer. Several months ago she was struggling with a health issue. During that difficult time, I promised her that we would see the Pacific Ocean from the windshield of the coach this summer. She is back to normal now health-wise, and I intend to keep that promise. We also have a Texas trip in our plans this summer. We'll be headed down there to visit former OGR Editor George Brown and his wife Kitty.

October will bring a fall color trip somewhere, but I don't know where yet. We may go into New England and follow the colors south through the mountains for a few weeks. We're just not sure of those plans yet, nor am I sure whether we'll come near Strasburg or Cumberland on the trip.

Time will tell.

Where I live the BR&W has been replacing ties and reballasting track where needed heading back towards Lambertville. The track section had been closed down since either 1989-1990(can't quite remember what year for sure). It took a while for them to decide to pursue fixing the line and has been a slow and steady process.

They have worked at this for sometime, I think since around 2010 or 2012(I think they started somewhere around there). I do recall some years back that there was a washout along the line where the ballast was completely gone for a section about 3-5 foot stretch. They had on their website the progress of the work back around 2015-2016.

In 2019 they had advertised the Sunset Special which ran out to the old Bowne Station stop where local farmers used to bring their produce in the late 1800's-1900's. The ride out there was slow and steady with some interesting scenery that I had not seen since I was a boy. I think one of the trains I had gone on was in the late 1970's which went all the way to Lambertville.

The work out there was not just the rails, but also the overgrowth that naturally happened on an out of use line. While this is probably not the case(the overgrowth I mean) for the Western Maryland, the work with the ties and ballast probably is. I would imagine that the work involved in fixing the track would be much like here, slow and steady. Granted I have no idea on how many people they have to work on track or if they have the equipment handy to do so.

I am curious that if work is done, would inspections be monthly on work sections as well as the trackage overall or does inspection happen bimonthly or based on traffic?

On the BRW line ties and ballast have been continuing to be replaced from Three Bridges all the way through Bowne Station with most of the work now being focused on the Flemington to Ringoes section. Keep on the look out for a major track upgrade project on the Copper Hill section later this year. Track inspections are done weekly as well to spot which parts need work or for any general defects. On the WMSR line it seems more issues keep cropping up. Hopefully they can keep soldiering on as they have been so far to resolve most of the issues. That mountain line of theirs is one heck of a railroad   

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