The main order of business was finishing the tie replacement project started in June. The new ties had been installed and the area cleaned up but the new ballast was never inserted under the ties.
Kendall O, Rex F, Roger R, Paul K, and John G move ballast from the skid steer to the ties. After the ballast is dumped under the rails, pneumatic tampers are used to jamb the material under the ties.
(Editor's note: Maybe it is just my computer's display but the fabric on John G's overalls -- sometimes called "Hickory Stripe Denim" -- sure looks odd in this picture!)
With the ballast under the new ties, the next task was lifting the rails approaching the "saw mill crossing." The area is rather soft and is a low spot along the tracks causing large amounts of water to collect for even the smallest rains.
The track crew installed jacks every few feet and lifted the ties out of the muck. As can be seen in these pictures, the jacks pressed down into the soft dirt rather than lifting the rails. Eventually the ground released its hold on the tracks allowing us to install new ballast.
Our tracks along the east fence also needed some work. Once the other two track projects were completed, we replaced 9 ties along the fence, evenly distributed from the east park entrance crossing to the southeast curve.
Last January, we removed the burner from No. 6 to use as a "pattern" for No. 12's new burner. Nathan V. re installs No. 6's burner.
Rex F. and Ryan F. reassemble No. 12's single stage air compressor. Its parts were in several different places and it was thought wise to get everything back into one place.
A tiny bit work was completed on No. 12. The past few blog entries reported the installation of the cross compound air compressor. One of the last few things to complete on this project is the installation of the running board patch panels surrounding the compressor.
Jeremy L. grinds some dross off the rear patch panel.
While the track gang was working on the layout, several members were assessing the needs of the "new" DRGW boxcar 3007. Freed from the track project and now able to assist with the boxcar, Rex F. and Brian B. purchase new boards at Mt Pleasant Lumber Company.
DRGW boxcar 3007 was on the main shop's center track, pushed fairly far back making it really hard to work on. Using the Vulcan gasoline switcher, the boxcar was moved onto the pit track.
With the boxcar in its new location, the crew started rust removal and painting of numerous steel parts.
Paul K. uses the wire wheel on a 4 1/2 inch angle grinder to remove rust from a step.
Brian B. treats a steel bracket with rust inhibitor.