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 Post subject: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 363
Location: Orrville, OH
After many years, 10 at least, of deferred maintenance (actually none), Orrville Railroad Heritage Society has finally gotten a start on track rehab at our DABO facility. The only previous work that I'm aware of was the emergency repairs three years ago to pin a section of track together enough to shove our equipment in when we had to move.

We're aiming to eventually get enough work done to be able to give short train and speeder rides, and once the wrecker is fully operational, demonstrations with that (as well as being able to move about and pick up heavy scrap scattered around).

A good portion of the side tracks are buried in foundry sand, likely to facilitate the previous scrapping of railcars, so a fair amount of digging is involved just to find out what we have. While we were expecting a "peek & shriek", overall, the track isn't as bad as we anticipated though not as good as we could have hoped.

The work consists of jacking, leveling, aligning, ballasting, tamping, tie and rail replacement - mostly with a backhoe/loader, ancient pneumatic spiker and tamper, hand tools and blisters. If the track fairies magically delivered a tamper and regulator some night, we'd surely appreciate it.

The first image below shows what we started with , the second where we're at so far.
Attachment:
File comment: Weeds stripped showing rails in sand and dirt.
tw1.jpg
tw1.jpg [ 104.75 KiB | Viewed 2696 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Jacking begins.
tw3.jpg
tw3.jpg [ 82.45 KiB | Viewed 2696 times ]

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Eric Schlentner
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http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 735
That's good looking track! It is amazing what a lot of hard work can accomplish. Have you found homes for the other two wreckers?


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:13 am
Posts: 28
John T wrote:
That's good looking track!


Your locos are so much taller than ours that the track looks narrow gauge to me! But I suppose it's really standard gauge, 1435mm, 4'8+1/2"?


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 363
Location: Orrville, OH
John,

We have a sale pending for both steam cranes. That's about all I can say right now until the deal is inked.

The stretch of track we're currently rehabbing is so we can reposition those cranes for easier access on stable track. The siding they're sitting on is sinking in spots so as we pull equipment out one piece at a time, we'll repair that siding enough to pull out the next piece. It gives me the willies to move those big beasts on suspect track but it won't be as bad after we get more ties and ballast in. It's been slow and hard work - not something to do if you're looking for instant gratification....

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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 363
Location: Orrville, OH
Kew,

Yes sir, standard gauge.

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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Pittsburgh
Just an FYI. Ties that have been buried for a long time may look good when first uncovered, but often decay rapidly once they get exposed to fresh air. The fungi that cause decay have been lurking in the damp wood and proliferate like crazy once they can finally get oxygen.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:34 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Brewster, Ohio
Eric,
Is ORHS currently looking for volunteers?


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: Back in NE Ohio
I had a long conversation with a former WE employee a couple of weeks ago, someone people on this board probably know. He told me the whole story of what happened with the ORHS passenger cars that were derailed in Bellevue. I knew that the Wheeling had violated just about every railroad's equipment handling rules by putting the cars on the head-end of a freight train, but figured it had been either ignorance or carelessness on the part of the train crew handling them. NO. It was absolutely deliberate malfeasance by senior management of the railroad. The train crew told them the cars were in the wrong place and management told them they didn't care, don't take the time to change the placement and just get the train moving. Well, we know what happened.

What really PO's me about the whole affair, is that while I have never been a member of ORHS, and would never pretend to speak for you good folks, I know a number of people who have been members and volunteers with you over the years; I have paid to ride your trips and gone through the depot several times, and have been a guest at your end of the year dinner a few times. I do not know of another similar group that has given so much time, labor and consideration to their host railroad as the ORHS, and in return have been so badly mistreated. They wrecked your consist, then instead of doing the right thing by repairing the damage and making you whole, they forced you to go through the insurance write-off claims process and lose possession of the cars, then found an excuse to kick you out of your storage yard and took away your ability to generate more revenue to rebuild your operation by ending excursions. I grant you that the W&LE is a private company, and has the right to do business the way they see fit, but they really hosed you folks.

In talking to people who have worked as crew for them, the way they treat their own employees isn't any better. It takes a special kind of employer to cause it's employees to come up with creative ways of resigning so as to cause the maximum amount of inconvenience to management - like checking into the away hotel, leaving their company materials locked in their room, having a friend pick them up and take them home, and then letting the company find out they quit when they can't be found for the return trip. You know you are probably dealing with a bad employer when they have to have an entire branch of a training school devoted to training new conductors for your railroad on a regular basis, because you can't keep employees, they quit so fast. I have nothing good to say about the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad Company, and would never recommend to anyone that they ever work for them.


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Amherst, Oh
the Alco kid wrote:
Eric,
Is ORHS currently looking for volunteers?


Note: I'm not a member of their group.

Yes, they're looking for volunteers. EVERYBODY is looking for volunteers.


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 363
Location: Orrville, OH
Emmo213 wrote:
the Alco kid wrote:
Eric,
Is ORHS currently looking for volunteers?


Note: I'm not a member of their group.

Yes, they're looking for volunteers. EVERYBODY is looking for volunteers.

Correct. Volunteers always welcome. We can use any skills from office type work to getting good and dirty at the yard. Or if you have no skills and want to learn, that's good, too. Membership application is available on the website.

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Eric Schlentner
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http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:38 am 
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Posts: 363
Location: Orrville, OH
Paul,

I'd have to say that I haven't heard that story spun in quite that fashion. I thought I heard them all and there were quite a few of them. I'm not going to go into all the intricacies but rest assured that I was very intimately involved with the details of the derailment, the loss of excursions due to operational and liability costs and our subsequent move from the Pine St. yard. Did they make a mistake? Yes they did. Everything thereafter was done by the book. And though the timing may look suspect to some, terminating our track lease was a simple business decision to use that track for a substantial new customer - that we do business with. ORHS would have been in the way to put it in the simplest terms.

We still have a good relationship with the WLE upper management and our new CMO is ex-WLE. I'd bet he hasn't heard that story version, either. So let's finally put the unsubstantiated conspiracy speculations to bed. (Sigh).

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Eric Schlentner
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http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:16 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Eric,

I realize in your position what you have to do and say, which is why I very deliberately distanced myself from ORHS in my post. However, my source is someone I have known for decades, and is someone in a position of trust in other organizations. I have great confidence in his honesty and reliability, regarding the circumstances of the derailment. I realize that the WE did what was minimally legally required, and that is the problem I have with that - they did the least they had to do, not the "right" thing. I will admit that the parts about your logistical situation do not come from that source, that was my analysis. Still, I've heard plenty about working for the WE, and my assessment of them as an employer does not change. They run a generally hostile and toxic work environment.


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 Post subject: Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 363
Location: Orrville, OH
Track work continues. In this portion, we had to raise it almost 12” to remove an 80’ long sag. Necessity being the mother of invention, we modified a jackhammer and clamped it to the trenching bucket to use as a tamper since we broke the bit in the smaller hand tamper – twice. Seems you can’t weld tool steel with a small welder and expect it to last with a lot of abuse. We’ll go back to the smaller tamper once the new parts arrive. We’ve almost completed about 100 yards of track in a month of working most weekday mornings.


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