Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Crosstie Renewal in Haddam

The Friends of the Valley Railroad have been busy doing crosstie renewal up in Haddam, just north of Midway Marina.

Credit: Brendan Matthews / FVRR

The team has been working hard, mostly by hand, to bring this track back to life, having not seen regular train service since 1968. In the background is Midway Marina; once they have all their boats in the water, the VRR track crew will get to work unearthing the track in the vicinity of the marina to connect active track with the portion the volunteers are currently working on. 

Credit: Brendan Matthews / FVRR
 The yellow machine (a track bed scarifier) was dragged across the gravel through the marina, as the rails are buried beneath the gravel. The scarifier loosens the ballast material between the ties, then it's all hand work to dig out the ballast, jack up the track, remove the deteriorated tie, and pull a new one in by hand. Then the tie is "tamped" to make it solid, plated, then spiked. A time-honored process!

As this track is opened, it will be used by the Essex Clipper, the Haddam Special Foliage Excursions, and the upcoming Eagle Flyer.

Robert W. Bradway, Jr.
Vice President - Track and Property

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