This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, September 23, 2013

McKinley Street rail crossing (Updated)

The morning work began on replacing the road over the McKinley Street rail crossing. There do not seem to be warning signs along the highway to the north--there seemed to be a lot of surprised motorists approaching the construction site.
 The new crossing will eliminate two of the rail lines, leaving only two sets of rails. The style will be new--instead of the plastic that the old crossing had (a piece of which is in between the two nearest rails in the picture above), there will be wooden ties next to the rails.

There will also be repairs to the Franklin Street crossing. There it appears that digging out the asphalt and replacing it may be enough.
I will probably update this post during the week if I take any interesting pictures.

Update: After a days work, the crossing looks very different. The two sets of tracks on the south are gone, but it does not appear that anything will be done with the northern set of tracks, which is a spur line.
 There is a section of track with ties attached that last week was on the west side of the crossing. Now it is on the east side. I am not sure what will be done with it.
 The debris has not yet been removed.
 They did more to the Franklin Street crossing than I thought they would.
 It is all supposed to be finished on Friday.

Update 2: On Tuesday morning workers removed a section of track, complete with ties, from the crossing and replaced it with the section of track show in the fourth picture above. They worked a while trying to align it on both ends with the existing track. However, what really caught my interest was a tamper. I remember them from when the MOW crew came through town in 2009.
Tampers smooth the track and have a weird-looking extension on their front to sense how flat the track is.
I kept waiting for the tamper to go into action, but it did not on Tuesday. However, I found it busy tamping on Wednesday and took a little video of it. Notice that it lifts up the track as it tucks rocks under the ties. Seeing it brought out the little boy in me--I was fascinated watching it in action.
Another machine was shaping the ballast and then cleaning from the ties. This machine may be called a ballast regulator. There were machines like it when the MOW crew was in town, and of course they had a lot more machines as well.
By Wednesday night the crew was beginning to install the wooden ties along side the rails that will be part of the crossing. My guess is that they will finish that tomorrow and on Friday they pave the crossing.
Update 3: I was wrong on my speculation yesterday. On Thursday the workers seem to have completed the resurfacing of the road and at the end of the work day were sweeping the dust from the road. I do not know what is left to do for Friday.
The railroad gates are going to be quite far away from the tracks on the south side of the crossing.

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