Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Tie-ing One On

Because of the bad weather this weekend, I did not go to Fernley, and a good thing too, as chain controls were up, and (as I write this) continue to be in place all the way from Truckee to Colfax. However, I did talk with Lisa via Skype last night and she sent me some photos taken recently from the front porch of Fernley House.

A fairly recent new resident of the Fernley switching leads is BNSF 160 170, a GP-60 locomotive originally purchased by Santa Fe (see more detail in comments below). Note the dual RV-style air conditioning units mounted on the roof, which may make operating under desert weather conditions a bit more tolerable.

There was a veritable convention of maintenance-of-way (MOW) equipment here a few days ago. Because of the way the tracks are set up here, MOW crews often use the switching lead across the street to mount/dismount their hi-rail vehicles to/from the tracks. (Much modern rail maintenance equipment consists of road vehicles that can lower rail wheels onto the tracks and then operate on the rails, giving them maximum flexibility.)

Speaking of road-rail vehicles, here's one of the largest ones we've seen. The big rig is pulling two gondolas full of tie plates (the plates on which rails sit and which are spiked to the cross-ties to hold the rails in place). The crane on top is equipped with a magnetic grapple, and the operator uses it to grab plates out of the gondola and drop them along the tracks. There's a rail-replacement project going on here — I saw a continuous-welded-rail train dropping rails here a few weeks ago — and this is obviously part of the project. Lisa and I hope that what they're doing is replacing Fernley Siding to bring it up to the same speed as the main line, which will help keep trains moving more smoothly through here.

Lisa also shot some video of the the trains here at Fernley that I will post when I get a chance.
Tags: bnsf, fernley, trains, union pacific

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