The heavy equipment was put to work tidying up Fernley Yard, with the incidental side effect that nearly all of the tumbleweeds and other junk in the yard was churned up and or trashed. It won't last, of course.
The machine on the track is an aligner-tamper, which measures the rails and tamps the ballast by sticking long metal "fingers" into the rocks to adjust the track.
On Tuesday afternoon after work, Lisa and I were preparing to run over to Fallon to see if we could find something at the Big R there than the Fernley store did not have, when a Union Pacific work train came by with a "big hook" heavy crane. Having seen them stop and move into the wye track on the other side of the main from us, Lisa suggested we drive over there. However, we couldn't get a clear shot of the crane. UP had cut the locomotives off the train and was turning them on the wye track. This is the only paved grade crossing in Fernley, as the two mainline crossings are handled by an underpass and overpass. This bit of track running up to a stub serving Nevada Cement is the last bit of the Southern Pacific Modoc line that once ran from Fernley to Pyramid Lake to Flannigan, Herlong, and Alturas. The Fernley-Flannigan section was abandoned in the 1960s in favor of trackage rights over the Western Pacific. (Today, both SP and WP are part of Union Pacific.) Flannigan-Alturas was abandoned in the 2000s. Today, only the track from Alturas to Lakeview and to Klamath Falls remains.
Amtrak trains are starting to get closer to running on time, thanks to the midwest flooding subsiding, but they're still taking a schedule hit through this area, as they must slow down and run at low speed until enough tonnage has rolled through to get the line to "bed in" properly.
It's much quieter here at night than it was for the past few days, as the track project has mostly moved on from here. I note that the chipmunks seem to have given up on their old location in the yard, as I saw them hiding under the porch at Fernley House.