Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Railroad Exploration

I wrote in a backdated entry why Saturday's planned work in Oregon was rained out. We instead went into Stayton -- and the rain cleared up -- to do some other errands and shopping. When we crossed the railroad tracks, Lisa spotted that a new siding had been installed, so we stopped to have a look. It appears that business on this portion of the Willamette Valley RR (former SP West Stayton Branch) is picking up.

I wish I'd brought the camera. We were fascinated by the intricate custom trackwork in the area around the switch, including numerous adapters to allow connection of rails of significantly different weights. Rail in the USA is measured by how much one yard of rail weighs. Modern rail weighs 120, 130, or more pounds. Old rails were much lighter and smaller. Some of the rail on this branch is only 70 or 80 pounds, with roll dates as old as 1902! The difference in the rail size at the splices where the new switch is attached is very visible.

I'd write more, but I need to be up in the morning to head off to Chicago. Maybe on a future trip to Oregon I'll take some pictures of this interesting (to a rail nut like me) old, but still in service, railroad branch.

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