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Steam & Excursion > If you were General Manager what would you do?.

Date: 06/25/20 16:38
If you were General Manager what would you do?.
Author: PlyWoody

A town street crossed a railroad when railroad was built 100+ years ago and very likely had prior right of being there before the railroad.  Now the railroad builds a parallel track and constructs a new crossing which the railroad is sole responsible party. Now the town buys the railroad and administes ownership and leases out the railroad for operation and daily maintenance and inspection responsibilities.

Most often the operation contracts require and expect the operator to fix low joint, broken rails, patch grade crossing and other minimal repairs at their sole costs, along with doing the required inspection to operate their schedule of service, and watch for any drainage problem or ground sub grade issues.

Now there are two conflicting methods of approach for raising the road over the two tracks.  One is to require the town to pay full costs and put it out for bid to rip the crossings out, raise track and get it paved eventually putting it back in service using a engineering firm to administrate,

 Proposal #2:  Because it is a town local street not used by heavy trucks, The railroad would handle this just as it would a low track joint or holes in a pavement of the crossing, and therefore should rip the asphalt out of the crossing and replace with packed stone, while still in service. Next day the railroad raises the track the required amount and then cold patch it.  Then it could be paved again using a contractor at half expense to town and half expense to railroad because the separate right per each of the two tracks. 

It is to the benefit of each, town and railroad, to settle this question quickly.

If you were GM would you make it a capital improvement project which will take a long time, or would you handle it as just a maintenance expense and dig right into it and make it ready to use quickly?

Additional data for 1st reply:  This crossing over the two tracks is not worn out.  The railroad may need to raise the tracks in order to operate the larger locomotive, both to the advantage to the landlord and to the tennant.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/20 19:37 by PlyWoody.

Date: 06/25/20 17:55
Re: If you were General Manager what would you do?.
Author: wandle

There's an old adage, "You don't pay to replace the roof on a house that you are renting." 

The division of responsibility for general repairs and maintenance of railroad crossings of public roads should have been spelled out in writing in the original operating agreement between the city (landlord) and the leasing railroad (tenant). Without an agreement spelling out all of this, it seems that if the railroad has just begun operations and the wear-and-tear to the grade crossing has been there for a long time, then I think it fair that the city should bear 100% of the cost of those long-needed repairs. If the tenant railroad has been in operation for a long time, and if the damage to the worn out crossing has been there for a long time, then a 50-50 split of the costs sounds reasonable for both parties.

You just gotta have an agreement in writing that covers all contingencies and that spells out all responsibilities. If not, somebody did not do their homework and you've got a fist fight on your hands. Check your state's laws and codes, as some of them might be relevant in the absence of a binding, written agreement. Good luck and be safe.

John B. Corns  (misterwandle)

Date: 06/25/20 19:19
Re: If you were General Manager what would you do?.
Author: MojaveBill

The intelligent thing to do is to fix the problem and then argue over paying for it.
That eliminates potential dangers and the public bitching if it took forever to get things fixed.
I say that after fighting with SP for years here in the town it created, over repairing grade crossings, etc.
I took a pic of an automobile going over a crossing on the branch to the cement plant once with all four wheels in the air
and it was going below the speed limit. I printed it in my paper and SP finally fixed the crossing.
My Mom, also a reporter, called the station agent once about a big derailment outside his window.
His response: "What derailment?"

Not all the bureaucrats work for the government...

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA

Date: 06/28/20 04:20
Re: If you were General Manager what would you do?.
Author: PlyWoody

Yes,  this is the political foot ball at Frostburg with the County about not paying anything for engineering to review the problem or to decide what to do. The County had been warned two years ago and still done nothing.  I can see that it is too hot to handle here, even by the fan club of my posts, to even get near touching this question.  But it does not matter if there isn't any answer here as the question has been worked out and the fix will be a very doable project.  The simple answer has been overlooked by everybody which I will explain later.

The following is not necessary but if there is anyone around Frostburg and want to join in and even see if there is a problem do the following.  Get a carpenter's bubble level to hang on a 150 foot long string and take a 3' ruler.  Secure one end of the string at the top of the rail at the turntable and pull it taught using the bubble level and then measure how far that level string is above the rail at 150 feet from the turntable.  If it is less than 1 foot, all will be fine for the locomotive 2-6-6-2 wheel arrangement.  If it is 2 feet or more height than I will tell you later what has been discovered as an correction to their vertical curve conflict.  There is no surveying needed, no expensive engineering company to present a cad drawn review of the question.  Later we will get into the question of tie condition on the turntable. That may be the only expense.

I will get into the other problem of sharpness of curve question and that is fixable also. Later...........

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/20 04:28 by PlyWoody.

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