Thursday, September 27, 2012

I saw the most amazing thing

CN actually doing some maintenance of way. I was puttering in the garden, doing end of the summer clean-up chores, when I thought I heard something odd approaching on the railroad tracks. So the dog and I hustled down the path to see what might be coming -- I figured that if nothing else, I might manage to thrill Ranger Bob with a photo of an ancient diesel locomotive still wearing an obsolete paint job. No such luck. It was instead a parade: first a CN crew-cab pickup truck, then a Fairmont Tamper, and finally a machine I didn't immediately recognize -- and, to be honest, I was so stunned to see CN apparently indulging in actual maintenance of way that about all that registered was that it was big and painted yellow.
Fairmont tamper heading up the hill toward Summit
I'm guessing it was probably a ballast regulator (back end of it in photo below), but that is just a guess. I'm still in shock that CN is actually doing maintenance. Then again, maybe all the little weird dips and speed bumps and the fact that the freight trains that use that line can't go much above a walking pace may have finally contributed to management realizing that doing some maintenance can be a whole lot cheaper than trying to lift a derailed train out of a cedar swamp or a river.

If you really want to see what bad track looks like, enlarge the photo. If it's classified as anything higher than an Excepted track, some FRA inspector doesn't know how to do his/her job. 


  1. I approve of derailing things.

  2. Has the old man gotten away from the computer and TV and politics long enough to take the boat out again?

  3. I don't know anything about railroad maintenance - but I see the trees are turning up there!

  4. You have CN? Cool. I didn't know they had lines in the USA. Nor did I know they were poor on maintenance (except lines they are going to abandon).

  5. Hey, thanks for thinking of me. Old diesels are great, but MOW equipment is interesting, too.


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