Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Train Over New Trestle

With not a few screams and gasps, a passenger extra was the first to rumble across the line's new curved trestle, after a 3-day (6-8pm each night) installation process - and some massive mountain-moving. More landscaping will follow, but for now it really opens up that end of the yard again, without much of the former "earthen dam". Not sure how old this bridge is, purchased used last week, but in Flagstaff such wood should last awhile. A similar trestle (two years old) at Palmer Gulch is no worse for wear.

Several cement blocks and paving stones already on hand were conveniently used for the base and ends.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

First Curved Trestle Install Underway

Looks like a good fit!
Sometimes things fit just right. After acquiring a used length of 10-foot diameter curved trestle on Saturday, it was promptly placed in the first location envisioned for it. And that's where it will go (see photos here). Today I began to dig out the fill dirt that was placed there two years ago, at the downslope end of the back yard. While dodging rain drops (I was daring it to rain, though I was wary of the lightning), I discovered that 1) This would be a multi-day project, 2) I would obtain a good amount of upper-body excerise hauling dirt once again, and 3) We can use the excavated dirt within a shovel-throw away, for a new "privacy" tree or two near the fence, and 4) We're going to reclaim a sizeable chunk of "real estate" back from the area where the fill mound had been created originally. This is all good news (including the opportunity for exercise).

Thinking about geometry for a minute, one recalls that the circumference of a large circle is much longer than the "C" of a smaller circle embedded within in the larger one. No brainer there. Still, on the ground it was a revelation to realize that the veritable earthen dam I had created to raise that end of the railroad was much larger on its outer circumference than the right-of-way itself. I could therefore reclaim a lot of fill dirt for use elsewhere without having to truck new stuff in. The trestle will create a wonderful addition to that end of the layout, allow the ponderosa pine tree roots to breathe a little more, and a good amount of original real estate will surface again. Not sure when the final install will occur (either this week or at the end of July), but what a great use of a used trestle!

First day of work to move the earthen "dam".