On December 5, 2002 while enroute to Marty Quaas's I was surprised to see a new stub track and loading ramp had been built in the old gravel pit adjacent to the old Glenn Highway ramp and overpass.
Photos of this new construction are attached. As part of the major bridge renovation project just north and around the hill at the Knik and Matanuska Rivers, this stub with loading ramp was built to expedite work at the site. High rail gear can be put on the tracks here at the "grade crossing to nowhere". Note the tire tracks on the timbers. This is a good example of how these timber crossings are constructed.
The ramp retaining wall was built with surplus 10" X 24" bridge timbers and then back filled with pit run gravel. Notice the tie back and spacer blocks at the bottom of the wall which rest against the ends of the ties to ensure the track does not move toward the wall. From this location the old bridge timbers could be unloaded from flats and trucked out, and off rail equipment could be moved to the bridge site. The stub provides a convenient parking spot for the locomotive cranes to clear the single track main, as this is the busiest piece of track on the main line.
The end of track bumper is just a stack of ties cabled to the rail. I thought this was an interesting [rail industry] prototype development, that can be easily modeled into an neat scene, in little space.
The Knik Bridge rebuilding project is an ongoing
B&B project you can follow as Pat Durand and other contributors document
the job with photos and commentary.
Photos courtesy of Pat Durand
December 5, 2002
As the Alaska Railroad continues
work on the rebuild of the Knik River Bridge, action is picking up at the
new stub track at the Old Palmer Highway Overpass. An overall view from the
overpass shows the American Crane on the stub with the Ohio Crane setting
on the main line. Two hy-rail rigs are on rubber waiting to follow the cranes
out to the work site. They load on to the tracks on the grade crossing to
nowhere on the stub track. The four foot galvanized pile in the foreground
are being used to make the new foundations at the bridge site. Four of these
piles are placed with a large concrete cap to create each new bridge support.
Loaded concrete trucks drive onto flat cars at the ramp here and are then
transported to the bridge site by the locomotive crane as reported earlier.
Notice the overhead electrical lines across the tracks here and the clearance bar that has been suspended to gauge the height of loads passing under the highway overpass.
On December 27, 2003 at the Old Glenn Highway overpass MP 145.5, it was just sunrise as the B&B gang was retreating to the parking stub to make room for the north bound Aurora about four minutes away. At 9:40 a.m. it was -22 F in the shade of Pioneer's Peak and the first problem was finding the switch key. Then the B&B boom truck finally moved into the clear followed by the Mechanic who closed the switch just in time for the passing of No. 3010 with three coaches and a power baggage car bringing up the rear. A defect detector located under the overpass announced the time, temperature and no defects, to those of us with ears on. The Aurora continued north toward the Knik River crossing. If the photos appear shaky, consider it was much darker than the digital camera likes and it was coooold.
Page created12/6/02 and last updated 12/29/03