Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway : Service On The Santa Cruz Branch Line
(11-19-2014, 07:32 PM)orange choo choo Wrote:  Thanks again Howard, I love the photos and commentary!

Thanks Eric . . . I love taking the photographs and sharing them.
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(11-19-2014, 07:49 PM)ElCaminoManT Wrote:  ha! surprised the hell outta the love makers im sure!

 I was looking forward to photographing piles being driven at the trestle, but that is not what I had in mind.
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Streamliners Performing Tree Removal Service
 
In preparation for the upcoming Train To Christmas Town a tree service company was hired to clear a large eucalyptus tree that had fallen across the track. There is no road access to the area where the tree had fallen so the rail line was the only way in. We have seen F-units in passenger and freight service. How about tree service?
 
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First stop was milepost 4.87 to clear some tree branches. In the background of the second photograph you can see the curved ballasted trestle that will be worked on as part of the RTC’s bridge rehabilitation project.
 
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Before reaching the fallen tree we stopped to clear branches that would interfere with operation of the Train To Christmas Town. The Santa Cruz Branch Line has several areas where eucalyptus trees line the rail corridor. The bark and leaves from the trees foul the roadbed and the oil contained in them is deposited on the rails. When it rains the combination of water and the eucalyptus oil makes it very difficult for locomotives to gain traction.
 
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When we reached the fallen tree the tree service crew assessed the situation to determine where to make their cuts.
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The tree trunk did an excellent job of grooming the ballast and clearing the drainage ditch as it was pulled back along the roadbed.
 
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It took longer than expected to completely remove the tree from the right of way and they ended up working past sundown. The slough is a very interesting place to be after dark.
 
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Burnt Trestle At Milepost 23.54
 
As part of the current RTC bridge project the burnt trestle at milepost 23.54 will be replaced with a culvert and fill. The bridge was demolished this past Friday and I dropped by Wilder Ranch this afternoon to check it out. In comparison to the other structures being repaired this is a small project, but very important to the dinner train service that is slated to begin in 2015.
 
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The heat from the trestle fire last year was so intense that the rails buckled.
 
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On the way back to my vehicle I was greeted by a wagon pulled by two draft horses. To me horses are the most magnificent creatures.
 
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Landscapping and F-units! Wished I could have been a part of that operation!
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Saturday, November 15, 2014 Update – Bridge Work On The Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line
 
To make up for a slip in the project schedule the bridge contractor decided to work on Saturday to catch up. When I arrived at the jobsite they had just finished placing bent 2 and were preparing to secure it in place.
 
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For the rest of the morning the DCCI ironworkers finished up work on the girder spans previously placed over the past week.
 
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With three girder spans now in place I thought I would have some fun with Photoshop. I do not believe either the owner’s or operator’s name or logo will be applied to the bridge surfaces.
 
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During the workers lunch break I explored one of the surrounding properties as a flight of pelicans cruised the coastline.
 
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After the lunch break the ironworker returned to girder span 5 to install large I-beams that are part of the swing stage scaffolding that will be used to dress out the bridge towers.
 
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A total of four I-beams were placed on the bridge deck.
 
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In less than a week from now the Manitwoc 2250 crawler crane will be gone and its operator and oiler will have moved on to other jobs.
 
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Perhaps you should show them how good it looks with lettering, all they can say is no ....


TCS - but they might like it too.
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