Trains.com

Setback for WMSR

2286 views
18 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2017
  • 1,987 posts
Setback for WMSR
Posted by LithoniaOperator on Monday, February 8, 2021 5:23 PM

FRA says they have to replace ALL of their ties. A $2mil job. Like they needed this now.

https://www.times-news.com/news/scenic-railroad-track-needs-50-000-new-ties/article_e9c67728-67f6-11eb-b24e-a70fa0f70202.html

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 349 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Monday, February 8, 2021 6:54 PM

Aye yi yi!  Tongue Tied

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,589 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, February 8, 2021 7:07 PM

Doesn't sound like it's as bad as that story makes it out to be.

https://www.wcbcradio.com/?news=wmsr-disputes-ctn-tie-story-garner-comments

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 5,783 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, February 8, 2021 7:24 PM

They may all be bad, but I don't know that they would all have to be replaced at once.  The FRA standards call for 8 to 9 good ties per 39 ft section of track to maintain class 2 track for operation of passenger trains at 30mph. 

I would think you would replace what you had to and then every year set up a replacement program to replace the remainder.  After all the bad ones are replaced, keep up a yearly replacement program so you don't run into this problem again.

2008_Track_Safety_Standards (1).pdf (dot.gov)

Jeff

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,768 posts
Posted by MMLDelete on Monday, February 8, 2021 10:19 PM

Leo_Ames

Doesn't sound like it's as bad as that story makes it out to be.

https://www.wcbcradio.com/?news=wmsr-disputes-ctn-tie-story-garner-comments

 

Yes. And it kind of sounds like maybe the county, not WMSR, will pay for it. Does the county perhaps own and maintain the track and ROW, as part of tourism promotion?

After restoring the mallet, it would seem like 2-2.5 mil more would be a back breaker For WMSR.

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 8,296 posts
Posted by zugmann on Monday, February 8, 2021 10:27 PM

https://inallegany.org/DocumentCenter/View/4489/WMSR-Operational-Audit-2019-PDF

 

I mean, really shouldn't be too surprising?  

Note: I didn't read that whole reporty, but it has photos of ties in it. 

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 10,161 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Monday, February 8, 2021 11:18 PM

(1) you are hauling passengers (can't play excepted track game here)

(2) Who has been doing (at least monthly) track inspection? Track owners responsibility (and to insure qualifications of track inspector)

(3)What remedial actions have been taken? Track inspection record(s)?

(4) Lots of things can condemn a tie. FRA inspectors do not take their job lightly. How much of this is Stone Consulting vs. FRA inspector? 

(5) Do we have the age old problem of the shiny toys operating people blowing off the roadway people as less important and not worthy of investment? ("Come to jesus moment" for the know-it-all's?)

Wake-up call for some of the tourist operators. (overdue, especially those that are also common carriers, no matter how limited.) Suspect the "every tie" comment is tied to the track not even good enough for Cls 1 operation of anything over any distance and there has been a callous disregard of the 213 standard.

(and the issues that come with news-workers instead of responsible journalists - any still out there in that country?)

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 5,022 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:49 AM

Put down new 100 lb rail as well.    Isn't that the standard for new rail sidings these days?

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,423 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 1:30 PM

Makes me wonder if someone at the WMSR PO'd a Voodoo Queen who then put a curse on the 'road.  Surprise

"Marie, Marie da voodoo vaux, she'll put a spell on you..."

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,407 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 4:24 PM

CMStPnP
Put down new 100 lb rail as well.    Isn't that the standard for new rail sidings these days?

Most of the line is 132# rail already.  The line was formerly a Western Maryland Railway Main Line between Cumberland and Connellsville and was a part of the Alphabet Route and handled the Alpha Jets between Connellsville and Lurgan, PA.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 10,161 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 7:10 PM

CMStPnP

Put down new 100 lb rail as well.    Isn't that the standard for new rail sidings these days?

 

Try 115# rail. (new 100# does not exist. Long time since any was rolled in a mill)

132# still rolled (lots of it from Russia and europe).... good rail. If the WM rail was jointed and it was maintained, then it can go on. Otherwise it's time to crop 4-6 feet off the ends if it isn't already excessively railhead profile worn. Rail-end batter and joint memory becomes an issue with tonnage and bad surface conditions (including ties)

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 16,062 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 9:12 PM

mudchicken
Rail-end batter and joint memory becomes an issue with tonnage and bad surface conditions (including ties)

I thought it was noteworthy that the inspections produced ZERO reportable issues with joint ties.  None of those examined at random were bad.

This in spite of the somewhat incredible fact that they have no track machinery for tie replacement, and have grants with the condition that none of their own people can do any of the work!  There is one hell of a cautionary tale for 'serious preservationists' in this ongoing story.

Something I heard is that the WMSR is planning to impose a $3 nominal surcharge to fund track repairs -- the approach to the turntable and the 2500 ties per year plan, I think at a minimum.

Note the concern in the report over a couple of those landslips.  Should I be alarmed or is it Chicken Little civil?

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,407 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 9:37 PM

Overmod
 
mudchicken
Rail-end batter and joint memory becomes an issue with tonnage and bad surface conditions (including ties) 

I thought it was noteworthy that the inspections produced ZERO reportable issues with joint ties.  None of those examined at random were bad. 

This in spite of the somewhat incredible fact that they have no track machinery for tie replacement, and have grants with the condition that none of their own people can do any of the work!  There is one hell of a cautionary tale for 'serious preservationists' in this ongoing story.

Something I heard is that the WMSR is planning to impose a $3 nominal surcharge to fund track repairs -- the approach to the turntable and the 2500 ties per year plan, I think at a minimum.

Note the concern in the report over a couple of those landslips.  Should I be alarmed or is it Chicken Little civil?

Chessie System owned WM, in the mid 70's they began operating trains East of Connellsville over the B&O route with 'blended' freight.  Eastbound traffic that was routed P&LE or P&WV to Connellsville for the WM to carry beyond was operated in B&O trains from Connellsville to Cumberland and then switched as necessary for further handling.   Traffic that was to be interchanged at Lurgan were operated over the B&O to Cherry Run and then on the WM to Hagerstown and Lurgan.  WM traffic destined Baltimore and thereabouts was operated to Locust Point and then given to the WM at Port Covington for final delivery to their customers.

The trackage that WMSR uses has seen relatively little 'through' traffic since the early 70's - almost 50 years ago.  Of course nothing lasts forever.  My belief is that Allegheny County Maryland is the owner of the right of way and is the responsible party for maintenance funding, if not direct maintenance itself.

Like anything, anywhere - when it comes to spending govenmental monies all the naysayers rise up out of the ground whenever spending money on WMSR gets mentioned.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • 1,260 posts
Posted by Falcon48 on Thursday, February 11, 2021 9:13 PM

I haven't been able to find any FRA orders to this effect on the FRA website. Since a requirement for "all" good ties would go far beyond anything required by FRA track rules, if FRA were requiring anything like this, there would almost certainly be an "emergency order" on FRA's website imposing the requirement and explaining why it was necessary. Does anyone have a citation to such an order?

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,768 posts
Posted by MMLDelete on Thursday, February 11, 2021 10:35 PM

Maybe I was wrong about ALL ties. But I thought that's what the article meant.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,407 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 12, 2021 8:43 AM

Lithonia Operator
Maybe I was wrong about ALL ties. But I thought that's what the article meant.

Some articles are hatchet jobs.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 16,062 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 12, 2021 11:49 AM

Lithonia Operator
Maybe I was wrong about ALL ties. But I thought that's what the article meant.

This is another example of why it is SOOOOO important to read the original material and not rely on newsworkers... and read the original carefully and critically, because there can be (certainly are!) newsworker counterparts in consultancies.

It is very clear in the Stone Consulting report what the versions aspects of the crosstie situation are. They do note that a substantial number of ties will need replacement over the next 5 years to keep the FRA track class where it needs to be for excursion service, with the actual 'alarming' part being that WMSR does not own the equipment to actually do these ties and their government 'support' largely prohibits them from assisting contractors or using leased equipment to do so.

The terror involves the provision of passenger operation over certain restricted class track; this would stop WMSR from running passenger trains -- which of course is the bread and butter of the operation.  It is relevant to that one possibility that 'priority' of the tie replacement be done... and it is relatively easy to piece together from a couple of pages in there.

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 5,022 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, February 12, 2021 12:31 PM

Overmod

 

 
Lithonia Operator
Maybe I was wrong about ALL ties. But I thought that's what the article meant.

 

This is another example of why it is SOOOOO important to read the original material and not rely on newsworkers... and read the original carefully and critically, because there can be (certainly are!) newsworker counterparts in consultancies.

 

It is very clear in the Stone Consulting report what the versions aspects of the crosstie situation are. They do note that a substantial number of ties will need replacement over the next 5 years to keep the FRA track class where it needs to be for excursion service, with the actual 'alarming' part being that WMSR does not own the equipment to actually do these ties and their government 'support' largely prohibits them from assisting contractors or using leased equipment to do so.

The terror involves the provision of passenger operation over certain restricted class track; this would stop WMSR from running passenger trains -- which of course is the bread and butter of the operation.  It is relevant to that one possibility that 'priority' of the tie replacement be done... and it is relatively easy to piece together from a couple of pages in there.

In my view WMSR needs to negotiate a better deal that whole arrangement is stupid.    WMSR should lease the track from the entity and should have an enforceable maintence sharing agreement if they cannot afford to pay for the maintenence themselves.    Thats how WSOR got started before it reached financial stability.     I think the issue you have here is probably WMSR is cash poor and the leaders of the organization are not investing the time to put the organization more on sound footing financially.

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: South Central,Ks
  • 6,789 posts
Posted by samfp1943 on Saturday, February 13, 2021 5:24 PM

[quote user="BaltACD"]

Lithonia Operator
Maybe I was wrong about ALL ties. But I thought that's what the article meant.
 

[/quote]

 

 


 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy