Dick H wrote:I did a little research on the Durham track work. At the present time, there are no plans to add a second track at Durham. The state of NH is requiring all bridge construction to make provisions for restoring the second track, that was removed in the 1960's. In addtion to the new bridge at Durham, the new Route #155 overpass in Madbury has been constructed to allow for the second track in the future.There is also some rail grinding going on south of Exeter on a sharp curve that has been a problem almost since day one.
The current Downeaster trackwork is doing projects in Scarborough and Wells, ME, Dover/Rollinsford and Exeter NH. The Exeter project is for replacement of some welded rail that was originally installed by the Boston and Maine Railroad approximately 30 years ago and was not changed in the big Downeaster project in 2000-2001. The other projects are for siding upgrades and additions.
Point of information: Although the "old B&M" installed some welded rail at the in-town Exeter crossings in 1977 to avoid having joints buried in asphalt, the rest remained stick rail until the pre-service upgrade in 2000/01, when it was replaced with new welded rail. In the winter of 2001/02, there was widespread chaos all along the line when the new welded rail began to separate when the temperatures dropped below freezing.