Wednesdays are becoming a regular event, so long as work holds up, and with it my gas money...
Into 'Keag at about 9:15 or so, maybe a bit later. My Luck Continued
, we found oil at Keag again. The NBSR was intown to pick up oil Pan Am brought north last night. Pretty much everything north of NMJ is running outside of daylight, trackwork gets absolute priority. Anyway, NBSR backed down the PAR line and grabbed oil loads. They pulled east to clear the interchange switch. My Shot of the Day
came early today. Leased HLCX 63naught4 led the train across the Mattawamkeag on a beautiful day. They left a man on the ground to line and lock the NBSR main, which meant a second take on the train! Rolling West
they shoved back to pick up the man on the ground. On the NBSR line
they kept going , back across the Penobscot. Heading east again they pass through Little Round Top.
We got a friendly wave from the cab of HLCX 6304
and then they headed around the bend
towards the yard. Keag provides a great place to see the oil cans
stretched out. Also in the yard was the Pan Am power that brought the train up, MEC 354
In Winn we ran into the first signs of life on PAR, it also marked the north end of the track work.
Headed south along the PAR line we ran into track machines west of MP.24. in a roughly 2 mile stretch between crossings, couldn't see much. We got some numbers though, they are replacing about 500ties/mile. They are doing about 800/day and they have a goal of "Waterville before snow." Based on current progress, unless something breaks or we get an early freeze, they should make NMJ, with a little wiggle room and should actually be able to start NMJ-Waterville this fall.
We continued south and found the shortest bridge on Pan Am.
Now, back to the trackwork, ties are staged for placement into Pass the dum Keag, they are stacked for staging into Old Town where they also have switch ties stacked and they are in the ground MP.0-MP.24.50+. We'll give them 25 miles in 3.5 weeks, they have with a late freeze 12 weeks left or roughly 85 miles if all goes well.
So, if all goes well, that puts ties in the ground to MP.110, which is actually CPF.110, the break between the main and the branch to Sappi in Hinckley. Thats not Waterville, but damn if they won't be close. Of course ties are 1 thing, tamping which is lagging behind by several miles, a total lack of ballast in places like Lincoln where the ties are literally hidden beneath oozing mud, and 85 and 100lb stick rail some of which weathered the Great Depression are all serious issues up here. Its a great start, but there is so much to be done and so few good days.