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New Unionville & Western Railroad

Laying Track and ballasting Horse Shoe Curve.
Horse Shoe Curve is a 180' curve on the west end of the property.  The curve is necessary to get around the end of a natural ridge.  The grade on the curve starts out at 1 percent on the southern end and increases to 1.9 percent on the north end in 200 feet of length.
To make sure the curve stays lined  and holds it position over 400 concrete ties were utilized in 200 feet.  Because of the weight of the ties the track was built in place without the use of pre-facbricated track panels.  Kent organized a workday to get this project completed in one day.  Click on the thumbnails below for larger pictures.
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Above:  Finny Filchak (left) and Kent Bolerjack (right) are applying the first fish plates to the rail on Horse Shoe Curve.
In the background Matt Sheerin and Guy Ingersoll arrive with the second load of concrete ties from the tie fabrication area.
Matt Sheerin of Terre Haute carring 5 of the 400+ ties
needed for laying the 200' long Horse Shoe Curve.
Above.  Guy Ingersoll of Terre Haute carring some of the last ties of the day and placing them near the end of the curve.  Matt and Guy carried all 400+ plus ties and helped out a bunch. We simply would not have been able to complete the curve in one day without those fellows. Kent and Finny are in the back ground drilling the rail and installing another set of fish plates at a rail joint. 
Above.  Donne Cain, Finny Filchak and Kent Bolerjack nearly finished laying the inside rail of the 200'+ curve. 
After fine tuning the curve they will start back at the beginning and lay the outside rail. 
Above:  Donnie Cain installing the last tie plates and screws near the end of the cure.  Finny and Kent have gone back to the beginning to start the second rail.
Left.  Final alignment has been completed and it is time
to lay the outside rail.

Right:  Everyone is working hard to complete the curve before we run out of cold drinks. We were already on triple nothing time. Which is a lot more nothing than double nothing time.

Left.  Guy Ingersoll (left), Matt Sheerin (right),
Kent Bolerjack (center) and Donnie Cain (rear)
take a photo opportunity break.
Right:  Kent is pointing out that Guy is the only one working while the rest of us take a break.  He does not know the union rules yet.
Finny and I are evening up a rail to make a splice
over a tie.  I had not done anything all day so Kent
took my picture while he had the chance.
Right:  Kent gave me the honor of traversing the Horse Shoe Curve first on the work train.  Thumbs up to the crew and a special thanks
to Kent for organizing the workday.  A perfect job.  No additional leveling needed.  Laying the ballast will be a breeze with the ballast car.
Left:  Hats off to Finny Fichak, Donnie Cain, Matt Sheerin and Guy Ingersoll from Kent.
A job well done.
Ballasting and cross elevation operation
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Rick Jenkins of Clinton, IN engineered the ballast train this day and delivered 30 loads of ballast to the rail head.  We cross elevated 500' of track including placing original ballast and cross elevatging 200' of Horse Shoe Curve.
Below is a short video clips of Rick placing ballast on Horse Shoe Curve
and Clarence elsewhere.  This is a one man operation, but could be a lot better with multiple cars with the engineer's only job keeping the train in constant motion while someone else dumps multiple cars.
We use a modified Cannonball hopper for spreading ballast.
Below:  After spreading the ballast we use this articulated track Geometry Car designed and built by Kent Bolerjack.  All it needs in the name SPERRY on it.  It has dual sight bubbles to read each axle independently.  This tells us how the track is orientated at the previous location and tells us the current orientation at the working end.  This device is a must for getting the super elevation uniform throughout a curve such as our Horse Shoe Curve.
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Right: Kent is pulling the Geometry Car through the area to be cross elevated to get an overall picture of the existintg track geometry.
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Left:  Once it is determined the cross elevation is within range of the Geometry Car's track adjusting takes place every 18 inches.  This allows for an overlap of taking readings which makes for a smooth riding curve.
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Right:  This is a close up of what we are seeing and using as our basis for adjusting the track on a super elevated curve.  All of the curve is adjusted to read the same as the predetermined amount of superelevation.
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Left:  After the cross elevation has been completed the
excess ballast is sweeped off by our Train Mountain designed ballast sweeper.  Kent has been throwing rocks
since he was a little boy, but not this many at once. 
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Right:  Close up of the rotary broom in operation.
Left:  What Kent is seeing from the operators position
as he is sweeping the excess ballast off the track.