What are these?

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Facing West

Last Train Home
Sorry if this isn't the right place to post this question but I thought it to be something that doesn't fit elsewhere. While walking along the tracks in south Bellingham (Wa.) last week I saw 4 of these odd looking things that I couldn't figure out what their purpose was. There were set up parallel to one another between the siding and the mainline of the BNSF. At first they looked like rather crude rain collectors but two were on posts and rather cockeyed so I'm not sure if that is what they are. I'm not losing sleep over what they are for but does anyone have an explanation for what they might be?
 

MP 6.7

needs to get a life. ;)
They look rather homemade...a number of environmental groups around here were talking about putting coal dust collectors near the tracks in a number of locations in an effort to bring to light the environmental impacts of coal trains. The fact that it's in Bellingham also is a clue; that town's been complaining about coal trains since day one of the proposal.
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
They look rather homemade...a number of environmental groups around here were talking about putting coal dust collectors near the tracks in a number of locations in an effort to bring to light the environmental impacts of coal trains. The fact that it's in Bellingham also is a clue; that town's been complaining about coal trains since day one of the proposal.
would be interesting to know if the RR knows they've been placed there.
 

Facing West

Last Train Home
A dust collector seems plausible, though I don't know how they would work with all the rain we had today. A couple inches fell and no Amtrak for at least 48 hours. Perhaps they measure the sludge?

Here's one of those on the cockeyed post. And you would think they would have to have had clearance to place these, especially the one dug into the ballast between the rails. You think? :confused:
 

HDSDcouple

The Unwanted Line
well, looks like one of two things to me, in my warped world. they are either checking for micro particles. such as trauce fuel oil or thing leaking. but my best quess is the are checking for road bed vibrations. If that pole sticks into the road bed a foot and stick out 2 foot when it vibrates those metal bolts will break that class in the middle. just my dumb quess though. what ever it is I am positive it has something to do with some dumb enviromentalist right wing anti railroad put us back in the dark age type club.
 

UP Scott

Active Member
Want to have some fun? drop a BBQ briquette in one and see what happens next. :D Perhaps they are looking for "samples" from the Squirrels there to make sure they don't have impaired judgment when wondering around the tracks... :confused:
Like was mentioned, I wonder if the RR knows they are there? Might see if Mark G knows?

OK, last one. It's a collection jar for change and a game to see if the conductor or engineer is better at flipping in the coin? :rolleyes: Sorry...
 




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