Why new track around outcropping? - Abo Canyon, NM

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Robert Gift

former OL presenter
In the BNSF Railway 2012 calendar, the March photograph shows a second new track paralleling thexisting track.
Buthe new track goes around a rock outcropping thathe original track cutstraighthrough.

Why not widen the cut and have the new track cut straighthrough?
Thank you.
 

papio

Active Member
To minimize environmental impact? The Abo project was subjected to extensive environmental impact scrutiny.
 

NM_RailNut

Member
Keep in mind that the double-tracking project was also intended to minimize any impacts (i.e., delays) on the existing track and all trains passing through. Trying to cut through the outcropping probably would've required some explosives work (and also would've added to the costs as well) which certainly would have had such an impact (as well as any other work to widen the cut); it probably was simpler (and cheaper) to just go around instead. It doesn't add any to travel time on the new track, anyway, and just having two tracks through Abo Canyon (thus eliminating a bottleneck that BNSF and Santa Fe have long wanted to remove) would more than offset that if it were a factor.
 

roee

Active Member
Really the only downside to not having the tracks right next to each other is that the track inspector would have to physically inspect each track, where as when they are close enough they can hy-rail one track and call it an inspection of both tracks, but they do need to transverse each track a certain time period. I don't have the regs memorized but I think it's like once every two weeks.
 

LoganTrackdog

New Member
It looks to me like the cut was the new track added. Judging by the width of the cut, I would not be suprised if the existing main were moved into the cut at some time in the future.
 

Robert Gift

former OL presenter
It looks to me like the cut was the new track added. Judging by the width of the cut, I would not be suprised if the existing main were moved into the cut at some time in the future.
The BNSF calendar photo shows an old cut with no new rock exposed in the cut. bcp's links above show morextensive work.
 
Really the only downside to not having the tracks right next to each other is that the track inspector would have to physically inspect each track, where as when they are close enough they can hy-rail one track and call it an inspection of both tracks, but they do need to transverse each track a certain time period. I don't have the regs memorized but I think it's like once every two weeks.
Yep, every two weeks. But if they track has passenger traffic it needs to be inspected twice a week, so each of the two sections which aren't within thirty feet of each other will need to be inspected twice a week individually anyway.
 

roee

Active Member
But if they track has passenger traffic it needs to be inspected twice a week, so each of the two sections which aren't within thirty feet of each other will need to be inspected twice a week individually anyway.
I didn't know passenger traffic had the twice a week requirement. I always though it was solely based on Class of Track. I know in San Diego are they run the commuter tracks 3 times a week, but that is just local policy, not any kind of regulation.

The Track Inspection Reg's if anyone is interested.

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/tex...&node=49:4.1.1.1.8&idno=49#49:4.1.1.1.8.6.5.2
 
I didn't know passenger traffic had the twice a week requirement. I always though it was solely based on Class of Track. I know in San Diego are they run the commuter tracks 3 times a week, but that is just local policy, not any kind of regulation.

It's from § 213.233(c)...

Each track inspection shall be made in accordance with the following schedule—

Class of track: Excepted track and Class 1, 2, and 3 track
Type of track: Main track and sidings
Required frequency: Weekly with at least 3 calendar days interval between inspections, or before use, if the track is used less than once a week, or twice weekly with at least 1 calendar day interval between inspections, if the track carries passenger trains or more than 10 million gross tons of traffic during the preceding calendar year.

Class of track: Excepted track and Class 1, 2, and 3 track
Type of track: Other than main track and sidings
Required frequency: Monthly with at least 20 calendar days interval between inspections.

Class of track: Class 4 and 5 track
Required frequency: Twice weekly with at least 1 calendar day interval between inspections.


http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=49:4.1.1.1.8&idno=49#49:4.1.1.1.8.6.5.2


Although I made a mistake, I'm sure the track we're talking about in this thread is class 4, so passenger traffic is irrelevant.
 

roee

Active Member
Although I made a mistake, I'm sure the track we're talking about in this thread is class 4, so passenger traffic is irrelevant.
I wasn't trying to call you out or anything. I'm not a track inspector and was interested to know if that was part of the regs.
 
Wow! So much there and so much detail. Who can keep track of all of that?
That's why we make the big bucks. :rolleyes:

I wasn't trying to call you out or anything. I'm not a track inspector and was interested to know if that was part of the regs.
No worries. Either am I if I can help it. :eek:

Edit: I should add that, at least where I work, anyone who wants to be an assistant foreman, foreman, track inspector, or welder (and probably a couple of other jobs I forgot) has to go through two tiers of testing on FRA track standards, with classes for the second tier.
 
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