Paper company turns to rail, lightens I-64 truck traffic

Discussion in 'Truckers News' started by Cybergal, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    There are still uses for the shorter pieces of rail, typically carried in 40 foot lengths. Many branches and sidings are constructed with that type of rail, often rail removed from mainline service as they upgrade. But the major railroads use as much of the welded rail as they can. They have machines that are set up to automate as much of the track laying process as possible, and they use them with the longer strings of rail. Putting in the older jointed rail is much more labor intensive, and as you can see from the figures I posted (assuming you believe them! LOL!!!) the cost of labor to put in rail is very high. And, in maintenance terms, it is much harder on the equipment to hit a joint every 40 foot than it is to cross one every 1320 feet. And with a good quality weld, it's possible to make a seam that is almost undetectable to the operator of the equipment. And that adds lifespan to the engines and cars. Just like a regular car, the rougher the road, the faster parts tend to wear out.

    Old rail lasts a long time. A couple of months ago I was in a railyard picking up some plastic pellets, and was looking at the dates stamped into the rails where I was loading. Some of the rail dated back to 1919, and a lot of the rail in that yard was from 1923. I'm sure that in times past, that rail was used in mainline service and had been transferred to siding work as tracks were rebuilt and upgraded.
     
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  3. Roadmedic

    Roadmedic Road Train Member

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    The costs you put down were believeable. Anything to do with trains is expensive.

    Now I am going to try and figure how they get the large rail to the site.
     
  4. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    They haul it by rail!!!

    The trains that support the track laying machines haul the rail on flatcars. Since the rail is reasonably flexible, even as the cr goes around a curve, the load is set so that it can twist a bit and make the curve with the cars. It is held in bunks, rather than chained down, so it has the ability to follow the contours of the tracks.

    Once they arrive where the railroad needs them, the new tracks are fed into one of two machines. if they are replacing an older track with new ones, then they use a track replacement machine. It's a huge machine, and the front end of it rides on the old track and the back end on the newly installed track. As it goes along, it pulls up the rails and sets them aside, and installs the replacement track as it goes along. It pulls it off the cars behind it in 1/4 mile sections, then welds the joints together and installs the track on the ties.

    There is a separate machine that installs new track. Obviously, it does not have it's front running on the old track, but operates in much the same way. But it includes a device to automate the installation and tamping of the ties, and then performs much the same as the track replacement machine does.

    I watched the new track machine working 2 years ago near Chicago, where they put in a double track on one of the mainlines heading towards Milwaukee. it was fascinating to watch it at work. The old days of putting in rsil with Chinese or Irish workers for 2 bucks a week is long past.

    At some point this summer, there is a good chance that both of these machines will be running in the Chicago area. The CN railroad just bought the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern shortline, and they plan to spend about 300 million on upgrades to the trackage as a route around Chicago.
     
  5. Roadmedic

    Roadmedic Road Train Member

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    Now that you described it, I have seen them. I wondered about it at the time.

    PS. I guess I was just looking for the Chinese workers.
     
  6. Tip

    Tip Tipster

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    That does sound like a cool way to do it. It'd be fast, too. I see no troubles ahead if they wish to build more rails instead of laying down more asphalt. I can think of one way you could easily haul 1/4-mile sections via rail. Use small train-trucks and connect them using the freight (rails) itself.

    I can hear that train whistle getting louder and louder in electron land.
     
  7. bobobrazil

    bobobrazil Medium Load Member

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    Don't forget, the Japanese have shown the American manufacturer "Just in Time" freight and they love it!
     
  8. bandit24

    bandit24 Light Load Member

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    I-64 from Richmond to Beckley WV has to be one of the Least traveled(for big rigs) sections of interstates except for the section where joined I-81 between Staunton & Lexington, VA. I travel that section quite a bit and sometimes won't see even 2 or 3 trucks. Now US 15 north/south is a different story.
     
  9. Tip

    Tip Tipster

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    I remember that stretch well, as I said before. I'm trying to remember if there were any truckstops between I-81 and Richmond on I-64. I think there was at least one not too far east/southeast of Charlottesville.
     
  10. bandit24

    bandit24 Light Load Member

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    At Exit 136 on I-64, there is a Citgo with enough space for about 100 trucks. It has a Blimpie's with a McD's next door. Don't call it a Truckstop..... Just a Fueling Stop. Walmart Dist Center is a mile north on US15
     
  11. Tip

    Tip Tipster

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    Being as a lot of you guys STILL believe the world turns on the axis of random events, let me bring you down to earth and out of your fantasy world.

    Economics? Forget it. Pie-in-the-sky is what it is. Supply and demand are both manipulated. Who manipulates these forces? You got it, the elites. Now you're catching on.

    Your job? Your job has been provided for you so you'll behave yourself and won't rebel against the elites. In order to keep the less fortunate away from the throats of the elites, you have been given a 'good life' so you can act as a buffer. Anyone who is down on his luck becomes an lazy bum to you. You have been conditioned to believe that. You'll fight those in the Compton ghetto and not those in Beverly Hills. Think of your life as sort of a reward...a 'carrot' if you will.

    Politics? Come on. Do you think you really have a voice? Your choices are made for you early on. Whoever is on the ballots in the caucases has been chosen by the elites. The elites then use slick marketing to herd you into voting for one candidate per party. And the two political parties are really just two sides of the same coin. If left-wing liberal people get pissed off, an army of liberal politicos is sent out to encircle them and bleed off their anger. Ditto for those with a conservative bent.

    Get over your "random forces" thinking. That's not the way the real world works. Fantasy worlds, sure. Real world, NO.
     
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