Mill Creek Central Railroad's Mountain Division Expansion Update
For those of you who haven’t been out to the track we thought we’d give everyone a little update. First of all I’d like to thank those who have given generously to the expansion. In a later post we‘ll recognize those individuals/companies who have done so and provide an updated map of the expansion with all the blocks and passing sidings named. Second of all I can’t begin to thank everyone who has helped with the physical part of this project. We couldn’t be making the progress we are without the help of both groups. Your continued help and donations will help us complete the expansion prior to the convention in 2023.
Picture above is at the start of the cut in the new loop right-of-way a few months ago and the picture below is the current status of the cut.
First of all I’m happy to say that final grading is complete on 2/3rd’s of the track right-of-way. Basically from the Bryan Loop down across the diamond, down the power line right-of-way and into the valley to where the new return loop will be located. This will allow us to place 2,000 of 2,900 feet of track down and allow it to be ballasted. Rough grading is going on for the remaining 900 feet with great progress being made. The video attached shows the excavation work going on in the loop to establish grade. Roughly a third of this area is currently near final grade. Based on the video you’ll see that we have a real opportunity to put in a tunnel. Clee and Rob will likely be preparing the bridge foundations in the next couple of weeks. This should allow us to construct it later this fall or into the spring.
We have placed approximately 900 feet of track of 2,900 feet so far, with very little of this ballasted. We have roughly another 500 feet of track panels ready to be put in place, so we could use your help in building the additional track panels.
The signal work has started, we extended the Keith Block and we changed the direction of the Bryan Loop earlier this summer. All the signal power boxes are in and we took some of the existing blocks on the railroad and we converted them from solar/battery to utility power, for improved reliability. All of the signals have been built and the remaining take and release poles will be constructed this winter. The signal team is hoping to get more of the expansion cabling completed over the next several months as track panels are laid. Getting this work completed will allow us to install the remainder of the signal equipment next year.
So there you have it. Good progress so far with much more needed. We’d appreciate your help building track panels, placing them along the right-of-way and ballasting. Come on out and be a part of the expansion!