Blaring horns on Fitchburg Line

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Blaring horns on Fitchburg Line

Postby WalthamF40 » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:25 am

It's Monday morning at 1:45AM and I'm awoken by the blaring horns of a train on the Fitchburg line near the Waverly/Warrendale section of Waltham. I peer out my window, see nothing, but hear what sounds like several locomotives idling nearby. Then, creeping by at about 5MPH is a string of brightly-lit locomotives that I can only assume are grinding the rails to smooth them down. Sparks of fire are pouring from underneath these locomotives. If anyone can provide me with more information about what exactly they were doing, and how often they perform this task, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
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Rail Grinder

Postby octr202 » Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:44 am

That sounds exactly like what you saw...a rail grinding train. Yes, it is grinding the surface of the rail, I believe in order to restore the proper profile to it in order to reduce wheel wear, reduce noise, and maintain a smooth ride (any or all of the above, I believe). I would think it would be unlikely that this would be done more often than once every 2 or 3 years on any given line, but its dependant on the amount of traffic.

Hopefully some of the professional railroaders will be able to fill in some of the details here...
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby caduceus » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:58 pm

There was a "LORAM" (?) MOW train at the West Cambridge yard this morning...
First law of public transportation: You can never be early, but you can always be late.
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Postby octr202 » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:13 pm

LORAM is one of the contractors that provide rail grinding service.

Come to think of it, there was one point this weekend, during my many trips driving across the Fresh Pond Pkwy. bridge over the tracks at Alewife, that I noticed a lot mroe lights than usual by the MOW shop. It must have been getting ready to head out for the evening.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
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Postby ST214 » Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:00 pm

Yes, i saw this Sunday morning. It had just come off the Outbound track at West Cambridge, and was sitting there, all lit up. You could tell they had just grinded toe outbound, because the inside edges were extremely shiney and odd looking.
Hoping for a rebirth of the Screamer fleet.
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Postby Xplorer2000 » Tue Mar 30, 2004 1:33 pm

So thats what I saw....I was on the way to dinner Sunday night and remarked about the extra lights at the maintainence base that evening. So the LORAM trains is back in town. Any enterprising souls out there know for how long and/or where else they'll be turning up?? I've always wanted to see one of those trains in action
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Postby CSX Conductor » Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:00 pm

For those keeping track, that same Loram rail grinder worked on the Franklin Branch during the overnight hours last week.
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Rail Grinder

Postby GP40MC1118 » Wed Mar 31, 2004 8:15 pm

The Loram grinder outfit should be working between Ayer and
Fitchburg tonight. It's supposed to go to Lowell when its finished
via Guilford. Then it works for two nights on the Lowell Line.

D
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