• The Arcade & Attica RR is still in business

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by thebigham
The May 2015 issue of Railfan & Railroad has a small article that the A&A laid off all its employees due to severe weather conditions and track conditions north of Arcade.

It failed to mention that the A&A hired everyone back and is very busy right now moving freight to North Java.

The B&P dropped off 11 cars yesterday for the A&A.

The A&A will start operating steam excursion on Saturday May 23rd.
  by dj_paige
Am I correct in assuming that when the employees were hired back, they put in a good deal of work to fix the track? Exactly what track conditions were the problem?
  by thebigham
^The tracks did not need fixing. They are not good north of Curriers, but trains are operating.

I don't know why they said that.
  by mkirsch
I'd imagine "track conditions" caused by the deep snow, not the actual condition of the tracks themselves. In the way "road conditions" are poor during the winter because of the snow and ice, while the pavement underneath may be in perfect condition.

This was just a money saving move on the part of the corporation, I'm sure. Rather than pay people to sit around and do nothing, they laid them off so they could collect unemployment during the off season.
  by thebigham
^The snow was not that deep.

We got a bunch of small snowfalls this winter. Not a lot of big snow events.

My point of this thread is that R&R got it wrong.

The layoffs were more due to slow freight business, not track conditions.

And they should have mentioned that the A&A has reopened and is very busy.

Here are pics of two A&A trains I took in February and March:

http://photos.greatrails.net/show/?orde ... ttica%20RR" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by BSOR Patarak
The next passenger season will officially open tomorrow, May 23rd. I will be there...haven't missed an opening weekend.....18 is ready as the primary motive power.

Other notes: The new locomotive is still being readied for service. Several factors have extended the time that was thought to be needed on this project. This year will bring some changes to the A&A. George Ling has taken his retirement and is no longer associated with the railroad. Expect some minor changes as things progress. It is hoped that a new focus on passenger operations can keep the A&A steaming for some time to come.

Please come on out through out this season. Our dedicated patrons help make the A&A what it is and we appreciate that.
  by BSOR Patarak
I should comment on the track conditions that were mentioned. Though it was not a major snow event that caused all of the problems, it was however the extreme cold and frost in the ground. It has been sometime since the area had seen such a deep frost in the ground. When the freight did slow down, taking into account the light (and short) rail, snow piling up and little traffic over the line, it doesn't take long to make things difficult to push through. The centercabs with straight blade pilots don't like to push through the deeper drifts while pulling. It wasn't so much that they weren't passable, but rather too labor intensive to justify the cost of trying. Under normal conditions with more traffic, the snow, ice and drifts don't build up as severely on the line. When I worked there full time, we generally plowed or ran a train north 3 days per week just to keep the line open.

As for the condition of the track.....it is no secret that major work has been concentrated on the 7 miles of track that the passengers operate on. This has been true of both grants awarded for rehab as well as the A&A's own maintenance practices. The north of the line has had considerable amounts of timbers put in the ground. The problem is and has been that the roadbed is also in need of major attention. Wood is important to hold the gauge of the rails. However, the base is just as or perhaps even more important. As cars get heavier and traffic increases (because freight is way up over 10 years ago), the road bed shows it's problems. Number one concern is drainage! As the track settles and lack of adequate drainage, stone addition and tamping occurs, there is nothing to hold the track in proper place. The number one problem on the north end is drainage! There are many natural springs near Beaver Meadows and the poor muddy base is very apparent. Now, add the extreme frost in the ground with all of that moisture and the track profile becomes a huge problem. The mention in the article was referring to the worst of the areas near the Beaver Meadows Bridge. The problems were so extreme that plywood shims were placed in certain places to try and maintain enough level track to continue service. Once the spring thaws came, additional stone and tamping work has been commenced to the worst area to keep traffic moving. (All of that material and labor as well as the major expenses of the new locomotive are what necessitated the temporary layoffs. Thankfully the dedicated employees stuck with the company to get them through those difficult times). A contractor was brought in and major ditching was done in the worst places and if you travel that portion of the line can see direct benefits of it and the right of way is beginning to dry out as it should.

The other thing you will notice is that the brush was cut way back along the 7 passenger miles. This makes for both better pictures and a safer experience for the guests.
  by joesbag
Pat - Thanks for the clarification and the additional info you always have. I wish I could have been up there for opening weekend. I wish the A&A success this summer and hopefully they'll get some additional money to rehabilitate the north end of the railroad soon.
  by RailKevin
Do all those cars go to Reisdorf? Also, how many cars can the A&A haul in one train?
  by joesbag
Counted 12 cars on the sidings at Reisdorf's mill on Sunday 9/20.
  by Benjamin Maggi
It will be nice when their new switcher (#114?) will be fully operational and can haul more than 4 cars.
  by thebigham
^It's supposed to be running soon for tests.

#112 only hails 4 loads to North Java because of the track conditions.

#112 regularly hauls 6+ empties back to Arcade quite frequently.