Monday, July 18, 2011

Ghost in the machine

North Whitney Street crossing

I hope the town manager, fresh back from a two week vacation, reads the Amherst police logs as New England Central Railroad made their report twice over the weekend--both times for maintenance issues.

Coincidentally enough the Town Manager is giving an "update on the train derailments" to the Select Board this evening. Spfld Republican Reports


High Street Crossing

Busy Main Street crossing
APD contacted NECR on Sunday afternoon as citizens were complaining the lights and bells had been on for an hour and a half with no train in sight. Again late Sunday night just after midnight another complaint from High Street the next street over for phantom trains setting off the bells and lights.

Well I guess it is better for the alarms to be going off when there's no train a comin' vs not having them go off when a train is barreling through town. I guess...
video
High Street crossing Monday 10:45 AM with no train in sight

The same mysterious white powder found on Station Road

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm, strange. We are living in the material world.

Ed said...

The white powder likely is Portland Cement. That is transported by railcar a LOT and is so fine a powder that it does sometimes leak out, but you would think someone would have made a fuss about not getting a full carload at the other end...

Call the DPW and ask them how far a dumptruck load of sand goes when they spread it onto the street -- loose this for more than a few miles and you have an empty car...

Ed said...

Time of selectboard meeting?

LarryK4 said...

6:30 PM in the Town Room at Town Hall.

Town Managers report: 7:25 PM

Anonymous said...

Why is the white powder mysterious?

LarryK4 said...

Because it looks like it doesn't belong there.

Anonymous said...

Update of TM report?

And why not gates at Main & High Streets. Midnight train horns are so 19th Century -- kinda like drunken college kid brawls, and this is supposed to be such a highbrow town...

LarryK4 said...

The Railroad is borrowing a page from the Cherry Hill Golf Course book of excuses and blaming the weather.

The winter snow and rainy spring combined with a natural high water table deteriorated the underlying track bed support thus causing the derailments.

The company supposedly replaced ties along two miles of track but somehow seem to have missed that 300 yard stretch around the South East Street overpass which also strikes me as elevated enough not to be impacted by a high water table.

I asked about the white powder in the middle of the tracks on both Station Road and North Whitney Streets (which are a fair amount of miles away from each other) and the Town Manager said he would ask NECR about it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, could be from Columbian drug mules that strap themselves to the bottom of the trains in order to deliver their deadly cargo to unsuspecting UMass students. Or at least Ed probably thinks so.

Ed said...

A high water table (and tracks not high enough above it) would short out stuff and could be tripping those warning lights.

Sounds to me like they need to dig some ditches to drain the track -- although I don't expect to see that allowed in Amherst....

Anonymous said...

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