The Boxborough Branch
(also called the Doghouse Spur)
The newest piece of trackage is the Boxborough Branch. Yes, that is a joke.
The reality is - it's the switch and lead to the new car storage boxes.
The car storage boxes are only a little larger than the cars. They measure
20 inches wide, 28 tall, and 8 feet in length. But they are arranged end-to-end
with closures only at the extreme ends. On the floor of the boxes are wooden
rails for the cars to roll on.
Because they are placed end-to-end they must follow a straight line without
curves or grade changes and without hitting any trees. There are not too many
places on my lot to do that. So I had to find one.
There is actually enough room for 15 boxes (see drawing above), enough for storing 22
cars on average. But I will start out with only 3 boxes. That is enough to house what
I currently have stored in tents.
In this photo you can see the yards, the tents, and the
new switch to the new spur. This switch is another "complex wye" meaning the
two branches do not begin curvature at the same location. The left branch
is 85 foot radius. The right branch is 40 foot radius, but does not start
it's bend until a few feet after the left branch.
Notice that we are coincidentally replacing a section that had a lot of tie
replacement. Some ties were totally rotted. Others looked like they could
last many more years.
October 22, 2012
Main Line Reopens
Now the rails have been spiked down, and the main line is back in business.
You can see why real railroads would want to get this done as quickly as
But the Doghouse Spur has not been fully developed yet. And what for? There
is currently no place for it to go. But you can see it lining up to a string
I have stretched to where the new track goes.
November 18, 2012
Doghouse Spur Completed + Doghouse Construction
Now that the new spur is completed, it's time to work on the car storage
boxes. Here is a work train that is used to move and store the plywood for the
And here is the newly completed Doghouse Spur. It lines up to my
string faily well. One frog guardrail is still missing and the switch has no
drawbar or control device. So I can't put a train on it just yet.
December 4th, 2012
There are now three car storage boxes completed. That's enough to store all the
cars I currently have in tents. So the tents came down today. Notice the rear
closure inside the first box. It has not been applied to the end box so that I
can get the following photo and video.
Note that the boxes are wrapped entirely in this premium waterproof roofing
underlayment material. This is what makes the boxes water tight and bug proof.
Notice my string is now on top of the boxes marking the centerline.
Inside is like being in some sort of tunnel or mine. It gets pretty dark in
there. Notice the wooden rails on the floor of the boxes for the cars to run
December 12th, 2012
Got the Front Door On
This W. R. Grace roofing underlayment really is good stuff. Just don't believe
the part about "Split Release On Demand". That refers to a backing paper that
uses a rip cord to split it down the center to make it easier to remove while
working on a rooftop. The truth is - it comes with ordinary backing paper.
On inspection after a few rain storms, the inside of all boxes is totally dry.
This storage system is probably almost air tight. If I can keep the
rain, bugs, and mice out, I will be happy. This Ice and Water Shield may just
be what I needed.
Notice the survey string still attached and still following the centerline.
Yes, there is a string of railroad cars parked inside as well. So that makes
two strings total.
December 30th, 2012
Winter Has Arrived
It happens almost every year. And this year will not be an exception.
What you see here is the total snowfall from two coastal storms. Welcome to
Island Pond Railroad - if you can find it.
And here you see Grace's "Ice and Water Shield" doing just that. The nice thing
about this roof undelayment material is - it comes with it's own graffiti
already applied. Come next spring I think I might paint over it.
Now that you've read the story, go watch the movie...