There persists the idea the railroad would have to be torn up in order to rebuild it ("Rail Wreck," Mailbox, Aug 2). Some say this is due to the gauge, rust of the rails, or the ties all need to be replaced. Not all the ties need to be replaced. They have a 25 year life, and a fair amount was replaced before the shutdown. Not every tie needs to be good to run trains. The rails are fine. The rails are not worn out. The rust is superficial. I have seen worn out rail. Gauge of the track is the distance between the inside of the rails. Looking at the many groups that have run speeders, the gauge is acceptable. Even the washouts are minor. Yes, I have walked and ridden on a speeder through all those washouts. The washouts do not impede the speeders.
If we look to how NCRA has repaired the south end for freight, we can conclude how they will repair this area. If one wants, one can view hundreds of photos and many videos of this on the web. Some of the trestles or bridges will have to be repaired or replaced. The culverts will have to be dug out and replaced. The track would be cleared of brush. The ties replaced by machines that can run on the track as is. Then when that is done, dump rock on the sides and ballast on the side of the track. Then they bring a machine called a tamper to lift, tamp the ballast and align the track. The rail is kept the same.?There are only a few situations where everything would need to be replaced: regular use of extremely heavy loads, traffic or high speed trains such as one would see on the East Coast.
Lawrence LaBranche, Eureka