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NE933

Union Interlocking renewal

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There's lots of activity going on near Rahway, NJ station; more major work being done there now than I've seen in nearly two decades. Certainly work that should have been funded for and done many years ago: replacing defective concrete ties on local tracks 1 and 4, replacing battered switch turnouts with ones that are on concrete ties and moveable frogs, a work train of approx. 4 cars that appear to clean and/or drop new ballast, and a likely reconfiguring of some of the layout that if true as predicted, will mean moving some of the catenary wire to better match the new tracks. When I was there yesterday it was like a high school reunion of long long ago: multiple trains of work equipment, right of way gangs wearing bright orange/yellow vests, and the beautiful scent of lubricating oil to the many moving parts, a tar-like binding agent for the ballast, and cleanser. It's a good omen to see work of this magnitude once again, all while trains blasted their siren horns to alert the working crews. I had a laugh to see an Acela 'tiptoe' (or is it tip wheel?..) gingerly through the work zone that was on the adjacent track. A symphony of trains in this holy cathedral of places, where I first visited on Halloween of 1984, and an important junction whose complexity requires a level of attention Amtrak couldn't afford in years past. Now, the next 'biggie' is Elmora interlocking, just south of our much talked about S-curve of Elizabeth.

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