Modern Track Scale

Discussion in 'Trackside Photos & Details' started by inflammable, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. inflammable

    inflammable New Member

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    The Georgia Central was a CSX spinoff, between Macon and Savannah, GA. Much of the line isn't profitable, I believe the normal train crews work on either end, and only use the middle for the occasional lite engine move, and other sporadic traffic. Much if it is welded rail, the State of Georgia appreciates it's shortlines, and owns some of the track.

    This track scale is out in the middle of nowhere, railroad speaking. Just south of Tarrytown, which itself is the little traveled Dublin to Vidalia (Vidalia, as in Sweet Vidalia Onions) segment. Early scales were beam balances, and many weren't built to handle the weight of a locomotive. The more modern scales seem to operate on hydraulic pressure, and as freightcars don't weigh much less than the locomotives do, then it's cheaper and better to have a scale which can handle everything.

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    Just a signal shack, cement leads to the scale, and a pair of car scanners.

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    The scale plates look about 9 feet wide, just a little wider than standard ties. They're rectangular, so probably about 12 feet long. You'll want them to be long enough to weigh a three axle truck, but short enough to where you can get a single truck on there, and not always have the next car also on it. The scanners look about 12 feet from the track centerline. I measured the concrete leads on Google Maps, they both are 80 feet long. The black stripe outside the south rail is oil from a leaky traction motor. Does anyone ever model those?

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    I've been unable to figure out who Roy Thigpen is. The Thigpens at least used to be prominent in this area, there are other locations named for them. But anyway, this is just a large signal shack, the traffic style signal is amber. Probably is just steady lit or possibly flashes when the scale is energized.

    This is the location on Google: http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=32.310798,-82.554172&spn=0.002806,0.003616&t=h&z=18

    You can see a white farm crossing. Just north of it is a white square, which is the shack, and the white track, which is the concrete approaches.

    170 feet is just under two feet in HO scale, so these dimensions may be large for a small layout, but you could size it to where the concrete approach is the same length of your longest car. You could also name it, for the thoughtful and innovative president of your line!

    James

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  2. inflammable

    inflammable New Member

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    I inquired about the history of the name on a Yahoo Group, and a general consensus is that Thigpen was a Seaboard Coast Line Official. A current employee of the Georgia Central mentioned that while he didn't know if the scales worked, the sensors did, and that information was used for car forwarding. He also said that there is a ten mph speed limit over that location.

    This photo is from busier times on the GC: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1479533#

    James
  3. Maico Shark

    Maico Shark Guest

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  4. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

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    It's sure interesting, but i prefer the look of the old style with two point rails to get the loco over. Thanks! :thumb:
  5. inflammable

    inflammable New Member

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    Alright, for anyone who may be interested, this is the final word on Mr. Roy Thigpen:

    " Roy Thigpen was a official with CSX, and the previous road. He was a very well respected official that knew how to keep CSX running. He had a very uncanny ability to know every train on their property. I had the pleasure to wok with him prior to his retirement in 2007. Great guy. "

    This from a member of the Georgia Shortlines Yahoo Group.

    I have these photos from the antique scale house in the GC/CSX/SAL/MDS (Macon, Dublin, and Savannah) yard in Macon, Georgia.
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    You can see the aerial best at Bing/MSN, it's the lone shack in the middle of the yard:

    http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=32.832599~-83.61769&style=h&lvl=19&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1

    I'm 30, my earliest railroad memories were the Norfolk Southern branch line with high hood GP's and bay window cabooses outside my elementary school, so the more modern facility interested me to photograph more than the older scale house.

    James

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