Saving Tower 17

The Disassembly - Day 3

April 28, 2004

Day 3 saw quite a bit of progress.  There was a change in moving plans, and some interlocker problems kept things "interesting" for the railroads as well...

[Click on any image for a larger version.]

Day 3 shows improved progress in the preparation of moving the tower.  Not sure we made up enough time to still move on Friday however.  The day was spent installing 2 steel beams thru the building.  These steel beams will be used to support the second floor while the first floor walls are cut away.  These beams will also be used in transporting the building to the museum property.  You may remember that Day 2 (Tuesday) at the tower was mostly spent waiting for Union Pacific to come by to inspect the clearances for 2 beams to be installed North and South thru the building.  Day 3 (Today) was spent installing the 2 steel beams East and West thru the building.  Not sure why Cherry changed their mind.  First thought was that they needed to install the beams East & West in order to slide the 2nd floor over to clear an existing power pole which is located at the South - East corner of the tower.  But when I asked the crew if that was their intention, they told that the building was going to be moved East - West rather then North - South.  That would mean that the building would be transported length wise (24’-8”) across the roadway rather then the 14’-8” length.  I’m sure that this would require special permits and police escorts.  I am going to contact Cherry’s office first thing in the morning to confirm their plan and try to get this changed.  This is not the way we discussed moving the tower down the road.

The day ended with the interlocker malfunctioning again (3 days in a row).  Train crews had to climb down from the locomotives, manually throw the switch track levers, and have the locomotive pass the switch, then throw the switch back into the automatic position.  Needless to say that the conductors were not happy at all and gave us dirty looks, as if we were responsible for the malfunction.   The problem turned out to be another damaged cable at the diamond, where the cable vibrated under a tie plate and was cut and shorted out, causing all signals to display RED Indications to the trains and the switches to malfunction.  UP Signal maintainer Glenn Jackson showed up around 6:00pm to correct the problem.  I contacted Leroy Shols [trainmaster] of UPRR and informed him of the occurrence.  He said that he was aware of the problems and knew that we were not responsible.  Still felt it was a good idea to try to keep Leroy informed.

The attached pictures show various stages of progress.  The installation of the steel beams is a very labor intensive and time consuming task, lifting and leveling the heavy wood timber supports.  [Jim mentioned that this process reminded him of the stacking game Jenga.]

I’m also going to try and get a firm move date from Cherry and to check on their efforts in acquiring the permits needed to transport the tower down the road.

  Check HERE for Day 4