What do the volunteers at the McComb City Railroad Depot Museum do?
It involves a lot more than showing our visitors around the Museum, although volunteers certainly do that as well. When there are so many railroad retirees available on the volunteer staff, the results are downright amazing.
Recently, some of the volunteers got together and decided to lay some track. With the addition of the Wrecker Derrick, a 250-ton Industrial Brownhoist wreck crane, number IC 100417, the museum found itself in need of a spur to display the wrecker behind the outside train display on the south side of the depot. Contracting with professionals to construct the spur would prove prohibitively expensive for the museum so the volunteers decided to save the cost and take on the project themselves.
After studying the project and trying to estimate what would be required, they began contacting the folks that could provide assistance. They were not quite sure how much time would be required but they never doubted their ability to complete the project.
Crossties were purchased with museum funds. Raymond Kyzar with Canadian National was asked to provide rails, track plates, spikes and angle bars to get the project started. Canadian National surveyed the site; the City of McComb provided some equipment and operators to prepare the site. All that remained for the volunteers to provide was old-fashioned, back-breaking labor.
The labor started on the project on November 12, 2007. First, 200 crossties were placed in the proper location to lay the rail. The next work day was November 16, which was the start of placing the rail and anchoring one side so that they could gage the width when they placed the other side.
On November 26, 2007, the volunteers finished the project. In only three or four working days, they had extended the track some 350 feet from the concrete slab just south of the train display to the crossing at Canal Street. The McComb City Railroad Depot Museum deeply appreciates the dedication and efforts of the volunteers listed below, as well as the help received from Raymond Kyzar of Canadian National Railroad, Ronnie Lindsey of the McComb Public Works Department and Joseph Parker of the McComb Recreation Department.
Without their support, guidance and encouragement, this project would have been much more difficult and taken much longer to accomplish.
Rail Spur Volunteers
Edwin Etheridge, Project Superintendent
James Earl White
Walter Wiley Chisholm
Elder Terry Hansen, Mormon Missionary, Utah
Elder Josh Fox, Mormon Missionary, Oregon
Caleb Allred, grandson of Delton Moak
Rail Spur Details
The rail addition is 350 feet long
200 crossties were used
700 feet of rail was laid (2 sides of 350 feet each)
22 angle bars were used at track joints
One track gage and several pry bars were used
Initial spikes were driven by hand and later used a pneumatic driver
Total weight of rail used was 19,833 lbs (rail weighed 85 lbs per 3 ft.)
400 rail plates were used
1220+ rail spikes were used
Only one spike hammer handle was broken
In accordance with safety regulations, there were no injuries