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Nelson Yard

Nelson Yard, in the center of Ironwood Peter’s Pond & Western Railway, is also the eastern interchange point with the Rat Portage & Mattawa Railway. In the left of the picture is the IPP&W mainline to Glen Hammond and the eastern lead to Nelson Yard. In the foreground is the Blue Mountain Mine.

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RP&M President Gord Bellamy setting out cars in Nelson Yard for a railway operation. The eastern end of the yard is anchored on a series of earth filled retaining walls built of stones and railway ties. The remainder is a deck sitting on 4 x 4 legs in deck blocks on patio stones.

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Just beyond Nelson Yard is Glen Hammond passenger station and the warehouse for MacKenzie Lumber. The eastern end of Glen Hammond also sits on a series of earth filled retaining walls built of railway ties.

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On the 28th April 2011, winds gusting to 60 mph sent the 70 foot spruce tree in eastern end of Nelson Yard crashing to the ground.

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Unfortunately the root ball tore out the retaining wall, lifted the roadbed deck, and dropped the legs out of their deck blocks.

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The crater created by the root ball swallowed the deck block and patio stone that once supported this suspended leg.

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In order for a crew to cut and remove the tree trunk and its root ball, all the track and roadbed in this area of the railway had to be lifted from the bridges all the way around to Glen Hammond. This is the debris field east of Nelson Yard after the tree trunk was removed.

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Although the tree is now removed, the root ball and crater still remain next to an abbreviated Nelson Yard.

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With the root ball gone, re-construction of Nelson Yard began. IPP&W Railway President Fred Mills perched on the edge of the crater cutting away a protruding and very stubborn root.

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The retaining walls at the east end of Nelson Yard and Glen Hammond were removed, and the earth used to fill the crater. In the foreground, the stone wall at the back of Nelson Yard was extended. In front of it, the roadbed for the IPP&W mainline up to Lily was cleared of debris. Beyond the wall, new roadbed stained with wood preservative was installed in front of the switch stand. The old Blue Mountain Mine was demolished and its spur lifted.

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The deck for the eastern end of Glen Hammond Yard was re-built and the roadbed from the area of the switchstand installed. Pieces of 2 x 8 will be fastened to the plates protruding from under the roadbed to extend the deck next to the Dispatcher’s Office. The extended deck will hold the Glen Hammond Station.

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Work progressed re-building the eastern end of Nelson Yard. Now that the old retaining walls are gone and the ground leveled, the 4 x 4 legs of the roadbed decks sit in deck blocks set on leveled patio stones.

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Despite the oppressively hot weather, Gord Bellamy continued to work on the road bed deck for Nelson Yard. The long shadows indicate he labored through the extreme afternoon heat until evening. The deck for Glen Hammond was also completed and stained. The boards lying on top of it are the fascia for both Glen Hammond and Nelson Yard.

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Lawrence installed the fascia, Fred stained Nelson Yard, and Gord has been busy installing the switches and track. Note the alternating 2 x 6s and 2 x 8s on the deck to allow the yard tracks to remain in the center of each board. Patio umbrellas have also been installed to provide shade for the Yardmasters.

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The two switches off the eastern yard lead for Nelson have been installed, as has the switch for the Glen Hammond station track and passing siding. Once all the track is place, the station platform will be trimmed to fit.

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The western yard lead and all the switches for the yard and engine service tracks have been installed.

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All three bridges over the dry river bed are now functional, and the block house has been moved to this strategic location.

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The IPP&W mainline off the steel truss bridge is in place, and a new retaining wall installed to protect the lowered grade. The roadbed for the Fallen Tree Mine spurs, behind the tree at the left, has been installed. Now the switches for it and the line across the old wooden trestle bridge to the industrial spurs at Lily across can be installed.

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Henk cleared the industrial sidings at Lily which had become completely over grown since last year.

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The eastern end of Nelson Yard and Glen Hammond have been enclosed with dark green vinyl lattice, except the area around the IPP&W mainline headed uphill across the steel girder bridge. This area will be stained and a tunnel portal added.

A switch has been added on the mainline beyond the tunnel for a short spur to re-supply the repositioned block house. On the right of the picture is the roadbed for the two spurs for the Fallen Tree Mine.

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The other side of the same short tunnel which has already been stained. Note the notch in the fascia to allow adequate clearance for tall locomotives, rolling stock, and oversized loads.

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Gord finished Nelson Yard and despite the rain is busy working on Glen Hammond.

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Saturday July 2nd – Glen Hammond is done! Bud, Fred and Gord working in the shade of Nelson Yard on a run what you brung day to test the railways.

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A view from the west of all of this year’s projects: Nelson Yard, Glen Hammond, and Bell.

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The line to Lily and the spurs for the Fallen Tree Mine have been installed. That completes the replacement of the track lifted because of the fallen spruce tree.

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The Dispatcher’s Office has been given a new coat of paint.

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All that is left to do now is install the freshly painted signs for the points along the line.

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