The Black Rock Railroad

Which would be the best place to run the rail?

Along the Esplanade
14
27%
Along E from 2 to 10
22
42%
Gate to Walk-in-Camping
1
2%
Gate to the Man via Center Camp
6
12%
Within its own enclosure in deep playa
9
17%
 
Total votes : 52

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:00 pm

I really don't understand a lot on this thread. I do have one question. Was nazi slave labor ever particularly efficient? At anything besides working people to death. I thought that the two goals sort of counter-acted on each other.
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Postby Bob » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:06 pm

How about you build fifty feet of prototype track on the playa or somewhere similar, run one car on it, and get back to us?
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Postby ¡Niers! » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:17 pm

motskyroonmatick wrote:I think that filling in many hundreds of feet of track trench after the event has concluded will be a monumental task requiring more man hours than the excavation and installation of track. Filling in shallow excavation on the playa from what I have seen is very challenging and seldom done in a way that there is no trace. If you don't excavate the playa surface then you will not need to patch up as much playa than if you did.

I propose that you set the entire tie and track sections on the playa surface and that you provide track crossings every 500 feet along the length of the track to allow for bike and light mutant vehicle crossing. I think heavy mutant vehicles would need to avoid the track all together unless the crossings were extremely well constructed.

Crossings could be made much like the platform in the left of the picture with sloped approaches for a smooth transition.
I am assuming your track design is similar to the track in the picture but possibly with half as many "ties."

I think that the project should be planned with ease of tear down and playa restoration as the number 1 concern. It seems like there always are way more people willing to set something up than to take it down so I see minimizing tear down labor and playa restoration as a necessity.


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I agree with Motz. Though, I don't really think it would be that hard to restore the playa. Just run a small tractor with one of those fancy attachments on the back....you know the kind that I can't seem to name.
I think the multiple crossings would work out better and save several sore backs by not having to dig and bury.


I think this project is totally doable! I think it could totally be done for less than $85k.
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Postby Major Krash » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:26 pm

I would not assume that vehicles will see your track and avoid crossing over it, or head to a "crossing", even if they are well marked. Unless the tracks glowed they could be very hard to see at night...and then there are the dust storms (which tend to blow along the ground if they blow at all). Some bikes don't even have lights. Then there are the people, that would be tripping over your tracks...
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:52 pm

Major Krash wrote:I would not assume that vehicles will see your track and avoid crossing over it, or head to a "crossing", even if they are well marked. Unless the tracks glowed they could be very hard to see at night...and then there are the dust storms (which tend to blow along the ground if they blow at all). Some bikes don't even have lights. Then there are the people, that would be tripping over your tracks...


The wind will dig the tracks out'. If you dig to put the tracks in it will leave lose dirt. When you dig up that playa hard pan it becomes dust.. Some one hiting a rail 1 3/4inches high will send them flying.. He's talking digging down 3 plus inche 30 inches wide for a mile or more.. Then put the cross ties and rail down and back fill.. If you don't back fill with water the wind digs it out. He would pay hell getting the rail /cross tie out if it's back filled with water..

Almost none of the lettered streets go through.. Placement puts theme camps in that close the street..

One of those big water trucks cross that track and it will twist it right out of the ground..
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:11 pm

¡Niers! wrote: Though, I don't really think it would be that hard to restore the playa. Just run a small tractor with one of those fancy attachments on the back....you know the kind that I can't seem to name.


Thanks iNiers! !

Probably a Box Blade. The trouble with truly restoring the playa is that you have to compact the soil back in place. This can not be accomplished by a simple wheel rolling after filling in. Like any responsible structural fill the soil will have to be hydrated to a certain point where it will compact and hold in place. Dry playa just blows out of shallow excavation. With the right people conducting the backfill operation it might be possible to use a water truck to wet down the backfill immediately after it was placed and have a passable result. This would necessitate having a water truck on site with an operator and a water source.

On the other hand. Post holes are much easier since the playa is contained by a nice hole and over hydrating the soil doesn't really have a big negative effect. Might be employed for crossing marker sign posts.

I like this idea and think it is totally doable but it needs to be planned out well and tested.
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:28 pm

motskyroonmatick wrote:
¡Niers! wrote: Though, I don't really think it would be that hard to restore the playa. Just run a small tractor with one of those fancy attachments on the back....you know the kind that I can't seem to name.


Thanks iNiers! !

Probably a Box Blade. The trouble with truly restoring the playa is that you have to compact the soil back in place. This can not be accomplished by a simple wheel rolling after filling in. Like any responsible structural fill the soil will have to be hydrated to a certain point where it will compact and hold in place. Dry playa just blows out of shallow excavation. With the right people conducting the backfill operation it might be possible to use a water truck to wet down the backfill immediately after it was placed and have a passable result. This would necessitate having a water truck on site with an operator
and a water source.

On the other hand. Post holes are much easier since the playa is contained by a nice hole and over hydrating the soil doesn't really have a big negative effect. Might be employed for crossing marker sign posts.

I like this idea and think it is totally doable but it needs to be planned out well and tested.


The whole track thing is just to much of a head ack..

Lets all try to get the OP to use the Grand Size trucks and mount small tiers on the outside of them.. If all the fixing around the train were the same, No one would notice there were no tracks..

The porta's were on the G streets last year..

That way if this were to catch on.. More cars.. There could be more than one train along the same route.. Maybe a loop running along a lettered street from 2-10,out to the man and back to 2:00
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:58 pm

Payphone,

Would there be a way to make some sort of shroud for the track that would act as a ramp? Picture those extension cord covers that are used in some office spaces to contain and prevent a trip hazard.

Something similar, say... out of wood, that could shroud the tracks and maybe even be integrated into the ties, making the whole thing crossable by vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians? Maybe I should sketch something up to better examine and convey the idea.
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:06 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:Payphone,

Would there be a way to make some sort of shroud for the track that would act as a ramp? Picture those extension cord covers that are used in some office spaces to contain and prevent a trip hazard.

Something similar, say... out of wood, that could shroud the tracks and maybe even be integrated into the ties, making the whole thing crossable by vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians? Maybe I should sketch something up to better examine and convey the idea.


I'd think those water truck woule break anything like that.. even at 2X2 on each side of each track..
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:06 pm

unjonharley wrote:
The whole track thing is just to much of a head ack..

Lets all try to get the OP to use the Grand Size trucks and mount small tiers on the outside of them.. If all the fixing around the train were the same, No one would notice there were no tracks..


The only problem with that is the symbilance of a rail-riding vehicle is not rail-riding vehicle.

Now there is a lot up in the air still with the org, BLM, etc. but let's say for the sake of argument that these issues are resolved and it's simply a mater of engineering and making it.

Of course Payphone can speak for himself on this, but in my mind if you can't do it as least reasonably close and right to your vision, then why do it at all? It was suggested that I use a lawnmower engine for The Contraption and just deck it out like a steam or one-lunger for looks. It wouldn't have been the same.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:33 pm

Maybe placing it out on the open playa would avoid water trucks?

Either way...

Pretending that money is not a restraining factor for this project, here's what I was trying to describe.

Track shroud in cross-section:

Image

Track lengths made like this could just sit right on top of the playa and be pinned in place via landscape spikes or rebar.
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Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:34 pm

My concern is that the med tent is going to have to deal with alot of night time bike wrecks due to the tracks. :?
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:37 pm

EL wire and/or LED running along with the tracks?
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:40 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:
unjonharley wrote:
The whole track thing is just to much of a head ack..

Lets all try to get the OP to use the Grand Size trucks and mount small tiers on the outside of them.. If all the fixing around the train were the same, No one would notice there were no tracks..


The only problem with that is the symbilance of a rail-riding vehicle is not rail-riding vehicle.

Now there is a lot up in the air still with the org, BLM, etc. but let's say for the sake of argument that these issues are resolved and it's simply a mater of engineering and making it.

Of course Payphone can speak for himself on this, but in my mind if you can't do it as least reasonably close and right to your vision, then why do it at all? It was suggested that I use a lawnmower engine for The Contraption and just deck it out like a steam or one-lunger for looks. It wouldn't have been the same.


True..

I have a vision of how to lay the track.. Figured how to dig and level the grade.. It will only be 3 or less inches deep.. Then a small cement mixer to dampen the back fill going between and outside edge of the track.. It would make it a bitch to back out of the playa. OR maybe not.. Could use the same method to fill the scar.. This all depends on how moldable the playa is..

Still the torque of a water or Jot cleaner truck turning across the track is hanging in my mind..
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Postby Bob » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:51 pm

Did I miss where the OP published a design drawing for the roadbed, and a cleanup plan?

(munching popcorn, waiting for prototype)
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:58 pm

Bob wrote:Did I miss where the OP published a design drawing for the roadbed, and a cleanup plan?

(munching popcorn, waiting for prototype)



I had that same question.. He offered a site.. Kidsteam.. His idea is losely based around that. At (Model RR Grand Scale)
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:03 pm

*bump*

What news, Payphone?
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Postby andy » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:10 am

All right, the idea is pretty cool but I also think is best done without the tracks.

I don't think laying 6 miles of trench is reasonable. Yes, DPW has a power grid trench but center camp is pretty small - also PDW works for weeks beofre the event and has a staff around 200 or so. LNT would be a very large undertaking and if your volnteers bag on you (clean-up is NEVER as much fun) then the Playa restoration crew will be stuck with it.

Also, while it's a great gift to the BM community, it also claims alot of that communal space we call open Playa. You would need to light the entire non-trenced portion and probably the trenched portion too - I ride a bike on the Playa at night and even with my headlight (BTW less than 50% of playa bikes use headlights) could easily miss an unlit trench or rail.

Finally ask yourself what the rail accomplishes - yes, it's more authentic but it's by far the largest part of the project. Why not spend that money and effort on more cars, better stations, etc.
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:26 am

The grant is denied!

Thanks for all your suggestions... and no thanks to all the nay-sayers who just stopped by to poo-poo my ideas. Criticism is not participation!
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:33 am

andy wrote:All right, the idea is pretty cool but I also think is best done without the tracks.


Okay, I've said this before, but the train without the tracks- i.e. an art car that looks like a choo-choo with a bunch of trailers behind it- has been done before. Many times. Hundreds of times. The tracks are the experiential aspect that are intended to mimic the bonding and feeling of superheroism that comes from completing a massive and labor-intenstive task, such as erecting the trash fence. Additionally, the friction benefits are what make this thing work momentum-wise. A multi-rider, human powered non-rail vehicle has already been done at burning man. Many times. Hundreds of times.

andy wrote:I don't think laying 6 miles of trench is reasonable.


Of course it's not reasonable! It's Burning Man! It's ridiculous! This is intended as a large-scale effort along the lines of many previous large-scale, seemingly-impossible, unreasonable tasks. Nobody wants to go to Burning Man and see a piece of art and think, "Well that was quite a reasonable thing to do."
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Postby BBadger » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:33 am

Johnny Payphone wrote:The grant is denied!

Thanks for all your suggestions... and no thanks to all the nay-sayers who just stopped by to poo-poo my ideas. Criticism is not participation!


With that kind of attitude perhaps it was for the best.
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:36 am

BBadger wrote:
Johnny Payphone wrote:The grant is denied!

Thanks for all your suggestions... and no thanks to all the nay-sayers who just stopped by to poo-poo my ideas. Criticism is not participation!


With that kind of attitude perhaps it was for the best.


Oh, because Burning Man chooses its grants based on how nice the artist is. That's why the big artists are all such great people.
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:40 am

'
how about use this year t refine the RR project.. Take to the time to get more people (onboard).. Keep (chugg'en) along.. The project should'nt get (sidetracked) on one setback...
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Postby jkisha » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:46 am

Johnny Payphone wrote:The grant is denied!

Thanks for all your suggestions... and no thanks to all the nay-sayers who just stopped by to poo-poo my ideas. Criticism is not participation!


Again, maybe I've been missing something all these years, but I didn't think artists doing art did it based on the contingency that the got a grant from BMORG. I thought they started their projects anyway applied for a grant, then if they got the money, it was just frosting on the cake. Otherwise they struggled to find other means to make their art a reality--like holding fund raisers or on the Internet or from friends, etc. Plus I don't recall a BMORG grant usually being enough to cover the costs of most projects anyway.

Again, just saying...
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Postby BBadger » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:00 am

Johnny Payphone wrote:Oh, because Burning Man chooses its grants based on how nice the artist is. That's why the big artists are all such great people.


Nah, but most great artists are big people--as in maturity, like taking criticism without becoming defensive. Maybe BMORG saw more than just the proposal's words.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:06 am

unjonharley wrote:'
how about use this year t refine the RR project.. Take to the time to get more people (onboard).. Keep (chugg'en) along.. The project should'nt get (sidetracked) on one setback...


I second this notion.
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:42 am

.
Before the idea slips away... How about inverting the cross tie.. Metal attach to the bottom of the rail and up to the tie on the surface. Alreagy figured how to sink the track fast.. With the cross tie on the surfae the rail could be layed in made up sections. Use two digger tooth to break the trench.. Then blow it out with compressed air..
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Postby Sail Man » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:51 pm

Jeez, how did I miss this thread? OP, I thought it was an awesome idea as I read along the thread.

Always gonna be naysayers, but you had/have a great vision and ran with it. I for one am sorry you didn't get the grant. And I applaud your dream.

I also second the other suggestions to try for it on a smaller scale. If you can make that work, then next year, who knows?
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Postby Bob » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:29 pm

Frankly Johnny Payphone, you sound as full of piss as any funded artist I've ever dealt with. Surprised they didn't hand you a grant.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:28 pm

This link seems like it'd fit in this thread
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