This photo was taken just inside the south end of the S&I (service and inspection) shop addition at Shady Grove (A99).
You can see a pair of rails supported by I-beams and to the left is a concrete platform.
If you look closely, in the foreground you’ll notice that both the platform and two concrete support walls have been notched out or cut back. That was a ‘modification’ that they did not realize was necessary until they first attempted to move a train into the shop on that track and it slammed into the platform.
The tracks leading into the shop are curved. When a train goes around a curve the body of the train extends beyond the running rails further than when it is on straight track. You’d think that a company in the business of designing shop buildings for rail yards would realize that.
There were at least two other similar clearance problems outside the new shop. One on the north end, the other to the south.
This photo was taken outside the south end of the shop. The rusted metal piece is a ‘collector shoe’. They are the part that slides on top of the third rail and makes the electrical connection. It is obvious from the brown marks that multiple collector shoes hit this piece of concrete. There were several other shoes in the area, they just aren’t shown in this photo. The concrete is part of a roadway leading to the loading dock. It was eventually cut back, but not until after quite a few collector shoes bit the dust.
This photo was taken just outside the north end of the shop. This situation was similar but caused more damage. It’s also a bit more embarrassing because the concrete curb was not existing — it was something that was installed as part of the new construction. In this case it wasn’t just collector shoes that were knocked off — the entire assembly that one of the shoes was attached to was ripped off the train! After that happened, CMNT management took notice. I was talking with one of the S&I shop supervisors and he asked if we had noticed the shoes being knocked off the trains. I said we had and in fact we had reported both locations as potentially having clearance problems. He exploded and asked why anything wasn’t done before a train sustained $50,000 in damage. I told him he’d have to ask his colleagues . We had reported it, twice, and nothing was done. No one took us seriously.