GO trains will move through the King Road crossing – the BIG MOVE went spectacularly well.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON October 8. 2012   The BIG Move was done – successfully. CN rail people are now on the site doing what railway people do – readying the tracks for GO  and freight traffic Tuesday morning.

CN rail workers pause while a freight train passes through a very busy construction site.

Business is business and railway traffic needs to move – so while crews laid down steel track and stone ballast to keep everything in place CN still moved long freight trains – very slowly.

Steve Taylor and Jeb Pittsinger from Hatch Mott MacDonald, the consultants on this project,  were on site to observe and comment if they had to.  In a wonderful  Irish lilt Taylor commented “this has been a joy to observe.  It went without a hitch and it is, based on what I know about these things, the biggest that has ever been done.  And Taylor should know – he’s done 23 of these moves.

Bob Jurk, Burlington’s senior project manager on the Big Move project has his daughter on the site, all suited up with safety gear, looking over what kept her father away from home much of Thanksgiving.

Bob Jurk was on site again with his daughter. He had to do something to show why he had been away from the house for the past three days.

There were a few members of the public still in the little reviewing stand the city put up.  It really wasn’t possible to see very much from the stands but the city made the effort.  All the action was taking place down in the pit that was being excavated – and you just couldn’t see anything down there from the stands.

Vital work getting done if the GO train is to run on these rails Tuesday morning.  While it is busy – it seems much less exciting than watching a five million pound tunnel get pushed into position.  Biggest project of its type – ever – here in Burlington

Front end loader bounced around over and around railway tracks dropping stone ballast over railway tracks.

People working on the site continually used the phrase “a live site” and it was certainly that.  Trucks with tires that would dwarf the average man roared through the place.  Big front end loaders with a couple of tons of stone bounced around over and around the railway tracks as they laid down the stone ballast that keeps the steel rails and the ties they are attached to in place.

Looking down into what will become the roadway leading into the King Road underpass as heavy equipment removes the base the hydraulic jack hammers worked from as they inched a 5 million pound concrete box into place. Railway tracks were then relaid for GO train traffic the next day. Oh that construction on the Pier could go as well!

The various teams who made it all happen were on the site dis-assembling their equipment and getting it ready for the next job.  Three of the four rail lines are in the process of being re-laid while the fourth is close to ready to be laid down this afternoon.

Public viewing stands were a good gesture on the part of the city – but people really couldn’t see very much from the location. It’s all that was available.

The track bed for  the first GO train,  scheduled to depart from Hamilton will leave the Aldershot station at just after 4:00 am on Tuesday – and the tracks will be in place and fully tested.   Most of the people on that train will be a little dreary eyed and may not even know that one of the most complicated and impressive engineering feasts ever done for a railway underpass took place in Burlington on the Thanksgiving weekend of 2012.

The Pier, we regret to inform you, has not done as well.  The crew down there were given the weekend as a holiday.

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