Drain Excavation


Early this year Midwest began a project that upon culmination, would eliminate the problem of the turntable flooding and icing up in the winter months. Suspecting that the drain was collapsed somewhere between the turntable and the sand pit, volunteers tore out the storage track in that area above the sewer line. Along with that, earlier in the summer, volunteers removed brick from the floor of the turntable above the drain.

In mid-September, an excavator was brought on site to dig up and try to locate the drain in question. Efforts were complicated due to the massive amount of slag below ground that was left over from the steel mill that occupied the property in the 1800's before B&O acquired the land for the roundhouse and rail yard.

After scraping as much as he safely could from the turntable, he continued excavating beyond the ring.  The clay tiles were finally found about 10 feet deep and at that point the direction of the drain could be traced. A jackhammer was needed to continue excavation within the turntable because of the slag.

After determining that the main storm sewer lines were clogged almost completely shut with sand and sludge, a company was contracted to bring in their heavy equipment to suck out all of the lines and get the water flowing again. That work is scheduled to begin in early October.

Updates on this project will be forthcoming as it progresses. There is a lot of work yet to do and outside of the major excavations, most of it will be done by volunteers. Upon completion, we hope to retire our many sump pumps that have been used to drain the water, thereby also saving the costs associated with keeping them maintained in operating order.