Saturday, 8 August 2015

Pre-Eclipse 2017 Road Trip: Off the main highway delays

Turning off the main highway

One main advantage highways enjoy is right of way when it comes to other roads and rails. Bridges cross over most rail lines and roads with limited access provided to the main highway at only selected intersections. Those intersections again favor the highway with on and off ramps (in most areas).

The speeds along the main highway are typically 70 to 75mph (112-120 kph) in the area where the eclipse path crosses. In Wyoming the speed was more like 80mph (128 kph).

Trains pulling loads of coal

Many of the roads follow or cross rail road tracks. These tracks are frequently used to move freight such as coal, livestock, and agricultural goods. During our trip across Nebraska we encountered numerous trains going in both directions. Whenever we had to cross a rail line there was always the possibility of a delay by train.

On eclipse day the trains should be running per normal and one should include possible delay times when driving to the eclipse path. Many of the roads are 55mph (88 kph) or 65mph (104 kph) so you can make good progress provided there is no major congestion.

We encountered some farm equipment on the roads. They typically move along at a sluggish 20mph (32 kph) and can be passed when the road conditions are right.

All along the way we encountered many motorcyclists enjoying the open road. Individuals up to large groups were on the move through the open country. Most seemed to be enjoying themselves but I had to wonder about them as I pulled a few mashed up grass hoppers out of the grill of car.

As we approached rain storms it was not uncommon to see small groups of motorcyclists gathering under a bridge. Given the ferocity we experienced (wind, rain, hail) it was small wonder they took some form of shelter.

In towns the speeds can reduce to as low as 25mph (40 kph). Watch for those signs! There are often local police on the prowl looking for speeders!

...More random thoughts about TSE2017 to follow...

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