Keeping the NHV track in top shape is no easy task...

 

It all starts with an inspection from our Roadmaster...
A tap of the tie, some number juggling, and years of experience help the Roadmaster decide which crossties will be marked to pull and replace during "track season".

 

Next a crew with shovels and rakes descend on the marked crossties, "digging out" the ends from the stone ballast.  Thousands of spikes have to be pulled, clips and tie plates removed all by a manned crew.
With the ends clear, a tie extractor makes things a bit easier than having to use tie tongs and long bars alone.
The results of a couple hundred ties and hardware removed...
Truckloads of new ties arrive.
Then the bundles are loaded onto MoW rail cars and moved to where they need to be distributed.
New ties are inserted under the rails.  Again, a crew of men drops each tie and wrestles it into starting position.
Inserting the tie under the rails.
Tie plates are inserted and spikes are driven to hold the rail and ties together.  

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Then the stone ballast is raked back into position and backfilled when and where necessary.
Finally, a tamping machine is used to vibrate and settle the stone ballast into position under and around the new ties.

Photo credit: Robert Middour unless otherwise noted.

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