1 MARCH 2000
(4) Install joint bars and tighten bolts.
(5) Install the opposite rail by first checking the gage and spiking every fourth tie and then spiking the
(6) Install rail anchors at this stage, or after final surface (but before dressing ballast).
(7) Unload and distribute ballast.
(8) Lift and tamp track to about 1 in. below final elevation, in 3 to 4-in. lifts, adding ballast as needed
after each lift. The tamping machine will also align the track and place the proper superelevation in the
curves during this operation.
(9) Check grade and line stakes, and clearances.
(10) If practical, run over track with at least 10 passes of an engine (or engine with heaviest loaded
cars) before the final surface.
(11) Raise track to final surface.
(12) Dress (shape) ballast section.
c. Ballast Unloading.
(1) Large amounts of ballast (several hundred tons or more) are most efficiently unloaded using
railroad hoppers. For installations having a locomotive, the provision of a government locomotive and
crew to move the ballast cars for the contractor may result in a lower unit cost for ballast distribution.
Appropriate arrangements should be provided in the contract documents and during the pre-construction
meetings to ensure effective use of government locomotive to assist the contractor in placing the ballast.
(2) When trucks or other automotive equipment are used to place ballast, care should be taken to
prevent rutting that would impair drainage of the sub-ballast or subgrade. Any ruts that are formed should
be leveled and graded to drain prior to the continuation of ballast placement.
d. Rail Installation.
(1) Rails should be laid one at a time with allowance for expansion provided between the rail ends in
accordance with table 9-2.