The track foreman is responsible for
supervising the track maintenance men. He checks
the work to be done, determines the available tools
and equipment, and assigns the men their duties. He
must see that the work progresses against the
direction of traffic except on steep grades when he
must preferably work uphill. He makes sure the
men operating the jacks place them away from joints
so that the joint bars are not bent. The safety of the
workmen is his responsibility, as well as the safety
of trains he permits over tracks on which work is
being done. He is likewise responsible to the track
supervisor for the overall quality of the work. The
track supervisor checks the progress and quality of
the work from time to time while it is under way and
checks again when it is finished.
Figure 1.11. Jordan Spreader.
Certain operating rules must be followed when working on main line tracks. Technical Manual 55-200,
Railway Operating Rules, states in rule 101:
Trains must be fully protected against any known condition, even though not covered by
the rules, which interferes with their safe passage at normal speed.
When conditions are found which may interfere with safe passage of trains at normal
speed and no protection has been provided, such action as will insure safety must be taken.