spikes from one rail--the first step in dismantling and setting out the old rail if all new track accessories are to be
used. When power track wrenches, such as the one shown in figure 1.13, and spike pullers are on hand, they are
used to remove bolts and spikes. If not, then such handtools as the track wrenches and the claw bars, shown in
figure 1.7, * are used. After that, the joint bars are removed with 8-to 10-pound sledge hammers.
Following these men, a worker with an oxacetylene torch burns off any bolts which cannot be
loosened with the wrenches. Working closely behind and using track forks and lining bars, two men roll the old
rail clear of the track. If it is pushed to the inside of the track, a rail-laying crane can lift and remove it from the
b. Preparing the ties. The first step in preparing the ties is for one man to remove the tie plates (RT
670, figs. 3.7, 3.8) if they are to be replaced. The next is for a group of about four men to level the crib ballast so
that it is below the tops of the ties. They do this with hand rakes, shovels, and ballast forks. They then sweep the
tops of the ties with brooms.
Following this, three men set and drive wooden tie plugs (RT 670, fig. 3.13) in the old spike holes;
tamping bars, spiking hammers, or light sledges are the tools they use. Then two men, using sledges and
punches, drive down the stubs of broken off spikes. These men are followed by five equipped with power adzing
machines to refinish (adz) the bearing surfaces of the ties. The bare wood left exposed by the adzing is then
creosoted by three men equipped with brushes, buckets, and a drum of creosote. The last operation in preparing
the ties is the setting of new tie plates by two men.
c. Setting and fastening the new rail. A small rail-mounted crane, light enough to move over unspiked
rail, picks up one of the new rails already distributed and lowers it as several men guide it onto the tie plates.
Then one worker places a shim of the proper thickness between the ends of adjoining rails to provide for
expansion (RT 670, par. 3.28a). After that, the rail ends are slushed with rust preventive. Six men follow with
joint-bar clamps, installing bars and setting bolts. The rail is then gaged with track gages and lightly spiked in
place. A large gang to set and drive spikes follows, using a pneumatic or gasoline-powered spike hammer, such
as the one
*Most of the handtools mentioned in subparagraphs a through d are illustrated in figure 1.7.