particular problems encountered; however, the subparagraphs that follow outline some of the usual items
included in such programs.
a. In severe winters, snow, ice, and frost prevent large-scale track work. During this time, the men are
fighting off snow and ice and shimming heaved track. Where snow is not a serious problem, small jobs, such as
replacing joint bars, may be tried. In mild winters, rails can also be replaced. This is an ideal time to report on
previous progress, make plans for the coming year, and requisition supplies and equipment. During the winter,
many of the heavy repairs on maintenance-of-way tools and machines are made.
b. In the spring, winter damage is repaired, and the heavy maintenance program is started. Shims are
removed from heaved track (par. 4.21b), culverts and ditches are cleaned and repaired, and rail and tie renewals
begin as soon as the ballast thaws and can be worked to surface the track.
c. During the summer, all kinds of maintenance work are done; it is the period of the greatest track
maintenance effort. Ballast is cleaned or replaced; tie and rail renewals continue; and weeds and grass are cut,
burned, or sprayed.
d. Fall is the time to finish the projects previously begun and to prepare the line for winter. A final
surfacing is usually made while the ballast is still unfrozen, and snow-fighting equipment is readied and
distributed. All scrap is collected from the roadbed.
SEQUENCE OF WORK
Within the broad scheme of the work plan, there should be a definite sequence to the detailed operations
performed. A proper sequence eliminates duplicating tasks, undoing what has been done previously, and
unnecessary abuse and destruction of track materials. Keeping records up to date at all times often eliminates
work duplication. For a smooth working operation, follow the steps outlined in subparagraphs a through d.
a. Step one. Track should be in fairly good line and surface before new rail is laid to prevent permanent
bending and excessive wear. On the other hand, track must be brought to perfect line and surface after it has
been disturbed by the laying of new rail.
b. Step two. Tie renewals are usually scheduled to begin in early spring, but if rail renewal is expected,
it is better to delay