figure 1.17 to remove excess weld at a rail joint or the files pictured in figure 1.7 may be used for removing a lip.
When operating the grinder, the operator must be sure to wear the safety goggles shown in figure 1.7.
If the point is not bearing properly against the stock rail, a wheel flange could "pick the point," that is,
force its way into the small opening between the point and the rail, throw the switch, and derail equipment. To
further check the bearing of switch points against stock rails, the switch points are thrown to expose their bearing
surfaces next to the stock rails. The area of wear will show whether the points have full bearing against the stock
rails. If full contact is not found, it can be corrected by grinding or by adjusting the rods on the switch-throwing
When investigating a turnout, the inspector may find that the switch points are lower than the stock rail.
He is immediately aware of the danger of the wheel treads riding up on the stock rail so that the switch rail
cannot redirect the flange. It will then fall on the switch rail and probably cause chipping. If this continues, the
switch rail becomes so badly chipped that it may be easily "picked," or a wheel may fall on the wrong side of the
switch rail. Either can cause a derailment. A badly worn switch point can be built up by weld.
If, when a train passes through the turnout, the switch ties at the point are pumping, it is certain that low
switch points are to blame. The rigidity of the stock rail maintains its normal elevation above the tie. The
remedy is to tamp the ties or to correct any existing water pocket (RT 670, par. 2.10). If the switch points are
severely chipped, they have to be replaced or at least repaired. When a point is replaced, usually its
accompanying stock rail is also.
Inspection, repair, and prevention are the keywords of turnout maintenance. Inspect turnouts frequently
for excessive wear, loose bolts and spikes, pumping ties, and improper gage and surface. Study the faults found
to determine their causes and prevention. Among the faults that may be found are chipped frog points, the switch
point bearing improperly against the stock rail, low switch points, and pumping ties.