of track last fall. At that time, the entire track was raised to a new uniform height (elevation).
Out-of-face surfacing corrects a generally poor surface and is always done after reballasting. The two
operations are often combined. Surfacing out of face is a little more complicated than spotting and requires using
several pieces of equipment and measuring devices. In general, in out-of-face surfacing, raising the track consists
of lifting it with track jacks to the desired elevation and then tamping enough ballast under the ties to support the
new elevation. Spot boards, grade stakes, sighting blocks, and track -levels are used to establish the desired raise.
A spot board and a track level are shown in figure 1.3. The use of this equipment and other procedures followed
in raising track are described in paragraph 1.5.
Figure 1.3. Track Level and Spot Board.
One morning when the track foreman goes to the track supervisor's office, he tells the foreman about a
newspaper article he has just read. It describes a multiple-unit right-of-way device that automatically raises track
to the right elevation, tamps rock ballast under the rails to just the right firmness, and shifts and alines the track
properly. In addition, a computer on the device makes all the calculations needed to carry out these procedures.
The article goes on to say that one railroad finds that a track crew of five and a tamping machine operator can
renovate about 20 kilometers of track per week.
The foreman remarks, "What an improvement! It takes us a week and a lot more men to do that work
manually on just 1 kilometer!" Needless to say, it will be years before all lines, both commercial and military, are
equipped with such computerized devices. In the meantime, the old procedures for raising the track, described
here, continue to be used.
Blue-top grade stakes are set at intervals about 6 feet outside the grade rail, with the top of each stake
level with the projected height of the top of the rail after the raise. On tangent track, the