Trans Subcourse 670, Railway Track Maintenance I, and Trans Sub-course 671, Railway
Track Maintenance II, present information concerning maintenance and repair of railway track
and its associated facilities. It is recommended that both subcourses be taken and that subcourse
670 precede 671. Only if you have had considerable working experience and desire information
about a particular phase of this work should you take one subcourse without the other.
The information presented in the two subcourses is essential to a knowledge of
maintenance of way, but even its complete assimilation will not qualify you as a track
supervisor. Such qualification also depends upon extensive practical operating experience with
railroads and with field engineering equipment. Knowledge of the material presented in the
subcourses will enable you to understand the methods and procedures of track maintenance and
prepare you to benefit rapidly from working experience.
Both subcourses treat fundamental ideas in some detail to assure you a common basic
knowledge. An attempt is made to anticipate questions and to prevent misunderstandings which
might arise if the texts presupposed fundamental technical knowledge of the subject.
In general, modern maintenance-of-way practices are universal and the largest portion of
subject matter contained in the subcourses applies similarly to civilian and military railroads.
Where differences as to specific operations occur, the military practice is emphasized and the
reasons for variance are explained.
After studying the reference text to this subcourse, you should be able to identify the
physical characteristics of a railroad; to define the terms used in maintenance of way and track;
and to solve some of the varied problems of the track supervisor. In addition, you should be able
to explain the relationship between roadbed and ballast, what materials are used for ballast, what
their functions are, how they are used, and how they are cleaned. Also, you should be able to
explain the importance of good drainage and the means by which it is obtained and maintained.