Cross Tie Replacement

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A wooden railroad tie, which weighs 200 pounds and is nine feet long, typically lasts 40 to 70 years. Caltrain “spot” replaces ties on the tracks every week, replacing approximately 10 to 20 percent of the ties in a given section of track. Although Caltrain uses concrete ties on all new construction, there are still many wooden ties on the rail line.

Caltrain uses several different on-track, self-propelled machines to replace cross ties.
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They include a spike puller,
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a tie extractor,
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a tie inserter
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and tie handler.
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A tamper may be needed to smooth the ballast (rock) after the work is done.
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In addition, a high-rail crane may be used to replace ties and unload materials for construction and maintenance projects. This four-wheel drive on-track crane can rotate 360 degrees.

06.26.2009 - eeg