W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Museum Discussion => Topic started by: Wayne Laepple on April 01, 2019, 06:45:34 PM

Title: May Trains magazine article
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 01, 2019, 06:45:34 PM
The article "Making Tracks" in the May issue of Trains magazine, which I just received Saturday, describes how they built 10 miles of track in one day as part of the original Transcontinental Railroad. I couldn't help but notice that some of what we do at the WW&F is very similar to what they did 150 years ago! A great deal of the success in that feat was because of preparation in advance, and our folks are very good at that.

There are some fascinating details, such as how they spiked the rails to the ties as the rail laying continued almost without pause. There were people whose job it was to set all the spikes, and as they moved forward, other men followed, each man striking each spike on each side of the rail only once before moving ahead to the next tie. That must have been something to see! The entire activity must have appeared to onlookers as a slow motion ballet.
Title: Re: May Trains magazine article
Post by: James Patten on April 01, 2019, 08:29:53 PM
Yes.  And the rail laying crew (only 4 people if read it correctly) were putting down rails at an average of 10 seconds per rail.  Of course they were just putting it down, and letting joint bars get put on by others. 
Title: Re: May Trains magazine article
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 01, 2019, 10:53:18 PM
If you watch that old video of the track laying machine that was moving rails up one side of the flat cars and ties up the other side with a big Rube Goldberg machine coordinating all the material movements it is an oversized version of what we now have for our track laying crane.  Of course that video didn't cover the ballast portion.  I suspect our ballast delivery, spreading, jacking aligning and tamping will also run as smoothly.

Title: Re: May Trains magazine article
Post by: Carl G. Soderstrom on April 02, 2019, 04:36:07 PM
For a good account read "Nothing Like It In The World" by Stephen Amdrose