Author Topic: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread  (Read 7877 times)

Bill Baskerville

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Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« on: February 17, 2019, 03:22:41 AM »
A new piece of track maintenance equipment arrived at Sheepscot yesterday.

Last Fall the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento declared their tie changing machine surplus as they had snagged a newer, larger machine.  Wayne Laepple, working with Jason, James and myself made arrangements to have their surplus tie changing machine packed and shipped to Sheepscot where it arrived Friday. 

This new addition to our track gang's tool box will make maintaining our existing track go a lot quicker, and easier on our volunteers.  Keep in mind that portions of our track are 25 years old and maintaining what we have becomes more important as time marches on.

This un-budgeted opportunity was made possible by a friend of our Museum which allowed us to move forward quickly when the machine became available.  The gift includes funds for the re-gauging and any repairs or modifications.

Pictures to follow.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 01:34:02 AM by Ed Lecuyer »
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ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2019, 07:19:44 AM »
Good news ! Well done for that purchase. You are right to buy machines and equipements to help you to keep up the track because track maintenance is of paramount importance  in many respects but it's often a time consumming and gruelling task. 

Mike Fox

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2019, 12:55:51 PM »
Wayne supplied us with these pictures. It is the red unit.







It needs regauging and a thorough going through, checking it out before we use it. I did notice the old Briggs and Stratton engine on it that had a pull cord start. No recoil.. Wrap the rope, pull. Wrap the rope. That may get a modification..
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Jeff Schumaker

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2019, 03:02:02 PM »
Looks like ROWMOW Mfg has a new project. It will be interesting to see how this will be modified.

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ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2019, 05:08:57 PM »
Thank you Wayne for those pics. But I wonder how that rig operates. When it's  adapted for the two-foot gauge it'll spare the track crew a lot of pains. As for the pull cord start it calls for some skill and quite a lot of patience. On the AMTP the machine that we use to screw the big screws ,in French tire-fond, to fix the rail to the tie is powered by a serviceable  Bernard gas engine with a pullcord start that often gets on the in charge volunteer's nerves.

Graham Buxton

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2019, 06:17:53 PM »
But I wonder how that rig operates.

I see in the first photo a large  'claw' (attached to the horizontal hydraulic cylinder with a spot of yellow paint) that is capable of seizing the sides of a tie already in the track. Then a ram pushes the claw away from the track, dragging the tie with it.  Of course, someone would have previously removed the spikes from that tie.

Putting the new tie in is pretty much the reverse. Position the new tie outside the rail while the ram is still extended, grab the tie with the claw  and have the ram retract, pulling/pushing the tie under the rails (and under the machine).  Move to the next tie to be replaced and repeat.   

You can see photos of a similar concept machine with the ram extended here:
http://www.epptrack.com/epp3000.html
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 06:20:05 PM by Graham Buxton »
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Bill Baskerville

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2019, 06:29:43 PM »
... But I wonder how that rig operates. ...
The other thing to remember is that when the vertical piston lowers the claws down to the tie, it also drives down a 'U' shaped bracket over the rail which absorbs the force of tie being extracted or inserted.  Since the rail is spiked to all the adjacent ties and opposite rail it provides an anchor for the machine thru that attachment point.
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2019, 07:09:54 PM »
Some versions of this machine are equipped with two hydraulic jacks that will raise the machine and the rail a bit to release the tie about to be removed, which is a nice feature if the tie is plate-cut or the rail has been crushed down into the tie. Other models have a spike driver and/or spike puller attachment, and some had a small hand-held tamper as well. This one appears to be the very basic model with none of those refinements. However, that is not say we couldn't add any of these features if we wanted to.

In my experience in using one of these, with four or five men, it was possible to change out 40-50 ties a day, and if you were only removing and replacing and not spiking, it was easy to change 100-125 in a day. As long as you are not changing several in a row, it doesn't hurt to leave the new ties unspiked for a day or two. We would often change ties for two or three days at a time, then go back and spike them all in one day. It's also very helpful to come along with the tamper and tamp the new ties before spiking them.

The key to doing this in a productive manner is preparation. Drop new ties wherever an old one is to be replaced, dig out the ballast from the end of the old tie and use a pick to loosen the ballast along each side. Then when you come along with the machine, you just have to yank out the spikes and you're ready to go.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 08:24:51 PM by Wayne Laepple »

Joe Fox

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2019, 10:37:15 PM »
In my time with a tie inserter at Conway, we cpuld change 180-190 ties per day. All that had to be done ahead of time was pull out the spikes and knock off the rail anchors if there were any. So we would have two guys pulling spikes, and two guys with the machine. Near the end of my time there we started putting the ties in 1/8" lower than the rail to allow some pressure on the tie plate once we put the tie plates on. If the tie went in and was not to the desired height it was left as is and move to the next one.

These smaller machines like the one we purchased will be a little less efficient however is an almost ideal size machine for us to regauge and reuse. A full size tie inserter would cost a lot of money, and need to be reworked entirely.

Tie changing machines are also extremely easy to derail, misalign track, or hump track.
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ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2019, 11:10:47 PM »
Thanks Graham for the explanations. Now I figure how it works .  The ad and photos  remind me  that I saw such a machine  operated on SNCF standard gauge way back.

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2019, 02:01:58 AM »
I'm sure some experimentation in technique will be necessary to avoid humping the track. Again speaking from experience, this machine will not be at fault if that happens. It will be human error. Once the old tie is out, clear the ballast out of the space enough that the new tie can easily be slid in without needing to jack the track. That's the trick.

I am also of the opinion that since this machine was designed to handle full length standard gauge ties, it may have enough power to shove an old tie out while at the same time pushing a new tie in. It's worth a try, at least.

Joe Fox

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2019, 10:34:17 AM »
If there is a way to move the "arm" up or down, you can control how deep the tie goes in the ballast easily with no need for any manual labor at all except pulling spikes and spiking in the new tie. The hydraulics should have enough pressure to slide the new tie right into the old hole, while being able to control the tie with the claw and arm.
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2019, 12:28:43 PM »
This machine does not have that ability, Joe.

Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2019, 11:02:38 PM »
Never having used a machine like that I don't know if it would work, but it looks like full length axels could be made and the wheels just moved in.
By the way, if a motor replacement is desired that one looks old enough to be collectible. Don't scrap it.
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Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2019, 10:41:10 PM »
The new Tie Changer has been relocated to ROWMOW Mfg. I have spent the last week deciding how to make the new frame member. I had thoughts of a new sub-frame, to eliminate the need to attach a short frame member to each oil tanks. But in raising it the 3 inches, it would create additional work. Jason suggested keeping it the same height, and adding the short pieces to the tanks. So, I have thought of a modification that, though attached to the tanks, will keep most force (weight of the machine on the axle) off of the tank by bracing over and under the tank.

I have been puttering a little. First step will be remove the axles for reuse. They are welded in. I worked for over an hour today grinding away the welds. Still not free yet. So I think the steel around them will be sacraficed, and I'll use a torch and take the fight out of them. Trying to pound them out is not easy on the axle.

As soon as the welding is done, I will refill the hydraulic tanks and then try getting the machine running. The operating manual Wayne found makes this sound very interesting. It still will involve some manual labor, like lining up the tie and cleaning out the crib. Cleaning the ballast out of the tie crib is important, as the boik says not doing so will cause the machine to overheat, and put extra stress on it.

Mike
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