1612.There is no part of the track laying more
likely to suffer from carelessness than the spiking. A spike,
to be driven properly, should be started in a really vertical
position. The spikes at the joints, centers, and quarters of the
rail should be driven first. The right-hand rail is usually spiked
first. The gauge is then placed on the fixed rail, and the free
one brought to the gauge and spiked.
The common and slovenly custom of driving spikes at an angle
should not be tolerated. An almost equally pernicious custom is
to drive the spike with the track at loose gauge and then bending
the head so as to give the rails their proper gauge.
First see to it that the free rail is brought to the gauge.
Then start the inside spike a little removed from the base of
the rail, the head inclined slightly backwards. Having started
the spike, a good blow will bring it to a vertical position, after
which the blows should be delivered vertically upon the head.
The last blow should slightly draw the head towards the rail base.
Where the gauge is widened on curves, a special gauge should be
provided and the eye not trusted to give the proper increase in
gauge. Spikes should not be driven in the middle of the tie, especially
in severe freezing weather, as they are liable to split it, but
at from 2½ to 3 inches from the outside of the tie, where
the wood is sure to be sound and the grain less open.
The proper arrangement of the spikes in the tie is shown in
Ties spiked in this fashion can not
become skewed, and the track, in consequence, thrown out of
In spiking, the tie must be held firmly against the base of
the rail. If from any cause the rail does not lie directly upon
the tie, the tie must be held against the rail with a nipping
bar, shown in Fig.
The ends of the ties should be spaced at a uniform distance
from the rail, both for the sake of appearance and to give to
the rail a uniform foundation. A gauge made of hard wood and meeting
this requirement is shown at A and B in Fig. 501.
The spiker first places the gauge upon the tie with its head
close against the end of the tie, as shown at A. The base
of the rail is then brought against the end of the gauge and the
inside spike started. The gauge is then removed and the outer
spike started, and both driven home. The other rail being spiked
to a proper gauge will make the rails equidistant from the ends
of the ties. The gauging of the ties is too often done by guesswork,
as is evinced by a ragged line.
1613. Spiking Bridge Ties.Holes should be bored
in bridge ties to receive the spikes instead of driving the
spikes directly into the tie. As bridge ties, are sawed, they
are often cross-grained and liable to split -unless holes are
bored for the spikes. The diameter of the spike holes should be
about one-sixteenth-inch less than the diameter of the spike,
so that, in driving, the hole will be completely filled with the
fiber of the wood.
1614. Pulling Spikes.When a spike is to
be drawn from a tie in frosty weather, or from an oak tie at any
time of year, it should always be given a light blow with a spike
maul before using the claw bar. The blow breaks the hold which
the wood has upon the spike, and permits of the spike being drawn
with safety. Without this precaution the spike is liable to break
off under the head. The instrument for drawing spikes is called
a claw bar, and is shown in Fig. 502. Its weight is about 25 lb. The
end a of the claw bar is divided like the claw of a carpenter's
hammer and the bar bent into a goose-neck to increase the
distance through which the opposite end b can move. In,
drawing a spike care should be taken that the claw is well under
the spike-head before a strain is put upon the bar. When only
the lip of the claw is under the head, there is great danger of
the claw being broken, especially if a heavy stress is put upon
it. When the spike is driven so deeply into the tie that the claw
can not be forced tinder it, the end b of the claw bar,
which is wedge-shaped, may be forced tinder the spike-head, lifting
it so the claw may be used.
1615. Gauging Track.In track laying, no
part of the work should receive more careful attention than the
gauging of the track, A track gauge, to be in proper position,
must be at right angles to the center line of the
track, and with this fact in view the gauge shown in Fig. 503 was devised. The gauge consists
of two U-shaped castings connected
by a short iron pipe which is threaded at both ends, and screws
into them. The castings have lugs on their tinder sides, as shown
at A and B. The distance A B between the
lugs determines the gauge. A line drawn across the faces of the
gauge lugs is at right angles to a line drawn through the center
of the iron pipe. To place the gauge at right angles to the center
line of the track, bring both lugs shown at C against the
head of the rail. A notch filed in the gauge at D marks
the center of the track.
Never crowd the gauge in spiking the rails. Let the rails only
touch the gauge marks. Place the gauge about eight inches ahead
of the tie to be spiked. This places the gauge out of danger of
the spiking hammers, and insures a perfect gauge.
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