1616. As soon as the track is full bolted and spiked,
it is put into surface. This is an easy matter where the ties
have been bedded to grade, and requires much less material than
where they have been placed upon the roadway and the rails spiked
to them without any attempt at grade. If the track is to be earth
ballasted, the material is taken from the shoulder of the roadway.
If cinders, gravel, or broken stone is to serve as ballast, construction
trains should furnish the material as fast as it is needed.
Ordinarily, earth is used on new lines, as the finances of
the company seldom warrant the use of costlier material. It
is only on prairie lines that sufficient material can be borrowed
from the roadway to put the track in permanent surface, but in
most cases enough is available to place the track in safe condition
for the full operation of the construction train.
The tools used in surfacing are the track jack, shovel, and
tamping bar. The-track jack, which takes the place of the ancient
track lever, is one of the most economical and indispensable of
the trackman's tools. One of the best track jacks on the market
is that made by Joyce, Gridland & Co., of Dayton, Ohio, and
is shown in Fig.
This jack is simply and strongly made. The foot A of
the jack is placed between the ties with the lug B under
the rail. By means of the lever C the toothed bar D
is raised. The lug B forms a part of the bar D, the
two forming one casting, and, consequently, in moving together,
carry the rail with them. A tripper E is so arranged that
if desired the bar D may be made to drop instantaneously.
In using the jack it should always be placed on the outside of
the rail with the lever pointing from the track. Numerous accidents
have been caused by misplaced track jacks, some of them entailing
great loss of life and property.
The track is raised to grade with the jack, and the material
deposited with the shovel. Many trackmen use only the shovel blade
in surfacing track for the first time, and this is probably the
wiser policy, as the prime object of the first surfacing is to
make the track safe for the
construction train, and any work which unnecessarily delays
the construction train is manifestly unwise. There should be no
confusion in the work as a result of changing work. Each man should
be assigned to his special work and required to do it.
1617. Lining Track.As soon as the track has a
safe surface, it must be brought to line. This is done with lining
bars, shown in Fig.
In lining, the trackmen with bars are placed at the joints,
quarters, and centers of the rails nearest a center stake. The
foreman places the gauge on the track at the center stake and
orders the track thrown until the center mark on the gauge coincides
with the tack in the center stake. He then moves his men to another
center stake and repeats the operation. Having placed the track
on center at the stakes for 300 or 400 feet, he lines in the intermediate
portions by eye. He should then check the line at the center stakes
to make sure that the track has not moved while lining the intermediate
portions by eye. It is needless to say that if the ties have been
laid to a tic line, the track will not -require any lining until
after the first surfacing.
1618. Final Surfacing.After the construction train
has run over the track for a few days, the track will show numerous
low places, especially at the joints. A surfacing crew should
then go over the line, putting the track in good surface. The
material required for the final surfacing can be borrowed from
the roadway or obtained by widening and ditching the cuts. That
required for the track in the cuts is shoveled directly from the
ditch into the track, while that required for the embankment should
be hauled by the gravel train. This plan is in every way better
than to borrow the material from the embankment.
The freezing and thawing of the following winter will cause
the slopes of most cuts to break and cave, filling the ditches
with heavy mud, which must be removed to make the track safe.
Hence, the removal of this material for surfacing at the time
of track laying is practically clear gain.
In the final surfacing, all ties should be thoroughly tamped.
This is best done with the tamping bar shown in Fig. 506. An excellent substitute for
the tamping bar is the iron-handled shovel, which serves both
purposes of the shovel and tamping bar. When using them, the foreman
can spread out his forces, giving to each man his share of ties,
and thus obtaining equal service from all. When the ties are to
be hard tamped, the tamping bar is the tool for effective service.
The ballast should be tamped under the tie, throughout the entire
length, but hardest at the points directly under the rails, where
the load is heaviest. In case the ballast midway between rails
is tamped the hardest, there is danger of the ties being broken
in two at the middle by a heavy train. This danger is especially
great when the ties are of soft wood.
The object of ballasting track is not only to secure a firm
foundation for the ties, but to so bed them that the track shall
not be thrown out of line by the lateral thrust of passing trains.
That mode of ballasting is best which most completely beds the
ties and at the same time provides for the prompt removal of all
water which falls upon the roadbed.
In filling in the track the material should be deposited in
the middle of the track and not against the rails. It should be
raised to a height of about 2½ inches above the ties at
their middle point A (see
Fig. 507), and sloped towards the ends of the ties. Its surface
at the inside line B of the rails should be such as to
permit the shovel to be passed freely underneath the rail between
the ties, and the slope
continued to the end of the tie where it should just meet the
base of the tie. Outside of the ties, the shoulder C D should
continue at a slope of 1½ inches to the foot to the edge
of the embankment. this insures complete drainage. Rain falling
upon the roadway will run off before it can penetrate the ground.
Provision must be made for conducting this surface water into
natural channels. This is accomplished by means of side ditches.
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