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. 504.

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. 505.

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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