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Thread: Railroad multi-maintenance heavy equipment - GIF, video, photos

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    Beserkleyboy's Avatar
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    Jon, what is the reason for undercutting the ballast? Seems counterproductive to me, as attempting to reinsert rock ballast would not work !?!.....
    Jim

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    Jim the reason for the undercutting is twofold first it makes for easier cross tie replacement. and two the reason the cross ties become rotted in the first place is contact with wet dirt that has accumulated in the rock bed. Crushed volcanic rock is the preferred medium in making railroad beds. it is hard and does not attract moisture.
    Refilling the undercut bed is done by a machine, I that think is called a shaker there is another thread that shows one in action.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Beserkleyboy's Avatar
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    Frank, thanks! Since I posted that, I went off on a deep dive into 'fouled ballast', as I didn't see it to begin with....and the undercutting seemed counterproductive, as replacing and compacting the ballast with the tracks and ties in place just did not seem possible. My thought was, would it not in the end run be easier to pull up the tracks and ties and replace and pack ballast completely...funny how sometimes your logical thought process can fool you into not accepting another way...And BTW, just back from 3 weeks in China and several high speed rail trips. They lay a concrete bed, presumably leveled with however they do these days, and then concrete ties on that. No rocking at all at 250Km! Quite amazing. We also did a short 30k run on a MagLev train at top speed 430k, but it had a fair bit of rock and roll at speed. Now here in Aus we've been talking high speed train from Sydney - Canberra- Melbourne for 20 years...and will probably still be talking in 20 more....maybe we need to hire the Chinese...they'd probably knock it off in a couple of years...thanks for all of your input, Frank, always an enjoyable read.
    Jim in sunny (today) South Coast NSW

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    Frank is right, removing the ballast makes it much easier to remove the cross ties, so many at a time (normally they remove 5 in a row, and replace them and leave a couple to hold rail alignment and then move on further down the tracks to do it again...... The ballast thats removed to one side. The ties are replaced with new ones and then followed by another train dropping fresh ballast, to replace what was removed, the tracks is then tamped for alignment and leveled for the area they're working in on the track and as it goes a "Ballast Regulator" to contour the fresh ballast, and so on down the the line.

    Then the old ballast that was removed is picked up by an other machine (Normally has "Loram" on it) and is a BIG yellow machine that cleans that old ballast and a series of chute literally carry the clean ballast into a hopper or gondola for reuse.......

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    Thanks Hemi! Funny that sometimes you don't think past what you 'think' you know....having watched railway beds being constructed...Cheers
    Jim

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    That cutter bar and chain looks like it came off of a Joy Cutting Machine used in an underground coal mine. They were used to undercut the face of each place before drilling and blasting. This allowed for a cut of coal to be broken loose all across the back of the place being mined. Ronj


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