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The Kid Should See This

How to replace railway ties without pulling up the rails

Railroad tracks are made of three main parts: the long steel rails that the trains run on, wooden or concrete railroad ties (US) or sleepers (UK), and the track ballast that helps bear a train’s weight and keeps the track clear of plants. As a part of track maintenance, sleepers might need replacement… but they’re under the rails and crushed rock. How do you get them out?

In this clip from the Huddig YouTube channel, a machine uses its sleeper changer attachment to push the ballast away before grabbing the concrete sleeper to remove it. The rails are never disturbed. Watch as each step of the track rehabilitation process is explained, including how the sleepers are reattached to the rails using rail fastening clips before the ballast is smoothed back out. Here’s another example:

Related videos: construction vehicles, including Il Capo (The Chief) and an excavator climbing onto a rail car.

Updated video.

Thanks, @dorjem.

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