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Keeping Rail in Line: Tools to Conquer Summer Maintenance Challenges

Keeping Rail in Line: Tools to Conquer Summer Maintenance Challenges

As the summer temperatures rise, rail maintenance kicks into high gear. Ties, ballast, and vegetation all demand special attention, along with various other areas on track. Summer also poses unique challenges for rail and maintenance-of-way crews with heat-induced rail expansion causing the track to shift more than any other time of year, requiring frequent and thorough inspections. To conquer the sweltering summer maintenance marathon, having the right tools is essential. 

8 Helpful Tools for Summer Maintenance on Track

1 - High-Strength Tie Plugging Compound | Spikefast  

  • Purpose: Offers superior retention of spikes and screws compared to traditional plugging materials with a 20% stronger pullout resistance than fresh hardwood.
  • Usage:  Ideal for plugging wooden ties in any weather conditions, from high humidity and heavy rain to below-freezing temps. Ties are ready to be drilled or spiked just 10 minutes after application.

2 - SB60 Tie Remover & Replacer in One

  • Purpose: This versatile attachment simplifies tie removal and replacement, and ballast digging and removal into one unit.
  • Usage: Ideal for confined spaces of track, the SB60 will remove ties from between the rail or alongside track. Fits wood or concrete ties and track of all gauges.

3 - Railroad Distressed Pavement Repair | RR DPR

  • Purpose: Quickly and permanently repair distressed pavement at railroad crossings without heavy equipment. This all-in-one kit can avoid the need to replace the entire crossing in just one hour.
  • Usage: Ideal for high-traffic railroad crossings and other areas requiring rapid, durable repair. DPR is cold-applied, made from a 100% solid polymer blend of recycled materials. It adheres fast to both asphalt and concrete, forming an odorless, no-VOC solid layer that matches the longevity of surrounding materials. 

4 - Versatile Track Inspection Gauge | Green Level Board (GLB)

  • Purpose: Multi-purpose tool for track inspection and gauge measurement.
  • Usage: A crucial, versatile tool for inspecting track during the summer when heat causes rail expansion and movement. The GLB measures Track Gage, Guard Check Gage, Guard Face Gage, Flangeway, Elevation, and includes two Switch Point Inspection gauges.

5 - Heavy-Duty Broom Elements for Ballast Maintenance

Club Style Broom Element - Heavy
  • Purpose: Enhance efficiency in leveling and clearing ballast between ties with club-style broom elements that offer more broom to ballast contact area compared to standard brooms.
  • Usage: Designed for busy surfacing gangs to save time and costs associated with ballast and broom maintenance. Features a wide club-style design and a durable solid rubber core that extends their lifespan by 15-20% over standard brooms.

6 - Undercutter for Ballast Restoration

  • Purpose: Quickly removes fouled ballast and mud beneath the track using a 10-foot hydraulic-powered undercutter attachment.
  • Usage: Suitable for 8 to 15 ton class machines, this heavy-duty undercutter bar effectively improves dilapidated ballast of neglected track. It features a variable controlled reverse chain for easy cleanout and replaceable teeth for durability.

    7 - Mulcher for Vegetation Clearing

    • Purpose: Powerful mulcher designed to clear brush and vegetation near railroad tracks.
    • Usage: Tirelessly clears trees, branches, and other vegetation alongside tracks, making it ideal for land preparation for new track installations.

    8 - Track Inspector Kit

    • Purpose: Provides comprehensive track inspection in one convenient kit.
    • Usage: Essential for quickly and efficiently identifying and addressing issues on track exacerbated by summer heat. Includes 14 tools for thorough track inspections.

    We understand that summer maintenance on the railroad is no walk in the park, but with these tools, you’ll be well-equipped to 'handle the heat' of this challenging season. Keep those rails in line, the ballast tidy, and the greenery in check, and it'll be fall before you know it.


    For more information on any of the products shown above, please call Industry-Railway Suppliers' customer service department at (630) 766-5708 or Contact Us here.

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