JLJ061 wrote:While out railfanning yesterday I noticed that many railroads use tie clips to keep the rail in place while others continue to use spikes.
Out of an operational or maintenance standpoint, which works better?
As you might expect it comes down to cost. Traditional cut spikes, tie plates and anchors cost less than the "premium" fasteners of clips. The biggest advantage of clips is that when the rail is changed, no spikes or lags need to be pulled out of the ties as is required with cut spikes. This helps extend the life of ties. This becomes a bigger issue in areas where the rail is changed often. RR's will often put the clips in curves, and cut spikes in the tangents.
Hope this helps a little.