alsorailfan wrote:Question about the spike hole plugs, it is done manually? cut off flush with the tie manually? If so, very labor intensive work!
It can be done manually or it can be automated.
The old fashioned way would be to drive the plug in with a maul and track punch that should seat it flush or to cut it flush with a track adze if necessary.
The plugs now may be inserted by a machine.
In some cases, a machine called a "Tie Adzer" will be used to prepare the tie surface where the tie plate will sit in which case it will take care of a protruding plug along with milling the adjacent tie surface.
I have not seen the equipment the LA&L's contractor is going to use to place the rail. Since it look like they are going to do the west rail first, I wonder if they are going to use swing booms with rail threaders to pull the old rail and set the new or if they have one of the more elaborate machines that does it in one operation and can do both tracks at once.