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Tie Inserting Machine

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Uploaded on Sep 12, 2009

This complex machine is used to insert new ties under the rails after the old ties have been removed by other machines. The nifty thing about this giant machine as compared to smaller tie replacing machines is that it does not require the new and old ties to be lying around next to the tracks during the replacement (which is a necessity for replacing ties on the center track). It's fun to watch and very interesting how it all works.
The new ties are in special gondolas coupled to the machine. A goofy little machine rolls along the tops of the gondolas on special rails, grabs a bunch of new ties, and drops them in a bin on the front car. The little crane on top then places the ties onto a conveyor belt running along the top of the car. The ties go all the way to the front where they are dropped onto the rails in front of the little hanging "pods," then the operators in the two pods insert the new ties (at 1:38 you can see the operator bash a new tie into the side of the rail, knocking it out of alignment!).
It's not on the video, but the last two gondolas are used to put the old ties in. Special backhoes sit on top of the gondolas and grab the old ties which are lying next to the tracks.

Filmed 9/10/09
BNSF, Downers Grove, IL

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