Track Construction: Tamping and Lining

After stone is in place, there is still work to be done. Track must be lined so it is straight (where it should be) or smoothly curved (where needed). Ballast must be tamped into place under and around the ties to provide firm support.

Tamping in progress at the familiar rocks.

<< Four tamping/surfacing passes were made over the entire line. Some spots received 6-7 passes to correct persistent irregularities.

Since the rail used is light and old, the final trackage is not perfect, but it's better than many Class 1 railroad branch lines!!

A close-up of the business end of the tamper.

The tamper first grabs the rail with clamps. It then lifts the rail and attached ties using the hydraulic jacks visible at right and left of the machine. Four vibrating sets of finger then tamp ballast around and under the ties to hold the position. >>