Some historians claim it was the railroads who settled the American Wild West. Railroads made access to the other side of the country accessible for people of all walks of life.
The first official charter for a railway line was granted in 1815. Fifteen years later, the first fourteen miles of American railway tracks opened to the public. Today, there are more than 140,000 miles of railway tracks running through the United States.
Today, railway tracks aren’t laid by hand and manual labor the same way they were almost two centuries ago. However, a lot of hard work and determination are still used in railway maintenance and construction. The methods aren’t the only things that have changed, but also safety protocols.
The biggest (and most important) safety protocol developed is regular railway maintenance. But what does this maintenance include, and why is it so important? Continue reading to learn five things to keep in mind about railway maintenance.
- Railway Maintenance Is Important
Regular railway line maintenance is crucial to the safety and wellbeing of everyone who uses trains. Railway tracks are regularly used by powerful, heavy vehicles that can cause significant wear and tear over time. Additionally, they’re always exposed to the elements.
A combination of heavy use and elements can cause numerous problems to arise. Tracks can become deformed, damaged, and otherwise unsafe. Click for more information on the problems solved by railway maintenance contractors.
- Train Tracks Need Grinding
Rail grinding is an essential part of the maintenance process. It uses special railway track maintenance tools that travel along the tracks. This tool uses grinding stones to help correct the tracks and re-profile the railway.
- Special Companies Maintain the Railways
Since a lot goes into taking care of America’s railway system, the job falls on special companies. These companies are filled with professionals specializing in railway maintenance, similar to how specialized construction companies handle roadways. Although some focus on specific locations, these companies often travel around the country to care for the railways.
- Rails Eventually Need Replacement
Even with regular maintenance, rails will eventually need replacement. Although there could be several reasons for rail replacement, it’s generally done for two primary reasons.
Sometimes tracks are replaced so they can be upgraded to a higher gauge of track. Other times, the new tracks are the same gauge as the old ones because they’ve become irreparably damaged in some way.
More Questions About Railway Maintenance?
Railway maintenance is an essential part of keeping train passengers safe, and many different tasks are involved in the process. However, no matter how well the rails are taken care of, they’ll eventually need to be replaced. Taking care of or replacing tracks is done by professional railway maintenance companies.
Do you have more questions about railway maintenance?
Check out our other blogs. You’ll find articles on trains, construction, and related topics to help you learn more on the matter.
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