Specialized Attachments Can Make Railroad Tie Removal Easier

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Specialized Attachments Can Make Railroad Tie Removal Easier

A railroad track is made up of three main components: the railroad ties, rails, and track ballast. Oftentimes, the rails are pulled up to replace the railway ties, also known as "sleepers." However, this is not always necessary or even a very good idea. 

Removing Ties With an Attachment

The railroad ties are sandwiched between the rails and the crushed rock. Therefore, you might wonder how you can get the ties out. Fortunately, a sleeper changer attachment can push the ballast away and remove the concrete tie. This can then be replaced with a new tie so the railroad can remain in good condition. The rails are never disturbed throughout this process.

With modern techniques, a small group of railroad repair technicians can repair miles of railroad rather than only being able to replace a few dozen ties a day. This allows for the railroad repair technicians to save a considerable amount of money and makes railroad transportation much more cost-effective. 


The ties are removed removed by small cranes. The ties are marked so that workers know that they should be replaced. This can be done easily using orange spray paint. The cranes place the new ties near where the old ties are located. A cart is moved into place so that the old ties can be loaded up and hauled away.

If the ties cannot be removed using the attachment, a spike-pulling machine removes the spikes. A single operator removes the spikes from the inside or outside of a single rail using four self-propelled cars. Once the spikes have been pulled, they are removed using magnetized drums. Any ferrous debris attaches to the magnet. This allows for the railways to be cleaned and ferrous material can be recycled. 

Installing New Ties

The ties are removed after the spikes. The new ties are put in place shortly afterward. The new ties are often covered with stones as a result of the process that need to be cleared away. Once the ties are put in place, the workers insert the new spikes in place using a pneumatic nail gun. Then, the area is cleaned up and the workers align and level the track.

If you do not want to perform this task yourself, it's best to hire a railroad track repair contractor who has the right attachment to perform this job. Then, you can have your railroad repaired without disturbing the rest of your tracks.

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