Iron rollers

I had hoped to catch a train in motion, and found myself attracted to the wheels more than anything else.

  • daydreamerjbc 7y

    This is interesting several ways. How often does one look at the ties and the way the tracks are boltoed to them. Are those green things tie downs? Rather flimsy if it is.
    I like the juxaposition of the motion of the wheels and sturdy springs to the stable position of the colorful chipped rock.
  • Michael PRO 7y

    Love this shot, reminds me of waiting to take the Sounder up to the Seahawks games and having the freight and Amtrak trains go flying by.
  • Michael Stephens PRO 7y

    I was just starting the search for a Flickr pic to illustrate the Cluetrain!

    May I use this in "The Hyperlinked Library?"
  • scampion PRO 7y

    They were working on the railroad (all the lovelong day). I think the green markers represented ties needing replacement.
    There's just something about a train, isn't there?
    If this works for you, Michael. Glad to be of help.
  • -K-C- 7y

    Those green marks are actually green spraypaint applied to indicate which ties need replacing, usually done by a Track Inspector or Crew Foreman.

    If you look REALLY closely there are little iron thingies sticking up between the ties against the rail, those are Rail Anchors, used to prevent the rails from drifting down track after prolonged use by a heavy train :) Those are the old kind of rail anchors, shaped like a curly number 3 (if you look at them when they aren't under the rail. (Typically these days we use J-shaped anchors since they are much better.

    Unless my eyes deceive me it looks like 115lb rail and and 100-115 tie plates!

    Scampion, be careful around moving trains, not many know, but tiny steel shavings and filings shear off the rails with use. Even at low speeds, tiny steel razor-sharp discs or strips can shoot out and pierce, cut, blind or decapitate (very rare) anyone close enough to the tracks. (and ive heard some stories ;))

    Looks like they've done work or maintenance on this section of track recently, seeing as how the Ballast (rocks) are perfectly clean, tightly packed and very neat. (not even any weeds, mud or dirt in there :)) (probably a main freight line?)

    Take care! Great shot :)
  • scampion PRO 7y

    Thanks for all your information. This was on a main line -- Steilacoom's on the route between Tacoma, WA and Portland, OR.

    Workers were doing maintenance down the track when I took this photo, so this stretch was getting good attention. Your stories are alarming. In light of them I can't say I was completely safe here, but I was standing behind a fence on an approved trail.
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Taken on February 7, 2008
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