Marine Surveys by 1 Marine Survey, Darrell R. Boyes, SAMSĀ® AMSĀ®, Anacortes, Washington, USA Railroad Track Consultant
and Railroad Expert Witness

Div. of Robert Newman Engineering, LLC
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Serving The US East Coast

G. Robert Newman, MSME, PE

Railroad Track Inspection

Robert Newman Engineering LLC can inspect your track and bridges. Track can be inspected to Federal Railroad Administration Track Safety Standards or determine track requirements for your specific track loading based on axle loads, speed of trains, and other considerations.

Key track parameters for a railroad track inspection that are to be considered include:

1. Condition of Ties
  1. Gauge holding ability
  2. Spike Killed Condition
  3. Plate Cut
  4. Plugging
  5. Number of Effective Ties per Rail Length
  6. Bridge Tie - Timbers
2. Type and Condition of Tie Plates
  1. Width
  2. Single or Double Shoulder
  3. Cant
  4. Spiking Pattern
  5. Pushing from Gauge Widening Forces
3. Condition of Spikes or other Fasteners
  1. Loose or Missing Spikes
  2. Spiking Pattern
4. Condition and Application of Anchors
  1. Anchoring Pattern in Curves
  2. Anchoring Pattern on Tangent Track
5. Condition of Rail
  1. Rolling Contact Location
  2. Gauge Corner Cracking
  3. Rail Head Flow (Rollover)
  4. Spalling
  5. Head Wear
  6. Joints
  7. Other Defects
  8. Dipped Welds
  9. Internal Defects - Rail Flaw Detection
6. Jointed Rail - Condition of Joints
  1. Loose Joint Bar Bolts
  2. Low Joints
  3. Joint Ties
7. Continuous Welded Rail
  1. Dipped Joints
  2. Welds on Tie Plates
8. Surface
  1. Change of cross-level
  2. Vertical Curvature
9. Alignment
  1. Line Swings
10. Curvature and Transitions/Spirals
  1. Curve elevation (super-elevation)
11. Ballast Condition
  1. Ballast Depth
  2. Fouled Ballast
    1. Dirt,
    2. Mud,
    3. Load Droppings
    4. Ballast Damage
    5. Ballast Type
12. Subgrade Condition
  1. Stability
13. Drainage
  1. Ditching
  2. Mud Pumping Ties
  3. Culverts
14. Vegetation
  1. In Track
  2. Beside Track
15. Switches
  1. Frog
  2. Stock Rail
  3. Points
  4. Linkages
  5. Rolling Contact Locations

Examples of Railroad Track Inspection
Railroad Track Inspection

Poor Tie Condition
Railroad Track Inspection

Poor Tie Condition
Railroad Track Inspection

Center Bound Broken Ties
(Lack of Tamping)
Railroad Track Inspection

Loss of Shoulder Ballast
Railroad Track Inspection

Drainage Problem
(Lack of Tamping)
Railroad Track Inspection

"Pumping" Ties
Railroad Track Inspection

Head Worn Rail with Heavy Flow
Railroad Track Inspection

Gauge Corner Spalling and Cracking
Railroad Track Inspection

Track Surfacing Needed
Railroad Track Inspection

Good Ballast, Drainage, and Rail
Mostly Effective Ties

Railroad Track Inspection Follow On Projects

After inspection Robert Newman Engineering LLC can manage the following projects:

  1. Write report on track conditions
  2. Recommend immediate track maintenance required
  3. Develop track upgrade plan
  4. Write specifications for track maintenance
  5. Write specifications for track upgrade
  6. Find qualified contractors to do the work
  7. Develop daily maintenance plan
  8. Recommend, specify, and procure special track services
    1. Gauge Restraint Measurement
    2. Rail Grinding
    3. Surfacing
    4. Ultrasonic Flaw Detection
    5. Track Renewal
  9. Write specifications and procure track machinery for your organization

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Copyright © 2009/2020 Robert Newman Engineering, LLC,
Installed September 23, 2009, Last Revised January 3, 2020 - Hosted and maintained by Don Robertson