Mark Robak
Tim Starostka
Pat Phillips
Ryan Karr



The Future of Railroads And Railroad Tracks in The US

In an era dominated by automobiles, it’s easy to overlook the lasting significance of trains in the United States. Despite the rise of alternative modes of transportation, railroads remain as relevant as ever, playing a crucial role in the movement of goods and people across the country. As America continues to grow and evolve, railroads and railroad tracks have the potential for continued expansion and development.

Cost-Effectiveness and Efficiency

One of the key reasons why railroads are as relevant as ever is their unmatched efficiency in transporting large and heavy cargo over land. Compared to other modes of transportation, such as trucks or airplanes, railroads offer a more economical and environmentally sustainable solution for moving goods over long distances. With the capacity to carry massive loads of freight, including commodities like coal, grain, and automobiles, railroads play a vital role in supporting various industries and supply chains.

Infrastructure Needs for Growth

As America’s population and economy continue to grow, the demand for new infrastructure, including railroad tracks, will only increase. The expansion and maintenance of railroad tracks are essential to accommodate the growing volume of freight and passenger traffic across the country. Investments in rail infrastructure not only support economic growth and job creation but also enhance the efficiency and reliability of the transportation network as a whole.

High-Speed Rail Expansion

The Biden Administration has made significant commitments to support the expansion of high-speed rail in the United States. In December 2023, President Biden announced he would allocate $8.2 billion in funding for high-speed rail projects. This funding will support the development of new rail corridors, the modernization of existing rail infrastructure, and the implementation of high-speed rails to improve passenger travel and freight movement.

Environmental Sustainability

Railroads offer significant environmental advantages compared to other modes of transportation in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating air pollution. By shifting freight from trucks to trains, railroads help alleviate traffic congestion on highways and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-haul transportation. Additionally, the use of hybrid locomotives and alternative fuels further enhances the environmental sustainability of rail transportation.

Technological Innovation

The future of railroads in the US is also shaped by ongoing technological innovations. From advancements in signaling systems and track maintenance technology to the development of autonomous trains and predictive maintenance algorithms, railroads are embracing innovation to enhance their capabilities in the transportation industry. These technological advancements will play a crucial role in shaping the future of rail transportation and ensuring its continued relevance in the years to come.

R&S Track: Supporting The Expansion Of Railroads In The US

Railroads remain a vital component of transportation infrastructure in the United States. As the most cost-effective way to move large and heavy cargo over land, they support economic growth, facilitate trade, and reduce impact on the environment. R&S Track is committed to serving the track maintenance and expansion needs of the Midwest. Please call (402) 563-2350 for information.

beautiful train stations in America - RSTRACKINC
Architecture & Building

America’s 5 Most Beautiful Train Stations

In the vast tapestry of America’s railway history, certain train stations stand out as architectural masterpieces that capture the essence of a bygone era.

From the beauty of Beaux-Arts design to the timeless allure of Art Deco and Neo-Classical styles, these stations are more than points of transit; they are living testaments to the nation’s architectural heritage.

While beauty is subjective, there are several beautiful train stations in America known for their architectural charm, historical significance, and overall aesthetics.

Join us on a journey to explore the five most beautiful train stations in America, where each structure tells a story of craftsmanship, history, and the artistry of travel.

Grand Central Station – New York City

Grand Central Station in New York City is the most well-known train station in the United States.

With 44 platforms and 67 tracks on two different levels, it is one of the largest train stations in the world.

Completed in 1913, the Beaux-Arts design includes a ceiling adorned with constellations, marble staircases, and a main concourse with its famous Grand Central Clock.

It is not only a transportation hub but also a cultural and dining destination.

Make sure to check it out on your next trip to The Big Apple, or dive into this video and discover the secrets in the details of Grand Central Terminal. 

Union Station – Washington, D.C.

Union Station in Washington, D.C., is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece.

Completed in 1907, the station features a grand façade with Romanesque and Classical influences.

The interior contains a stunning main hall with a vaulted ceiling and a central fountain.

The arched ceilings are covered with 23-karat gold leaf.

Thanks to plenty of restorations and efforts to expand the terminal, the station serves as both a transportation hub and a retail destination today.

Union Station – Chicago

Chicago Union Station was designed by Daniel Burnham and opened in 1925.

It is the third busiest train station in the country.

Union Station showcases a mix of Beaux-Arts and neoclassical architectural styles.

The Great Hall is particularly impressive with its towering columns, intricate details, and a soaring barrel-vaulted ceiling.

It was named a Chicago Landmark in 2002.

Today the station is owned by Amtrak and has been revitalized through plenty of restoration efforts. 

30th Street Station – Philadelphia

30th Street Station in Philadelphia is a blend of Art Deco and Neo-Classical design.

The massive 71-foot-high columns on the exterior of the building make it look like one that belongs in Washington D.C. Completed in 1933, the station features a monumental façade, a grand waiting room with high ceilings, and sculptures representing transportation modes.

The station was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Denver Union Station – Denver

Denver Union Station is a beautifully restored Beaux-Arts train station with a modern twist.

The station was originally built in 1881 and was known as the largest structure in the West with a 128-foot clock tower.

A devastating fire in 1894 led to a redesign which was completed in 1914.

The station underwent another major renovation a century later in 2014, preserving its historic charm while incorporating contemporary elements.

The iconic Great Hall boasts high ceilings and large arched windows.

Railroad Construction in the Midwest: R&S Track

These beautiful train stations in America not only serve as transportation hubs but also stand as architectural marvels.

Their historic significance and timeless beauty make them destinations in their own right. 

R&S Track has been committed to keeping railroads in the Midwest safe for over 30 years.

Our services include maintenance, inspections, new track construction, and more.

Call our office at (402) 563-2350 for more information.

why doesn't the us have high-speed rails - RSTRACKINC

Why Doesn’t The US Have High-Speed Rails?

Many European and Asian countries use high-speed rail systems with trains traveling over 200 mph, making long-distance travel easier and decreasing the dependence on automobiles.

So why can’t we do this in the United States?

While regional projects are in the works, the limited development of high-speed rail in the United States can be attributed to a combination of economic, political, and logistical challenges. 

Cost and Funding of High-Speed Rails

Implementing a high-speed rail network requires a massive upfront investment in infrastructure.

Building dedicated high-speed rail lines, upgrading existing tracks, and constructing stations involve significant costs.

Securing funding for a project this big can be challenging, especially with so many other competing priorities for limited government resources.

Political Challenges of High-Speed Rails

Infrastructure projects this big often face several political challenges.

The bureaucratic hurdles and ever-changing priorities of different administrations can hinder the long-term planning and sustained investment required for high-speed rail projects.

Competition with Other Transportation

The United States already has a well-established and heavily used highway system, as well as a comprehensive domestic air travel network.

These existing transportation modes are deeply ingrained in American culture, and there may be resistance from citizens and competing companies to invest in high-speed rails as an alternative.

The Population Density Problem

High-speed rails are most effective in regions with high population density, where there is a significant demand for frequent and fast transportation between major urban centers.

In the U.S., population density varies across regions, and some areas may not have the critical mass of passengers needed to make high-speed rail economically viable.

Shared Tracks and Infrastructure

High-speed rails would either need to share tracks with existing freight and commuter rail services or build their own tracks altogether.

This video illustrates the challenges and difficulties of infrastructure in the US and why it’s difficult to build high-speed rails.

Coordinating schedules, upgrading infrastructure, and addressing safety concerns associated with shared tracks can complicate the implementation of high-speed rail.

Size of the Country

The sheer size and environmental obstacles of the United States pose a unique challenge for high-speed rail.

Covering long distances quickly is more challenging in a country of this scale compared to smaller, more densely populated nations where high-speed rail has been successfully implemented.

Regional High-Speed Rail Projects in the Works

Recently, the Biden Administration announced $8.2 billion in grants to improve existing high-speed railways and create new high-speed railways across the country.

One of the biggest objectives is to create a brand-new high-speed rail system from Nevada to Southern California, which could serve an estimated 11 million passengers annually.

Other states receiving major upgrades include Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maine, Montana, and Alaska.

R&S Track Construction in the Midwest

While there have been many proposals for high-speed rail projects in the U.S., overcoming these challenges requires a concerted and sustained effort from the government, private sector entities, and the public.

It seems like things are progressing under the current administration, but only time will tell if these projects will be completed. 

R&S Track Maintenance has been serving the railroad maintenance and construction needs of the Midwest for over 30 years.

Contact us at 402-563-2350 for more information.

how are railroad ties replaced? Railroad contractors working on railroad tracks concept image.

How Are Railroad Ties Replaced?

Railroad ties are the primary support beams for the rails themselves. They are laid perpendicular to the rails and hold them upright. Railroad ties are typically made of wood or concrete and must be replaced periodically due to wear and tear. The frequency of replacing them can depend on the type of ties used, the level of traffic on the rail line, and the local climate. Overall, wood can be obtained in such high quantities for a low cost, which is why you see them used on the majority of railways.

However, wooden ties generally have a shorter lifespan than concrete or composite ties and may need to be replaced every 7-10 years. Concrete ties are more durable and can last up to 30 years. Here is a step-by-step process of how railroad ties are replaced. 

Inspecting the Railroad Ties

Not all ties get replaced at once. Before replacement, the maintenance crew at R&S Track will perform manual railway inspections to identify ties that have deteriorated or have been damaged. Ties may be assessed for signs of rot, splitting, or other structural issues, especially for wood. Once faulty ties are identified, their location is marked for replacement. 

Planning and Preparation  

After the faulty railroad ties are identified and marked, planning and preparation for the replacements can begin. The maintenance team will gather specialized equipment to remove the old ties, procure the replacement ties, and schedule maintenance work for the track. The section of track where ties are being replaced must be cleared of any trains, which means there will be temporary track closures to allow maintenance crews access to the area.

Removal and Installation of New Railroad Ties

The old ties are removed using specialized equipment known as a spike puller, which removes the nails from the rail. New ties are then put in place and are aligned properly to maintain the track’s gauge (the distance between the rails) and secured in place.

The ballast, which is the layer of gravel or crushed stone under the ties, may also need to be adjusted and replaced. Properly maintaining the ballast is crucial for giving the track a stable and level foundation. 

Quality Control and Inspection

Once the repairs are complete, the track is thoroughly inspected again to ensure it meets safety and operational standards. This includes checking for proper alignment, gauge, and fastening of the rails. Once the quality control and inspection are complete, the track can be reopened for trains. 

Use R&S Track for Railroad Tie Replacements 

R&S Track has been a leader in railroad maintenance throughout the Midwest since 1987. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Consulting
  • Surveying
  • Project Design
  • Track Maintenance
  • Railroad Tie Installation
  • New Track Construction

Please contact us at (402)-564-1801 for any questions or if you want a price estimate.

high speed rail - high speed rail concept image.

How Does Railroad Construction Differ For High-Speed Trains?

High-speed rail tracks are designed to accommodate trains that travel at much higher speeds than traditional trains. There is no standard classification for them, but these trains typically travel at speeds of over 100 mph. Many countries in Europe and Asia have utilized high-speed railway networks for more efficient ground-based transportation. The first country to implement a high-speed rail system was Japan in 1964, with its world-famous “bullet train”. 

In the United States, new high-speed railways are being built, such as the Brightline in Florida and Amtrak’s nationwide railway network. Companies like R&S Track Maintenance are helping build high-speed railways in the Midwest to give Americans another mode of long-distance transportation. To support these high speeds, the tracks must be built differently than freight tracks. 

What Makes High-Speed Rails Go Fast?

The speed at which a train can travel is usually limited to the type of track it’s on. Because of this, high-speed trains can not share the same tracks as freight trains. To exceed speeds of over 100 mph, many trains must travel through overhead electrical power rather than diesel. Electric power is used for several reasons, it gives the train greater control of acceleration and deceleration, is quieter than a diesel engine, and is more energy efficient than diesel fuel. 

If high-speed tracks are going to compete with other forms of long-distance travel, they need to be able to transport people quicker than driving or flying. In order for a train to maintain its speed, the track needs to be built mostly straight and flat. Additionally, these tracks need to have minimal stoppages so the train can travel at its top speed for a significantly long distance. To do this, dedicated high-speed tracks need to have fewer train stops at a very long distance apart. 

How is High-Speed Railroad Construction Different?

Track Alignment

Unlike freight lines, high-speed rails can not have many tight turns or changes in elevation. So, they are normally built in a straight line and have longer curves to maintain high speeds. This helps reduce friction, energy consumption, and wear on the train components. 

Track Gauge

Similar to freight trains, high-speed trains normally operate on standard gauge (width) tracks, which are about 4 feet 8.5 inches wide. But these tracks are well-maintained with exceptional precision to ensure smooth train operation. 

Bolted vs. Welded Rails

The traditional method of joining segments of rails is to bolt them together using metal fishplates, producing jointed tracks. For high-speed trains, the rails are welded together to form a continuous welded rail. At R&S Track Maintenance, we use thermit welding to create tracks that are much stronger and need less maintenance than traditional rails. 


To ensure safety and performance standards are met, high-speed tracks need to be inspected and maintained very often. R&S can keep your tracks running smoothly with our general maintenance services. 

High-Speed Rail Construction in the Midwest

R&S Track Maintenance has been serving the track maintenance and railroad construction needs of the Midwest for over 30 years. Contact us at 402-563-2350 for more information.

what is thermit welding - tracks being welded concept image.

What Is Thermit Welding and How Does It Work

Welding is a useful process that can help join two pieces of metal together. There are several different methods of welding that cater to different applications. One popular type is known as thermit welding. This process uses molten metal to bind one piece of metal to another. But how exactly does it work, and what are its real-world applications? 

R & S Track Maintenance is here to explain the process of thermit welding, and how it can be used to improve the safety of your city’s railway system. 

How Does Thermit Welding Work? 

Thermit welding, also known as thermite welding or exothermic welding, is a process used to join two pieces of metal together by creating a chemical reaction that produces intense heat. The heat in this reaction can rise to temperatures up to 4500 F. This heat is generated by a chemical reaction between a mixture of powdered metal oxide, which is usually iron, and a reducing agent, which is normally aluminum. The reaction releases a tremendous amount of heat, and the high temperature causes the surrounding metal to melt and fuse together with the other piece. 

What Are the Applications of Thermit Welding? 

Thermit welding has several different applications. It is often used for heavy industrial projects where a reliable and strong joint is required, such as connecting metal plates, pipelines, structural steel, and more. This process is used for welding the hulls of ships, by connecting thick metal plates to each other. This process is also widely used to weld railway rails together. 

Is Thermit Welding Safe? 

While effective, thermit welding can be slower than other methods of welding such as flash butt welds. It is also a dangerous and messy process due to the immense amount of heat and molten metal created from the exothermic reaction. Special facial and bodily protection are always needed for the job. Additionally, this process releases hazardous materials like aluminum and iron oxide, which can be harmful to humans and the environment if they are not disposed of. So, thermit welding requires careful handling and the right training for the project to be done safely and properly. That is why the trained professionals at R & S Track Maintenance are the best people for the job.

Keep Your Railroads Safe with R & S Track Maintenance, Inc 

Expert railroad track maintenance is critical for ensuring safe, dependable, and efficient train operations. R&S Track can lengthen the lifespan of track infrastructure through frequent inspections, track cleaning, ballast maintenance, rail grinding, thermit welding and scheduled maintenance. We provide customized railroad track construction services in the Midwest region, certified by the Railroad Industry Association, ensuring safe and secure rides for passengers and freight. To see the results of our track maintenance and other railroad projects, please visit our gallery. We also provide services for consulting, surveying, project designing, track rehabilitation, new track construction, derailment services, and more. Contact R&S Track Maintenance today for safe and reliable railway systems.

How are railroad tracks made - image of railroad concept image.

How are Railroad Tracks Made?

Railway tracks are crucial for transportation infrastructure, requiring meticulous engineering for stability and safety. This blog shows how understanding the complex process of creating railroad tracks by R&S Track Maintenance, Inc. can help build more efficient transportation links.

Overview of railroad track manufacturing

Railroad track manufacturing involves steel components, forming continuous rails, cutting, aligning, and gauging for safe travel.

R&S Track Maintenance provides reliable, comprehensive railway track construction services, ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

So, How Are Railroad Tracks Made? Step-by-step construction process

Here is the step-by-step construction process for railway tracks:

  • Pre-construction preparations

Preliminary engineering assesses topography before laying steel rails, identifies obstacles like hillsides, and determines stability needs for specific areas.

Surveys are crucial for the safe and efficient construction of railway tracks, providing detailed information on underground areas, grade levels, and potential tunnels or bridges.

Permits from local and state authorities are crucial for legally constructing private property on railroads, as illegal work without proper authorization could result in costly fines if not addressed beforehand. 

  • Laying bottom ballast

The bottom ballast layer on railroad tracks ensures stability and safety by spreading crushed rock evenly at a specific angle, ensuring levelness and flatness before tamping and inspecting.

Experienced workers use specialized tools like laser levels, surveying rods, and line-marking machines to ensure correct ballast placement and check for ground dips and rises to prevent impeded progress and safety issues.

The ballast is then inspected for unevenness before installing steel rails, correcting issues, and installing braces for security and shock and vibration resistance.

  • Anchorage

Anchorage is crucial in railroad track construction, ensuring secure ground connections and resistance to heavy train loads. Rail anchors are driven into the ballast, while rail braces connect multiple tracks for a secure bond.

Surface plates distribute train weight evenly across the track, consisting of two flat metal surfaces forming a bridge-like shape, preventing excessive wear and tear from heavy trainloads.

Thermite welding is used as a strong process for joining track sections, heating steel to liquid, and pressing them together, ensuring a stable connection.

  • Steel rail installation

Steel rails are crucial on railroad tracks, connecting two bars with metal clips. A track gauge measures the gap between rails, ensuring accurate spacing and addressing irregularities before they cause issues.

Rail on ballast is secured using spikes or clips, driven into wooden ties, or bolts and nuts to form a single line, reducing wear and smoothing track curves.

Regular inspections by R&S Track Maintenance ensure no discrepancies and prompt corrective action for unevenness or misalignment to prevent harm or disruptions to train services.

  • Top ballast

The top ballast layer on railway tracks ensures stability and cushioning for trains, typically made of crushed stone, gravel, or aggregate. Its angular stones interlock, compact, and spread the load, preventing deformation.

Top ballast acts as drainage, preventing erosion and washouts, providing cushioning for trains, preventing vibrations, and ensuring safety for passengers and cargo.

R&S Track Maintenance uses specialized tools like laser levels, surveying, and line-marking machines for efficient material distribution, with inspections crucial for irregularities.

  • Rail anchor and rail brace

Rail anchors and rail braces are crucial components in railroad track construction, ensuring a solid foundation and preventing unstable and unsafe tracks for trains.

Rail braces, or splice bars, connect track sections, ensuring stability and preventing shifting due to train vibrations. Using specialized tools, regular inspections, and the replacement of rail anchors and braces are essential for track safety and stability.

Rail anchor and brace placement is crucial for the tracks’ safety. Place rail anchors near tie plates to distribute tension, and splice bars at least one foot beyond joint ends to distribute tension evenly.

R&S Track Maintenance’s engineers consider lateral movement sources on railroad tracks, incredibly steep grades, or curves. Installing flexible ties near switch points reduces stress on rails and ties during transitions between terrain or speed zones.

Why choose R&S Track Maintenance, Inc.?

R&S Track Maintenance, Inc. provides customized railroad track construction services, certified by the Railroad Industry Association, ensuring safe and secure rides for passengers and freight.

Our company ensures quality results through precise measurements, secure fastening methods, and regular maintenance services to prevent costly issues and ensure long-lasting, stable tracks. We provide services for consulting, surveying, project designing, track rehabilitation, new track construction, track inspections, maintenance, thermite welding, CWR, derailment services, etc. Contact R&S Track for safe and reliable railway systems.

railroad track maintenance best practices - man surveying railroad tracks concept image.

Railroad Track Maintenance Best Practices for Lasting Results

Railroads play a vital role in transportation, ensuring the efficient movement of goods and passengers. The maintenance of railroad tracks is crucial for safe and reliable operations. This article highlights the best practices in railroad track maintenance that contribute to lasting results. R&S Track implements these practices to enhance track safety, extend the lifespan of tracks, and minimize disruptions to operations. Let’s delve into the key aspects of effective track maintenance and explore the strategies that ensure the longevity of railway infrastructure.

Regular Inspections and Monitoring:

Regular inspections are critical for identifying possible problems and evaluating the general condition of the track. Visual inspections, along with new technologies such as track geometry vehicles and drones, allow maintenance workers to spot track flaws, alignment issues, and indicators of wear. Railway operators may prevent small problems from growing into significant track failures by conducting planned inspections and swiftly resolving any found concerns, guaranteeing safe and efficient train operations.

Track Cleaning and Ballast Maintenance:

Cleaning the track properly is critical for eliminating dirt, plants, and other objects that might obstruct drainage or damage track stability. Regular cleaning activities, such as the removal of dirt, sand, and leaves, avoid debris accumulation, which can lead to track deterioration or blockages. Furthermore, constant tamping and adjusting of the ballast (a layer of crushed stone that supports the track) helps guarantee optimum drainage, stability, and weight distribution along the track. 

Rail Grinding and Welding:

The frequent movement of trains on the rail surfaces can produce wear and tear over time, resulting in surface imperfections or faults. Rail grinding is a good way to restore the rail profile, remove flaws, and minimize noise and vibration. Railway operators can restore the smoothness of the rail by utilizing specialized grinding equipment, enhancing train ride quality, and lowering the risk of damage to rolling stock and infrastructure. Furthermore, timely and thorough welding of rail joints guarantees the track’s integrity and continuity, eliminating possible risks and ensuring overall track stability.

Routine Track Maintenance:

Routine maintenance, including tightening loose fasteners, replacing broken or worn-out components, and fixing minor flaws, are critical for track longevity. Regular maintenance actions, such as rail replacement, tie replacement, and track surface repairs, help to avoid track degradation and reduce the need for significant repairs or expensive track replacements in the future. Following maintenance schedules and aggressively fixing minor faults contribute to the railway infrastructure‘s overall integrity and lifespan.

Weather-Related Considerations:

Railway tracks are exposed to various weather conditions that can impact their performance and durability. Extreme temperatures, heavy rainfall, snow, and freeze-thaw cycles can cause track deformation, settlement, or degradation. Implementing preventive measures, such as proper drainage systems, track slope maintenance, and appropriate ballast material selection, helps mitigate the effects of weather-related factors and ensure the track’s resilience in adverse conditions.

Railroad track maintenance best practices – Contact R&S Track Inc.

In conclusion, expert railroad track maintenance is critical for ensuring safe, dependable, and efficient train operations. R&S Track can lengthen the lifespan of track infrastructure through frequent inspections, track cleaning and ballast maintenance, rail grinding and welding and scheduled maintenance. Our experts can minimize delays and optimize train performance for years to come.

Visit our website to learn more about our services and expertise.

railroad track ballast concept image.

What Are the Functions of a Railroad Track Ballast?

Have you ever wondered why railroad tracks have layers of crushed rocks underneath them?
The use of this crushed rock is more than a mere coincidence–it’s called a railroad track ballast, or more commonly known as a “ballast”. It plays an important role in keeping railroad tracks stable and functional. If you’re curious about the purpose of railroad track ballast and how it works, keep reading. Here’s everything you need to know about railroad ballast:

What is a railroad track ballast?

Generally speaking, ballast is a term for something that creates balance or stability. In fact, the
term was originally used to describe stones that helped to balance ships. Like ballast for ships,
railroad ballast is used to create stable conditions for the railroad. Railroad ballast is usually
composed of crushed stone, although other materials, such as burned clay, have also been
used in the past. It is used to form the track bed underneath railroad ties.

What Role Does Ballast Play in Railroad Track

Ballast has been an essential aspect of railroad construction for hundreds of years. While
ballast might seem like a simple or minor detail in the construction process, in reality, it serves
several essential purposes to help keep railroad tracks stable. Here’s a brief look at the roles
that ballast plays:

Helps Maintain the Position of the Tracks

Not only are trains incredibly heavy, they’re also extremely fast-moving. Without proper support,
it would be impossible for the railroad tracks to stay in place. One of the purposes of using
railroad ballast is to help keep the tracks in place as the train is passing through.

Keeps Vegetation at Bay

Another benefit of using ballast in railroad construction is that it serves as a barrier to prevent
weeds and other vegetation from growing freely on the railroad tracks. While these small plants
may seem harmless, they can actually undermine the ground beneath the railroad tracks,
making it softer, weaker, and ultimately less able to support the railroad tracks.

Protects the Tracks From Water

Railroad ballast also helps prevent water from settling around the railroad tracks and potentially
posing a danger to the train’s stability. The ballast creates an effective drainage system,
allowing the water to cycle through and protecting the integrity of the railroad tracks themselves.

Contact R&S Track For Your Railway Maintenance
Needs Today

Ballast is an extremely important aspect of railroad construction. Not only does it keep the
railroad tracks secure, it protects the tracks from water, plant overgrowth, and other factors that
could affect the viability of the railroad tracks.
When it comes to truck maintenance and railway construction, there are few names as trusted
in the business as R&S Track. With 35 years of experience serving the Midwest, R&S Track has
become a leader in the industry that you can rely on to get the job done right. From consulting
services to track inspections, maintenance, track rehabilitation, project design, derail services,
and more, we’re ready to help. Reach out to us today to book a consultation or to learn more
about our services.

railroad safety rules

Railroad Safety Rules: Stay Alert, Stay Alive

Railroad safety is a grave concern for everyone who uses the roads and sidewalks near train tracks. Trains are powerful and fast-moving machines that can cause serious injury or death if you don’t take the necessary precautions. So, let’s delve into some key railroad safety rules when approaching train tracks!

Stay off the tracks

It’s illegal and extremely dangerous to walk on railroad tracks. Train tracks are private property, and you could be hit by a train traveling at high speeds before you even realize it. Remember, a train takes a mile or more to stop completely, so it cannot avoid hitting you if you’re on the tracks. But you can definitely avoid being around it. 

Don’t Race Trains

It may seem like a fun challenge to beat a train at a crossing, but it’s a life-threatening game with deadly consequences. Trains can appear to be moving slower than they are due to their size and distance, so never attempt to race a train to the crossing.

Respect the weight of a train

Trains are incredibly heavy and can weigh up to 6,000 tons. The force of impact from a train is similar to that of a wrecking ball hitting a structure. Imagine you’re standing in front of a brick wall, and a wrecking ball weighing several tons comes hurtling towards you. Just like how the wrecking ball’s weight makes it nearly impossible to stop or change direction quickly, a train’s massive weight makes it difficult to come to a sudden stop or avoid a collision. 

Trains always have the right of way

No matter what, trains always take priority over any other vehicles or pedestrians on or near the tracks. Thus, even if emergency vehicles or police cars need to cross the tracks, they must yield to any oncoming trains. Pedestrians should never assume that a train won’t pose a threat just because it appears to be moving slowly or far away. Trains can still cause serious harm even at low speeds.

Stay off Train Bridges and Tunnels

Train bridges and tunnels may seem like exciting places to explore, but they’re incredibly dangerous. Never walk, bike, or play on train bridges or tunnels, as trains can approach quickly and without warning.

Don’t cross the tracks anywhere

Under no circumstances should you attempt to cross train tracks anywhere other than designated crossings. The presence of rails on the railroad ties means that trains may be using the track, even if it looks abandoned or unused. Always err on the side of caution and assume that the track is in use. 

Stay alert and avoid distractions

Modern trains are significantly quieter than their predecessors, making relying on sound to indicate their presence harder. Remain vigilant whenever you’re near train tracks and avoid distractions like texting or wearing headphones that may prevent you from hearing an approaching train. Be mindful that the rails are no place for leisure! Hence, it’s best to exercise caution around them at all times. Even if you can’t hear a train, it doesn’t guarantee one isn’t coming. 

Report Any Unsafe Conditions

If you notice any unsafe conditions around train tracks or crossings, such as damaged or missing warning signs or signals, report them to the appropriate authorities immediately. You could be saving the lives of many others!

Railroad Safety with R&S Track, Inc. 

At R&S Track, Inc., we place the utmost importance on railroad safety rules, committing to providing top-notch rail services that meet the most rigorous industry standards.

To learn more about the safety measures we implement and our train services, please visit our website at If you have any concerns or queries, feel free to contact us.

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