how long do railroad tracks last - how often do railroad tracks need to be replaced - concept image.

Understanding the Relevance of Railroad Services

Considered an integral element in the development of America, railroads are still a preferred method of transporting goods and people across the Midwest. While many railroads are still functional, there are plenty which need railroad services such as repairs and rehabilitation. These repairs must be done to a professional standard to ensure the safe transport of both goods and passengers.

Before contacting a Midwest railroad contractor, read on to learn more about the services they offer, and how they can help you.

Consulting Railroad Services

As with any project which requires physical labor and engineering, a consultant is necessary to ensure the efficiency and efficacy of the job at hand. When it comes to railroads, you may consider hiring a Midwest railroad contractor to advise on exactly what you need to do to your tracks to get them functional again.

This is especially helpful to those who don’t have any knowledge or experience with railroads, although even with some experience and knowledge a consultant may be necessary.

Surveying Railroad Services

Due to the nature of how trains move along railroads, the land underneath the tracks is just as important as the tracks themselves. By hiring surveyors to inspect the land underneath your current tracks, you can enhance the longevity of the tracks by identifying potential problems early. Railroad surveyors will also be able to conduct a survey of your site to get an accurate idea of your inventory, which can aid you in planning for future needs.

This is a necessary part of the process of repairing or even building railroads, and should be done as early as possible to determine all potential problems.

Project Design Railroad Services

While designing a railroad track may seem simple enough in theory, the reality behind it involves many nuances which may require specific knowledge to understand. Things like various elevations, rivers, and geological features will require planning to circumvent or build over. This is where a professional and experienced railroad project designer can help, as they will be familiar with all the subtleties required.

Unless you’re looking at major repairs, project design is only really relevant when building a new railroad track. As with consulting, project design is helpful even to those with experience, and especially for those without.

Track Inspections Railroad Services

If you have recently bought or acquired a railroad track, the first thing you will need to do is have the tracks inspected. This can not only identify issues early, but also give you information about the efficiency and longevity of the track itself. Track inspections have changed dramatically since the inception of railroads, and now utilize technology referred to as Nondestructive Testing (NDT), such as:

  • Eddy current inspection – can identify surface or near-surface flaws
  • Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT)
  • Liquid Penetrant Inspection (LPI) – for manual inspection of joint bars and rail ends
  • Magnetic induction or Magnetic flux leakage – used to locate unseen flaws
  • Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) – used for detailed manual inspection
  • Radiography – used in specific locations such as bolt holes or areas where thermite welding was used
  • Ultrasound – considered the most popular method
  • Visual inspection – utilizing cameras to detect breaks and cracks in joint bars and bolted rails

Track inspections are imperative to undertake regularly to ensure the safety and longevity of your track. While you should undertake them as the railroad track owner, other railroad companies using your line may also request the right to inspect.

Track Maintenance

As with inspections, regular maintenance is an important provision of railroad services and can ensure both the longevity and efficiency of your tracks. From lubing the adjusting points and switches, to replacing fasteners and bolts, keeping up with maintenance can keep everything functioning. Any Midwest railroad contractor will tell you that regular maintenance saves them both time and money in not having to undertake expensive repairs or rehabilitation.

As with inspections, maintenance should be undertaken regularly. Contact us to find out how often your tracks may need maintenance, and how we can help.

Thermite Welding

Traditional bolted rails usually suffer a number of problems which require thermite welding to rectify. Due to the nature of this kind of welding, this should only be done by experienced professionals.

Get in touch with us today to talk with one of our railroad contractors about any thermite welding you may need on your tracks.

Derail Services

Even with regular inspections and maintenance, derails can happen. While they may be devastating at times, it’s important to know you can get the cars back on the tracks, and the tracks repaired to continue your service.

Midwest Railroad Services: R&S Track

Hopefully you will never need to hire derail services, but on the off chance you do we can help you get back in business. Contact R&S Track today!