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While at Tehachapi Loop I found this train setting on a siding. Can anyone tell me what it is? It seems to have some sort of grinding car and several tank cars. This is a picture of the engine.



This is a front view of the engine.



There were three tank cars like these on the train.


This seemed to be a generator car of some sort.




This is the grinding mechanism, or is it a polishing mechanism?



Anothaer picture of the engine with the first of three tank cars.



This was a really odd looking car. These panels seemed to be very loosely held in place and they covered these grinding wheels.

So, can someone out there explain what this train's function is and how it works?

Why do they need three tank cars and several of these grinding cars?

There wer several other cars but I was unable to get a clear picture of them.

John
 

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John,

This is a rail grinding train. It is used to grind the top of the rail back to the correct profile. The rail will get deformed, especially in curves. The correct profile has the top with a slight radius. This with the angle of the wheel tread keeps the wheels in the center of the track on straight track. At the worst the top gets flattened and the edge gets a burr.

The tank cars are for fire suppression due to the many sparks when the grinder is in operation. On the porch you can see the water spray nozzles.

The loose fitting sides help keep the sparks on the rock ballast. They open the covers to replace the grinding wheels.
 

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Robb

Your explanation is correct.

I have witnessed these crews working from time to time in California. On time the crew was grinding at dusk, almost night. The spark show while grinding the rail heads is quite impressive and explains why the crew needs to carry water to suppress line-side fires.
 

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That's an amazing piece of machinery. I had never seen one before. I have a VHS tape from Pentrex of a BNSF automatic tie removal and replacement train.
It moves along at about 2 mph, lifts the rails, removes the old ties and places a new tie in its place and lowers the rail back in place. It is preceded by a spike removal
crew and followed by a re-spiking crew. It even removes the old dirty ballast and replaces it with new ballast and tamps it in place.
Everything is done in one operation. Amazing to watch.
 

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Harsco & Pandrol Jackson

"Harsco Track Technologies is a major global supplier of railway track maintenance equipment and services. The division provides track maintenance services to major railroads, short lines, and transit systems, and is a leading source for over 140 types and models of work equipment used in the maintenance, renewal, and new construction of railway track."

http://www.harsco.com/businesses/division.aspx?BGID=18&DIVID=36

"Harsco Track Technologies, a subsidiary of Harsco Corporation, was formed in October 1999 by the merger of two worldwide leaders in the manufacture of railway track construction and maintenance equipment, Fairmont Tamper and Pandrol Jackson, Inc."

http://www.fairmonttamper.com/history.htm

http://www.fairmonttamper.com/




-Ted
 
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