What does a Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operator do?
Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.
- Patrol assigned track sections so that damaged or broken track can be located and reported.
- Clean tracks or clear ice or snow from tracks or switch boxes.
- Repair or adjust track switches, using wrenches and replacement parts.
- Lubricate machines, change oil, or fill hydraulic reservoirs to specified levels.
- Dress and reshape worn or damaged railroad switch points or frogs, using portable power grinders.
- Cut rails to specified lengths, using rail saws.
- Raise rails, using hydraulic jacks, to allow for tie removal and replacement.
- Adjust controls of machines that spread, shape, raise, level, or align track, according to specifications.
- Drill holes through rails, tie plates, or fishplates for insertion of bolts or spikes, using power drills.
- Grind ends of new or worn rails to attain smooth joints, using portable grinders.
- Operate track-wrench machines to tighten or loosen bolts at joints that hold ends of rails together.
- Observe leveling indicator arms to verify levelness and alignment of tracks.
- Operate single- or multiple-head spike driving machines to drive spikes into ties and secure rails.
- Engage mechanisms that lay tracks or rails to specified gauges.
- Clean or make minor repairs to machines or equipment.
- Clean, grade, or level ballast on railroad tracks.
- Drive graders, tamping machines, brooms, or ballast spreading machines to redistribute gravel or ballast between rails.
- Operate single- or multiple-head spike pullers to pull old spikes from ties.
- Drive vehicles that automatically move and lay tracks or rails over sections of track to be constructed, repaired, or maintained.
- Turn wheels of machines, using lever controls, to adjust guidelines for track alignments or grades, following specifications.
- Spray ties, fishplates, or joints with oil to protect them from weathering.
- Push controls to close grasping devices on track or rail sections so that they can be raised or moved.
- String and attach wire-guidelines machine to rails so that tracks or rails can be aligned or leveled.
- Operate tie-adzing machines to cut ties and permit insertion of fishplates that hold rails.
- Paint railroad signs, such as speed limits or gate-crossing warnings.
- Weld sections of track together, such as switch points and frogs.