I recently helped lead a field trip to some old historical railroad sites here in Central Oregon. Over the years I have seen hundreds of discarded railroad spikes and other hardware along existing and abandoned tracks, but I have never seen anything like this. Does anyone know what it is called and what it
Mike. Thanks for the reply and the links. Now I think I understand. The object is simply a large screw and is called a screw spike It is used to attach the base plate to the tie, all of which holds the rail in place. It is used in lieu of a RR spike which is hammered into place. The screw spike has a lot greater holding capacity than a regular spike. The link sure shows a lot of different pieces of hardware that are meant to hold all those rails in place. Railroad construction has always fascinated me. From the surveying and engineering involved in laying out routes, to bridge and tunnel construction.
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