Track Maintainer

Track Maintainers keep the railroad track and the structure underneath safe and reliable. Track maintenance work is very physical and involves a lot of walking, lifting, bending, shovelling and the use of both hand and portable power tools.

Standard hand tools for Track Maintainers include spike mauls to drive spikes into ties, sledgehammers to remove and install anchors, claw bars to remove spikes, lining and pinch bars and shovels for maintaining ballast. A variety of hydraulic and gas powered tools are also used in track maintenance.

You’ll find Track Maintainers out on the job at all hours and in all types of weather, returning the track to operating status and ensuring trains have a safe, reliable railway to run on. Track Maintainers are usually assigned to specific sections of track – starting from the same location everyday and getting to work sites usually by “hi-rails” that can travel on rail or on the road.

The type of work done during the shift varies from location to location where Track Maintainers may replace a few ties or correct small deviations in the track’s running surface using basic hand and power tools. If a break or defect is found, Track Maintainers replace short sections of rail using different types of power tools to get the job done quickly and safely.

During bad weather you’ll find Track Maintainers out removing debris from the track, repairing tracks following a slide or washout, or clearing ice and snow from switches and crossings to keep the trains running safely and on schedule.

On larger jobs, Track Maintainers will help with such things as unloading ballast when upgrading track, doing spot work behind large mechanized tie gangs, pitching in where needed when rail gangs replace old rail for new rail and helping the Work Equipment department and sometimes outside contractors - build, repair and maintain the track.

Thanks to their broad range of skills, Track Maintainers interested in bigger challenges have the opportunity to apply for such engineering positions as Welders, Work Equipment Operators, Foreman and higher management positions.

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