Included in the track gang can be anything from tie cranes and extractors to ballast regulators and tampers. For more information regarding this maintenance equipment please click here to visit the section of the site which covers the subject. If you are seriously interested in the railroad industry please be aware that it is very tough work and is not exactly for everyone. While hours are not quite as hectic and unpredictable was what train crews experience it is still quite labor intensive, even with the new technology and machines (this is especially true on smaller railroads which do not have the funds to purchase the expensive equipment).
There is a reason why railroaders say that railroading becomes a lifestyle, its not just saying! So, just be sure to keep this in mind prior to making a decision. However, on the contrary, a career in the industry can be quite rewarding as it not only provides very good pay but also offers excellent benefits and retirement. Also, if you tire of the maintenance department you can always move up (with the proper training) as a member of the train crew, eventually becoming an engineer. Again, however, your hours will be completely unpredictable and fatigue can become a problem.
In any event, here is what one railroad requires to be a tie gang laborer:
Installs and repairs railroad track on specified territory of railroad, using spike pullers, spike drivers, removes old spikes, drives new spikes, performs related maintenance to railroad track on specified territory of railroad. This is accomplished by performing the following;
* Raises rail, using track jack, to facilitate removal of old railroad tie and installation of new tie.
* Drills holes through rails for insertion of bolts using power drill.
* Operates track-wrench machine to tighten or loosen bolts at joints that hold ends of rails together.
* Operates rail saw to cut rails to specified lengths.
* Operates portable grinder to grind worn ends of rails.
* Paints railroad signs, such as speed limits and gate-crossing warnings.
* Drives company vehicles.
* Performs other duties as requested or required.
For more information about tie gang's please click here. To put it bluntly the job is exhausting as part of the tie gang but if you enjoy being outdoors and constantly on the move traveling you may find this work very enjoyable. Again, if you are not even sure if a career in railroading is right for you but would like to learn more about what it takes to work in the industry you might want to consider the book Working on the Railroad from noted author Brian Solomon. Solomon's book details the history of working in the railroad industry and the difficulties and hardship employees faced back then as well as today.
Tie Gang Laborer