Come ride along and sit with me in my excavator as we crib ties out on curve 25. You'll get to watch me do some cribbing and get to see what I do as I'm doing the cribbing.
For those who are new to my series of videos, the crib is the space between the ties where the ballast goes. When that ballast gets plugged up with coal fines then it won't allow proper drainage to occur so the water wants to stay in the crib and under the ties, then it's hard to keep track surface to hold. So by cribbing we are creating a new healthy environment for the track, one where water will drain away and rail cross level will be maintained. This will also extend tie, rail and joint bar life.
The curve we are working on today is an 11 degree curve on a 2.5% grade. The coal fines get in the track because of leaky car doors on our bottom discharge hopper cars. These cars are old many of them built in 1996, they see some extreme use. Most coal cars get dumped once a week, these cars get dumped 6 to 7 times a day, 7 days a week. It is constant maintenance to try and keep up with the abuse these cars take, a never ending battle for the mechanics. We need some new cars!