While I was recording the end-of-summer blossoms a CPR tie replacement gang came though, providing a good lesson in mechanization backbreaking labour.
First, some blossoms:
Evening Primrose with visitor …
Virgin’s Bower, a wild Clematis, ending it blossom stage …
… and entering its “windflower” fluffy stage:
The last of the Fireweed blossoms …
Meanwhile the Black Cherries are ripening.
Here is one of the first mechanized devices in the tie gang:
The operators use little hydraulic/pneumatic “pullers” to pull the spikes out of the rail plate. 3 for each plate. Following along behind are some younger (lower seniority?) workers who are picking up the spikes and loading that trailer. A railside electromagnet on a backhoe reloads the spikes into a carrier which is used to reload them into magazines where they are re-used. It was quite neat to see the machinery pull old ties out to the side, put new ties in under the rail and then respike them. This sort of thing seemed to be inevitable though:
Worker is adjusting rail plate on two new ties the old fashioned way.