Measuring Equipment and Maintenance Tools for Tracks

The measuring equipment and tools commonly used for track maintenance, together with their purpose, are presented in Table 18.3. Sketches of some of the tools used for the maintenance of tracks are given in Fig. 18.1.

Table 18.3 Measuring equipment and maintenance tools

Name of equipment/tool


Measuring equipment Rail gauge

Straight edge and spirit level


Cant board

To check the gauge

To check the alignment as well as the cross level To check the gauge as well as the cross level

To check the difference in cross levels or the superelevation

Mallet or wooden hammer Canne-a-boule

To check the packing of the sleepers A modern equipment used to assess the voids under the sleepers


Stepped feeler gauge

To check the squareness of sleepers To measure wear or clearances

Maintenance tools Sleeper tong Rail tong Beater Crowbar

To carry sleepers

To lift and carry rails

To pack ballast under the sleeper

To correct track alignment and to lift the track for

surfacing. Clawed crowbars are used for taking out

dog spikes.

Jim Crow

(a) Spiking hammer

(b) Keying hammer


Wire claw or ballast rake

To bend or break the rails To drive spikes To drive keys

To tighten bolts

To draw or pull out ballast while screening, packing, etc.

Phowrah (shovel) Auger

Box spanner Wire basket Pan iron motor

To cut earth or to pull out ballast To bore holes in wooden sleepers For driving rail screws or plate screws For screening the ballast For leading earth/ballast

Tools used for the maintenance of tracks
Fig. 18.1 Tools used for the maintenance of tracks

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