I went with Gary when he got called into work. Here are some photos of what happens on the railroad tracks. Taken in Paulden, AZ

The first image was taken by laying my Nikon D80 on the track. Note the Memorial Day weekend storm clouds.

storm at Paulden, AZ

A raven in flight, likely looking for food. These are scavangers, so it may be looking for railroad kill.


Hyrail truck as seen from the track. These vehicles can run on the track and the road. The railroad wheels lift up under the truck for highway travel.

hyrail truck on railroad track

Burn rope being used to expand the track. A pull apart was being repaired, to do so the rail had to be expanded to fill the pull apart gap. Heat from the burn rope expands the steel rail and thereby closes the gap. When the gap closes, railroad workers use a bracket (you can see one in the image above BTW) to connect the 2 sections of track. A 1500 foot length of rail can be expaned as much as 1 foot with this technique. For today’s repair about 2 inches of expansion was needed.

burn rope being used to expand track

Click on any of these to see a larger image.