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jonathon  g cooper

rail road spikes

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A couple of possibilities if you can't find them online:

 

Walk along a track and look off to edges of the ballast - not ethical as the Right of Way is considered private property and can be dangerous if you are not paying attention and relies on chance, but they normally don't care if you find the occasional spike an pick it up.

 

Watch for RR track work crews, and talk to them. Explain your situation and offer to trade a RR spike knife for some spikes. If you are real lucky, they might be using thermite to weld the track and you can watch from closer than you normally would. If they still can't help you, try and get the name and phone number of their area supervisor and talk to him/her.

 

Finally, look for places where old track is being removed because a local authority exercised Eminent Domain, to build a hiking trail or put in a building - in these areas, the old RR spikes are often just left laying around until building / grading actives bury them, simply because they are usually not worth the effort to pick up.

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You can also go "to the end of the line" so to speak. There are usually repair yards or shacks at the end of short-run lines. When the crews do bother to pick up old spikes, they tend to toss them in buckets and boxes. I've seen several that are more than happy to let you dig through their scraps. Just make sure you clear it with the yard boss first!

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