Prepare for ice, snow, and frozen ground

For rail operations that experience cold temperatures, this is the time of year to prepare for ice, snow and frozen ground.

Switches should be inspected for proper clearances. If your switches’ moving parts do not have four inches of clearance from the ballast, it is suggested they be cribbed to that depth by late September. It is well worth the effort to remove ballast from under the moving parts of switches before frost sets in.

Ordering switch brooms now will ensure you will have them on hand before the snow flies. Installing holding posts for the switch brooms will provide a safe place for them as well. We suggest a six foot steel post driven into the ground two feet with a couple of 2 inch rings welded in place to hold the broom. This steel post should be placed about 10 feet from the end of the switch crosstie so they will not impede the operation of the switch.

Bags of ice melt, salt or sand-salt mix should be on hand when the temperatures drop as well.

If your facility is located where ice and snow are possible, it is suggested your rail operations people have appropriate studded overshoes to wear when it is icy. LaCross makes a superb over boot with a studded sole. These studded over boots are well worth the investment in preventing slips and falls in slick conditions.