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Elastic Spike Extractor - experiences?

Discussion in 'Civil Engineering M.I.C.' started by Sheff, May 17, 2018.

  1. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    We have a considerable amount of flat-bottomed rail on cast base plates spiked to wooden sleepers. When replacing sleepers we really struggle to remove some of the spikes, which appear to be binding in the holes in the plates. We generally have to resort to forcing a bar through the loop in the spike then using a jack either side on the bar. This is labourious, often bends the bar, and is not without hazard.

    Has anyone got a better method?

    Or have you used any of the proprietary tools advertised eg https://www.speedyservices.com/c1416320-s-elastic-spike-extractor
    which claims "This product is designed to use for the removal of elastic spikes when performing rail maintenance. Constructed from steel and finished by a hard wearing coat of paint this tool performs the basic task of removing plastic spikes effortlessly."
     
  2. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    I have been around such things on NWR in the past and they did work, but not had practical experience with the tool as I was the Site Engineer.
    (It also was heavier than a pen.)
    The problem on NWR with spikes was that they were too loose rather than too tight, you could not tamp the track as the tamper clamps just lifted the rails and not the sleepers.
    On a relay the track panels had to be scrapped out rather than loaded in panels as you would be lucky to get 3 sleepers remaining on the panel when lifted with a tracklayer crane.
    We do not have any of these fastenings on the NYMR the last length being at Pickering station was relaid a few years back.

    As the ad is for Speedy you may find it worth asking about hiring a tool for a weekend and trying it out.

    I would also say, under no circumstances would I relay with any spiked track at all, weigh it in for scrap.
     
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  3. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for that. Yes I'm sure that if we lifted panels then many sleepers would fall off. The problem is the spikes binding in the plates. Hiring is a possibility, though at just over £100 to buy I'm not sure how much we'd save. As for wholesale replacement, need a magic money tree
     
  4. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    Another alternative is to disc cut or burn the spikes off.
     
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  5. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    Ah but we reuse the spikes too ;) Poor as church mice!
     
  6. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin New Member

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    We use spike extractor tools quite often. If the spike is being difficult get someone to bash the corner of the plate with a hammer while keeping pressure on the puller. Once in a while a plate will crack but we are replacing them over time so have plenty of spares.
     
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  7. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    Ta - yes we employ the judicious use of the big hammer too, but don't have the luxury of a lot of spares.

    Will investigate the puller tool further - which one do you use?
     
  8. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin New Member

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    They look like the one on the link but don't have much yellow paint left on them.
     
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  9. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    What does the puller bear on to? Railhead, baseplate or sleeper?
     
  10. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin New Member

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    Hook the puller under the spike then kick the fulcrum in along the sleeper until it is hard up against the plate. Hope that makes sense.

    I'm one of the 'Works under supervision' type of PWay volunteers. I have seen our Head of Civil Engineering using such a puller to great effect. There is a bit of a knack to it.
     
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  11. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    Thanks - that's what I feared. So if the sleeper is rotten and the spike stuck solid, then the likely outcome is the fulcrum punching into the sleeper. probably need a slab of 1/4 plate to spread the load.
     
  12. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin New Member

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    Oh dear. We have had the odd sleeper where it has been easier to shovel the wood away from around the spikes. As a general rule the puller finds something to bite on.
     
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  13. DR73202

    DR73202 New Member

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  14. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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  15. 32110

    32110 Member

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  16. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    Thanks - that one doesn't include the wedge for the stubborn b@@@@@@ds, so not quite a cheap as it looks. Our HoD is on the case now, so thanks to everyone's suggestions.
     

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