The backhoe operator that will take on the crossing and bury the welded rail looks on as the train continues to pass at a walking pace of 5 miles-per-hour or less.
The rear-end crow's nest team watches both sides of the departing rail to insure that the ends are detected and connected to the next strand before the train continues on.
The rail threader cars - in this case CWRX 53400 and 53401 - string the 115-pound rail through a series of four rollers/threaders to reach ground level. Crews from RailWorks and RailAmerica are supervised by LB Foster's Jerry Logston on the NECR Rail Trains.
Following the passage of the train, the CWR is left strung over the private grade crossing, thus making it temporarily impassable. This is where the backhoe operator steps in and rectifies the problem!
Enter the backhoe - stage right! The process begins with a trench being dug after the rail is moved out of the way. The idea is to pull the rail directly back into the trench once it is dug and then cover it over. Typically the rail stays upright and is easily buried with loose dirt, so the installation gangs can pull it back up and put it in place.
With the trench completed, the rail is pulled back into it to be buried and reopen this side of the crossing. The same process will be repeated on the other side.
On this day, during the process of covering the rail, this section is cut for the South Switch Bolton and once completely free of the train, rolls over and out of the trench.