Monday, June 27, 2016
An American Railroad - Mixture of Media
Shiny rails indicate a still active rail line passing through Vinton, Iowa. The old Vinton Depot is a favorite photo target and is now a historical museum. The depot building, which was once part of the Rock Island Line, will be featured in a future posting but for now I am quite taken by the detail in this image.
On a rail bed, called ballast and made up of hard rocks typically quartzite, is an almost submerged cedar or Douglas fir tie. Upon the tie is an iron brace which shores up the rail line. Two railroad spikes anchor the brace on the exterior of the track. There is an interior brace and spikes opposite the exterior brace however they cannot be seen from this viewpoint.
One can often find spent spikes or brackets along the tracks, garage sales, thrift shops or as repurposed artwork. Technically these items belong to the railroad and are often rounded up near the tracks and hauled away for salvage.