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Description of dog spike
Jun 22, 2018

A dog spike:

A dog spike(also known as a cut spike or crampon or track spikes) is a large nail with an offset head that is used to secure rails and base plates to railroad ties (sleepers) in the track.On smaller scale jobs spikes are still driven into wooden sleepers by hammering them with a spike maul. Thought this manual work has been largely replaced by hydraulic tools and machines.


A rail spike is roughly chisel-shaped and with a flat edged point; the spike is driven with the edge perpendicular to the grain, which gives greater resistance to loosening. The main function is to keep the rail in gauge. When attaching tie plates the attchment is made as strong as possible,whereas when attaching a rail to tie or tie plate the spike is not normally required to provide a strong vertical force, allowing the rail some freedom of movement.


Dog spikes is functionally equivalent to a cut spike and is also square in horizontal section and of similar dimensions, but has a pointed penetrating end, and the rail head has two lugs on either side, giving the impression of a dog's head and aiding spike removal.


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