Monday, May 26, 2008

Repairing Track

During the Civil War, a favorite way of disrupting an enemies' supply line was to tear up his railroad tracks. After removing the rails from the track, the rails were often twisted, in an attempt to make them unusable in the future. The picture above was taken in about 1862, and it shows a large pile of these twisted rails. It also shows an ingenious device that was developed to straighten the rails. The device is a combination of a large jack and blocks, which was used to remove the bends from the rails.


  1. I cannot beleive no one has commented on this photo yet. This picture really is amazaing and I would love to see more like it!

  2. The rails in the background bent over themselves were heated on a pile of burning ties and then bent around a tree! The tree had to be cut down in order to move them.

    I do hope the gentleman in the picture was able to heat that rail before trying to straighten it.

  3. Whose rail-straightening device was this? Union or Confederate? And thanks for posting it by the way.


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