Shooting a Thermite Weld on the Railroad from Start to Finish
See how Thermite Field Welding is done on a railroad from start to finish. Today's work is called a field weld (because it's being done in the field) and when they set the weld off that is called shooting the weld.
The big yellow thing on the back of the weld truck is a rail puller which they have if needed, it is powered by hydraulics from the weld truck and swung into position by the crane on the truck.
All our thermite welding is done by a contractor. They like to have about a 1 inch gap between the rails before they weld, a little bit more is acceptable however, but not much.
Each weld is guaranteed and each weld costs us $550 to do which is really fairly reasonable. The welders have told me that they have gone on other jobs were they have charged up to $1100 per weld. (depending on distance they have to travel along with motel and food costs) Our welder today is Tyler who is a really hard worker and who takes extreme pride in his work. It is really great to see young men like Tyler out here on the railroad having an excellent work ethic. He is a fine young man who cares.
It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to fully align the rail and make the weld, grind it off and pick up. We cannot thank you enough for watching and it's very special to us that we can share some of our experiences here at the Cumberland Mine Railroad with you. Weld was done west of the train loading facility at the prep plant at mile post 0.3.
I used to work with a guy that was rather hard of hearing, he always called it termite welding....LOL Hope you enjoyed the video my friends.