All in a Day's Work

Portraying the various types of work and special challenges that occur along the rails of the Alaska Railroad


Undercutter - The summer following the 500 year flood of 1986, an undercutter was used to remove the fouled dirt/ballast that was shoved under the ties just to get the railroad back in service. The undercutter has a long bar similar to a chain saw chain that removes all material up to about 12" below the bottom of the tie. After the material is removed, ties or cinder blocks are used under every fifth or sixth tie to support the track while unloading the car of new ballast. The track is then surfaced, lined and regulated.