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I Forge Iron

What is it?


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I found this several years ago when I was working at the site of a condo complex being built.  I literally stumbled over it as I was climbing back into my truck.

 

At the time, there was a lot of heavy earth-moving equipment being used at the site for preliminary grading, but I couldn't find anyone that was missing a part and this contraption was buried up to pad part on the entry road.  About 400yd east of the site there was an old rail bed that had been turned into a pedestrian trail, but the last train came through some 20 years prior.  As hefty as this thing is, it could have been off of a train, but what part?

 

The black plastic part gives me the impression that this is some kind of pedal, but why so stoutly built?  Approximately 16" long and 4" in diameter at the collar.

 

IMG_0226_zps64e7aab9.jpg

IMG_0225_zps3996814b.jpg

 

Thoughts?  The tapered section would be nice as a bick if it wasn't faceted, but the other half would make a nice hardy-mounted cone.  That might be a project for tomorrow!

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Its a tamper head out of a rail tamper, used to push the ballast under the sleepers when the crew is leveling the rail line.  The coating on the flat plate is most likely going to be hard face.  Steel is most likely to be 4140 or at the least 1045, some of them are 4340.  This type of tamper is a rail mounted vehicle that is driven along the track, the tamper heads are positioned in a head that will push the heads down into the ballast and then vibrate the whole lot while pushing in together so pushing the ballast in under the sleepers (USA = ties).

 

Phil

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Well, if that ain't the neatest thing I've heard of!  I would never have guessed that.

 

For it to have migrated so far from the rail line and ended up in exactly the spot the construction people decided to cut in an access road, and then be uncovered enough for me to catch a toe on it......  Amazing!

 

Now I just need to figure out a use for it.  Thanks, FM.

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