Monday, January 16, 2006

Pile Driving Equipment

From: "Larry Mullaly" lmullaly@jeffnet.org

In reading accounts of early western railroad construction, my impression is that the work of earth moving and preparation of the roadbed could take weeks to accomplish, whereas rail laying was done quite quickly, often at the rate of a mile or more per day. A question arises about trestle building, which inevitably required the driving of piles. If pile driving depended on railcar-mounted equipment would this not have brought track-laying to a halt every time a watercourse or canyon had to be crossed? The alternative is that pile drivers were brought forward ahead of track laying by wagon – something difficult for me to imagine. Any help with this would be appreciated.

—Larry