MichiganRailroads.com - Lower Peninsula Railroads
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Re: Strange MOW work in TC Boardman Yard
Based on your description, I would suggest the "bar across the top" of the rail is a gauge bar. Using chains to pull it into gauge, then spiking it down. The photo suggests that they dug up each angle bar, probably to check the bolts, then to make sure it was in gauge at that location. Why they would choose to do it in the winter time is a mystery greater than why they would be doing it in the first place...
How is the storage situation on the GLC? Lots of little used track stuffed full of empty cars? Maybe prepping this track to hold cars long term?