Tuesday as I was coming home from work I noticed this long line of strange looking rail cars. I though about stopping for a look but I went home instead. The rest of the day I had visions of that time Mr. T came to the mall. That entire day I kept saying I’ll go a little later, I’ll go a little later…’ but when I finally got there, they told me he just left. When I asked the mall guy if he would ever come back again, he said he didn’t know. I was able to breath a huge sigh of relief when I returned the following day and found the train still parked in the same spot with numerous diesel engines happily idling away. I’m fairly sure I heard some of the two stroke variety among the clatter.
So what does this train do? As the title of this post suggests it grinds the surface of rails to remove imperfections that reduce rail car wheel life. Grinding also provides a host of other benefits as explained by the offical LORAM website. You can even find more photos of RG-318 on their site.
As you can imagine a train full of grinding wheels has the ability to produce a large number of sparks. Heading over to Youtube you can watch this very train cruise the tracks at night shooting sparks and causing small brush fires along the right of way. Thankfully this train comes equipped with its own fire hose to quickly dose the hot spots. Below is a video of similar grinder in action. I can almost feel those sparks!