Setting of tracks with timing bars : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I am trying to find any accurate information regarding the setting of tracks with timing bars. This method of track repairing was performed in the early '40s to the chanting of a "caller." I am writing a children's book and need proper documentation of all information, as well.

-- Deborah H. Lamb (, September 19, 1999


Response to History of Laying Down the Rails

The Buckingham Lining Bar Gang should be a very good source. When they perform at the Southeastern Railway Museum, they always talk a great deal about the work, how it was done, etc. They were recently at the NRHS convention in Sacramento and could have more engagements this fall which might make it take you a little while to track them down. And yes, the term is "lining bar" rather than timing bar. We still use these today, but can't sing well enough to chant while we work. Guess we're just unco-ordinated and/or out of shape.

-- Malcolm Campbell (, September 24, 1999.

Response to History of Laying Down the Rails

A group, known as the Buckingham Lining Bar Gang, exists in Virgina. It is partially made up of retired African-American railroaders, and they occasionally give demonstrations at various festivals and museums. Their performance is very interesting to see. For more informations look at:

-- Jack Wyatt (, September 19, 1999.

Response to History of Laying Down the Rails

Several years ago CBS had a piece on either "60 Minutes" or "On the Road with Charles Kuralt" that followed a track crew aligning track using the bars and a chanting method to keep everyonein sync. If you can obtain a tape of this you could see it in action. Maybe CBS can help you.

-- Jim Coviello (, September 19, 1999.

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