Find a date on railroad tie plates?

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Re: Find a date on railroad tie plates?

Postby Freddy » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:48 pm

Also, after date nails were no longer used, it was possible to date a tie by a method that had a circle pressed down into the wood and 3 'dots' were spaced around the inside of the circle. You would take your watch and put it in the circles center and by looking at the numbers on the dial you could tell month,day and year. For a number of years I kept a copy of the instructions that outlined exactly how to do it that were issued by our division engineers office.
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Re: Find a date on railroad tie plates?

Postby gp9rm4108 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:02 pm

Oldest tie stamp nail I have seen is 1938 and that is still holding a customer track at Bloom, Manitoba.

There is rail on the wye at Rivers, Manitoba, still in service, from 1898.
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Re: Find a date on railroad tie plates?

Postby NYCUticaSyracuse81 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:16 pm

scharnhorst wrote:
Allen Hazen wrote:Do any old cross-ties still have date nails in them, r have they all been pulled by collectors? The date of the tie would give SOME evidence as to the epoch of the tie plate.


They don't use Date Nails anymore. But i'll step out on a limb to say that it is possible to still find Date nails on abandoned ROWs and or in old Ties. I have pulled date nails out of old ties on the old Lehigh Valley ROW that went from Auburn, NY down to Moravia, NY dating back to 1917. and I have also pulled date nails on some of the old NYNH&H ROW's in Quinnabog, CT / MA with the dates ranging from 1931-1937. But there is also a stumble here some Railroads also used Date Nails with Letters on them the letter would I.D. what the tie was made of for example A: for Ash, O: for Oak and so on.

I would not trust the dates on a Date nail as a good leader as some Railroads reuse the ties if there still in good enough shape.



Was there any particular place on the ties that date nails were commonly placed? I hike a lot of old Railbeds, and there are usually ties everywhere. I never thought of inspecting them for date nails.
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Re: Find a date on railroad tie plates?

Postby Freddy » Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:24 pm

NYCUticaSyracuse81 wrote:
scharnhorst wrote:
Allen Hazen wrote:Do any old cross-ties still have date nails in them, r have they all been pulled by collectors? The date of the tie would give SOME evidence as to the epoch of the tie plate.


They don't use Date Nails anymore. But i'll step out on a limb to say that it is possible to still find Date nails on abandoned ROWs and or in old Ties. I have pulled date nails out of old ties on the old Lehigh Valley ROW that went from Auburn, NY down to Moravia, NY dating back to 1917. and I have also pulled date nails on some of the old NYNH&H ROW's in Quinnabog, CT / MA with the dates ranging from 1931-1937. But there is also a stumble here some Railroads also used Date Nails with Letters on them the letter would I.D. what the tie was made of for example A: for Ash, O: for Oak and so on.

I would not trust the dates on a Date nail as a good leader as some Railroads reuse the ties if there still in good enough shape.



Was there any particular place on the ties that date nails were commonly placed? I hike a lot of old Railbeds, and there are usually ties everywhere. I never thought of inspecting them for date nails.

In the middle
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Re: Find a date on railroad tie plates?

Postby NYCUticaSyracuse81 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:10 pm

Thanks.
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Re: Find a date on railroad tie plates?

Postby Michael D. Storey » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:31 pm

I have in my collection (which is not with me, so no pix) that has a triangular piece perpendicular to the part that sits on top of the tie. That piece has a raised lip that holds the tie. Any ideas on age?

I happen to also have a sleeper, a piece of granite used on the section of the B&O from Baltimore to Ellicott City. It shows a flat spot caused I reckon by rail movement during the passage of a train. In addition, even after what I assume to be at least160 years, rust from the rail still shows.

I do not as a rule collect 'big and heavies' any longer. I am considering donation.
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Re: Find a date on railroad tie plates?

Postby JWilson » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:27 pm

I have seen some plates with dates on them but I think this may indicate patent or design dates. They are generally mid 1940-s. As long as they are not too damaged or rusty, and depending on the intended service of the rail they support, tie plates can outlast several generations of ties. Just last week we were putting what may well have been 60 to 70 year old single shoulder plates onto brand new ties. This was in a yard with light traffic and low speeds.
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Re: Find a date on railroad tie plates?

Postby NYCUticaSyracuse81 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:30 am

What section of the tie were the date nails placed?
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