date nails?

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by JoeGrapes, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. JoeGrapes

    JoeGrapes Member

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    I have a date nail that was given to me that's stamped 22 for 1922. We have a lot of old tracks around my town and so I went looking for some date nails. I found none. I only looked on the old sidings not the newer mainline tracks. Can anyone tell me where to look? I did notice that the rail plates were cast with a date on them. I found 1926, 1928 and up to 1944. Did some roads use these instead of date nails?
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    I think you'll find that it was standard practice for the foundries to stamp or cast the date on all their products - rails, tie plates, etc (although probably not spikes ;)). I believe that the date nails were used to specify the install date of the ties, but I could be wrong. I don't know when they were discontinued, but I haven't seen any on the old sidings in my former hometown.

    Andrew
  3. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

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    Date nails are a fun thing to find. I've only ever found one, also stamped 22, in some dirt around downtown Kingman AZ, 50 or so feet from the BNSF mainline (Former Santa Fe). I had been told to look by a fellow railfan, but have never found them anywhere else. They're getting very rare, and you're in luck if you find ties old enough to have them, and not have them stolen already (Yes stolen, they ARE rr property...).
  4. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

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    You can find date nails in just about anything. I have a few date nails that are out of a very old RR bridge that was taken apart a few years ago. If you live in the country you can find either the date nails or date tags in the telephone poles.

    This link will give you some additional information. >http://facstaff.uindy.edu/~oaks/DateNailInfo.htm
  5. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    If you look on the sides of rails, it is shocking how long rails can last.

    If I recall, wooden ties on straight track have a life expectancy of 40 years.