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Old Railroad Spikes Should Be Pulled Off By Railroad Spike Pullers

May 08, 2017

Classification of Rail Spikes:

According to different usage, it can be classified into dog spike and screw spike.

As the name implies, dog spike looks like a dog’s head, which is mainly used on T-shaped rails to fasten the rail tracks and tie plates to railway sleepers. Screw spike is usually applied to fix the fasteners to railroad ties. Besides, using together with rail plastic sleeve, it can be casted into the sleepers. Owning to specific requirements and geographic features, screw spikes are various in thread profiles, lengths and diameters. Compared with dog spike, screw spikes have greater fixing power, but with higher cost.

Dog Spike     Screw Spike

How to Fix Railway Spikes?

  • For a dog spike, it can be fixed simply and directly by a spiking hammer. 


  • For screw spike, it needed to be anchored to the rail ties.

Anchoring Process: 

  1. Clean up the surface of rail sleeper and inserted holes.

  2. Use coarse sand to seal the hole-bottom and tamped.

  3. Get the anchoring agent ready.

  4. Inject the screw spike to the holes evenly. 

  5. Insert the spikes in left-right direction rotating into the holes.    

  6. Clean up the anchoring agent that sticks onto the rail sleeper surface.

  7. Install rail fasteners. 

How to Pull Off the Spikes?

After long time’s using, it needs to replace new spikes. Then we need to pull off the used spikes by railroad spike puller.

Railway Spike Puller

Be composed of a puller head and a puller bar, the spike puller is widely used in rail track maintenance. The puller head is fork shaped and connected with the bar vertically. Forging with mold, the pullers are stronger and durable. It uses the lever principle to make the weight overcome earth gravity and lift the weight from the ground and be displaced. It is efficient to remove the spikes by using rail spike puller, time saving and labor-saving.


Safety Notice of Using Rail Spike Puller:

  • The puller has to be stuck tightly with the spike head. Straddling and shouldering puller is strictly prohibited.

  • Avoid putting hands under the steel rail when pulling.

  • When multiple people working at the same time, they should keep certain safe distance one by one.

  • If the track has circuit, the puller must be used together with insulated bush in case of electric leakage.

  • The puller holding position should be away from the rails, and remember not overexerted. Keep an eye on the people around.

  • If there’s snow, pay more attention and avoid spike puller slipping and hurting.


With the development of railway technology, there are mechanical spike pullers now, which greatly reduces spike kick-back to the operator. They help to pull off spikes from any position, and make the process simple and effortless.