- After packing is completed, the alignment and top should be checked carefully and minor adjustments made as needed.
- While the packing is being carried out, the second rail is brought to the correct cross levels thereby ensuring perfect surfacing of the track.
In the case of wooden and steel trough sleepers, it should be ensured that the sleepers are not centre-bound and that as such the trough is made in the ballast section at the centre of the sleepers.
- The ballast under the sleeper bed is properly packed by the men who stand back to back and work their beaters diagonally by lifting them up to chest level.
- The sleepers are then packed by applying the scissors packing method. Four men tackle one sleeper simultaneously, two at each rail.
- The base rail is identified by the mate and the dip or low joints are lifted correctly to ensure that the longitudinal level of the rail is perfect.
- Repacking of joint sleepers The joint sleepers are then packed once again and the cross levels checked.
Boxing ballast section and dressing Afterwards the ballast section is properly boxed and dressed with the help of a special template. The cess should also be dressed or covered similarly and its level maintained in a way that proper drainage is ensured. Through packing follows a programme which requires that it is undertaken after the monsoon and that it extends from one end of the section to the other. Through packing must be carried out at least once every year.
A gangman normally accomplishes about 11 m to 12 m of through packing on BG,
16 m to 17 m on MG, and 23 m to 24 m on NG tracks.
The track should be overhauled periodically with the object of ensuring that the best possible standards of track conditions are met and maintained. The systematic overhauling of the track should normally commence after the completion of one cycle of through packing. It involves the following operations in sequence.
(a) Shallow screening and making up of ballast section
(b) Replacement of damaged or broken fittings
(c) All items included in through packing
(d) Making up the cess
The frequency of overhauling depends upon a number of factors such as the type and age of track structure, the maximum permissible speed and volume of traffic, the mode of traffic, the mode of traction, the rate of track deterioration, and the amount of rainfall in the region. On the basis of these factors the chief engineer decides, the length of the track to be overhauled but normally the plan is so drawn that the systematic overhauling of a section is completed in about 3 to 4 years. The stretch of track to be tackled in a particular year should be in continuation of the length overhauled during the previous year. If possible, gap adjustment, including joint survey and adjustment of creep, should be done prior to systematic overhauling.