Total Road Solutions - RAILS-TO-TRAILS


Converting Abandoned Railroad beds to Multi-use Trails

Rails-to-Trails projects are proving to be an area that can benefit greatly from using the FAHR ROADCRUSHER.

The procedure of preparing a windrow and crushing the existing ballast is similar to the Low Volume Road process but the trail owner must spend many more hours in pre-windrow preparation due to higher amounts of steel within the surface. Many of the railroad beds in the United States and Canada were built more than 100 years ago and as the rails were built, maintained and disassembled the persons working on them often discarded old spikes and rails along the tracks edge.

It is important that as much steel is removed from the trail before crushing and many man hours are often needed (many times by volunteers) to go over the trail before the crusher can be brought in. We will go over the details in this section but first, lets show you what the crusher can do.


Picture 1a:  Before

This is typical rail aggregate (rock) ranging from 1 inch to up to 4 inches in diameter.

It is important to not only crush the aggregate material but to incorporate some of the finer base material into the windrow. The finer material will help bind and provide stability to the finished crushed surface.


Picture 1b:  After

This is the "after" photo of the crushed rail aggregate pictured above.


The material was only crushed once but depending on your requirements a second crusher pass may be requested. This material is suitable to be used as base coarse and can be covered by crusher dust, asphalt can be applied over the surface or it can be used "as is" as a finished surface.

Windrow preparation, crushing and finished grading

These trails are usually owned or overseen by some type of "Rails-to-Trails, ATV, multi-purpose vehicles or equestrian" type of organization. These organizations (by our experience) have many volunteers who can remove steel from the windrow using shovels, rakes and metal detectors and this method helps keep the overall costs down.


Picture 2: Detecting Steel

Volunteers use metal detectors and hand tools to remove steel from the windrow.


Picture 3: Crushing

The FAHR ROADCRUSHER looks as if it were designed for this "Rails-to-Trails" project as it processes miles of rail aggregate in place.

Most railroad surfaces go on for miles on winding and elevated surfaces before crossing an access road and many have no place to turn around. This makes it very dangerous and costly to consider removing the aggregate and transport it to a stationary crusher for processing and then returning it to the trail.


Picture 4: WOW!

In this photo, notice the nice blend of crushed and finer base material that was completely and evenly blended using the FAHR ROADCRUSHER.

One to two miles of railroad aggregate can be crushed in a single day, depending on the surface, material and weather conditions.

Once the crusher has finished, a grader and roller can then come in and level out the surface.


Picture 5: Smooth....

This photo is of a trail surface that has just been graded smooth and compacted.