Maintenance-of-Way (MOW)

The all volunteer MOW crew is tasked with the maintenance and repair of the existing track over which Niles Canyon railway routinely runs its trains.  The MOW crew spends most of its working hours out on the right-of-way using a variety of specialty track maintenance equipment.  We routinely make repairs identified by our certified Track Inspector.  If you enjoy being outside in a variety of weather conditions and getting some good exercise in the process, MOW might be for you.

Examples of the type of work we do include:

  • Replace deteriorated ties under the rails
  • Replace broken or cracked joint bars that fasten two sections of rail together
  • Tighten loose track bolts
  • Clean and lubricate switches
  • Maintain flange lubricators that apply grease to train car wheels to reduce friction around curves
  • Occasional brush cutting along the right-of-way

The MOW team works every Wednesday except during December when many of us also serve as train crew for Train of Lights.  We meet in Brightside yard by 8:00 am each week and try to finish our work by 4:00 pm.  You’ll need to bring a lunch as we typically end up eating along the right-of-way wherever we are working when lunch time comes.

The team also works on extending our tracks past Sunol toward Pleasanton on the first Saturday of every month. You can learn more about our Construction / Build East Team here.

You will also need standard personal protective equipment (PPE):

  • Hard hat
  • Work boots with steel shank (steel toed preferred)
  • Work gloves
  • Hearing protection
  • Eye protection / Safety glasses
  • Reflective orange or green safety vest
Track leveling under way on the Pleasanton extension. 01.08.2022 Photo by: Chris Hauf