Bits That Fall Off Trains

I walk the train tracks for exercise. They are mostly level and one can walk for miles. As I step between the ties, you would be surprised at the bits and pieces of train that I see. I have found many of the huge lock washers pictured above. The quarter below is to provide scale. I have found them in rusted states, in a pristine state and everything in between.

I often wonder if these parts are important, what part of the train do they fall off, and do they pose a danger to the public.

Obviously a lock washer was made to hold a nut tight. If the lockwasher has come off on the tracks, then the train has lost a nut somewhere.

I also find huge machine bolts that have come off the train, and other bits of unidentified pieces and parts of a train. If I let myself ruminate about it too long, it could get scary. After all, a normal car, truck or transport trailer doesn't shed bits on the road. Why should a train?

I also find a lot of discarded rail spikes as well, but that is a different story. They are not train parts.

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