The machine herewith illustrated is used for tamping or packing the earth under the ties of a railroad. The main frame of the apparatus rests on an axle fitted with two wheels to run upon the rails; by means of set screws the wheels may be adjusted to different widths apart to suit different railroad gauges. The frame carrying the tamping tool moves between parallel slotted cross plates uniting the sides of the main frame. On the tool frame is a shaft, parallel with the main axle, carrying the tamper proper, which may be set in or out from the shaft to give the proper stroke. Th/i shape of the tamper is that of a half or part circle, thereby leaving two exposed ends on opposite sides of the arm carrying the tool. Each end of the tool is fitted with a tamping hoe-like blade, Fig. 2, adjustable along the body of the tool to adapt the tamper to its work, and to provide for the easy removal of the blades. The tamper is rocked to and fro to pack the earth alternately from opposite sides under the tie by means of a double cross handle attached to a gear having its bearing on an upright of the sliding frame and engaging with a gear on the shaft. The tool frame is moved back and forth transversely by means of a chain attached to the frame, and passing around a pulley mounted on a shaft at each side of the machine, one of these shafts being provided with a crank. When at work, the forward part of the apparatus is supported and anchored by a forked rest pivoted to the end of the frame. This rest is formed with a back arm terminating in a hook which, when the rest is thrown forward, engages with a pivoted slide catch. When it is necessary to move the machine along the track to any distance, the rest is thrown up so as to be out of the way, and to expose a hook for attachment to a hand car. With this tamper a very large amount of work may be done with but a comparatively small expenditure of labor. This invention has been patented by Messrs. R. P. Bryant and J. H. Gilliland; information can be obtained from Messrs. Linder & Montgomery, sole agents. Jacksonville, Ala.
This article was originally published with the title "Railway Tamping Machine" in Scientific American 52, 26, 402 (June 1885)