What Are Railroad Spikes Worth? Railroad spikes are a common site along railway tracks. Though their primary purpose is to secure the way in place, they have also been used for other purposes such as fence posts or even weapons. Due to their versatility and abundance, railroad spikes can be found in flea markets and antique shops across the country. So, what are railroad spikes worth? Let’s take a look.
- 1 What Are Railroad Spikes Made Of And Where Do They Come From?
- 2 What Is The History Of Railroad Spikes?
- 3 How Are Railroad Spikes Used Today?
- 4 What Is The Value Of A Railroad Spike?
- 5 Are There Any Other Uses For Railroad Spikes Besides?
- 6 Frequently Asked Question
- 7 Final Verdict: What Are Railroad Spikes Worth?
What Are Railroad Spikes Made Of And Where Do They Come From?
Railroad spikes are heavy, thick nails that resemble small pieces of metal. Depending on the size of the railway, there may be several hundred to nearly a thousand railroad spikes along each mile of track. Railroad spikes were first used during America’s westward expansion in the early 19th century. One of their major advantages was that they stayed securely in place even in a derailment.
Since they’re heavy and made of metal, railroad spikes stayed where they were until removed (usually by ballast cleaners). Railroad spikes then began to take on decorative or commemorative purposes and their original purpose. Most railroad spikes range from roughly six inches to two feet long, and the shape of the head often varies depending on its intended use.
Railroad spikes can be found at antique stores and flea markets due to their historical significance. Still, most were removed from railway tracks when they became obsolete and replaced with a more modern and lightweight system for securing ways (such as fishplates).
What Is The History Of Railroad Spikes?
The first recorded instance of spikes to secure rail track was in 1786. However, it wasn’t until 1830 that they began to be commonly used for this purpose. Before the 1830s, rails were secured with wooden pegs (similar to railroad ties) and bolts. Spikes became very popular; trains often needed several hundred to nearly a thousand just for a mile of track.
By 1860, the advent of steel rails allowed for smaller spikes two inches in length. These were much easier and cheaper to produce than their predecessors, and they soon came to replace previous types of ends completely.
How Are Railroad Spikes Used Today?
Many highways, roads, and sidewalks use commemorative spikes as posts. They’re also used in rural fencing to keep livestock contained. Some train enthusiasts collect railroad spikes, with those from defunct rail lines being the most valuable due to their historical significance.
What Is The Value Of A Railroad Spike?
The value of a railroad spike depends on the type, where it came from, and its condition. The most valuable are those that date back to the mid-to-late 19th century when they were first used. However, spikes removed during the 1960s through 1980s can also be worth quite a bit if they’re still in their original condition.
As with most antiques, the condition is important when considering value. Spikes that have been repurposed or damaged in any way will be worth less than undamaged spikes of the same type and age. Rail enthusiasts are also more curious about the history of spikes from defunct rail lines vs. those from active lines.
It’s also important to note that there are dozens of manufacturers and types of spikes, so not all railroad spikes are worth the same. Spikes from defunct rail lines or certain cities may be more valuable than others due to their history and connection with a specific area.
Are There Any Other Uses For Railroad Spikes Besides?
Spikes from defunct rail lines and cities that no longer exist can be worth money due to their historical significance. However, steel spikes that have been removed from service during the 1960s through 1980s may also carry some value for enthusiasts. Spikes can be used as posts on highways and sidewalks, and they’re often incorporated into rural fencing systems as well.
Frequently Asked Question
Can You Sell Railroad Spikes For Scrap?
There is little monetary value in selling railroad spikes for scrap metal prices since they’re made of steel and very easy to come by. While there may be some collector interest, most people will only pay a few dollars at most.
How Can You Tell How Old A Railroad Spike Is
In most cases, a railroad spike is the same shape at both ends, with one end being blunt and the other being sharp. According to historical accounts, most spikes are three to six inches long, but some are longer or shorter.
Can You Take Abandoned Railroad Spikes?
It is illegal to remove railroad spikes from abandoned tracks due to safety concerns. Rail companies are very serious about maintaining the security of their infrastructure and will prosecute those caught stealing or vandalizing their property.
What Can I Do With Railroad Spikes
It isn’t much you can do with railroad spikes besides selling them for scrap or recycling. Some people collect them as a hobby, but most rail enthusiasts are most interested in those from defunct lines that have historical significance.
Are Railroad Spikes Dangerous?
Yes, they are potentially dangerous if not handled correctly. Railroad spikes are typically three to six inches long, but they can be longer or shorter depending on the type and age. They’re made of steel that is very easy to come by, so not many people will pay money for them. Most railroad spikes are made of steel due to their durability and affordability.
Final Verdict: What Are Railroad Spikes Worth?
Railroad spikes are an interesting relic of history, and they still have a lot of value even in the modern age. If you’re ever lucky enough to find a stash of railroad spikes, be sure to do your research on their worth so you can get the best price possible. As for revision in writing helps us catch mistakes we may have made and makes our work stronger overall. Your essays, papers, blog posts, and other writing pieces will be much more polished and professional-looking with careful editing. Thanks for reading!