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Really lacks enough context to answer. If CSX, it likely is a marking for a culvert or some such. Could also be a clearance or fouling marking of some kind. Is that your own photo? If so, did you take any others of the area that could help us figure it out.
 

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The person I quoted in post #2 said, "when I asked a M of W guy about it he said it meant that there was a pipe or culvert or something passing underneath the right-of-way at that point. "

At this point that is the most "definitive" answer I have seen.

"Again" because somebody else said it... again.
Which presumes that the MOW guy he asked worked on THAT railroad, and was familiar with the exact spot. Different railroads have different practices.

And that said, it's a FOAF response (friend of a friend). It's a HUGE red flag when people respond by quoting someone they asked, or someone they know, etc., because it's a way of implying expertise that may not actually be present. If he had said, "I am a MOW employee for XYZ railroad, I know that spot, and this is what it is", I'd consider it a good answer. Otherwise, it's most likely just someone trying to be a know it all.
 
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Never claimed it was an iron-clad conclusion. Could be though.
Yet you chose to post it "again", to all appearances strongly implying that it was the last word on the subject, implying that if we had simply read your link, we would have been convinced.

No one ever said it couldn't be right. It's as likely an answer as any other. But not a definitive answer.
 

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Welcome, Wiz!

With modern maintenance equipment and non-destructive, computer-based fault detection, older methods of marking track faults / replacement areas have gone the way of the steam locomotive. In any event, this was most often a less-obvious marking on one or both ends of the tie, not an entire tie painted white (why waste paint if you're just going to rip the tie out) -- just a quick spurt from the spray can. With modern fault detection, they use lasers to measure the track geometry and deformities, so there is no need for a visual reference for such a crude instrument as the human eye to detect it. If this was a rundown branch line, maybe old methods would still be used, but that's modern, well maintained track in the picture.
 
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I’ve got an answer! It’s to signify a culvert underneath the tracks to let MoW crewmen know not to throw anything into its path!
It's certainly possible. How did you suddenly come upon this knowledge?
 

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Probably here Tracks, ties and ballast painted white: why? - RAILROAD.NET

In my experience, it is just as Freddy says: "There's a culvert here". Because when your culvert gets clogged up, and the water is flowing OVER the tracks, and you forgot where every one of your culverts is, it's nice to see that big white marker.
Yep, we've already concluded that, while a plausible and likely correct answer, it's anything but definitive proof.
 
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