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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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Howdy everyone! I'm new here and this is my first post. You guys were cracking me up btw, now by no means do I work for the railroad but have done alot of travelling diesel wrench turning all over Texas. I found this post White marking on tracks... (trainorders.com) them boys say it's used for marking either single tie replacement or marking the beginning or end of a stretch of tie replacements. Now when I worked in the oilfield I noticed sometimes near tank batteries where there were a few 5000 gallon holding tanks sometimes on the cement they would paint white lines where two angles intersected to observe for micro-cracking, also this is practice in the spillways for refineries. It very well could be an inspection mark to see how much the rail is shifting on their next pass through, at a closer look at the rail it does show signs of pins missing for sure but if you look real close at the white tie it almost looks as it has shifted to the left and forward, plus the evidence of what appears to be saw dust on top of the white paint probably isn't good either :)
 

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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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That's the link Stumpy posted in #17 and was somewhat questioned in #18.
It was huh? Sorry 😁

Some kids painted it so everyone would question as to the why. :)
 
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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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