- This is a retired metal (in this case corroded iron) screw that holds the rolling-stock rail anchors, also called anti-creepers (spring steel clips that attach to the underside of the rail base-plate and fixed to the sleepers preventing longitudinal movement of the rails, from changes in temperature or through vibration.
However, this is no normal screw! It is estimated 4 billion of these objects exposed to all weathers and heavy loads, spread around 33 European countries and representing 1.9 billion tonnes of cast iron metal.
This specimen was found near Regua train station, on the old Douro Railway line which was built in the 1880's. If corrosion could speak, this screw has witnessed over 140 years of Douro regional development visited by all nations. The cousins of this screw are still in place, 13,280 per kilometer, fixing the steel track to the sleepers for nearly 200 kilometers, which is about 2.7 million units or 1328 tonnes of raw iron material. Impressive numbers for a simple retired screw that was responsible for holding together the infrastructures of the local developing economy and connecting people more efficiently during the 19th and 20th century.
- Submitted by
- Jeremy Hugh Aston
- Origin, Location and Movement?
- Omnipresent (present everywhere; ubiquitous)
- Item Relation
- Individual Thing
- State of abundance
- How was the item encountered or obtained?