Railroaders Get Ready for Second Annual Spike Driving Competition

For Immediate Release – Monday, June 5th, 2017

Englehart, ON – Ontario Northland’s Spike Driving Competition is returning for a second year and promises to be just as entertaining and competitive as the last. Ontario Northland is inviting everyone to celebrate the rich history of the railway in Northeastern Ontario by participating or attending the competition on Saturday, June 10th at 12pm at the Englehart Station. 

“Driving a spike into a rail takes a lot of strength and precision,” says Pierre Leveillé, District Manager and Ontario Northland’s first champion spike driver. Last year Leveillé drove three spikes in a record 11.04 seconds. “I expect this year’s competition to be difficult, many of our employees have been preparing for this event all year and are hungry for the championship title. But it’s not only about competing, the day is our opportunity to share our unique skills and celebrate the railroading lifestyle with our co-workers, families, retirees and neighbours.”

Spike driving is a tried and tested method of securing rail ties that requires strength, accuracy, a commitment to safety and years of practice.  Today, maintenance crews use specialized equipment and technology to install track, however, the traditional method of driving a spike by hand using a track hammer is still part of the job for many railroaders. 

This free event begins at 12 pm on Saturday, June 10th on the grounds of the Englehart Station. Register to compete, or come cheer on the spike drivers. Prizes will be awarded for the top three professional and amateur drivers with a bonus award to 1st place professional if they break last year’s record time. .

For more details on the event, visit www.ontarionorthland.ca/spikedriving


For more information about Ontario Northland and the Spike Driving Competition, contact:

Renée Baker, Communications Manager
Tel: 705.472.4500 or 1.800.363.7512 ext. 530, cell 705.499.7573