A little off the top
When brand new rail is connected to an existing one there is going to be the problem of matching the top of the rail heads to form a smooth running surface. Since the existing rail has had numerous trains roll across it already, the top of that rail head will be slightly lower than that on the new rail. Thus to overcome this issue and create a smooth transition between the rails, the new one will have its head worn down a bit by a grinder. That is exactly what has taken place here on this brand new rail which is part of a grade crossing tie replacement in Opelika during CSX's recent tie renewal along the WofA.