"Elmer" in action - Tie Placement. Beginning a rail-laying cycle, the WW&F Gantry Crane "Elmer" has just delivered a tie bundle to the ground in front of the work train. Each bundle contains 14 ties....just enough for one length of rail. Literally, as soon as the bundle reaches the ground, a crew member cuts the binding straps and teams of tie-placers each rotate in, pick up one of the heavy timbers and place it along the right of way, using a long tape measure laid on the ground, to set the proper spacing. Note the black cloth covering the ground under the work site. This cloth will prevent weeds from growing up under the track. The ties used by the WW&F are essentially pressure-treated highway barrier timbers, cut to the proper length for 2-foot track.