Every once in a while, I find railroad spikes in my backyard. Our house is next to the Caltrain tracks for the San Francisco-San Jose commuter train. I suppose every once in a while, the spikes work themselves loose and some of these fly over the fence.
I’ve never heard of railroad spikes getting loose. I’ve found two in 17 years.
To land in my backyard, they have to jump over a 16-foot hedge, so it could hurt pretty bad to get hit by one of these.
The spikes are iron and ten inches long. They weigh about a pound each. On the head, the letter HC is barely legible, which stands for “High Carbon” (30 points) which makes a flexible steel that can withstand the bending. BTW, new spikes are $2. These have no value, asides from scrap iron, which is about $200 per ton (2015).