Contractors spent Friday night into Sunday night replacing a long span of railway across SR309 in Tamaqua. Non-local traffic was detoured 18.8 miles around the area for the duration. Workers completed the work seven hours early, reopening SR309 just after 10 pm. Sunday. Workers utilize a ballast tamper machine to pack (or tamp) the track ballast under railway tracks to make the tracks more durable. Prior to the introduction of mechanical tampers, this task was done by manual labor with the help of beaters. As well as being faster, more accurate, more efficient and less labor-intensive, tamping machines are essential for the use of concrete sleepers since they are too heavy to be packed into the ballast by hand.