In case someone is interested in how the Boys/Girls in Camo do it:http://www.apd.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/tm4_14x21.pdf
– US Army Technical Manual 4-14.21: Rail Safety.
Is it this long since I found a book?http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/56688
– Handbook of Railroad Construction” by George L. Vose (1857)
A large dose of mid-19th c. US practice of building a railroad from bare ground up.