Maintenance of way (commonly abbreviated to MOW) refers to the maintenance, construction, and improvement of rail infrastructure, including tracks, ballast, grade, and lineside infrastructure such as signals and signs.
The most fundamental maintenance of way task is the construction, repair, and replacement of the track and its supporting ballast and grade. The task was once done entirely by manual labor, but in the 21st century, track maintenance is largely done by specialized machines that are much faster and require fewer people to accomplish the same amount of work.
- Solomon 2001, pp. 9–18.