These Plasser & Theurer machines are awesome. It is even more awesome to think that the U.S. transcontinental railroads were all laid by laborers with hand tools, without such machines as these.
We owe a lot to those old-time railroad laborers, like John Henry in the song. But we also owe a lot to the inventors and industrialists who made it possible to do the work without back-breaking labor. Notice, though, that there are workers all around the track-laying machine. The machines don’t run themselves. Human beings are not obsolete.
Plasser & Theurer is a family-owned Austrian company, founded in 1953 and employing 3,000 people, according to Wikipedia. It is reportedly the world’s largest manufacturer of rail track laying and maintenance machines.
We Americans have come to think it inevitable that manufacturing will migrate to low-wage countries in Asia. Plasser & Theurer is an example to the contrary.