Mauzin (Hallade) track measurement car

The measurement and analysis of track geometry is carried out regularly by all the railway infrastructure administrators in order to obtain data from which the track quality is established and the maintenance can be scheduled (Cope – 1993). Historically, the use of track inspection cars can be traced back to the early 1920’s in France…

Flange tip lift crossing

The crossing is the track arrangement which ensures the intersection of two opposite running edges of a turnout or diamond crossing. It usually has one crossing vee and two wing rails (BS EN 13232-1:2003). The crossing, in the common setup, has a gap section to allow the passage of the wheel flange on both directions. The safe…

Jointed track breathing

Rail breathing Normally on the railway track the rail is fixed through a set of superstructure elements (fastenings, sleepers, ballast) that opposes the rail tendency to expand or contract due to temperature variations. This fixation is achieved through friction forces and once the rail axial forces are above these friction forces, the rail will start…

Joint Closure Temperature

Note: This article presents the Joint Closure Temperature (JCT) for free thermal expansion (FTE) track superstructure ; it is directly related and should be read in conjunction with the following articles: When can a rail be called long? presenting the definition of the concepts long rail and short rail, from thermal behaviour perspective. Track longitudinal resistance presenting the two…

Joint Resistance Force

All the railway track fishplates for mechanical joints are designed to provide a gap to the rail web. This gap, together with the wedge shape of the fishplate section ensure, by tightening the joint bolts, the correct alignment of the rail head between the two jointed rails. The bolt tightening torque is developing in the bolt a…

Chainage creep

When designing multiple line alignments – in railway stations or plain line sections – there will be a creep of the alignment stationing due to the length difference between the alignments. This stationing (or chainage) creep becomes relevant when adjacent alignments have to be kept at the same level or with a well-defined elevation difference.…

Modern Railway Track

Motto: Tolle lege! Perhaps the best and most complete technical book about track is “Modern Railway Track” written by Dr Coenraad Esveld, Professor of Railway Engineering at Delft University of Technology.  A detailed Table of Contents of the second edition can be found here together with a brief selection of the book. The second edition, written…

Ich bin ein Berliner

I’ll be a Berliner, just for a day … joining the fellow railway engineers from around the world at InnoTrans 2016. InnoTrans is the largest rail industry event in the world, held every two years in Germany, at Messe Berlin – ExpoCenter City. Sub-divided into the five segments Railway Technology, Railway Infrastructure, Public Transport, Interiors and Tunnel…