Stress transition zones within CWR

The location of the stress transition zone is not only limited to the extremities of a continuous welded rail (CWR) track, the case presented in a previous article – CWR stress transition zone.  A stress transition zone may also be present between two fixed zones, inside the CWR. These internal stress transition zones are shorter…

Thermal forces and broken rails

Rail steel has a considerably higher carbon content (0.7-0.8%), and hence is more brittle than mild steel. A variety of stress concentrating defects in rails, combined with the alternating loads from the passage of traffic, can produce slowly propagating fatigue crack. When this crack attains a critical size it causes an almost instantaneous brittle fracture…

CWR stress transition zone

(prelude to a new PWI Journal article) A stress transition zone is any section of continuous welded rails (CWR) where the thermal force is variable, the longitudinal resistance (p) is active and rail movement occurs due to rail temperature variations. The most common (and well known) location of the stress transition zone is at the…

A day in the life of a jointed track

ΔG = αLΔT°. Free expansion For a free thermal expansion jointed track the rails expand and contract freely and the track components do not provide any resistance to oppose this rail length variation. The joint gap varies linearly relative to the rail temperature. The figure below presents the joint gap variation for a jointed track formed…