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…

White rails

When exposed to temperature variations, the rail tends to vary its length. If this tendency would be freely allowed, for a temperature variation Δt° the rail length L will vary by ΔL. This length variation is ΔL = αLΔt°. If, on the other hand, the expansion is not permitted in any way, and both ends of…

The Clothoid

INTRODUCTION In transportation infrastructure design the route is defined based on its axis (centreline) – the alignment model. This simplified abstract model is designed in such a way to clearly define the principle course of the infrastructure project. For most of the transportation means the infrastructure alignment design is split into two main two-dimensional complex…

Circle or “egg”?

After the post about the limits of vertical acceleration, and even before, I was asked what was the original curve used to connect vertical gradients. What was first, the circle or the “egg”- the parabolic curve? The expected answer was “the circular curve” because, presumably, a circle can be drawn easier than a parabola… “How…

The versine formulae

An anecdote: Track geometry exam, somewhere at a Civil Engineering University. One of the exam subjects is realignment methods and types of versines. This important subject was covered during the track course hours but also in four seminars and in a realignment project homework – so it was supposed to be an easy one … After checking the…

The limits of vertical acceleration

The theory of vertical movement. The parabolic projectile motion An object thrown in the air, near the earth’s surface, moves along a parabolic path under the action of gravity only. The only force of significance that acts on the object is gravity, which acts downward to cause a downward acceleration. Because of the object’s inertia, no external horizontal force is needed…

British Railway Track

Another classic book it sure is “British Railway Track Design, Construction and Maintenance”, edited by Geoffrey H Cope and having around 40 contributors for writing the 30 chapters of this essential track compendium. Its last six edition was published in 1993 by The Permanent Way Institution. Presenting the essential principles but also the British specifics…

La voie ferrée

When it comes to Railway track engineering literature, there are a few books we can consider “classic”. Even old, some very old, these books still have significant railway engineering value and can be always a good reference both for young and inexperienced engineers as for the ones that already have robust railway track experience and…