Significance of jointed track parameter variation

Joint resistance The normal rail joints are designed to allow the rail length variation due to temperature. To do this the joints have a well-defined maximum gap and a set of installation parameters to provide an optimum behaviour at temperature variation and a good maintenance regime. Any modern rail joint has a standard bolt tightening torque…

Types of versines used for track realignment methods

There are three types of versines used for the track realignment and rectification methods (Radu, 2003): Measured (existing) versine – the versine measured with a real chord on the outer rail of the real existing track. This is the result of the versine (Hallade) survey and based on it are computed the track offsets (slues…

Track Realignment and Rectification

The running of the trains over the railway track is inducing vertical and lateral forces that, in time, are affecting the track alignment, changing incrementally the installed track and causing track irregularities.  On curved track this deterioration process is more significant due to the additional effect of the lateral (centrifugal) acceleration. When the irregularities become…

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…

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…

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…

Maglev Guideway Design

Maglev is a transport system that uses the magnetic levitation to move vehicles without contact to the guideway. The system uses magnetic forces for levitation, propulsion and guidance of the vehicle, thereby making practically negligible the friction forces and allowing very high speeds. The technological evolution is making this transportation system competitive and gaining consideration as a…