Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Simple solution to rail curve defects


The points raised in Raymond Cowen's letter (NCE 2 November) about temperature induced tensile and circumferential tensile strain in train rails were extremely relevant.

Add to this the centrifugal effects, both horizontally and vertically, during the passage of trains round bends and the required contribution of the outer rail, compared to the inner rail, is awesome.

Railtrack has now found 500km of track in need of replacement and it would be interesting to know whether this will be shown to be due to defects on the outer rail at curves in the track. Having carried out a relatively simple analysis of these findings, it would be simple to install inexpensive monitoring equipment to assess the separate effects of curve diameter, temperature and train induced forces. I suspect the latter would be found to be the most significant.

If this were so, it may be that the addition of cables between the sleepers and newly provided anchorages on the inside of the curve would be a relatively inexpensive and effective solution in limiting the worst of these stresses. Such a system could easily be designed to provided restraint on all the track by tying sleepers on one track to sleepers on the other.

Calvin Barrows

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.