Rail weights

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Rail weights are an important criteria for railways, as they affect maximum axle loads and maximum speeds, or rail life, or a combination of the preceding.

Rails are expensive, primarily because they are made of high quality steel (or iron or even wood in earlier days); thus rails should not be heavier than necessary. Also, rails are only made in a limited number of sizes, including weight and shape, so you have to choose the nearest size, rather than the theoretical size.

Cascading[edit]

As axle loads increase, or locomotives replace horses, rails on main lines have to be replaced with heavier rails, and the older, lighter rails may be "cascaded" for use on sidings. Superseded rails may also have other uses such as telegraph poles, fence posts, or structural elements in bridges and buildings.

Theft[edit]

Since steel rails can have value as scrap that may be stolen by thieves for sale to scrap merchants, protective measures may be desirable.

Weights[edit]

Here are some rail weights in order of size.

Press up/down arrow to sort data under that heading.

Year Rail
Weight
Rail
Length
Type Material Link Detail Notes
2010 113lb/yd (56kg/m) FB ST Cae Pawb diamond crossing NR SG rail
or bar
FB=Flat Bottom
ST=Steel
2010 080lb/yd (40kg/m) FB Cae Pawb diamond crossing closure/transition rail
2010 060lb/yd (30kg/m) BH ST Cae Pawb diamond crossing FR NG rail BH=Bull Head
ST=Steel
1923 ST Cambrian Crossing No rail weights mentioned
1922 045lb/yd (23kg/m) FB ST Croesor Tramway relay rail Complete
1901 075lb/yd (37kg/m) ?? ST Harbour Station relay rail
1922 041lb/yd (20kg/m) 060ft ? TW ST Croesor Junction A4085 level crossing TW=Tramway Rail
2008 075lb/yd (37kg/m) 120ft ? FB ST Pen-y-mount down loop line with baseplates
2008 050lb/yd (25kg/m) FB ST Pen-y-mount up loop line replaced
with 75lb rails
on baseplates &
Pandrol clips
1836 015lb/yd (08kg/m) ?? ?? Festiniog Railway original rail for horses OO [1]
1865 030lb/yd (15kg/m) ?? ?? Festiniog Railway heavier rail for locomotives
not heavy enough
HH [2]
1866 048lb/yd (24kg/m) ?? ?? Festiniog Railway still heavier rail for locomotives II [3]
1868 038lb/yd (19kg/m) FB Festiniog and Blaenau Railway FB=Flat Bottom
1901 041lb/yd (20kg/m) FB Croesor Junction relay for locomotive haulage RR
1863 020lb/yd (10kg/m) IR ?
ST ?
Croesor Tramway horse haulage IR=Iron
ST=Steel
3066 120lb/yd (60kg/m) 240ft ? Railways are
still there.
1066 No railways then.
1832 003ft ? FI CI
WI
Rail Types FI=Fishbelly
2010 050lb/yd (25kg/m) 024ft DH Day Log/1896-08-28 DH=Double head
1964 050lb/yd (25kg/m) 024ft
030ft
BH Penrhyn Quarry Rail Relay. Some welded

Note: Leading zeros required to make columns sort properly


Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ECONOMIC RAILWAYS". Morning Post (Cairns, Qld. : 1897 - 1907). Cairns, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 7 April 1898. p. 2. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  2. ^ "THE RAILWAYS OF THE FUTURE". Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1873; 1914 - 1918). Vic.: National Library of Australia. 14 May 1870. p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  3. ^ "THE RAILWAYS OF THE FUTURE". Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1873; 1914 - 1918). Vic.: National Library of Australia. 14 May 1870. p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.

External links[edit]