How long do the different types of rail come in?
Would the oldest (cast iron?) fishbelly rails be exactly 3 feet ( 1 yard) long?
Rails on the modern WHR are inclined at 1 in 20. Chaired track on FR had vertical rails. Early flat bottomed relaying on the FR had vertical rails without baseplates - i.e. clipped direct on the sleepers. I am not sure about later flat bottom relaying on the FR with cast baseplates. Ref: Dow 2014. MarkTemple (talk) 16:16, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Is it correct to say that cast iron and wrought iron rails are "stiff" and brittle, and cannot be bent? If that is the case, it would be an advantage that they are made is short say 3ft lengths, and curves be made of a series of arcs.
However, and rail joints are a weak point, and rails are best made in lengths as as long as possible, say 60ft.
Iron and steel rails bend easily to the sharpest curves found on the FR, about 2 chains, except perhaps at their ends, where a device called a _________ can be used to put a permanent bend into the rail. FarleyBrook (talk) 00:04, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
- A "Jim Crow" Heritagejim (talk) 16:52, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Fixing and Sleepers
Flat Bottomed profile
The profile illustrating this page is more typical of American rail than British light weight rail (as on the FR). British rails typically have parallel webs while american rail has waisted webs. ref Dow 2014. MarkTemple (talk) 16:31, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Drayton Park Rail
This rail recovered from Drayton Park carriage depot in 1977 was rolled in 1903 and was an odd profile to the more modern rails.
Quote from FR Magazine No. 78 (Autumn 1977):- "A task worthy of note undertaken recently was the recovery for our use of a quantity of flat bottom rail from the old Northern City car shed at Drayton Park, North London, by members of the London Area Group.This rail is in good condition, being something under 60 lb./yard weight, some of it having a 1903 rolling date. Approximately 400 track yards is now in our depot at Minffordd and will probably be used for relaying below Minffordd Quarry Lane (Lottie's) Crossing in November. The dismantling and loading was achieved in two and a half week-ends, with an.estimated 70 man-days of work and a heroic session until 11.00 p.m. on the last day. The load eventually arrived at Porthmadog BR (rail being the only way out of the car shed) with many endearing and amusing messages painted and chalked on, which must have caused a lot of headscratching en route.This exercise was an excellent example of how volunteer labour can benefit the railway; if the lifting and loading operation had had to be paid for, the price would not have been economical to us.The flexibility in arrangements for the Company's lorry in transhipping the load from Porthmadog to Minffordd was also greatly appreciated."
For comedy value, one of the rails had a large-ish open ended spanner rolled in to the web. Presumably someone at the rolling mill had dropped it in to the machine in 1903!
As to the odd profile, I think this was before the days of British Standards and probably every mill had its own standards. I have found this to be the case elsewhere. It must have been a nightmare when it came to replacing rails. Heritagejim (talk) 06:42, 10 February 2017 (UTC)