rail fastening system

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Rail fastening system From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Elements of a baseplate based rail fastening system 1. Screw for fixing plate to sleeper 2. Elastomeric pad supporting rail . !ension washer ". #ail clamp $. !ensioning bolt %nut not shown& '. (aseplate  )ssembled example This article is about devices used to fasten rail to railroad ties (sleepers), for devices used to join lengths of rail see Fishplate "Rail spike" redirects here. For the Transformer , see Railspike.  ) rail fastening system is a means of fixing rails to railroad ties %*nited States& or sleepers %international&. !he terms rail anchors, tie plates, chairsand track fasteners are used to refer to parts or all of a rail fastening system. +a rious types of fastening h ae been used oer the years. Contents 1 -istory and oeriew 2 Spikes and screws o 2.1 #ail spikes o 2.2 Screw spikes o 2.Fang bolts o 2." Spring spikes o 2.$ Fixing euipment #ail supports

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    Rail fastening systemFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Elements of a baseplate based rail fastening system

    1. Screw for fixing plate to sleeper

    2. Elastomeric pad supporting rail

    . !ension washer

    ". #ail clamp

    $. !ensioning bolt %nut not shown&'. (aseplate

    )ssembled exampleThis article is about devices used to fasten rail to railroad ties (sleepers), for devices used to join lengthsof rail see Fishplate

    "Rail spike" redirects here. For the Transformer, see Railspike.

    ) rail fastening systemis a means of fixing railsto railroad ties%*nited States& or sleepers%international&. !he terms rail anchors, tie plates, chairsand track fastenersare used to refer to parts orall of a rail fastening system. +arious types of fastening hae been used oer the years.


    1 -istory and oeriew

    2 Spikes and screws

    o 2.1 #ail spikes

    o 2.2 Screw spikes

    o 2. Fang bolts


    2." Spring spikes

    o 2.$ Fixing euipment

    #ail supports

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    o .1 /hairs

    o .2 !ie plates

    " /lips

    $ See also

    ' #eferences

    o '.1 Sources

    o '.2 Further reading

    0 External links

    History and overview

    !he earliest wooden rails were fixed to wooden sleepers by pegs through holes in the rail, or by nails.(y the 1th century cast iron rails had come into use, and also had holes in the rail itself to allow them tobe fixed to a support.131th century deelopments such as the flanged railand fish bellied railalso hadholes in the rail itself4 when stone block sleepers were used the nails were drien into a wooden blockwhich had been inserted into a recess in the block. !he first chair for a rail is thought to hae beenintroduced in 1050 which attached to the rail on the ertical web ia bolts. 23

    (y the 126s the first shaped rolled rails had begun to be produced initially of a ! shape which reuireda chair to hold them4 the rails were held in position by iron wedges %which sometimes caused the rail tobreak when forced in& and later by wooden wedges, which became the standard. 37n the 16s #obert8. Steensinented the flanged 9tee9 rail %actually a distorted 7 beam&, which had a flat bottom andreuired no chair4 a similar design was the contemporary bridge rail%of inerted * section with a bottom

    flange and laid on longitudinal sleepers&4 these rails were initially nailed directly to the sleeper."3

    7n :orth )merican practice the flanged ! rail became the standard, later being used with tie;plates.Elsewhere ! rails were replaced by bull head railsof a rounded 979 or 9figure;9 appearance which stillreuired a supporting chair. Eentually the flanged ! rail became commonplace on all the world9srailways, though differences in the fixing system still exist.

    Spikes and screws

    Rail spikes

    Rusted cut spikes (scale in inches)

    Dog spike

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    ) rail spike%also known as a cut spikeor crampon& is a large nailwith an offset head that is used tosecure rails and base plates to railroad tiesin the track. #obert 8iingston Steensis credited with theinention of the railroad spike,$3the first recorded use of which was in 12.'3!he railroad spike was aninention which resulted from the state of industrialisation in the *nited States in the early 15th century1' inch suare and ?$.$ to ' inch long. 53

    ) rail spike is roughly chisel;shaped and with a flat edged point4 the spike is drien with the edgeperpendicular to the grain, which gies greater resistance to loosening.163!he main function is to keepthe rail in gauge. When attaching tie plates the attachment is made as strong as possible, whereaswhen attaching a rail to tie or tie plate the spike is not normally reuired to proide a strong erticalforce, allowing the rail some freedom of moement.53

    @riginally spikes were drien into wooden sleepers by hammering them with a heay hammer by hand.!his manual work has been replaced by machines, commonly called Aspike driersA %) machine thatremoes spikes is called a Aspike pullerA&. 113Splitting of the wood can be limited by pre;boring spikeholes or adding steel bands around the wood. 123

    For use in the *nited Statesthree basic standards are described in the)S!B)'$ standard, for differentcarbon steel contents.13

    !he rail spike has entered )merican popular consciousness4 the driing of the AColden SpikeA was a keypoint in :orth )merican deelopment of the western seaboard. #ailroad workers hae been celebratedin song and erse.1"3

    ) dog spikeis functionally euialent to a cut spike and is also suare in hori=ontal section and ofsimilar dimensions but has a pointed penetrating head, and the rail %or Aplate holdingA& head has twolugs on either side %which aid spike remoal& giing the impression of a dog9s head.1$3

    Screw spikes

    #usted screw spike

    Screw spikes %French< Tire-fonds&

    ) screw spike, rail scre%or lag bolt& is a large %?' in or 1$2 mm length, slightly under 1 in or 2$ mm&metal screw used to fix a tie plate or fasten rail. Screw spikes are fixed into a hole bored in the sleeper.1'3!he screw spike has a higher cost to manufacture than the rail spike but has the adantage of greaterfixing power4 approximately twice that of a rail spike, 103and can be used in combination with springwashers.1'3

    !he screw spike was first introduced in 1'6 in France %French tire-fond&, and became common incontinental Europe.13

    ) dog screis a tradename ariant of the screw spike.153

    Fang bolts

    Fang boltswhich are also named rail anchor bolts, hae also been used for fixing rails or chairs tosleepers4 the fang bolt is a bolt inserted through a hole in the sleeper with a fanged nut that bites into thelower surface of the sleeper. For fastening flat;bottomed rails an upper;lipped washer can be used togrip the edge of the rail. !hey are more resistant to loosening by ibrations and moement of the rail.

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    263!hey are thought more effectie than spikes and screws and so are used in positions such as switch%point& tieplates,213and on sharp cures.223

    Spring spikes

    Spring spike fastener %Cerman

    Spring spikes, %or elastic rail spikes2"3& are used with flat;bottomed rail, baseplates and woodensleepers4 the spring spike holds the rail down and preents tipping, and also secures the baseplate tothe sleeper.2$3!he #acbeth spike%trade name& is a two;pronged *;shaped staple;like spike bent so thatit appears B;shaped when iewed from the side.2'32037nerted D;shaped single pointed spikes hae also

    been used.


    Fixing equipment

    !he spike maul, also known as a spiking hammer, is a type of sledgehammer with a long thin headwhich was originally used to drie spikes. 25363

    Banual hole drilling and spike or screw insertion and remoal hae been replaced by semi;automated orautomated machines, both pneumatic and hydraulic. Bachines that remoe spikes are called spikepullers.13233

    Rail supports


    /ross section of early ! rail, chair and key

    !he earliest rail chairs, made of cast iron and introduced around 166, were used to fix and supportcast;iron rails at their ends423they were also used to oin adacent rails."3

    7n the 16s rolled !;shaped %or single-flanged T parallel rail& and 7;shaped %or double-flanged Tparallelor bullhead& rails were introduced4 both reuired cast;iron chairs to support them. [email protected],iron keys were used to wedge the rail into the ertical parallel aws of the chair4 these were supersededby entirely wooden keys.$3!he wooden keys were formed from oak, steam softened and thencompressed with hydraulic presses and stored in a drying house4 when inserted into the chair, exposureto the wet atmosphere would cause the key to expand, firmly holding the rail. '3!he wedge may be onthe inside or outside of the rail %usually the outside&.03

    /hairs hae been fixed to the sleeper using wooden spikes %trenails&, screws, fang;bolts or spikes.3

    7n most of the world, flat;bottomed rail and baseplates became the standard, howeer in (ritain,bullhead rail;and;chairs remained in use until the middle of the twentieth century.2$3!hey are now largely

    obsolete but can still be found on 8ondon *ndergroundand sidings.

    here$3hen$3citation needed3

    ie plates

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    ) tie plate, baseplateor sole plateis a steel plate used on rail tracks between flanged ! railandthe crossties. !he tie plate increases bearing area and holds the rail to correct gauge. !hey are fastenedto wooden ties by means of spikesor bolts through holes in the plate.

    !he part of the plate under the rail base is tapered, setting the cantof the rail, an inward rotation fromthe ertical. !he usual slope is one in forty % 1." degrees &. !he top surface of the plate has one or twoshoulders that fit against the edges of the base of the rail. !he double;shoulder type is currently [email protected] single;shoulder types were adaptable for arious rail widths, with the single shoulder positionedon the outside %field side& of the rails. Bost plates are slightly wider on the field side, without which the

    plates tend to cut more into the outsides of the tie, reducing cant angle.Bany railways use large wood screws, also called lag scres, to fasten the tie plates %or baseplates& tothe railroad ties.

    !ie plates came into use around the year 1566, before which time flanged ! rail was spiked directly tothe ties.


    ) ariety of different types of heay;duty clips are used to fasten the rails to the underlying baseplate,one common one being the %androlfastener %androl clip&, named after its maker, which is shaped likea stubby paperclip.53)nother one is the +ossloh !ension /lamp."63

    !he newer androl fastclip is applied at right angles to the rail. (ecause the clip is captie, it has to beinstalled at the time of manufacture of the concrete sleeper.

    Rail fastening types

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    Rail spike with baseplate above the


    Track joint and chairs

    Pandrol'e-Clip' fastening

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    See also

    Permanent wayand permanent way (history), descriptions of the entire track system.


    1. Jump up^Origin and Development of the Railway Rail, . P. Raida!a"gh, pp.#$%

    &. '"mp "p toabOrigin and Development of the Railway Rail, . P. Raida!a"gh, pp.*$+

    . Jump up^Origin and Development of the Railway Rail, . P. Raida!a"gh, pp.1-$1+

    -. Jump up^Origin and Development of the Railway Rail, . P. Raida!a"gh, pp.1+$&-

    #. Jump up^Octo!er 1* $ /oday in Science 0istory. www.todayinsci.com . Ro!ert ivingston Stevens.

    2. Jump up^eorge 3les (1+1&). Leading American inventors. 0. 0olt and company, 4ew 5ork. p. &.

    %. Jump up^Origin and Development of the Railway Rail, . P. Raida!a"gh, p.&6

    *. Jump up^/he Rail Spike and /he ocomotive. chestofbooks.com. Scientific 7merican.

    +. ' "mp "p toabRailroad engineering, 8ol"me 1, 9illiam 9alter 0ay, pp.#*&$

    16. Jump up^railroad spikes. www.sizes.com.

    11. Jump up^:rian Solomon (&661). Railway maintenance: the men and machines that keep the railroadsrunning. ;:3 P"!lishing

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    &&. Jump up^9illiam 0emingway ;ills (1*+*). Railway !onstruction. ongmans, reen, and

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    9illiam Sellew (1+1#). Railway 1aintenance Engineering 6ith 7otes on !onstruction. D. 8an 4ostrand