Rail Neutral Temperature Test on CSX

Tests were conducted on CSX wood-tie track to determine the long-term stability of track in the context of rail neutral temperature (RNT). Two test sites were chosen by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and CSX in Georgia: one a tangent section of high-tonnage (50 mgt/year) track north of Carterville, Georgia, and the second a 6-degree curve on grade just south of Manchester, Georgia. Each test section was instrumented over a 1600-ft section with 15 pairs of strain gage and thermocouple transducers, measuring rail longitudinal stress (load) and rail temperature. In addition, surveyor's benchmarks were set in beside the track to monitor the dimensional stability of the track. Tests were conducted over a 20-month period at the tangent section, and a 17-month period at the curved section. Over the course of the program, the effects of rail distress, time and traffic, yearly seasons, maintenance (tie renewal and surfacing), and repair of a track misalignment were determined. The tangent track RNT was found to follow seasonal average temperatures, varying over roughly a 10-degree F temperature range, but returning to very nearly the original value. A minor loss in RNT was attributed to track surfacing. In the curved track section, a steady loss in RNT was seen over the 17-month period, with some minor variation with season. A remote monitoring system was installed under a separate SBIR contract. This system showed graphically the effects on RNT of localized sunshine and shade in producing large load variations with distance along the tangent track.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 76p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01666274
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FRA/ORD-90/11
  • Contract Numbers: DTFR53-86-C-00006, Task 10
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 8 2018 12:06PM