Welding played a crucial role in the laying of an 861 km railway line between the Sishen North iron ore mine in Cape Province, South Africa and the new harbor at Saldanha Bay on the east coast of the province. Long welded rails (LWRs), 300 m long, were built up from basic 25 m units shipped in from Rotterdam. Flash butt-welding was used for this. The LWRs were then thermit welded on site to create the track. In one day a world record length of 6.5 km was laid. When electrification of the line was contemplated, methods of attaching the earth return connections to the rail were studied. The eventual solution was a portable friction welder built by the Welding Institute in England to specifications drawn up by the Research and Process Development Department of Iscor, the South African Iron and Steel Industrial Corporation.

  • Corporate Authors:

    IPC Science and Technology Press Limited

    IPC House, 32 High Street
    Guildford, Surrey  England 
  • Authors:
    • Murray, G B
  • Publication Date: 1979-11

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 627
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00312111
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 22 1980 12:00AM