The rail research program of British Railways, which is aimed at understanding and reducing the severity of various mechanisms of rail failure, is described. An important part of the work is the measurement and prediction of rail stresses and the study of force-free temperature for continuous welded rail. To reduce failure problems, it is necessary to develop laboratory-based techniques to assess the performance of rail steels and welds. This requires a knowledge of the dynamic and static stress environment of the rails and computer programs to calculate these stresses. The study of failures includes the study of Thermit and flash-butt weld failures, tache ovale defects, star cracks at bolt holes, and squat defects. It has been found that the majority of Thermit weld failures can be attributed to poor welding practice. Flash-butt weld failures are much less frequent but may become more of a problem as the more wear-resistant rail steels are introduced into welded track. The need to develop better steels for switch and crossing work has provided an impetus to develop a weldable austenitic manganese steel and also bainitic steels of high strength and toughness. These developments are reviewed.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 26-37
  • Monograph Title: Railroad track and facilities
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00319307
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309030528
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 11 1980 12:00AM