Because of the ever increasing concern with shelling of rail and its possible connection with wheel loads and the present day trend to still heavier wheel loads, a study was conducted on the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad to analyze their rail conditions in conjunction with their use of 90-ton cars for transporting of ore. This railroad has been using these 90-ton capacity hopper cars since 1931, with practice being to load ore for southbound movement to capacity, thus creating loads averaging 32,300 lbs. per wheel. It has been noted over the years that even with these wheel loads and rather high annual tonnages, the Bessemer has had little or not shelling of their rail. This study was prompted to see if an answer could be derived as to why no shelling problem exists here. In particular, two locations on the railroad were checked where the present rail in track is 131 lb., laid in 1938, and has had over 400,000,000 gross tons of traffic, most of which consisted of are carried in these 90-ton hopper cars. The northmost location is at Springboro, Pennsylvania, where there is a length of one mile of the 131 lb. rail in track (north and south of Mile Post 116). The other location is through and to the south of Grove City, Pennsylvania, Mile Post 60-63, where there is a 3-mile section of 131 lb. rail in track. Both of these sections of 131 lb. rail now carry both northbound and southbound tonnage, but prior to single tracking and installation of C.T.C. in 1957, this trackage was the southbound main track in both instances and carried the predominant southbound ore traffic. At both locations of 131 lb. rail, rail profiles were taken, degree and superelevation of curves were noted, predominant speeds of tonnage trains in both directions were noted, condition of the entire track structure and, in particular, condition of the rail both on tangent and curves were noted. Photographs were taken to show the rail condition. Because of curvature in the locations not exceeding 3 degrees, other locations on the railroad were chosen to make like studies, these locations having the same or less annual tonnages, and having different weights of rail of shorter service life, but having greater degree of curvature. Rail profiles and photographs were taken at these locations also. Along with the study of the rail and track conditions, a study of the 90-ton B & LE hopper cars was conducted, obtaining all pertinent data, prints, and photographs having to do with their construction and maintenance. The Bessemer's rail replacement policy is guided by the formula--T = .703xWxD.565 where T = Life of rail in million gross tons. W = Weight of rail in lbs. per yard. D = Traffic density in million gross tons per year.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Conducted under sponsorship of AAR Joint Committee on Relation Between Track and Equipment.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Association of American Railroads Research Center

    3140 South Federal Street
    Chicago, IL  United States  60616
  • Publication Date: 1965-3

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: 3 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00095874
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Association of American Railroads
  • Report/Paper Numbers: ER-55
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 24 1976 12:00AM