Gauge corner cracking - an aspect of rail defects

Earlier this year Halcrow Rail were asked by Railtrack to consider a problem developing across the Network, called Gauge Corner Cracking (GCC) or Head Checking. In particular Railtrack wished Halcrow Rail to consider if the relatively recent appearance of GCC was a significant factor in causing more rail breaks to occur. It is considered that GCC is a direct result of enhanced loading on the head of the rail causing rolling contact fatigue in the rail head, ultimately assuming the typical failure pattern. While GCC can cause rail breaks to occur, it is considered that if clear inspection criteria is provided to enable inspection staff to assess a rails condition from its surface appearance, it can also act as a useful early warning system. Additional work is required to establish workable inspection criteria. For the covering abstract see ITRD E125214.


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  • Accession Number: 01011743
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-947644-43-1
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2005 3:28PM