Title

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EXPERIENCE WITH 136-LB THICK WEB RAIL SWITCH POINTS

Authors

N PETERS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

mode - rail

Keywords

Web rail, Turnouts, Thickness, Switchgear, Switches (Railroads), Reinforcing straps, Moments of inertia, Canadian National

Abstract

In 1999, Canadian National Railway was the first Class 1 railroad to move away from switch points with reinforcing straps and introduce the use of thick web rail into all its 136-lb turnouts. A review of the history of reinforcing straps on switch points in North America indicates that this is an obsolete practice carried on unnecessarily. The moment of inertia of a 136-lb thick web rail is nearly 2.5 greater than that of the European Zu1-60 asymmetrical thick web section, which has performed so well in tangential geometry turnouts in North America. The advantages of adopting the 136-lb thick web rail section as a standard for use in switch points is one of economy, primarily related to the labor savings in the fabrication of the switch point.