Wednesday 29 August 2012

Track: notes and questions

 Something to look at and something to answer. The above taken in the spring. Siding on a factory estate? No, this is the Cambrian main line. Note the trip to register the passing of the crossing on which I'm standing, and the very fine ballast. but more to the point the amount of growth, swamping the rails in some places.
Below: taken from the train at the weekend. What's going on here? My guess is that the 'splice' in the rail is an expansion joint in the continuous welded rail. Am I right? Note that this has just been replaced and the old lengths are in the four foot. But also note the bonding with two lengths of rail bolted across four sleepers. Anybody give an explanation to this set-up?


  1. I think it is a typical expansion joint for CWR. The bracing for the sleepers is to prevent movement (probably in the vertical plane - i.e. a dip) because the rail itself is not rigid across the joint.

    Check out PECO SL-44 for a model...

  2. Good answer. And confirms what I thought was happening in the photo and hadn't been aware of before.

  3. On my trip to Wales last week I saw a lot of variation in the track on the CML; everything from brand new steel-sleepered track through to old GWR bullhead with 2bolt chairs ( remember Ratio track bases?).......and no signals either due to ERTMS.........just lots of strange signs in bizarre colours (magenta?). Didn't take photos though as I was there for the narrow gauges.......