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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why it takes longer to get home in hot weather some nights - because this can happen, trains can derail, people can die

6 comments:

deepfish said...

There is something definitely wrong here.
I worked rail out west in the 80's.
We got sun kinks even bigger than this. At the end of a work day you could actually see the rail coiling like a snake. If you stood on the right tie you could "surf" to the left or right.
BUT.
This was AFTER we removed all the ballast and removed and replaced most of the ties and manipulated up to a mile of the rail with undercutters and sleds. The rail was out in the open - unsheltered by gravel (we poured that stuff on top last, and the follow up crew would tamp and line) and therefore really prone to kinking.
Our last machine was a liner, it would smooth out the kinks, most times we'd have to cut the rail with a quick cut (what these guys are doing) and remove an inch or two.
Wed'd attach a couple of angle bars and make note of the location and a destressing crew would come along and fix any residual problem.
This was on heavy grade heavily traveled trackage on the CN main line.
My point?
That track DID NOT to my knowledge suffer kinks in normal operation.
There is a problem with the quality of maintenance or the roadbed that is not being addressed, apparently.

Anonymous said...

Kinda looks like photoshop to me.

deepfish said...

No - this is what it looks like. The ballast is lying on top of the ties so its obvious that this is a rehab operation - that rail is either newly laid or newly rebuilt.
I saw kinks like that on a daily basis. Bigger.
But NEVER on trackage on the mainline before we started work on it.
http://www.iowadot.gov/images/SunKinkGoldfield1.jpg

That's a pic of a minor sun kink on trackage - note the delapidated condition of the track though. That one would probably be enough to derail a train.

It comes from creepage - the sun heats and expands the track - horizontally, vertically and longitudinally. The track has no way to grow longitudinally, so it kinks.

Actually, this wasn't as much a problem when we had the old angle bar joins. Now they have CWR (continuous welded rail) and it has become a problem.

But I can't say from experience that it should be such a problem in the rails here.

Either the roadbed is not being maintained or something else is hinky to have so many slow orders for kinky.

mcmanmat said...

I had to google sun kinks...had never heard of it. Turns out though that the picture used here was not caused by sun, it was caused by an earthquake in New Zealand.

http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2010/11/02/the-canterbury-earthquake-images-of-the-distorted-railway-line/

Still strange to see though. Never would have thought sun could bend rail lines like that.

deepfish said...

No, that's heat or sun kink that happened during construction or rehab. It has all the signs. (fresh ballast on the ties ballast kicked out to each side etc.)
If it was an earthquake it would be a single shear, and the ditch and fence line would show effects.

deepfish said...

My mistake - read up on this, and it was due to an earth tremor - but the rail was stressed before hand, so the bump just activated a kink that was waiting to happen, so I guess we were both right...