Effect of maintenance on misaligned rail welds

Sutton, Melissa A. & Murray, Martin H. (2006) Effect of maintenance on misaligned rail welds. In Ravitharan, Ravi (Ed.) Conference on Railway Engineering CORE2006, 1 May 2006, Melbourne, Australia.


The high energy wheel/rail impact forces arising from defects such as poorly aligned welds in rails can in time cause serious defects in track components and deterioration of geometry. Suitable weld straightening operations improve the matter but there is uncertainty about the longevity of the effect and about what degree of misalignment (dip or peak) warrants straightening. Three 2km long test sections were established on the Mt Isa Line in Queensland to evaluate the effectiveness of weld straightening operations. Each section received different levels of intervention to correct the welds and over 15,000 measurements of weld alignment were recorded and analysed over the life of the project. For welds with a dip less than 0.3mm, straightening produced no improvement. Cycle tamping produced an improvement in the alignment of dipped welds but cycle grinding produced a slight worsening of dipped welds. After approximately 4 million gross tonnes of traffic the straightened welds appeared to remain unaltered by and large; those welds which received no straightening showed a minor worsening of both dipped and peaked welds due to the traffic.

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ID Code: 5766
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: rail, weld, maintenance, grind, straighten
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 14 Dec 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:18

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