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Italians painting the rails white


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Just come back from a tour to the Italian lakes, I noticed most of the mail line rails had been painted white. Is there ant specific reason please

It's been discussed on here at some length, though not specifically with regard to Italy; it's to reduce the heating effect of the sun on the rails. The Italians also paint the ballast in stations white during the summer- however, that's because they still have lots of train toilets that empty on the track.

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Thanks, don't normally read continental threads so missed it, Simple when you think about it

 

Just done Eurostar then TGV to Italy and back and wondered about they cope with rail expansion especially at the temperatures reached 40 degrees C. When at stations they seemed to use old fashioned tiebars rather than any form of expansion join

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Thanks, don't normally read continental threads so missed it, Simple when you think about it

 

Just done Eurostar then TGV to Italy and back and wondered about they cope with rail expansion especially at the temperatures reached 40 degrees C. When at stations they seemed to use old fashioned tiebars rather than any form of expansion join

Probably in most of Italy the winter temperatures don't get as low as in Britain, and those regions where they do probably don't get 40degC in the summer very often.  So I would guess they use a higher "stress free temperature" in most of the country so they can withstand higher temperatures without buckling but there is more risk of them breaking if it gets really cold. 

Edited by Edwin_m
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Probably in most of Italy the winter temperatures don't get as low as in Britain, and those regions where they do probably don't get 40degC in the summer very often.  So I would guess they use a higher "stress free temperature" in most of the country so they can withstand higher temperatures without buckling but there is more risk of them breaking if it gets really cold. 

 

Not sure I would agree with you for the central part of Italy at least. In Umbria we get winter temperatures well below freezing and the last few weeks have seen temperatures in the high 30s every day. Painting the rails white has been going on for years as far as I can tell - more of a rolling programme rather than being done in the summer.

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