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Rail damage


eastworld

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Recently while waiting for a train at Conisbrough  I spotted some damage to the rails. It looks like small areas of the outside edge of the top of the rail has been somehow roughly removed and this coincides with the location of the sleepers below. It's not above every sleeper but does seem to have affected the rail in a large number of places. The only thing I could think might cause this was when the track was laid perhaps some machine used somehow caught the edge of the rail. Has anybody seen this before and know what caused it?

 

Stu

 

 

post-7072-0-20699000-1401200776_thumb.jpg

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Really worth reporting at the time if you see anything like this so it can get checked out. Could be just break off of material that's rolled over but always worth drawing attention to it.

Can you pm or post here, date and exact place so we can get it looked into especially if it's more than one place.

It causes minimal delay to get it looked at. Just for info occasional clips in chaired rail aren't unusual and get picked up by patrols but several in a row should be reported as soon as possible.

Most stations and crossings have a phone or help point if not staff.

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From the picture i'd say this is the inside rail of a curve? I'm not overly concerned by seeing a chunk out of this migrated material. There is a wider issue as to why are wheels spinning to cause this. This could be due to a disparity between linespeed and cant or other factors that could perhaps only be identified with more information.

 

Edit to add after reading Paulrhb's comment..

 

It wouldn't hurt to report it by whatever means. Any report will fall into the right hands eventually. It's not a new or sudden problem but as mentioned above there are underlying issues.

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First person report is always best as they can get back to you for more ;)

As Lnerge says it doesn't look critical to my untrained eye, but that's not my role so I'm as unsure as the OP, but it does need looking at if not already known. Enthusiasts and concerned public are a great help, just get a picture if possible as it allows a track engineer to quickly assess if it is critical.

We've used a photo to find a rifle magazine dropped on the track!

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You could always use a signal post telephone to report the matter providing you do so from the safety of the platform. Give details of who you are, where you are, describe what you discover, the signalman will repeat the details back to you. If it saves an accident, it's worth doing. If it's a waste of time, don't worry, you rest safe knowing that you've reported what could have been something serious.

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Now those closed joints are more serious especially on BR 1 fixings !!

 

The piece of rail broken off is not good but it's not serious. It's commonly known as "lipping" and is caused by plastic flow of the rail head over a long period of time. It could have been mitigated by a timely rail grind but the rail is effectively now ruined in that condition and it will require replacing. The chances are the fixings are loose and the sleeper is voiding with the consequent wheel impact breaking the "lip" off.  It might be that this lipping is being caused by rail rotation which is bad - but how would anyone be able to tell because the ballast shouldn't be covering the sleepers like that either. As an ex TSM & TME - I would consider this to be a very poorly maintained piece of track.

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Over the years I have used a signal post telephone to report a freight train with a wheel-set smoking badly, the number on a "Bridge Strike" notice to report kids playing on the stonework above Box Tunnel, and the Network Rail help line to report a signal which went out when it should have been displaying a red aspect. Each time my report has been dealt with efficiently, and with thanks from the person taking the call - even when I unknowingly called Swindon Panel via the bridge strike number to report the Box Tunnel incident which is in Bristol's patch. 

 

I found it much harder to convince platform staff that the HST which had just roared through their station at line-speed had a door on the catch!

 

Always, always report things, is my advice, it is appreciated. As modellers and observers we should have a good idea if something is wrong, and can probably talk in terms which convey the message correctly. If it is something serious, and you let it go unreported, how would you feel if there was subsequently an incident?

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When I was  secondman, working an up commuter train through Hatfield, we saw a down express pass us with a set of wheels ablaze!! We stopped at the next signal and reported it. Later in the day we saw the errant coach in the sidings at Hitchin.
 

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Once phoned up a signal box last year useing the phone number on the track board (where staff enter the rail via a gate) to report a large black bag wrapped round the overhead live cables the chap sounded slightly surprised to have a phone call but was very apreshative of the call

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Once phoned up a signal box last year useing the phone number on the track board (where staff enter the rail via a gate) to report a large black bag wrapped round the overhead live cables the chap sounded slightly surprised to have a phone call but was very apreshative of the call

I used a phone at long since disused ground frame last week. It rang for ages then a quiet and quizzical 'hello' was heard. I announced who i was and what i was doing (a survey to assess the practicalities of reinstating said ground frame) and the surprised signalman replied 'in 20 years of working here i've never had a call from that phone' I did have a chuckle.

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A Bobby friend of mine answered a call from a crossing 'phone on his patch, asking if he'd be so kind as to lower the barriers again as some chap had tied his dog's lead to said barriers before the train passed and the dog was now dangling some feet in the air after the train's passage!

 

C6T.

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A Bobby friend of mine answered a call from a crossing 'phone on his patch, asking if he'd be so kind as to lower the barriers again as some chap had tied his dog's lead to said barriers before the train passed and the dog was now dangling some feet in the air after the train's passage!

 

C6T.

I clicked the 'funny' icon because it made me laugh although I shouldn't. Better though than the poodle in this mornings news who cocked his leg on a faulty lamp post! :O

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Hi All,

 

Sounds like some of you have done better than the staff at a certain station that will remain nameless who one evening, along with me, watched an HST come at full line speed through with a brake frozen on and molten metal, smoke and sparks flying everywhere and - believe it or not - proceeded to ignore it! I pointed it out to them that it should be reported ASAP and they said it wasn't important and not to worry! They then proceeded to carry on with their conversation! I disagreed with their professional engineering advice and found someone higher up the food chain with a modicum of sense to report it to who acted upon it...

 

Oh well!

 

All the best,

 

Castle

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What is happening here is the same as what happens when you use a cold chisel or bolster, the top mushrooms over and at a certain point if left unattend the metal at the point of mushrooming gets to thin and the next strike if the hammer will see a chip fly off. In the case of the rail a bit breaking off is not to serious but the chip off the chisel could end up in your or somebody near by eye. In both cases the item should be reground to its original profile, before it gets to the point of bits breaking off.

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Recently while waiting for a train at Conisbrough  I spotted some damage to the rails. It looks like small areas of the outside edge of the top of the rail has been somehow roughly removed and this coincides with the location of the sleepers below. It's not above every sleeper but does seem to have affected the rail in a large number of places. The only thing I could think might cause this was when the track was laid perhaps some machine used somehow caught the edge of the rail. Has anybody seen this before and know what caused it?

 

Stu

 

:O  :O

 

Yep, that'll need sorting, the running edge of the rail has been chipped, possibly through Rolling Contact Fatigue or Lipping as Southernman46 said, it could also point towards cracking within the rail structure. Plus it looks like some very poor Ballast Regulation, although that's fairly common

 

Yes, you should of reported it, but the general public won't know how to do that, a rail enthusiast will know how to find out, but the average joe won't know how to find out to or hwo to describe what they are looking at.

 

Simon

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:O  :O

 

Yep, that'll need sorting, the running edge of the rail has been chipped, possibly through Rolling Contact Fatigue or Lipping as Southernman46 said, it could also point towards cracking within the rail structure. Plus it looks like some very poor Ballast Regulation, although that's fairly common

 

Yes, you should of reported it, but the general public won't know how to do that, a rail enthusiast will know how to find out, but the average joe won't know how to find out to or hwo to describe what they are looking at.

 

Simon

No, it's not the running edge as I said in my post - it's the outside edge i.e that which is adjacent to the platform so wheels don't come into contact with it, but I can guess I can report it anyway.

 

Stu

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Probably caused by a Stoneblower or possibly Tamper. The lipping would catch the edges of the rail clamps as the machine moved forward causing the material to be ripped off. Similar damage below

 

post-6717-0-23906900-1402905796_thumb.jpg

 

What is really needed is one of our Rail Grinders to restore the railhead before the Blower/Tamper ;)

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In the case of the fishplated joint where the rail heads on either side of the joint have effectively become one, is the rest of the joint closed up, or is it only the head? I've heard of instances of this happening at Insulated Block Joints, causing a track circuit failure. In at least one case, shown in the IRSE Journal, it was attributed partially to deficent traction current return bondings- the return current simply tracked across the joint, its arcing causing the metal to fuse.

As someone who's listened to his fair share of emergency calls, could I remind people of the following:-

Where you're calling from; if you can give any sort of reference to a mile-post/ signal number/level crossing name, all the better.

Give the nature of the incident/ potential problem; again give as much detail as possible.

State your name clearly, and any contact number if you are phoning from a mobile near the scene.

Get the person you're calling to read back the details.

Don't hang up until told to do so.

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The advantage of lineside phones is they either go to a concentrator that tells us where you are or the contain the location details inside the phone case. Lipping at IBJs should be caught by Pway patrols but you do get failures from it, it tends to suggest itself though when two adjacent tracks go down together. Sometimes caused by the insulating pad disintegrating and then rail movement allowing the bits to drop out before heat closes it up again. One of the things a guy on the ground can spot before it becomes a problem while the test trains can't yet.

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Not that long ago I reported some nylon rope hanging from a footbridge to within 3 or 4 inches of the overhead at Peterborough station - and it was a wet day ...

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