One for the railway anoraks

  onthelimit 10:40 02 Nov 2010

When I was at school, was told the slotted 'fishplates' which clamped lengths of rail together were to allow for expansion/contraction with temperature changes. My local line has just been replaced and the lengths are welded together.

How does that work then?

  Blackhat 10:49 02 Nov 2010

Google is your friend, a couple of links here.
click here
click here
click here_(rail_transport)#Continuous_welded_rail

  Blackhat 10:51 02 Nov 2010

Third link is wrong, I'll try again.
click here_(rail_transport)

  Blackhat 10:53 02 Nov 2010

Link still does not work. Google 'welded rail' & click on the Wikipedia link.

  Quickbeam 10:54 02 Nov 2010

I remember getting on the sleeper at Euston in the early '60s for our annual holiday in Scotland (that was foreign travel then) and there was welded section back then. But the rattle-a-tat sections were better to get to sleep.

  onthelimit 10:58 02 Nov 2010

First link explains it well. Also gives the reason why the wooden sleepers were changed for concrete ones at the same time.

  Quickbeam 11:56 02 Nov 2010

The genuine creosote treated sleepers that you buy for garden makeovers have probably been lifted over 40 years ago, and done 50+ years service before that, They'll last longer than the original London Bridge oak piles.

Don't confuse them with the newly sawn and lightly treated fake sleepers sawn from pine. The real ones are really scruffy, ash scorched, oil stained, full of spike holes, but with lived in character that can't be faked in an afternoon.

  961 15:33 02 Nov 2010

What a giggle! How I feel for you!

But in the intervening 39 years have you been a top city expert on the strength of expanding metal structures?

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