Technical Reports

Parametric Studies on Lateral Stability of Welded Rail Track

  • 01
  • May
  • 1983
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration; G. Samavedem; A. Kish; D. Jeong
SUBJECT: Track, Tracks & Structures, Track/Train Interactions
KEYWORDS: Track buckling, buckling, welded track
ABSTRACT: Thermal buckling of railroad tracks in the lateral plane is an important problem in the design and maintenance of continuous welded rails (CWR). The severity of the problem is manifested through the increasing number of derailments which are attributable to track buckling, indicating a need for developing better control on the allowable safe temperature increase for CWR track. The work reported here is part of a major investigation conducted by the Transportation Systems Center for the Federal Railroad Administration, on the analytical predictions of critical buckling loads and temperatures, and deals with a parametric investigation of the buckling response of CWR track. Buckling temperature and safe allowable temperature increase values are predicted for both tangent and curved tracks, as influenced by several key parameters, including track lateral and longitudinal resistances, lateral misalignments and rail size. Results of sensitivity analyses over a practical range of the parameters are presented and a suitable design criterion to ensure stability of CWR is outlined.