Technical Reports

Analysis of Lateral Rail Restraint

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1983
AUTHOR: David Jeong, Michael Coltman
KEYWORDS: Rail Restraint, Gauge Widening, Rail Deflection
ABSTRACT: Rail restraint failure is one of the most prevalent derailment modes in railroad operation. Analytical and experimental investigations of track gauge widening have been undertaken by the Transportation Systems Center ins support of the Federal Railroad Administration's Track Safety Research Program to establish performance based track safety specifications. This report deals with the analysis of lateral rail strength using the results of experimental investigations and a nonlinear rail response model. Part of the analysis involves the parametric study of the influence of track parameters on lateral rail restraint. These parameters include rail size, rail support characteristics, and wheel versus truck loading. Based on these results, safety limits on allowable rail restraint degradation for low speed track are presented.