Do wheel flanges ever contact switch guard rails?

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Robert Gift

former OL presenter
After reading some of the track inspection specifications supplied by Roee, which listhe requirements for guard rails, do the guard rails ever experience wear?
I assumed they are never even touched.

Are guard rails just regularails? Or are they now a special rail just for the purpose?

Thank you.
 
After reading some of the track inspection specifications supplied by Roee, which listhe requirements for guard rails, do the guard rails ever experience wear?
I assumed they are never even touched.

Are guard rails just regularails? Or are they now a special rail just for the purpose?

Thank you.
Guard rails are purpose made. There is some occasional contact (you can see the wear in this picture I found on Google) but wear is basically nothing compared to the frog. Even rail wear is much more pronounced. Guard rails will last the life of the switch.
 
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LoganTrackdog

New Member
I have replaced many guard rails. They really go to hell if your switch gets out of gauge. On tight turnouts they will wear faster.
 
After reading some of the track inspection specifications supplied by Roee, which listhe requirements for guard rails, do the guard rails ever experience wear?
I assumed they are never even touched.

Are guard rails just regularails? Or are they now a special rail just for the purpose?

Thank you.
Guard rails can be made from regular rail as shown in the link in an earlier response or from as special section as seen in the attachment to this message.

The purpose of the check rail is to keep the flange of the opposite wheel from striking or even going the wrong side of the point of the frog. To achieve this, the tolerance on the flangeway gap is fairly tight (in rail engineering terms). Another tightly controlled dimension associated with this is also the back to back wheel spacing.

JS
 

UKrailwayman

New Member
We very rarely see any wear on these rails in the UK as the back to back flange dimensions are wider than the US and in consequence we have a narrower tread profile.

Wear to the guard rails (called check rails in the UK) will result in serious enquiries being made to establish the cause.
 

litz

Trainman
I don't know about trains ... but I can tell you for absolute surety that I've run my Fairmont MT-19 through guarded switches (and diamonds) ... and absolutely felt the guard rails "grab" and "guide" the wheels. You probably just can't feel it in a train.
 

Robert Gift

former OL presenter
I don't know about trains ... but I can tell you for absolute surety that I've run my Fairmont MT-19 through guarded switches (and diamonds) ... and absolutely felt the guard rails "grab" and "guide" the wheels. You probably just can't feel it in a train.
I would expect the right rail to push the left wheel enough toward or against its rail so thathe left wheel flange would never touch its guard rail.
Is this because the rails have slightly gone wide or a sharp curvature?
Thank you.
 

litz

Trainman
The trains (locomotives + cars) should (emphasis on SHOULD) be heavy enough that the wheel taper self-centers the axles so they in theory shouldn't hit the guardrail.

The reason you notice it in the small track cars is they're very very short wheelbase (and smaller wheels), and extremely light weight.

You'd be surprised on some track how much 'hunt' you get even with a properly setup car.

(If you've never ridden a track car, it's quite an experience ... very different from a ride in a train)
 




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