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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 88
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and M. Papadrakakis
Paper 214

On Welded Rail and Temperature Stressing for the Taiwan High Speed Railway

Y.C. Shiau1, L.T. Lu2, C.M. Huang1 and T.T. Yao1

1Institute of Construction Management, Chung Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
2General Affairs Division, Construction & Maintenance Section, Nan-Hua University, Jia-Yi, Taiwan

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
Y.C. Shiau, L.T. Lu, C.M. Huang, T.T. Yao, "On Welded Rail and Temperature Stressing for the Taiwan High Speed Railway", in B.H.V. Topping, M. Papadrakakis, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Computational Structures Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 214, 2008. doi:10.4203/ccp.88.214
Keywords: continuous welded rail, thermit weld, flash-butt weld, Taiwan high speed railway.

The development of non-jointed continuous welded rails (CWR) began in 1910, and the thermit weld was invented in 1933 [1]. In 1937, the flash-butt weld was introduced, and since the use of the gas pressure weld in 1939, the welded rail has become popular worldwide. After 1955, the technology of the welded rail developed rapidly to maturity.

CWR has replaced the fish plate jointed rail connectors and has become the most significant method of rail connection for high-speed railways (HSR), and can satisfy the requirement of stability and comfort during the high speed travelling of trains. After completion of the heavy rails, the Taiwan railway company has increasingly used welded rails since 2002 to improve the quality of railway operation [2]. Since there is no expansion joint in the welded rails to allow for changes of temperature, any change in length generated is converted into internal stress.

Powerful axial stress might induce rail buckling or breakage, but with the rail stressing method, temperature stress may be controlled within allowable limits. The objective of this paper is to introduce and discuss the method of rail stressing that must be adopted as a result of changes of temperature for Taiwan HSR's welded rails.

The HSR rail adopts a weld connection to form a continuous, non-joint rail. The original length of each JIS-60 rail imported from Japan is 25m. After the first weld, 8 rails are connected to form a 200m long rail that is laid immediately. The second rail connects 5 rails of 200m to extend to 1000m. The third weld is controlled by the signal system to install the isolated rail joint and introduces rail stressing [3].

When the natural rail temperature exceeds the median rail temperature, the rail may not be shortened by compression through axial pressure. Therefore the temperature stressing work for the track can only be executed with a rail temperature below the median rail temperature by the following methods: natural rail temperature, heating method, and stressing method.

As a result of the difficulty in controlling the temperature, as well as the possible deterioration of steel at high temperatures, the heating method is not adopted in the track works of the HSR project. The better method is the stressing method. Although more manpower and equipment are required, adjustment can be executed at any time during construction. The J-slab areas throughout the entire HSR adopt such method to control quality and progress.

M.J. Huang, "Railway Engineering", Wensheng Bookstore, 1993.
C.C. Hsieh, "Influence from unevenness of track weld towards high speed rail", 2005 Academic seminar for Track engineering council of R.O.C., 2005.

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