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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 104
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 137

Behavior of Continuous Welded Rail Tracks in Tight Curves on Narrow Gauge Railways

B. Bopp, U. Weidmann and D. Bruckmann

Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
B. Bopp, U. Weidmann, D. Bruckmann, "Behavior of Continuous Welded Rail Tracks in Tight Curves on Narrow Gauge Railways", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 137, 2014. doi:10.4203/ccp.104.137
Keywords: lateral track stability, narrow-gauge railways, continuous welded track, tight radii, pre-buckling lateral displacements, field measurements.

Continuously welded rail (CWR) represents the "state of the art" in railway track design. CWR increases ride comfort, reduces emissions, and reduces maintenance costs thereby improving economic sustainability for railway companies. Narrowgauge railways are generally located in areas with difficult topographic conditions and have extreme track geometry requirements. Switzerland's regulations for CWR on narrow gauge railways (2006) were developed by adapting theoretical research results from standard gauge tracks to meter gauge tracks. These regulations addressed the use of CWR in curves with a radius less than 100 m for the first time. They also take into consideration lateral track displacements within certain limits in determining lateral track stability. Since the regulations are based on estimations and assumptions, they can be characterized only as benchmarks and must be evaluated in field tests. The necessity for field test verification is even pointed out in the regulations. This paper presents results of a field test verification of lateral track displacement on CWR in curves of approximately 100 m for narrow gauge railways. The main finding is that the regulations developed on the basis of assumptions and theoretical estimates are generally correct although more research is needed.

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