Heat Effects on Rail

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jul 19 11:09:33 EDT 2013

There's some technical detail from VRE http://www.vre.org/feedback/frequently_asked_questions/faq_heat_orders.htm

In the UK with 'record' temperatures of c 30C and more for over a week ... and likely to continue, Network Rail has certainly experienced problems: they were struggling to cope with track surface temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius. Trains were limited to 20 miles an hour, with many services delayed, cancelled or altered out of London Waterloo.



>From 3 years ago:

"Network Rail stresses that the UK's rail system is already robust, and has been "future-proofed" to cope with current weather conditions. After an earlier programme to investigate flood risks, the company is spending £160m on improving drainage systems and has been fitting higher-standard rails able to cope with warmer temperatures."


And for the really keen enthusiast:

Rail Temperature Study


London UK
I walked 12 miles for the Pirate Castle for the 4th time on June 22nd - please help bysponsoring me


> From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>

>To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>

>Sent: Friday, 19 July 2013, 13:50

>Subject: Re: Heat Effects on Rail




>I'm not a metallurgist either, but it would affect every train. Back in the excursion era, it was called the heat order, issued when the temperature was going over 85, if I recall correctly. The heat order brought our speeds down to no more than 35 mph, again if I recall correctly, and wreaked havoc with schedules. 



>My own person experience was on a "sun kink" on West Virginia Central some years back. It was not an overly hot day, maybe in the low 80s, and we had no trouble going over the spot when we were headed eastbound. But about two hours later on return, the kink was well in place on the curve, I slowed the train to 5 mph, and you could see how bad the rail  had kinked in the curve, we banged through the kink, it felt like it was going to jerk us off the track, but it was fine. 



>I'd think it would be worse with welded rail, due to the lesser numbers of expansion joints over the same space.



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