A detailed study of rail welds supported off-centre between railway sleepers

School of Engineering and Technology
Dr. Nirmal Kumar Mandal
Ian Hoather


For the ongoing economic growth of Australia, it is essential to increase speed and axle loads in heavy haul railway operations. Increased service life and reduced costs of rail maintenance are important key indicators for the development and installation of premium rail steels. Rail repair and replacement costs are enormous: nearly $2 billion per year in the USA. Many problems can be mitigated using proper rail stress management procedures. It is essential to study in detail the ideal positioning of Thermit welds in relation to the supporting sleepers and the deflection problems that occur when a weld is off-centre. During adjusting the neutral temperature to tackle thermal rail stress problems, a small rail section is cut out or put in, and the two rail ends are joined by welding.

Rail welds, Suspended joints, off-centre of sleepers

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