Rail is one of the most common means of transportation. The majority of the people travel by rail because it is faster and cost-effective. It is also used to transfer goods from one place to another. Various mines across the world, use rail as a means of transporting ore. This shows how reliable and affordable rail transport is.
A railway line should be constructed very carefully, remembering that all the components are designed to work correctly. The whole train, along with the passengers or the cargo, will weigh down on one small part of the train track. This being very important, all parts should be fitted properly. Even if one part fails, the wear and tear in the railway system will increase, leading to extra costs and risking of life and cargo. The fasteners like spikes and screws that are used in railway construction are very important since they are the foundation. Some of these include:
Rail spikes These are typically large nails that are designed to have an offset head. Base plates and rails are joined to the railroad ties with these spikes. They are otherwise also known as crampons or cut spikes.
Screw spikes: Inconel log bolts or grade 8 hex tap bolts come under these types of bolts. These bolts are usually very big and they are used to fix the tie plate to the rail. They are fixed within the sleeper, with the help of a hole drill. They are a little more expensive than rail spikes, but they have one big advantage, that is, that they have a much larger fixing power and are often used along with spring washers. These are more cost-effective than rail spikes, as the cost of maintaining them is much lower as compared to rail spikes.
Fang bolts: These are also known as rail anchor bolts. They are used by getting inserted in the hole in the sleeper. As the name suggests, they have a fanged nut that grips the lower surface of the sleeper, making sure that the entire assembly has no room to move. The design with fang bolts makes it difficult for them to move on the rail, and this is a major concern because most trains weigh a lot. They are used in delicate places, like the switch tie plate, as they are more reliable than screws and spikes. They also fulfill the purpose of repairing the rail on sharp turns.
Spring spikes: As the name suggests, they have a spring, and are also known as elastic spikes. It holds the rail in place and prevents it from tipping. This is its most important function.
The above mentioned are some of the most commonly used fasteners in rail construction.
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