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Hello All;

I came across the photo on the German Railway Enthusiasts' site www.buntbahn.de yesterday.



At least to my eyes it looks like the rails on this industrial railway hump up to follow the speed bumps in the paving. My question is WHY? I should think that small locomotives like the ones shown in the photo would simply be shut down when not in use. Their prime movers would probably be similar to the engines used in heavy duty highway trucks. So there is little chance for any "nightcrawlers," that is, a locomotive going for a jaunt along the line without the benefit of an engineer.

Any guesses as to the real purpose of these rail "speed bumps?" Perhaps one of our German friends will see this post and clarify the purpose for the bumps.

Thanks,
David Meashey
 

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Probably not so much the locomotives, but the cars ..... this saves one chocking the wheels (and maybe setting handbrakes) when cars are left here? You could still pull them over the bumps, but they wouldn't roll unattended.

Of course that COULD be the result of those locomotives accelerating way too fast the last time they left.....

Matthew (OV)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Matthew;

"Of course that COULD be the result of those locomotives accelerating way too fast the last time they left..... "

No, that would cause the results shown below. (Also from the site mentioned in my first post.)




Seriously, I don't even want to know what could cause that much damage to the track.

Yours,
David Meashey
 

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Posted By Dave Meashey on 11/08/2008 7:43 PM
Matthew;

"Of course that COULD be the result of those locomotives accelerating way too fast the last time they left..... "

No, that would cause the results shown below. (Also from the site mentioned in my first post.)




Seriously, I don't even want to know what could cause that much damage to the track.

Yours,
David Meashey




There was a photo similar to that on another forum..
its a fake...photoshopped.



even if a spinning wheel could weardown through the steel rail like that, which it cant, it would wear away the ehicker "head" of the real leaving only the thinner ribbon..

a spinning locomotive wheel on a steel rail will never generate enough heat to actually melt the rail and deform it in that manner..

plus all the heat from friction would dissapate out into the longer rail..a wheel would break..it would take days..etc etc..


its totally a fake.


Scot
 

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I have read accounts of this happening before. It would seem that it used to be easy to leave a locomotive idling with the drive engaged but coupled to enough load that it couldn't go anywhere at idle. Then all it takes is for one wheelset to start turning. Leave the loco parked overnight like this (or for a weekend) and it will slowly wear through the rail.

Makes for a nifty picture though!

Trot, the grinning, fox...
 

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Seriously, back in that first photo that started the thread, it looks as if the cars are spotted between the "humps" with the idea that they could be drained down into the grates in the ground.... the track, and the concrete surface slopes down to the grates in the middle between the humps. Maybe this is where cars are washed out after being used? Or just a place where they're washed, and the water recovered ... either way, it looks like you spot a car here, and the humps keep it from rolling off while it's draining off.

As to the wheelslip thing .... the only thing I ever saw that was anything like that personally was after the Loram railgrinder went through the territory I worked on for Conrail one summer .... every so often it'd leave these things that looked like petrified coral, generally with a straight edge on one side where they'd been knocked off the edge of the grinder with a sledgehammer. I had a pair with 90 degree flat sides that I used as bookends for years.... eventually they began to rust and deteriorate; another time I'd have to paint or at least seal them.

Matthew (OV)
 

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Hmmmm... I have seen other photos like the worn rail (in the above photo) before. And I have read many accounts of it happening. I have read about it in Trains magazine and Classic Trains magazine. Sure seems real to me. And the accounts I have read say it only takes a few seconds of rapid wheel slip to start a groove. Though usually it is not that deep.

As for the humps in the rail in the first photo, now that is one I have not seen or heard of before.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't know the true origin of the wheel slip photo. It certainly could be an exaggeration. The track certainly looks like North American construction instead of European.

I hope we may get a reply from one of our German members about the first photo. I don't think rail is very easy to bend into a bump like the ones in the first photo. It must be bent for a specific purpose, and some of you have offered some very good ideas.

Yours,
David Meashey
 

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It looks to me as thought the "rails" are nothing more than 3/4" x 1" or so steel bars, roughly 12" long, which have beenlaid (and presumably bolted?) to the existing pavement, including the speed bumps. Look at the track in the foreground - doesn't it look like it's made in short segments?
 

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No No No Your all wrong. A train stopped to fast and the tracks bunched up like a Throw rug on a fresly waxed floor.
 

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The wheel slip photo above happened in Wisconson (I think) a few years ago. As you can see, it was on a CSX line. The story was that a loaded train had stopped because the crew ran out of hours. The crew left the engine idling with the air set. Two boys climbed into the cab and managed to get the brakes on the engine released and put it into run 8...but they couldn't figure out how to release the air on the loaded trains. So it sat there overnight motating without movement. The relief crew found the engine turnin' and burnin' the next day...and you see the result. The boys were arrested but I never heard what happened after that. The reason you see only 6 "ruts" is that one truck of the engine had a burned out/bad traction motor.
 

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There is a documented incident of this type of severe rail burn happening in Iran during WWII. An American crew on a Army dismal fell asleep and one of the engines stalled. The other kept on going but in place. When they woke up both rails were ground down almost to the ties. I think there is a photo in Ron Ziel's book Steel Rails To Victory. Now I will have to go find it. The crew was exonerated since they had been on duty for over 72 hours without relief.Talk about non-union... as far as the photo being fake..sorry Scott it is real. The second one I would question.
N
 
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