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HOW TO REDUCE GAUGE-STRESS
Widening track gauge is a frequent cause of derailments in industrial rail yards. The wheels of passing trains exert considerable side-pressure against the rails. This causes the rails to momentarily flex outward as the wheels move by. Curved track is more vulnerable to this stress that straight-line track. The outer curved rail takes the brunt of wheel side-pressure. The tighter the curve, the more pressure against the outer rail. (Look for wear patches on the gauge face of the rail as a sign.) In time, the flex and return process can cause spikes to lose their holding power. The rail base can begin migrating outward, digging a ridge into the tie surface. At some point, when gauge goes beyond 57½”, the weakened rails may give way, leading to serious derailments.
One remedy for preventing gauge-stress is Aldon®’s RAIL KICKER Rail Brace. When installed on sound ties on the outer curved rail, at every third or fourth tie, RAIL KICKER will help hold the gauge to 56½”. RAIL KICKER braces the head of the rail, where support is most needed.
PROTECT SWITCH APPROACHES
RAIL KICKER Braces are good insurance against gauge-widening for curved track entering or leaving a switch, where wheel side pressure can be at its greatest.
Install a brace every third or fourth tie on the outer curved rail for the length of the curve.
Weight 19 lbs.
Base is 8" square, overall length is 17"