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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 5 (August 1, 1934)

The Modern Roadbed

The Modern Roadbed.

Sound roadbed and track form the very basis of efficient railway operation. The modern steel rail is a very different affair from the crude track of pioneering days, and permanent-way folk all over the world may rightly take pride in their contribution to railway progress. Just now a good deal of thought is being given to the problem of increasing rail life, and in Britain several worth-while devices are being tried out with this aim in view.

Reduction of wear by wheel flanges on the side of the rail-head is being effected by the employment of oilboxes, mounted on the sleepers against the outer rail approaching curves, and lubricating the periphery of the wheel. On sharp curves special lubricators are installed to prevent check rail wear. Wear on frog and wing rails in busy crossings is met by the employment of special springs, which not only give increased track life but also ensure smoother travel. Familiar to all is the utilisation of manganese steel for railway purposes. Manganese steel rails are proving most durable at Home, and the majority of the busiest points and crossings are now laid with this special steel. One of the earliest junction installations of this character was that at Newcastleon-Tyne, on the L. and N.E. line. This consists of 92 manganese steel crossings and rails, covering 77 intersections. The total length of the junction is 141ft., width overall 58ft. 6in., and total weight 70 tons.