Home > categories > Minerals & Metallurgy > Steel Coils > what type of steel is used to make rail tracks?
Question:

what type of steel is used to make rail tracks?

i have searched high and low, but can't find information anywhere!bainitic and pearlitic steels are too in depth, just would like to know if it is hsla steel, or mild steel, or stainless steel etc...thank you in advance :)

Answer:

I don't know what the technical name is, but steel used in rail is higher in carbon content. There is a trade-off as the higher carbon content tends to make them more brittle, and those rails with the highest carbon content are used exclusively for tight curvature in heavy grade. It's amazing to watch the welders with this stuff. Torches take too long, so diamond saws are utilized for cutting. The stuff is more problematic in severe cold, too. Railroading in the mountains as I've always done, nighttime and its severe chill causes pull - aparts, due to the contraction of CWR (Continuous Welded Rail) as a result of the cold, at least two or three times a week. In an extended deep freeze, the problems are nightly. What is interesting to note is that the pull aparts tend to happen with equal frequency regardless of whether a part of tangent track or curve. Still, I'd rather have it under me. I know it caused some major problems on the SP in the '80s, but it was cheaper, imported steel that was the significant part of the problem, not so much the high carbon content. Once again, you can't beat US steel.
Sep 27, 2017
Hoghead has it right, it is quite mild steel, every time they try harder steel it does not stand up to the stress and breaks more readily. Rail, odd as it seems can get corrugated and rough same as a dirt road and needs to be reground from time to time to reshape the top part of the rail. Rust is not a problem on a track in use so stainless would be a unnecessary expense. Also, in high wear places, specialized welding crews come in in add new material to the most worn parts, as in switches and then regrind it to the proper profile, mild steel accepts this much better than a harder steel would.
Sep 27, 2017
Well i guess they have to ( engineers ) take into account stuff like tensile stress and crap and then also the amount by which it contracts and expands during extremme tempertures if i were you put this question under the engineering section. It might lead to a right on the nail answer and also there ought to be a log book which gives us like you know the best steel for railroad maufacture. Architectural engineers or construction engineers are always goin around with books bookworms to be more precise. haha anyways best of luck mate.
Sep 27, 2017
in case you have been to soften rail steel down and pour it into ingots, I doubt anybody could examine to locate this is source besides the fact that a experienced metalurgist could comprehend. whilst the steel grew to become into melted you will desire to toss a handful of previous horseshoes in and alter the composition and no you could comprehend. stable luck such as your challenge, i could decide to comprehend the way it seems.
Sep 27, 2017

Share to: