Author Topic: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?  (Read 488 times)

Russ Nelson

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Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« on: May 31, 2020, 11:16:58 PM »
This is our Polish friends 750mm heritage railway. The name of their Facebook group is "Kro?niewicka Kolej Dojazdowa - drezyna" meaning that they're the KKD folks who run a drasine on the tracks. https://www.facebook.com/KrosniewickaKolejDojazdowa/

This rail was recently damaged. Some speculate intention, some accidental.  It's a heritage railroad, so they can't just replace rail willy-nilly. Plus they have to deal with it being in a road, so they need support from officialdom.

Is there any hope of bending the rail straight in place?

Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2020, 11:25:52 PM »
Yes.
It has a nice even curve, not a hard kink, so theoretically at least it's possible.
I would suggest levers and maybe some heat, although I dunno what heat might do to the tempering of the rail head.

James Temple

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2020, 05:27:24 AM »
Our Polish friends know their setup far better than I do. Still, I have to assume the incident dealt some damage to the ties, or whatever system is under that crossing to hold the gauge. It would seem like they'll have to dig it up, no matter what.

Given that, would it make more sense to swap the bent rail with a little-used one, maybe from the end of a siding? Straightening it would then become an experiment performed under better-controlled conditions, and its ultimate fate would be less demanding than mainline service.

Dave Crow

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2020, 09:34:09 AM »
Looks like a farm implement caught the rail near the joint, snapped the bars and bent the rail; you can see beyond, near the far end of the crossing, that the rail that should join with this one is also bent slightly out as well.  i would guess the ties have either rotted away or damaged to the point of needing replacement, too.

Dave Crow

James Patten

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2020, 10:06:53 AM »
It looks like it's been that way for a long time.  That dirt doesn't look fresh at all.

Benjamin Richards

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2020, 11:27:35 AM »
It looks like it's been that way for a long time.  That dirt doesn't look fresh at all.

On the contrary, I think it looks quite fresh. The difference between a dirt mound that hasn't yet been rained on, and one which has, is very noticeable.

There's a tire track from a large Ag tire on the left-hand side of the photo.


Wayne Laepple

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2020, 12:56:33 PM »
My suggestion is to first clear all the loose dirt away from the rail and the crossing so they can see exactly what additional damage there may be to the track itself other than the bent rail. Get a look at the ties to determine their condition and whether they can be plugged. Then bring another rail to the scene and bolt it to the bent rail. Use that as a lever to slowly bend the rail back toward its original location. Actually, over-bend the rail just a bit so it will stay somewhere close to the original position. Respike the rail to gauge, starting at the end closest to the camera while holding it in place with the lever rail. Drawing closer to the broken joint, it will be necessary to hold the rail in place with bars so the lever rail can be removed. Then make up the joint and drive the few remaining spikes. It will probably be necessary to remove a few spikes from the adjacent rail to force the joint itself back into gauge.

Rick Rowlands

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2020, 02:31:39 PM »
I have been watching their videos.  They do not have much in the way of tools to work with.  Their best bet is to grab a stick of rail out of one of those out of service sidings and put in there .  Respike (screw) the rail back down to whatever ties are still in that crossing and they should be fine.  About the heaviest thing they operate over that line is a home built speeder so that repair will be just fine. 

The smaller rail sizes generally do not have any heat treatment.  Heat treatment is usually only required with the larger sizes that are approaching the limit of steel technology to handle high axle loadings. 
Rick Rowlands
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Jones & Laughlin Narrow Gauge Railway
Youngstown, OH

Bill Baskerville

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2020, 05:01:44 PM »
It looks like they did the same thing for their road crossings that we did in our shops.  Turned a rail on its side with the rail head tucked under the track rail head and the base flange became the guard for the wheel flanges.  If so, they could use Wayne's method to straighten the rail as best they can, then swap the guard rail, which wasn't damaged, for the running rail.  Place the straightened rail as the guard rail.

BTW, if you look thru their photos, I love what little I could see of the cute little red hooded speeder.  We need one of those!!!!
~ B2 ~ Wascally Wabbit & Gofer ~

Russ Nelson

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2020, 09:50:43 PM »
Asked if they have been to this location before: "No, it is not first time... we were to that area two weeks ago...what caused ? We don't know for sure, maybe heavy farmer machine..."

Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Re: Any hope of bending this rail straight again?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2020, 11:43:05 PM »
Asked if they have been to this location before: "No, it is not first time... we were to that area two weeks ago...what caused ? We don't know for sure, maybe heavy farmer machine..."
... or a 10' Lithuanian? :P