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Purpose of Inner Rails...?


Jamaica Line

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This is a very great question that I have also been trying to answer... I am not the engineer around here but maybe those inner rails serve as guards to prevent a train from derailing.

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In railroad use, guard rails are placed parallel to regular running rail along areas of restrictive clearance, such as a bridge, trestle, or tunnel. These have the effect of keeping the wheels of rolling stock in alignment in case of derailment. It also helps to minimize damage to the structure and allow easier post-accident cleanup.

Guard rails (railroad)

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In railroad use, guard rails are placed parallel to regular running rail along areas of restrictive clearance, such as a bridge, trestle, or tunnel. These have the effect of keeping the wheels of rolling stock in alignment in case of derailment. It also helps to minimize damage to the structure and allow easier post-accident cleanup.

 

Guard rails (railroad)

 

He nailed it. Exactly. I guarantee you any MTA Subways T/O or MNRR/LIRR railroad engineer will confirm this as correct. We have plenty of track setups such as this in our subway system along curves. Protocol track construction with the (MTA) Subways, SIR, LIRR or MNRR networks, all over the system on the IRT, BMT or IND divisions in the case with (MTA) Subways.

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He nailed it. Exactly. I guarantee you any MTA Subways T/O or MNRR/LIRR railroad engineer will confirm this as correct. We have plenty of track setups such as this in our subway system along curves. Protocol track construction with the (MTA) Subways, SIR, LIRR or MNRR networks, all over the system on the IRT, BMT or IND divisions in the case with (MTA) Subways.

If I'm not mistaken, the way guard rails are deployed often in subways, positioned much closer to the running rails than on the tresle pictured, can actually serve to prevent derailments in addition to simply expediting their cleanup.

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You're getting guard rails confused with emergency protection rails (EPRs). 

 

Guard rails are installed on the low side of curves parallel to the running rail as to reduce the wear on the high side rail from the force of the train taking the curve due to superelevation. The inside of the flanges on the car wheels literally grinds against the guard rails and help to prevent side wear on the high rails.

 

EPRs are installed in locations where there is no structural protection on the sides of the train in case of a derailment, to prevent a catastrophic derailment. Those EPRs are placed where there's no walls, benchwalls, columns or other structure (or land) that might stop a train from further damage or falling in a derailment. When a train derails, the car truck would hit either of those EPRs (depending on the direction of the derailment) and stop the car from moving further off the track or structure, a somewhat controlled derailment.

 

EPS are placed on structure, open cuts in the subway and other locations in Transit. In that picture above, it's placed on the bridge to help prevent the train from falling off during a derailment. See how they bring the EPRs to a tapered end at the bottom of the picture? That's because they would no longer be needed after that point due to the surrounding land returning to the track at that point.

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3e16b99d95470ac1c6d5ad9af6318cb2.jpg

 

Looking at this photo really got me wondering, what's the purpose of those inner rails you'd find inside a curved piece of track?

First that is a very beautiful picture. Where is that? Second I think there is inner rail because it prevents the wheels from coming off and falling into the water.

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First that is a very beautiful picture. Where is that? Second I think there is inner rail because it prevents the wheels from coming off and falling into the water.

I have no clue as to where that is. I'm guessing it's along some subdivision on the Union Pacific as those are Union Pacific locos. Not sure about that red one thou...

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I have no clue as to where that is. I'm guessing it's along some subdivision on the Union Pacific as those are Union Pacific locos. Not sure about that red one thou...

 

That's in Joso, Washington.

 

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=405076&nseq=4

(in the description under the picture you can see the location)

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Oh yeah, forgot to mention you can tell the difference between guard rails and EPRs by their distance to the running rails.

 

Guards rails are usually no more than 1in-2in from the running rail.

 

EPRs are usually 2ft-3ft from the running rails, laid in the gauge.

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You're getting guard rails confused with emergency protection rails (EPRs). 

 

Guard rails are installed on the low side of curves parallel to the running rail as to reduce the wear on the high side rail from the force of the train taking the curve due to superelevation. The inside of the flanges on the car wheels literally grinds against the guard rails and help to prevent side wear on the high rails.

 

EPRs are installed in locations where there is no structural protection on the sides of the train in case of a derailment, to prevent a catastrophic derailment. Those EPRs are placed where there's no walls, benchwalls, columns or other structure (or land) that might stop a train from further damage or falling in a derailment. When a train derails, the car truck would hit either of those EPRs (depending on the direction of the derailment) and stop the car from moving further off the track or structure, a somewhat controlled derailment.

 

EPS are placed on structure, open cuts in the subway and other locations in Transit. In that picture above, it's placed on the bridge to help prevent the train from falling off during a derailment. See how they bring the EPRs to a tapered end at the bottom of the picture? That's because they would no longer be needed after that point due to the surrounding land returning to the track at that point.

 

+1 for breaking this down to a science, werd. Well appreciated.

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And in the case of (MTA) Subways, the distinction between guard rails and EPRs on the trackbeds as shown in the pics below (according to JustLok, and Harry's descriptions) :

 

Guard Rails (This is on the West End Line @ 18th Ave) :
 
img_92259.jpg
 Credits to Peter Erlich -- Link: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?92259

 

EPR's (on the BMT Jamaica El @ Halsey Street):

 

 

img_26235.jpg

Credits to Chistopher Sattler -- Link: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?26235

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