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Why are some fishplates painted?


Eastman346

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I've always wondered too. They aren't just in the subway either. My guess is it is an attempt to keep them from corroding. The yellow ones seem to be related to track sensors.

 

- A

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I've always wondered too. They aren't just in the subway either. My guess is it is an attempt to keep them from corroding. The yellow ones seem to be related to track sensors.

 

- A

 

Either that or a conductive grease was used and then painted on? :confused:

 

I see them all the time and wondered myself.

 

Below is a drawing of a 1937 IRT assembly of bonded track joint.

 

1937IRTAssemblyofBondedTrackJoint.jpg

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I just realized that water + electricity + metal = corrosion. The messenger signal sent down the track plus any current not used by the motors would lead to those fishplates rusting solid to the rail making them a safety hazard & the only way to fix it would be to cut the rail on either side to remove it as the bolts would also corrode.

 

I remember my girlfriend's dad telling me bout a penn central freight car hauling processed iron bars being so heavy it popped a corroded fishplate loose all most causing a derailment. They stopped the train just before the trailing truck passed over the disjointed tracks. This was at the yard north of hoboken, its access tunnel is now used by the HBLR tonnelle ave line. Exposure to the water laden air near the river over how many decades caused it.

 

- A

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The red fishplates are IJs for the signal system. Parallel to them on the 3rd rail cover should be a yellow reflector denoting where the key-by point is. Once the wheel is past the IJ the trip arm which is located dicectly next to the signal head should go down. On home balls the IJ is parallel with the signal head so that the signal can't be keyed. Also between the two rails where you see a red fishplate, there is a peice of rubber or plastic. All rail joints have fishplates but they are not painted.

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That explains a lot. I see them near major interlocking points along the :nec:.

 

To be clear, CWR does not use fish plates aside from specified weld spots to add an extra layer of protection. Thermite welded track often uses a thin fishplate to make it more robust. This is sometimes done when a small segment of CWR is taken out & replaced. Jointed, or segmentally laid track (as traditionally used which causes the click-clack sound) has thick fishplates with 6-8 bolts (some use as little as 4). Some have the coloration as explained above, but most of them are covered in brake dust and sand and other grime. When a signal/switch is worked on often they will clean the important ones off and re-apply the coloring.

 

- A

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Every few weeks in the subway, workers from signal dept. go out and inspect the signals. When they do this they repaint the trip arm and look for strike marks, repaint the IJs, and remove the trash that collects around the signal equipment. I forget how oftern they do it, but signal guys are out there all the time doing this.

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What the hell are you guys talking about?

 

You're talking about the joint bars? No one calls them fishplates in Track.

 

The red ones are Insulated Joints for signal that seperates their blocks and/or switches the signal current over. And in between the two rails on an IJ is a 3M insulated fiber plastic.

 

The only time you'll see just four track bolts on a joint bar is on tangent track. All other type of track is six bolts. None is eight bolts.

 

And CWR only uses a specialized joint bar when a portion of the CWR is replaced. A welder comes along later and welds the new joints and the specialized joint bars that have that bump.

 

And those yellow track joints you see have nothing to do with Signal. Those are special joint bars that are offset on one side to lift one end of the rail up due to plates or ties or bump.

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The R8 line has 8 bolt fishplates, i'll go out and get some photos when i'm over this cold.

 

I'm talking about all rail, not specifically the subway. The area where i live is surrounded by rail lines, and i ride the :nec: all the time.

 

My best friend's late father who worked for amtrak for 29 years told me that the yellow markings were for cab signal related stuff, and red was for the switching related stuff.

 

I know the kinda connectors you're talking about that joins the 2 different heights together. I've never seen them with color outside the subway.

 

:)

 

- A

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