2019 Heavy Haul Session
Turnout Design: Wheel/RAIL Contact, Kinematic Geometry and Maintenance
This presentation will review the progress made in turnout design over the past 25 years. Safety, efficiency and reliability of turnouts have been significantly improved during this period of increasing axle loads. This has been done with a strong cooperative research and development program led by the railroads. The main themes have been to reduce running surface and structure discontinuities, accommodate a wide range of wheel and vehicle conditions and design turnouts for easier maintenance in the field. Some examples of past successes and current implementations will be presented.
The presentation will then look forward to some likely advancements for the near future. These go beyond running surface improvements to more fundamental changes in structure that should result in longer-lived turnouts.