1 MARCH 2000
Table 9-2. Rail Joint Gap.
Rails up to 33 feet long
Rails 39 feet to 160 feet long
-10 to 14
6 to 25
15 to 34
26 to 45
35 to 59
46 to 65
60 to 85
66 to 85
(2) Gaps between rail ends and insulated joints should only be sufficient to permit insertion of
standard end posts.
(3) During rail laying, a standard rail thermometers should be used to determine the rail temperature.
The thermometer should be laid close to the web on the side of the rail base that is shaded from the sun,
in advance of the laying operation and left there long enough to accurately record the temperature.
e. Installing Relay Rail.
(1) When relay rail is used, care should be exercised in matching adjacent rails to minimize joint
mismatch. Any mismatch at the rail ends must be ground or welded to provide proper match. Building up
a worn end by welding may only be done by people with the proper training, experience, and equipment
to perform this operation.
(2) Relay rail will be laid with the previous gage side facing out (old field side becoming the new gage
side) unless required to match existing wear patterns. Where either overflow or a nearly square edge is
left on the new gage side, this edge must be ground to a rounded profile - similar to that found on new
f. Surfacing and Lining.
(1) During the surfacing operation, every tie should receive two full insertions of the tamping heads at
each lift. The joint ties, on the joint side only, should get an additional insertion.
(2) If raising the track creates voids under the tie centers, the void space should be filled lightly but
(3) Worn tamping feet on a tamping machine will not properly compact ballast under the ties.
(4) Ties that pull loose during surfacing should be lifted and plugged, or replaced, spiked, and re-