Figure 3.2. Determining Track Curvature.

You can also quickly determine the approximate degree of curvature with a standard 62-foot stringline

cord. This is accurate enough for formula computations of

superelevation, discussed in section II. Stretch the 62-foot

cord between two points on the inner side of the outside

rail--the same method used for the 100-foot chord in the

preceding paragraph and in figure 3.2. The distance

measured at the halfway point of the stringline cord, the 31-

foot mark, to the head of the rail in inches is equal to the

degree of curvature. The sketch to the right shows how the

measurement is made.

Often, you may need to know the radius of a curve even though you already know the degree of

curvature. If the curve is not too sharp, an approximate value of the radius can be determined by the following

formula in which R represents the radius in feet, D represents the degree of curvature, and 5730 is a constant.

Thus:

For example, a curve of 1.5 degrees has a radius of

or 3,820 feet.

3.6.

SUMMARY

The three types of curves used to change the direction of a rail line are the simple or circular, the

compound, and the reverse. They increase the amount of resistance to the pulling power of

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