temperature. As the hot rail reaches the final rolling stages and before it cools, it is automatically
stamped and branded with important information. One roll has lettering cut into the face, and, as
it is pressed against the hot web, results in raised lettering. Another wheellike roll, having raised
letters that may be readily changed, is pressed against the other side of the web. This
information gives the date, place, and type of manufacture as well as the shape and weight of the
rail. Paragraph 3.8 tells you how to read the "biography" of a rail from this information.
When designing a rail, the section must be determined, that is, the actual measurement, to
a thirty-second of an inch, of each surface of the section--cross section--of the rail. Note in
figure 3.1 the labels applied to the various surfaces of a section. Note that the topmost part on
which the wheels roll is known as the head (HD) or ball. The bottom of the section that rests on
the crosstie or on the tie plate is called the base (B) or flange. Between the base and the head is
the web (W).
Figure 3.1. Rail Section.