Federal Railroad Administration July 16, 2012 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Safety Advisory 2012-03; Buckling-Prone Conditions in Continuous Welded Rail Track
Document Number: 2012-17343
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-16
Agency: Federal Railroad Administration, Department of Transportation
FRA is issuing Safety Advisory 2012-03 to remind track owners, railroads, and their employees of the importance of complying with their continuous welded rail (CWR) plan procedures and reviewing their current internal engineering instructions that address inspecting CWR track to identify buckling-prone conditions. In an effort to heighten awareness of the potential consequences of an unexpected track buckle, particularly considering the unusually high, and prolonged, record- breaking temperatures that have affected much of the United States in recent weeks, this notice highlights a series of recent train accidents involving derailments that were preliminarily determined by the respective railroads to be caused by the rail buckling under extreme heat conditions (commonly referred to as ``sun kinks'' in the rail). This notice contains recommendations to track owners and railroads to ensure their employees comply with the requirements of their CWR plan procedures that address inspecting track to identify buckling-prone conditions in CWR track, particularly if the track is located on or near railroad bridges. It also recommends that track owners and railroads review current internal engineering instructions to ensure that the instructions properly identify the necessary track maintenance instructions to prevent track buckling during extreme heat conditions.
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