Railway Construction | 10 Components used in Train Railroad

railway electrification

Hello, Friends

Let’s continue our second article in the series of railway electrification, about different components used in railway construction.

Railway Construction Components

Now, we have learned about the types of foundations and the important terms used in railway electrification

Before citing an example, I would like to clear more terms which will be used in an example.

1. Location

Our foundations or pits location marking is partially different from the railway marking stones.

Those stones are erected after every 100 m of the distance you would see stones 85/1, 85/2,….up to 85/9.

These depict the km of the railway line in the particular section. If you are standing at 85/1 implies, you are in 85th km and 100m of the track. 

2. Chainage

In our railway electrification marking is done as per our span (explained in the previous article).

So, the designer surveying is responsible for marking the railway chainage which is actually our ‘km’ location of the foundation where poles are to be erected.

3. Layout plan (LOP)

It is railway layout plan of the track in which location and type of mast are given. 

4. Cross sectional drawing (CSD)

It is railway line cross-sectional drawing in which particular location is described in detail like type of mast, deflection, three-digit code. 

5. Implantation

It is the center of the foundation from the railway track center. 

6. Ballast

The stones you get to see on the railway track are called ‘Ballast‘ , they are also of different types. Limestone or other types of rocks are used for railway ballast.

The main purpose of ballast is to distribute the uniform weight when the train moves. And the main function of ballast is to provide support for the railway sleepers.

What is sleepers?

7. Sleepers

The rail line needs to be connected and the ballast purpose needs to be resolved so to connect them the rectangular stones or wooden blocks are used. This is called ‘Sleepers‘.

There are different types of sleepers used in Indian Railways such as…

  • Wooden sleepers
  • Steel sleepers
  • Cast iron sleepers
  • Concrete sleepers
  • Composite sleepers

8. Railway Tracks or Railroad

The distance between the two rails is called ‘Gauge‘. You must be aware of the types of gauge.

There are broadly classified into four types based on the distance…

# Different Gauges Distance of Gauges
1Broad gauge or Wide gauge or Large line 1676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
2Standard gauge 1435 mm (4 ft 8½ in)
3Meter gauge 1000 mm  (3 ft 3 3/8 in)
4Narrow gauge or Small line 762 mm (2 ft 6 in)

Note: Everything in railways is specified in the unit ‘mm’. 

9. Super elevation

To ensure the proper balance of the train, one rail is upraised from the other. This is also measured in ‘mm’.

Super elevation is usually written in the inner side of the track. 

10. Turn-out

What is turnout in Indian Railway?

One must have noticed the change of line and numerous lines when the station is nearby, so our train needs to get to the line just adjacent to the platform which on railway terms is called ‘Loop Line‘.

And the path from where the main line is diverged to the loop line is called ‘Turnout‘. 

Need for Railway Electrification

One must know the need for railway electrification before we continue our discussion. 

  1. Speed gets improved.
  2. The diesel locomotive engine creates more noise as compared to an electric locomotive. 
  3. The diesel locomotives are expensive for Indian Railways as compared to the electric locomotive. 
  4. Electric locomotive offers no harm to the environment (pollution) 1/3rd as compared to the diesel locomotive.
  5. The economy in operation and maintenance.

Read more: Difference between the Electric and Diesel-electric Locomotives

Note: Modifications is done in the electrical engine, the wagons remain the same.

You might observe the name and the device which is fitted in the electric engine known as a ‘Pantograph‘.

And in the front of the engine similar to the vehicle number, the engine does have the number. For example- in diesel, it is WDS4D and in electric, it is WAM, WAG, WAP, etc. 

Where, WDS- Wide diesel shunting, WAG– Wide AC electric goods, WAM– Wide AC electric mixed, and WAP- Wide AC electric passenger.

This is all about the need for railway electrification and railway construction components used in Indian Railways. In an upcoming article, I will explain briefly with examples.

Thanks for Reading!

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