Railway Lines - White?

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Mick F
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Railway Lines - White?

Postby Mick F » 24 May 2013, 10:05pm

Why are these railway lines pained white?

Tamar Valley Line at Sandways Crossing.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... 040228.jpg

Why are they white????
White Lines 1.jpg
White Lines 2.jpg
Mick F. Cornwall

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Cunobelin
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Cunobelin » 24 May 2013, 10:08pm

Only in Cornwall?

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Cunobelin
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Cunobelin » 24 May 2013, 10:14pm

Note: I am not a "Spotter" - the fact this post connects to a rail forum is a coincidence.....

There are at least five reasons to paint rails...

1) The rail ends are painted as a safety measure as shown in the photo.
2) Rails through level crossings are painted with a protective paint to help reduce the corrosion caused by road salt. Was usually a thick cream coloured paint, but current practice is to use rails sprayed with an aluminium coating.
3) Switches are painted white to help keep them cool, and so reduce thermal expansion and the resulting detection problem. This effect is worst on switch diamonds.
4) Paint is used to monitor the contact between wheels and check rails at crossings.
5) S&C emergency spares not for immediate use are often painted to prevent corrosion.


Link

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Redvee
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Redvee » 24 May 2013, 10:58pm

To match your bike tyres obviously :lol: Is this the line that runs between Liskeard and Looe?

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Mick F
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Mick F » 25 May 2013, 6:05am

Thanks for the comments guys.
Yes, I saw the similarity of my tyres and the rails!

The white paint, if you look - zoom in - is on the sides of the rails, both inside and outside. It is white and it's been sprayed. It isn't on the top of the rails nor the top flanges - other than overspray - so it cannot be anything to do with wheel/tyre contact. Also, note that the rail ties haven't been painted.

From my observations, the paint is on for a good half mile - maybe a quarter mile either side of the level crossing and probably done by hand.

There's another crossing further along at Harewood - Okeltor Crossing - and it hasn't been painted.

The rail line is the Tamar Valley Line from Plymouth to Gunnislake.
http://www.carfreedaysout.com/tamar.html

This is Sandways Crossing where the white rail lines are.
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Gunnisl ... 8,,0,-6.73
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby BeeKeeper » 25 May 2013, 7:38am

It might be a way of detecting cracks and the paint has been applied on this stretch because these rails are considered crack-prone for some reason.

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Mick F
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Mick F » 25 May 2013, 8:30am

Yes, it could be.
The rails downhill from the crossing were renewed a year or so ago.

The curve isn't much, but the gradient isn't to be sniffed at. The curves on the line further down are very tight.
This is one of the tight curves - and uphill - towards Gunnislake at Okeltor Crossing.
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=calstoc ... 9,,0,-3.57
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Mick F » 26 May 2013, 8:49pm

Just a little bit more to this ..................

Chatting down the boozer to a neighbour ............

Three weeks ago, a pair of huge artics turned up at Sandways Crossing and delivered lengths of rail ALREADY painted white. These rails had come from "somewhere in Scotland", and overnight they were laid on the rail bed.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Binkyboy » 28 May 2013, 11:46am

1 - Perhaps they are second hand rails taken from down a coal mine where items are painted white to aid visibility?
2 - perhaps it's so that the train driver can see them in the dark so that he knows where to steer?
3 - perhaps it's so that the local wildlife don't trip over the rails when they are crossing at night?


No, I'm not serious.

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Audax67
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Audax67 » 28 May 2013, 1:26pm

If it doesn't move and you can't salute it...
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Binkyboy » 28 May 2013, 5:35pm

Audax67 wrote:If it doesn't move and you can't salute it...

That must be option number 4 then.
4 - Perhaps they are ex military!

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jezer
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby jezer » 28 May 2013, 5:46pm

That's it, they must be very old stock left over from National Service days when conscripts had to paint everything white, even coal :lol:
Power to the pedals

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Mick F
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Mick F » 28 May 2013, 7:50pm

...... I'm gonna have to phone National Rail Enquiries .............

Maybe they have some sensible suggestions. :lol:
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby Binkyboy » 29 May 2013, 9:29pm

Mick F wrote:...... I'm gonna have to phone National Rail Enquiries .............

Maybe they have some sensible suggestions. :lol:



Oh, all white then, ring them.

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661-Pete
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Re: Railway Lines - White?

Postby 661-Pete » 29 May 2013, 9:37pm

Something rings a bell here ... ... in the OLD days of steam on the railways, when they used to stack heaps of coal in the station yard, local folks used to come at night and 'help themselves' to a few buckets of coal to drive away the winter shivers. In those days of austerity and depression, who could blame 'em? To counter this, the train companies used to paint the end of the heap white so they could see if any had been taken....

Perhaps metal thieves are at work in the area? After all, they'll be stealing the teaspoons out of your cups next.... :lol:
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