Years ago I unearthed a cast rail brace along the mainline west of Como.
It is marked with a big "No.4". I also found a short section of light rail
("dutchman") further west, but the two do not fit very well together, as if
I have a slightly lighter rail than the brace is designed for. Am I correct
in the knowledge that the earliest rail to Buena Vista (and perhaps beyond ?)
was 35lb. ? Am I correct in thinking the No.4 rail brace fits 35lb. rail ?
Does anyone have a short (6" +/-) piece of original build rail I might talk
them out of ?
On the last photo, one can see the rail webbing is a little
short and the foot and head do not reach as deeply into the
brace as it can allow. Not sure if the brace allowed extra
room for variance, or if I just have the wrong size rail. I
presume the latter. I suspect the rail piece I have is just
mine rail, and not what the brace was designed for. Thoughts ?
Knowledge ? Wild ass guesses ?
Interesting, .... my photos all turned into the same one !
That is probably due to the File name you uploaded. I had the same problem at times composing my Mills of I.S. threads and overcame the deficiency by ensuring each photo/file name started with a different letter or number. This strategy has now been used as a matter of course so I'm not having to go back and change file names during thread posts.
Como, those original rails would have been Wrought Iron not Cast.
Lots of photos exist of these on the South Park line. Those I
have seen were mounted outside the rails on corners.
I found a fair number of pressed heavy steel braces for a heavier
rail weight, so I imagine these had to be changed any time the rail
weight was changed and as a result, the old ones were cast off the
ROW in the days before anyone gave a damn about scrapping iron.
Surely someone has a chunk of early rail kicking around.
Chris, is that South Park hardware, or some of that down under stuff ?
You pic shows how I think mine should profile out. My rail is just too
light and must be from some other source. Am I going to have to go back
to Colorado and walk the grades to find a piece of old rail left by the scrappers ?
What happened to our local grade walkers/photo takers on this forum ?
That X-section of 40LB is NZRailways, the Railbrace is from the vicinity of Baker Tank, a cable or gasline had been laid over there just before I rolled over the pass in August '92 and you wouldn't believe the amount of metal items scattered about. I found a Nº4 brace but it was broken along with a broken Pin so I left those for someone else as I was picky over baggage weight concerns. The Spike is from West Side Lumber at Tuolumne but given the length I figure SG.
I have NG Spikes from nearly all the old Pass lines in Colorado, these were wrapped and labeled for transit back to home but the customs guys searched my bags at LAX and had unwrapped them all before I noticed, discarding the wrappers to one side thus I can't id the true origin. Typically, they didn't give a **** either.
I found a number of the pressed braces. I presume they were like yours,
but too many years have gone by to remember. It was my thinking that the
cast ones were earliest, and thusly for the lightest rail they used (?) Now
that I am trying to find a matching rail X-section to show how the brace
was used AND the light weight of the rail, I am questioning exactly what
that rail weight should be to fit a No.4 brace.
These were in the reconstructed track at Alpine Tunnel, there maybe references somewhere to what sized rail they aquired but it didn't look any larger than 45lb, note there appears to some clearance under the Railhead to indicate to me that there is capacity to fit larger. There appears to have been at least 4 or 5 distinct versions/makers observed in pictures. The Boreas version I found appears to be forged or pressed not cast, mind you the age and pitted surface doesn't exactly confirm either.
It would stand to reason, from an engineering standpoint, that the
brace directly under the head would give maximum anti-roll support.
Any air space would only allow flex and the working loose of the rail
and brace. I would submit that the No.4 size brace fits a specific size
of rail and was cast aside when the larger rail installed. Done so early,
this is why they still litter the ROW if one searches. The later stuff was
cleaned up with the rest of the iron when the scrappers came through,
but they weren't going to go searching the embankments and brush for
what might be hiding there.
As such, I am inclined to believe the Alpine Tunnel relaid rail is too
large for the braces they found around the site and installed with it.
They present well, but under repeated pounding of eastbound Baldwin
coal trains, would have failed.
LOL ! I raided a junk pile by a
recent road crossing replacement and yarded home a 16" end cut off the
monstrous size rail the big guys are using these days. I have a large anvil
for all the metal fabrication I do, but this rail gets used too. It is quite
amusing to see alongside that tiny one I showed in my pix, although a
genuine rail size that rolled real trains on it would be a more accurate
showing of just how far railroad rail has come since the South Park days.
OK, the height of the 24" chunk of rail I have is 2 5/8". The cast #4 rail brace fits tight top to bottom when against the web of the rail. However, when I press the rail brace flat to the work bench it lifts the rail up about 1/8". I see no allowance for a tie plate (a notch) so I'm a bit confused about that unless IF a tie plate were used it would go under the rail AND the brace and compensate. The forged rail brace I have is for larger rail. I have a 1" piece of souvenir rail from the CO RR Museum my dad bought in the 50s in Alamosa. Bob Richardson told me he had them cut to sell for extra income as "authentic" NG rail. That piece of rail is exactly 3" tall. I'll see tomorrow if the forged brace fits it. If you world travelers ever get to Waldorf there are (was?) 2 sticks of original rail sticking out from the tailings pile below the old mill site. JP P.S. I have rerailed equipment on small and large rail and it's a LOT earsier on small rail! Rail joints have also changed dramatically, somewhere I have or had an original joint plate (not bar) that came from the DSP&P up by the tunnel.