Heat Effects on Rail

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jul 19 10:38:48 EDT 2013

I remember one of Granddad's (W.R. Bloyd) stories about working on the
Virginian as a young fireman in the summer of 1924 (one of the hottest summers
on record, BTW). The work train he was firing on was eastbound from
Victoria when it hit a place where the rails had buckled from the heat. The
engineer panicked and jumped off when the engine crunched down on the ties,
leaving Granddad and the head-end brakeman in the cab. They got the train
stopped and climbed down to survey the damages. The engineer had climbed back up
to the tracks and was accosted by the conductor, who grabbed him by the
collar and shook him, saying "No wonder the G.D.'d Germans were so hard to
whup, they must have had cowards like you fightin' 'em!"

Greg Harrod

In a message dated 07/19/2013 8:23:19 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org writes:

The last few days have brought warnings of commuter trains having to
reduce speed because of the heat effects on the rails. Are all trains affected?
Is the condition worse with modern continuous rail or has it always been
the case regardless of the type of rail. I would suspect so, but then I'm no
metal expert (I would use the long word starting with "metal," but my
speller isn't working this morning).~~Bernie Hylton

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