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Thread: Thermite Welding

  1. #1
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    Default Thermite Welding

    From discussions in the past, others seem to find the thermite process as fascinating as I do. Here's about a 25 minute video showing welding train rails. Appears to be some east european country.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNjosF789X4

    I've seen rail welding first hand, but not filling large gaps (look to be an inch or so) such as in this video.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnl View Post
    From discussions in the past, others seem to find the thermite process as fascinating as I do. Here's about a 25 minute video showing welding train rails. Appears to be some east european country.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNjosF789X4

    I've seen rail welding first hand, but not filling large gaps (look to be an inch or so) such as in this video.
    A similar process is done by Conrail.

  3. #3
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    Used to work right by the UP tracks, saw them do it once or twice. Smoky and smelly, but works well.

    (was tempted to ask if you had any proof he ever welded anything, vs just making long incomprehensible posts on PM....)
    1601

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  4. #4
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    Default

    When I was in Western Canada I was talking to a railroad guy and he said that was the process they used. What fascinated me was he said there were no joints in their tracks for expansion, which I could not understand. Of course, being Canada, maybe he had a couple of joints before talking to me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post
    When I was in Western Canada I was talking to a railroad guy and he said that was the process they used. What fascinated me was he said there were no joints in their tracks for expansion, which I could not understand. Of course, being Canada, maybe he had a couple of joints before talking to me.
    I'm probably wrong, but I suspect that by "no" he may have meant very few. Our local light rail boasts of "seamless" tracks that have seams every once in a while. A few thousand feet? Something like that.
    Measure twice. Cut once. Weld. Repeat.
    ( Welding solves many problems.)

  6. #6
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    Joints in the rail rarely, yes. Also, with many curves in the track, some of the expansion can be taken up by shifting. Long straight runs would need expansion provisions.

    With 1000m of track, and 6 millionths per unit expansion per deg C, every degree is then 6000 um, and 80C change is then almost half a metre.

    Old time track was in 10m or so sections, IIRC, so then there would be about 100 joints per 1000m, and each joint would have to take up 5mm or so. Perfectly possible. Of course, the force needed th shift the joint would need to be less than the force needed to shift the track position, and those rail joints were normally made up tight.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 01-12-2019 at 01:36 PM.
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  7. #7
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    You can think of thermite welding as actually a small scale, self fuelling, casting process.

    Dave

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    Used to work right by the UP tracks, saw them do it once or twice. Smoky and smelly, but works well.

    (was tempted to ask if you had any proof he ever welded anything, vs just making long incomprehensible posts on PM....)
    I've wondered the same thing. He is currently banned from PM.

    Brian
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  9. #9
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    We were coming through New Mexico a couple of years ago and saw a train hauling an odd bunch of cars. Turned out that it was railroad rails. They looked to be at least a quarter mile long but probably much longer. They were on several cars but in continuous rails. Interesting. I wonder what the process is for making such long steel.

    Brian
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

  10. #10
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    I've seen those when the UP replaced track. I wondered about them going around curves.... you'd think there was a lot of cold-working, but likely they are never stressed over the elastic limit. The railroad does employ competent mechanical engineers....
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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