49 CFR 213.119 - Continuous welded rail (CWR); plan contents.
The track owner shall comply with the contents of the CWR plan approved or conditionally approved under § 213.118. The plan shall contain the following elements -
(a) Procedures for the installation and adjustment of CWR which include -
(b) Rail anchoring or fastening requirements that will provide sufficient restraint to limit longitudinal rail and crosstie movement to the extent practical, and specifically addressing CWR rail anchoring or fastening patterns on bridges, bridge approaches, and at other locations where possible longitudinal rail and crosstie movement associated with normally expected train-induced forces, is restricted.
(c) CWR joint installation and maintenance procedures which require that -
(1) Each rail shall be bolted with at least two bolts at each CWR joint;
(2) In the case of a bolted joint installed during CWR installation after October 21, 2009, the track owner shall either, within 60 days -
(i) Weld the joint;
(ii) Install a joint with six bolts; or
(iii) Anchor every tie 195 feet in both directions from the joint; and
(3) In the case of a bolted joint in CWR experiencing service failure or a failed bar with a rail gap present, the track owner shall either -
(i) Weld the joint;
(ii) Replace the broken bar(s), replace the broken bolts, adjust the anchors and, within 30 days, weld the joint;
(iii) Replace the broken bar(s), replace the broken bolts, install one additional bolt per rail end, and adjust anchors;
(iv) Replace the broken bar(s), replace the broken bolts, and anchor every tie 195 feet in both directions from the CWR joint; or
(v) Replace the broken bar(s), replace the broken bolts, add rail with provisions for later adjustment pursuant to paragraph (d)(2) of this section, and reapply the anchors.
(d) Procedures which specifically address maintaining a desired rail installation temperature range when cutting CWR, including rail repairs, in-track welding, and in conjunction with adjustments made in the area of tight track, a track buckle, or a pull-apart. Rail repair practices shall take into consideration existing rail temperature so that -
(f) Procedures which govern train speed on CWR track when -
(1) Maintenance work, track rehabilitation, track construction, or any other event occurs which disturbs the roadbed or ballast section and reduces the lateral or longitudinal resistance of the track; and
(3) In formulating the procedures under paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this section, the track owner shall -
(i) Determine the speed required, and the duration and subsequent removal of any speed restriction based on the restoration of the ballast, along with sufficient ballast re-consolidation to stabilize the track to a level that can accommodate expected train-induced forces. Ballast re-consolidation can be achieved through either the passage of train tonnage or mechanical stabilization procedures, or both; and
(ii) Take into consideration the type of crossties used.
(g) Procedures which prescribe when physical track inspections are to be performed.
(1) At a minimum, these procedures shall address inspecting track to identify -
(A) Locations where tight or kinky rail conditions are likely to occur; and
(B) Locations where track work of the nature described in paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section has recently been performed; and
(2) In formulating the procedures under paragraph (g)(1) of this section, the track owner shall -
(i) Specify when the inspections will be conducted; and
(h) Procedures which prescribe the scheduling and conduct of inspections to detect cracks and other indications of potential failures in CWR joints. In formulating the procedures under this paragraph, the track owner shall -
(1) Address the inspection of joints and the track structure at joints, including, at a minimum, periodic on-foot inspections;
(2) Identify joint bars with visible or otherwise detectable cracks and conduct remedial action pursuant to § 213.121;
(3) Specify the conditions of actual or potential joint failure for which personnel must inspect, including, at a minimum, the following items:
(i) Loose, bent, or missing joint bolts;
(ii) Rail end batter or mismatch that contributes to instability of the joint; and
(iii) Evidence of excessive longitudinal rail movement in or near the joint, including, but not limited to; wide rail gap, defective joint bolts, disturbed ballast, surface deviations, gap between tie plates and rail, or displaced rail anchors;
(4) Specify the procedures for the inspection of CWR joints that are imbedded in highway-rail crossings or in other structures that prevent a complete inspection of the joint, including procedures for the removal from the joint of loose material or other temporary material;
(5) Specify the appropriate corrective actions to be taken when personnel find conditions of actual or potential joint failure, including on-foot follow-up inspections to monitor conditions of potential joint failure in any period prior to completion of repairs;
(6) Specify the timing of periodic inspections, which shall be based on the configuration and condition of the joint:
(i) Except as provided in paragraphs (h)(6)(ii) through (h)(6)(iv) of this section, track owners must specify that all CWR joints are inspected, at a minimum, in accordance with the intervals identified in the following table:
Minimum Number of Inspections per Calendar Year 1
|Freight trains operating over track with an annual tonnage of:||Passenger trains operating over track with an annual tonnage of:|
|Less than 40 mgt||40 to 60 mgt||Greater than 60 mgt||Less than 20 mgt||Greater than or equal to 20 mgt|
|Class 5 & above||2||3 2||4 2||3 2||3 2|
|Class 4||2||3 2||4 2||2||3 2|
|4 = Four times per calendar year, with one inspection in each of the following periods: January to March, April to June, July to September, and October to December; and with consecutive inspections separated by at least 60 calendar days.|
|3 = Three times per calendar year, with one inspection in each of the following periods: January to April, May to August, and September to December; and with consecutive inspections separated by at least 90 calendar days.|
|2 = Twice per calendar year, with one inspection in each of the following periods: January to June and July to December; and with consecutive inspections separated by at least 120 calendar days.|
|1 = Once per calendar year, with consecutive inspections separated by at least 180 calendar days.|
1 Where a track owner operates both freight and passenger trains over a given segment of track, and there are two different possible inspection interval requirements, the more frequent inspection interval applies.
2 When extreme weather conditions prevent a track owner from conducting an inspection of a particular territory within the required interval, the track owner may extend the interval by up to 30 calendar days from the last day that the extreme weather condition prevented the required inspection.
(ii) Consistent with any limitations applied by the track owner, a passenger train conducting an unscheduled detour operation may proceed over track not normally used for passenger operations at a speed not to exceed the maximum authorized speed otherwise allowed, even though CWR joints have not been inspected in accordance with the frequency identified in paragraph (h)(6)(i) of this section, provided that:
(A) All CWR joints have been inspected consistent with requirements for freight service; and
(B) The unscheduled detour operation lasts no more than 14 consecutive calendar days. In order to continue operations beyond the 14-day period, the track owner must inspect the CWR joints in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (h)(6)(i) of this section.
(iii) Tourist, scenic, historic, or excursion operations, if limited to the maximum authorized speed for passenger trains over the next lower class of track, need not be considered in determining the frequency of inspections under paragraph (h)(6)(i) of this section.
(iv) All CWR joints that are located in switches, turnouts, track crossings, lift rail assemblies or other transition devices on moveable bridges must be inspected on foot at least monthly, consistent with the requirements in § 213.235; and all records of those inspections must be kept in accordance with the requirements in § 213.241. A track owner may include in its § 213.235 inspections, in lieu of the joint inspections required by paragraph (h)(6)(i) of this section, CWR joints that are located in track structure that is adjacent to switches and turnouts, provided that the track owner precisely defines the parameters of that arrangement in the CWR plans.
(7) Specify the recordkeeping requirements related to joint bars in CWR, including the following:
(i) The track owner shall keep a record of each periodic and follow-up inspection required to be performed by the track owner's CWR plan, except for those inspections conducted pursuant to § 213.235 for which track owners must maintain records pursuant to § 213.241. The record shall be prepared on the day the inspection is made and signed by the person making the inspection. The record shall include, at a minimum, the following items: the boundaries of the territory inspected; the nature and location of any deviations at the joint from the requirements of this part or of the track owner's CWR plan, with the location identified with sufficient precision that personnel could return to the joint and identify it without ambiguity; the date of the inspection; the remedial action, corrective action, or both, that has been taken or will be taken; and the name or identification number of the person who made the inspection.
(8) In lieu of the requirements for the inspection of rail joints contained in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(7) of this section, a track owner may seek approval from FRA to use alternate procedures.
(i) The track owner shall submit the proposed alternate procedures and a supporting statement of justification to the Associate Administrator.
(ii) If the Associate Administrator finds that the proposed alternate procedures provide an equivalent or higher level of safety than the requirements in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(7) of this section, the Associate Administrator will approve the alternate procedures by notifying the track owner in writing. The Associate Administrator will specify in the written notification the date on which the procedures will become effective, and after that date, the track owner shall comply with the procedures. If the Associate Administrator determines that the alternate procedures do not provide an equivalent level of safety, the Associate Administrator will disapprove the alternate procedures in writing, and the track owner shall continue to comply with the requirements in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(7) of this section.
(iii) While a determination is pending with the Associate Administrator on a request submitted pursuant to paragraph (h)(8) of this section, the track owner shall continue to comply with the requirements contained in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(7) of this section.
(i) The track owner shall have in effect a comprehensive training program for the application of these written CWR procedures, with provisions for annual re-training, for those individuals designated under § 213.7(c) as qualified to supervise the installation, adjustment, and maintenance of CWR track and to perform inspections of CWR track. The track owner shall make the training program available for review by FRA upon request.
(j) The track owner shall prescribe and comply with recordkeeping requirements necessary to provide an adequate history of track constructed with CWR. At a minimum, these records must include:
(2) A record of any CWR installation or maintenance work that does not conform to the written procedures. Such record shall include the location of the rail and be maintained until the CWR is brought into conformance with such procedures; and
(3) Information on inspection of rail joints as specified in paragraph (h)(7) of this section.
(k) The track owner shall make readily available, at every job site where personnel are assigned to install, inspect or maintain CWR, a copy of the track owner's CWR procedures and all revisions, appendices, updates, and referenced materials related thereto prior to their effective date. Such CWR procedures shall be issued and maintained in one CWR standards and procedures manual.
(l) As used in this section -
Adjusting/de-stressing means a procedure by which a rail's neutral temperature is re-adjusted to the desired value. It typically consists of cutting the rail and removing rail anchoring devices, which provides for the necessary expansion and contraction, and then re-assembling the track.
Annual re-training means training every calendar year.
Buckling incident means the formation of a lateral misalignment sufficient in magnitude to constitute a deviation from the Class 1 requirements specified in § 213.55. These normally occur when rail temperatures are relatively high and are caused by high longitudinal compressive forces.
Buckling-prone condition means a track condition that can result in the track being laterally displaced due to high compression forces caused by critical rail temperature combined with insufficient track strength and/or train dynamics.
Continuous welded rail (CWR) means rail that has been welded together into lengths exceeding 400 feet. Rail installed as CWR remains CWR, regardless of whether a joint or plug is installed into the rail at a later time.
Corrective actions mean those actions which track owners specify in their CWR plans to address conditions of actual or potential joint failure, including, as applicable, repair, restrictions on operations, and additional on-foot inspections.
CWR joint means any joint directly connected to CWR.
Desired rail installation temperature range means the rail temperature range, within a specific geographical area, at which forces in CWR should not cause a buckling incident in extreme heat, or a pull apart during extreme cold weather.
Disturbed track means the disturbance of the roadbed or ballast section, as a result of track maintenance or any other event, which reduces the lateral or longitudinal resistance of the track, or both.
Mechanical stabilization means a type of procedure used to restore track resistance to disturbed track following certain maintenance operations. This procedure may incorporate dynamic track stabilizers or ballast consolidators, which are units of work equipment that are used as a substitute for the stabilization action provided by the passage of tonnage trains.
Pull apart or stripped joint means a condition when no bolts are mounted through a joint on the rail end, rending the joint bar ineffective due to excessive expansive or contractive forces.
Pull-apart prone condition means a condition when the actual rail temperature is below the rail neutral temperature at or near a joint where longitudinal tensile forces may affect the fastenings at the joint.
Rail anchors mean those devices which are attached to the rail and bear against the side of the crosstie to control longitudinal rail movement. Certain types of rail fasteners also act as rail anchors and control longitudinal rail movement by exerting a downward clamping force on the upper surface of the rail base.
Rail neutral temperature is the temperature at which the rail is neither in compression nor tension.
Rail temperature means the temperature of the rail, measured with a rail thermometer.
Remedial actions mean those actions which track owners are required to take as a result of requirements of this part to address a non-compliant condition.
Tight/kinky rail means CWR which exhibits minute alinement irregularities which indicate that the rail is in a considerable amount of compression.
Tourist, scenic, historic, or excursion operations mean railroad operations that carry passengers with the conveyance of the passengers to a particular destination not being the principal purpose.
Track lateral resistance means the resistance provided by the rail/crosstie structure against lateral displacement.
Track longitudinal resistance means the resistance provided by the rail anchors/rail fasteners and the ballast section to the rail/crosstie structure against longitudinal displacement.
Train-induced forces means the vertical, longitudinal, and lateral dynamic forces which are generated during train movement and which can contribute to the buckling potential of the rail.
Unscheduled detour operation means a short-term, unscheduled operation where a track owner has no more than 14 calendar days' notice that the operation is going to occur.