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Level 2

Specification

Design and construction of track

Endorsement and Authorisation

Endorsed by:

Brian Whitney, Workllng Group Chair

John Edgley, Head of Track

Accepted for issue by:

Mick McManus, Principal Standards & Controls Manager

This document is the property of Network Rail. It shall not be reproduced in whole or part nor disclosed to a third
party without the written permission of Network Rail.
O Copyright 2016 Network Rail.

Uncontrolled copy once printed from its electronic source.


Published and Issued by Network Rail, 2nd Floor, One Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN.

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User information
This Network Rail standard contains colour-coding according to the following Red–Amber–
Green classification.
Red requirements – no variations permitted

• Red requirements are to be complied with and achieved at all times.


• Red requirements are presented in a red box.
• Red requirements are monitored for compliance.
• Non-compliances will be investigated and corrective actions enforced.
Amber requirements – variations permitted subject to approved risk analysis and
mitigation

• Amber requirements are to be complied with unless an approved variation is in place.


• Amber requirements are presented with an amber sidebar.
• Amber requirements are monitored for compliance.
• Variations can only be approved through the national non-compliance process.
• Non-approved variations will be investigated and corrective actions enforced.
Green guidance – to be used unless alternative solutions are followed

• Guidance should be followed unless an alternative solution produces a better result.


• Guidance is presented with a dotted green sidebar.
• Guidance is not monitored for compliance.
• Alternative solutions should be documented to demonstrate effective control.
Colour-coding according to the Red–Amber–Green classification cannot be applied directly
to a table itself. The text specifying the table will be classified and this classification applies
to the entire contents of the table.
Amendment marks

• Document amendments are presented with a single black line to the right of the affected
text. The amendments presented show the changes from issue 6 to issue 8.

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Issue record
Issue Date Comments
1 Feb 1996 New specification.
2 Apr 1997 Various clarifications and amplifications
3 Aug 1998 Various amendments including steel sleepers; ballast
shoulder widths; temporary rail joints; gauge widening on
curves.
4 Jun 2000 Revised to allow for speeds above 125 mph and CEN 60
rail.
5 Feb 2002 Inclusion of RT60 S&C; requirements for increase of
speed etc. on existing track; ballast gluing, rail
lubrication, securing of material for lineside safety;
transfer of some text from RT/CE/S/011
6 June 2010 Reformat to Network Rail document, change of title to
Design and construction of track and renumbered to
NR/L2/TRK/2102. Job titles updated to reflect new
organisational structure. Inclusion and expansion of
requirements previously published in NR/SP/TRK/101
and GC/RT5021.
7 Dec 2015 Scope of document limited to 140 mph. Updated with the
addition of new requirements on; materials, forces,
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requirements for CWR (from NR/L2/TRK/3011),


requirements for geometry design (from
NR/L2/TRK/2049), formation and track stiffness, guard
rails, structures, gradients, design and risk assessment
of S&C layouts, minimum radius of switches, rail depths
through level crossings, use of transition rails, ballast
compaction and shoulder removal, concrete bearers for
cable management, CWR on tight radius curved track,
maximum lengths of rail in jointed track, calculation of
joint closing temperatures, use of semi-fabricated
crossings, types of S&C to be used above 125 mph,
installation of bi-axle grids on S&C renewals, use of anti-
creep devices in S&C, use of bearer ties, maximum
lengths of rails in jointed S&C, conversion of jointed track
to CWR (from NR/L2/TRK/3011), types of S&C suitable
for speeds in excess of 125 mph, conversion of freight
lines to passenger use, decommissioning of redundant
assets.

8 Sept 2016 Changes made to correct a number of errors and to


provide additional guidance and clarification on a number
of clauses which raised comments since the publication
of Issue 7.

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Compliance
This Network Rail standard is mandatory and shall be complied with by Network Rail
and its contractors if applicable from 1st March 2017.
Where it is considered not reasonably practicable1 to comply with the requirements
in this standard, permission to comply with a specified alternative should be sought
in accordance with the Network Rail Standards and Controls process, or with the
Railway Group Standards Code if applicable.
If this standard contains requirements that are designed to demonstrate compliance
with legislation they shall be complied with irrespective of a project’s GRIP stage. In
all other circumstances, projects that have formally completed GRIP Stage 3 (Option
Selection) may continue to comply with any relevant Network Rail standards that
were current when GRIP Stage 3 was completed.
NOTE 1: Legislation includes Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs).
NOTE 2: The relationship of this standard with legislation and/or external standards is described in
the purpose of this standard.

Reference documentation
BS EN 13145, Railway applications – Track – Wood sleepers and bearers
BS EN 13146, Railway applications – Track – Test methods for fastening system
BS EN 13230, Railway applications – Track – Concrete sleepers and bearers
general requirements
BS EN 13481, Railway applications – Track – Performance requirements for
fastening systems
NR/L2/TRK/001, Inspection and Maintenance of Permanent Way
NR/L2/TRK/0032, Joining Of Rails By Aluminothermic Welding
NR/L2/TRK/0132, Maintenance Arc Welding of Rails, Switches and Crossings
NR/L3/TRK/2049, Track Design Handbook
NR/L2/TRK/2500, Engineering Assurance Arrangements for Track Engineering
Projects
NR/L3/TRK/3011, Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) Track
NR/L2/TRK/3038, Longitudinal Timbers – Design - Installation and Maintenance
NR/L2/TRK/3100, Topographic, engineering, land and measured building surveying
– Strategy
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NR/L2/TRK/3201, Management of Tight Clearances and Track Position


RT/CE/S/130, Flash welded Rails – site-welded strings
NR/L2/TRK/4040, Level Crossing Surface Systems

1
This can include gross proportionate project costs with the agreement of the Network Rail
Assurance Panel (NRAP).

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NR/L2/TRK/4100, Serviceable Concrete Sleepers for use in running lines and


sidings
NR/L2/TRK/4239, Track Bed Investigation, Design & Renewal
NR/L2/TRK/8100, Track Ballast and Stoneblower Aggregate
RT/CE/S/050, Process for Cold-Expanding New Fishbolt Holes by the Split Sleeve
Method
RT/CE/S/051, Process for Cold-Expanding Existing Fishbolt Holes by the Split
Sleeve Method
NR/L3/MTC/089, Asset Management Plan
NR/L2/CIV/003, Design of composite steel and concrete structures
NR/L3/CIV/005, Railway System Drainage Manual
NR/L3/TRK/4004, Switch & Crossing Assemblies
NR/BS/LI/365, Letter of Instruction against NR/L3/TRK/4004, Radial Drilling in S&C
NR/L3/TRK/3510, Lubrication of Plain Line Running Rails, Check Rails and S&C
TEF3219 Rail friction management equipment – site specific assessment
NR/L2/TRK/029, Wood Sleepers and Bearers and Longitudinal Timbers
NR/SP/SIG/19812, Cross Track Cable Management
NR/L2/ELP/21088, General maintenance parameters for overhead line electrification
equipment
RE/PW/572, Drawing - Track Datum Plates
RE/PW/590, Drawing - Buffer Stop Standard Fixed (113A rail)
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RE/PW/613, Drawing - Type 2 Check Rails (Foot machined) for speeds above 75
mph
RE/PW/736, Drawing – Lateral Resistance End Plate, Timber bearers and Sleepers
RE/PW/1600, Drawing series NR56 S&C
RE/PW/2000, Drawing series for NR60 S&C
RE/PW/2282, Drawing - Modular S&C: Details of Requirements For 'R' Type
Intermediate Concrete Bearer Tie Unit
RE/PW/2288, Drawing - Drawing - Modular S&C: Details of Requirements For 'D'
Type Deep Concrete Bearer Tie Unit
RT/CE/P/027, Use of Ballast Gluing to increase the Lateral Resistance of Track
RT/CE/S/002, Serviceable rail for use in running lines and sidings
RT/CE/S/008, Saw and Disc Cutting and Drilling of Rail
RT/CE/S/009, Track Ballast Returned by Automatic Ballast Cleaners
RT/CE/S/021, Steel sleepers
NR/L2/TRK/030, Concrete Sleepers and Bearers
RT/CE/S/052, Rail and Baseplate Pads
NR/L2/TRK/061, Pearlitic Rails
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GC/RT5021, Track System Requirements


GC/RT5033, Terminal tracks – Requirements for Buffer Stops, Arresting Devices
and End Impact Walls
GC/RC5633, Recommendations for the Risk Arresting Devices and End Impact
Walls
GC/RT7073, Requirements for Defining and Maintaining Clearances
GE/RT8012, Controlling the Speed of Tilting Trains through Curves
GI/RT7016, Interface between Station Platforms, Track and Trains
GI/RT7033, Lineside Operational Safety Signs
GM/RT2141, Resistance of Railway Vehicles to Derailment and Roll-Over
GM/RT2142, Resistance of Railway Vehicles to Roll-Over in Gales
GM/RT2466, Railway Wheelsets
GMTT0088, Permissible Track Forces for Railway Vehicles
Sectional Appendix

Disclaimer
In issuing this standard for its stated purpose, Network Rail makes no warranties,
express or implied, that compliance with all or any standards it issues is sufficient on
its own to provide safe systems of work or operation. Users are reminded of their
own duties under health and safety legislation.

Compliance with a Network Rail standard does not, of itself, confer immunity from
legal obligations.

Supply
Copies of documents are available electronically, within Network Rail’s organisation.
Hard copies of this document may be available to Network Rail people on request to
the relevant controlled publication distributor. Other organisations may obtain copies
of this from an approved distributor.
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Contents
1 Purpose 11 
2 Scope 11 
3 Definitions 12 
4 Track design policy – business outputs, systems and materials 26 
4.1 Business outputs 26 
4.2 Design of new track systems 27 
4.3 Materials 28 
5 Track system specification 29 
5.1 General 29 
5.2 Track system specification 29 
5.3 Track gauge and flangeways 30 
5.4 Rail inclination 30 

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5.5 Forces 30 
5.6 Rail 30 
5.7 Rail fastenings 31 
5.8 Sleepers and bearers 31 
5.9 Switches and crossings 32 
5.10 Design of continuous welded rail track systems 34 
6 Design and construction of the track system 37 
6.1 Design approvals and acceptance 37 
6.2 Formation, drainage and cess paths 38 
6.3 Ballast 39 
6.4 Ballast gluing 42 
6.5 Non-ballasted track and structures 42 
6.6 Surveying 46 
6.7 Minimum clearances 46 
6.8 Switch and crossing layouts 47 
See NR/L1/SIG/50021/02 for additional requirements for remote condition
monitoring. 49 
6.9 Road vehicle access - switch and crossing layouts 49 
6.10 Terminal tracks and buffer stops 49 
6.11 Level crossings and road-rail vehicle access points 50 
6.12 Sidings 51 
7 New construction – design 51 
7.1 Horizontal alignment – new construction 51 
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7.2 Modelling of geometry – new construction 51 


7.3 Vertical alignment – new construction 51 
7.4 Vertical alignment – modelling of operational capacity 52 
7.5 Switch and crossing design – new construction 52 
52 
7.6 Stiffness of the track system – new construction 52 
8 Geometry design 53 
8.1 Speeds 53 
8.2 Track alignments 54 
8.3 Horizontal alignment 55 
8.4 Vertical alignment 57 
8.4.3 Exceptional limiting design value for vertical curves 57 
8.5  Curving design values 58 
9 Specification of rails and rail fastenings 66 
9.1 Rail section and grade 66 
9.2 Welding 67 
9.3 Rail fastenings 67 
9.4 Transition rails 67 
9.5 Level crossings 67 
10 Specification of plain line 67 
10.1 Track gauge 67 
10.2 Plain line - rails, sleepers and ballast depths 69 
10.3 Plain line - ballast 70 
10.4 Plain line - serviceable and cascaded rail 72 
10.5 Plain line - concrete sleepers 72 
10.6 Plain line - hardwood sleepers 72 
10.7 Plain line - steel sleepers 73 
10.8 Plain line - sleepers for the conveyance of cables 73 
10.9 Sleeper spacing 75 
10.10 Provision of continuous check rails 75 
10.11 Plain line curved track 76 
10.12 Rail lengths 77 
10.13 Temporary closure rails 78 
10.14 Location of fishplated joints 80 
10.15 Joints in CWR 81 

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10.16 Rail joints/welds in level crossings 82 


10.17 Standard Adjustment switches 82 
10.18 Joints in jointed track 84 
10.19 Rail anchors 85 
10.20 Rail and baseplate pads 85 
11 Specification of switches and crossings 86 
11.1 S&C - track gauge 86 
11.2 S&C - choice of turnout and junction layouts 86 
11.3 S&C – bearers 87 
11.4 Switches 89 
11.5 Crossings 90 
11.6 Bearers 92 
11.7 Check rails in S&C 94 
11.8 Adjustment switches with S&C 94 
11.9 Joints in S&C 96 
11.10 Minimum rail length in S&C 97 
11.11 Maximum rail length in unstressed S&C 97 
11.12 Pre-curving of rails in S&C 97 
11.13 Signalling equipment in S&C 97 
12 Conversion of jointed track to CWR 97 
12.1 Approval for conversion 97 
12.2 Rail requirements for conversion 98 
12.3 Conversion by aluminothermic welding 98 
12.4 Conversion by mobile flash butt welding 98 
12.5 Preparation for conversion 98 
12.6 Ballast 99 
13 Holes in rails 99 
13.1 General 99 
13.2 Retention of bolt holes in CWR 99 
13.3 Cold expanded jointed track 100 
14 Geometry targets and tolerances 100 
15 Tamping and dynamic track stabilisers DTS 101 
15.1 Tamping S&C 101 
15.2 Geometry chart recorders 101 
16 Site Marking 102 

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16.1 Geometry details 102 


16.2 High cant deficiency curves 102 
17 Rail flange lubrication 102 
17.1 Provision of lubricators on plain line 102 
17.2 Lubrication of switches 103 
18 Lineside information and signage 103 
19 Raising of speed or axle weight on existing track 104 
19.1 General requirements 104 
19.2 Evaluation of formation 106 
20 Conversion of freight only lines to passenger lines 106 
21 Decommissioning of redundant assets 106 
21.1 Redundant S&C 106 
21.2 Redundant plain line 107 
21.3 Redundant insulated joints 107 
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21.4 Redundant adjustment switches 107 


22 Records 107 
Appendix A Geometrical track tolerances 109 
Appendix B Track Categories 113 
Appendix C Miles per hour (mph) conversion to kilometres per hour (km/h) 114 

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1 Purpose
This standard is intended to control the risk of incorrect materials and components
being specified and to control the required quality of installation of track. It specifies
the design principles and minimum standards for the construction of new or relayed
track, including the materials to be used. It also specifies acceptance criteria for new
or relayed track in terms of workmanship and the track geometry requirements for
both newly installed and existing track.

2 Scope
This Network Rail standard specifies the requirements for the design and
construction of track with line speeds up to 140 mph. This includes:
a. the construction of new sections of track, and routes;
b. the replacement of contiguous lengths of track components or switch and
crossing layouts, either singly or in combination, as part of project or renewal
activities;
c. the replacement or new construction of trackbed layers, drainage, level
crossings, direct fastening systems, buffer stops or other track fixtures;
d. the replacement of components of the track system, carried out during
maintenance, that significantly changes its design or configuration (for
instance the installation or removal of check rails or the installation of cast
crossings with welded extension legs in place of semi-fabricated crossings);
e. the requirements to be met whenever existing tracks are upgraded to carry
higher speeds or tonnages of rail traffic; and
f. the requirements for the design of track geometry for both newly installed and
existing track.

This standard applies to those who specify, design or supervise the installation of
new track and those who design alignments on existing track.

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3 Definitions
For the purpose of this standard, the following terms and definitions apply.

absolute track geometry


See managed track position

adjustment switch
scarf joint installed at the junction of continuous welded rail and jointed track to
accommodate the expansion and dissipate the thermal forces from the continuous
welded rail track.
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NOTE Adjustment switches may also be used to permit some types of bridges to expand and
contract without impacting upon the track system, when adjustment switches are used in this
application they are referred to as ‘expansion joints’.

automatic mode (OTM operation)


application of the tamper or other on-track machine with varying down pressure to
remove cross level error.

ballast
nominally single-sized granular material of specified properties, placed on the
blanket (where provided), subgrade or structure to provide vertical and lateral
support to the sleepers or bearers.

ballast shoulder
ballast placed at the ends of sleepers and bearers to provide lateral stability to the
track.

bearer tie
a component used to connect concrete bearers, designed such that in service they
behave as one continuous bearer.

bearing change
an abrupt change in horizontal alignment where the connecting straights are not
tangential.

cant (superelevation, or crosslevel)


the vertical difference in height of the two rails of a track measured at the centre lines
of the heads of the rails. It is positive when the outer rail on a curve is elevated
above the inner rail, and negative when the inner rail on a curve is raised above the
outer rail.

cant deficiency
the difference between the applied cant on the track and the equilibrium cant for the
vehicle at the particular stated speed.

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cant gradient
indicates the amount by which the designed cant (superelevation or crosslevel) is
increased in a given length of track, normally expressed as a rate e.g. 1 in 1200.

cascaded rail
rail that has previously been installed in track and is picked up as CWR and moved
directly to a new site.

Cast centre block


a crossing, the nose(s) and throat (knuckle) of which are made as one casting. The
leg end extensions are attached by flash butt welding and the non-load carrying wing
rails by multiple groove locking (MGL) pins, tension-controlled bolts or similar
devices.

cast crossings
cast crossings are manufactured from cast steel either as a complete unit (i.e.
monobloc) or as a cast centre block crossing with welded-on extension leg ends
NOTE: Some cast centre block crossings will have bolted wing rail extensions.

cast vee
crossing in which a cast nose-piece is flash butt welded to pearlitic rail legs and to
which the wing rails are attached by MGL pins, tension-controlled bolts or similar
devices.

catch points
trailing switches provided to derail vehicles running in the wrong direction.
NOTE: See also trap points.

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CEN60 S&C
S&C using CEN60 rail, examples being RT60 & NR60.

check gauge
distance between the running edge of a running rail and the bearing face of the
opposite check rail, measured at right angles to the rails in a plane 14 mm below
their top surface.

check rail
rail or special section provided alongside a running rail at a specified dimension
inside gauge to provide a flangeway, to give guidance to wheelsets by restricting
lateral movement of the wheels.

circular curve
a curve of constant radius.

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co-ordinate geometry design


design of track alignment and layouts working within a system of three-dimensional
spatial co-ordinates tied to a primary survey reference grid.
NOTE: This is normally achieved based upon a survey using 'total station' techniques, and the
provision of fixed datum markers used subsequently for setting-out and control of installed position.

common crossing
cast or fabricated portion of the track layout that enables the rails of the two tracks to
cross each other, while still providing support and guidance for smooth passage of
the vehicle's wheels.
these are of four types:
a) Cast crossings, monobloc or cast centre cast;
b) Semi-fabricated with cast or machined nose;
c) Semi-fabricated with electro-slag welded vee; and
d) Fully-fabricated crossings.

configuration
arrangement of rails, switches, crossings, baseplates, bearers and sleepers into a
standard design.

continuous welded rail (CWR)


 rails installed in the track that have been welded together to form a single rail
greater than a nominal 30 m in length;
 track constructed with continuous welded rail.

derailment containment kerb


arrangement to prevent a derailed rail vehicle or train coming in to contact with parts
of a structure that would be liable to severe damage if so struck or to prevent
vehicles falling from a major bridge or viaduct.

design speed
the speed in miles per hour for which a stretch of track or turnout in S&C is to be or
has been designed. Speeds will normally be governed by curvature and its
associated cant. Speeds can also be affected by clearances, signal sighting or other
engineering requirements.

designed alignment standard deviation


the calculated standard deviation for the designed alignment See also standard
deviation.

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direct fastening
rail fastening system where the rail is fastened directly to its supporting bridge deck
or slab system without a baseplate or chair.

electro-slag welded vee


crossing manufactured from two machined pearlitic rails and an insert bar, which is
then electro-slag welded together and the finished vee machined to profile. Wing
rails are then attached by means of tension-controlled bolts or similar devices.
EMGT(PA)
Equivalent million gross tonnes (per annum) , a measure of the amount of traffic
carried by a section of track based on a calculation weighted for the different types of
vehicle that operate on the track.
enclosed flangeway
a flangeway that is enclosed at the bottom and on both sides, e.g. the flangeway
between the vee and wing rails in a cast crossing.

enhanced permissible speed


the highest permitted speed (higher than the permissible speed) applying to a
specific type of train over a section of line operating at cant deficiencies in excess of
those permitted at the permissible speed. There may be more than one enhanced
permissible speed applicable to a given section of line, depending on the
characteristics of the particular train fleet.

equilibrium cant
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the cant at a particular speed at which the vehicle will have a resultant force
perpendicular to the running plane of the rails.

exceptional design values


where the requirements of the business cannot be met by using normal or maximum
design values it is permissible to use exceptional design values. The reason and
implications for their use shall be justified and subject to approval.

expansion joint
 non-insulated fishplated rail joint which is lubricated and is designed to
accommodate longitudinal thermal expansion and contraction of the rails, also
known as an ordinary fishplated joint; or
 a structure adjustment switch or scarf joint used to permit structures to
expand and contract without impacting upon the track system, see also
adjustment switches.

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fishplated cast monobloc


crossings where the individual constituents (vees, wing rails, legs etc) are cast
together as one piece and attached to the plain rail using a fishplated connection.

fixed track position


See managed track position

flangeway gap
gap provided to permit the passage of the wheel flanges of rail vehicles, for example
between a check rail and a running rail, or between a level crossing deck and the
running rail.
NOTE: Sometimes referred to as free wheel clearance

fly-fished joint
a fishplated joint where the bolts are fitted through one rail only.

formation
material on which the ballast is placed, consisting of the subgrade plus blanket and
other protective layers (if present).

frangible platform
a platform that is designed to collapse in a controlled manner as a result of impact ,
usually from sliding or friction buffer stops.

free wheel passage (at check or wing entry)


dimension between the working face of the crossing check rail or wing rail and the
gauge face of the running rail opposite across the gauge measured at the entry to
check rail or wing rail respectively.

free wheel passage (at crossing nose)


dimension between the working face of the crossing wing rail and check rail opposite
across the gauge.

free wheel passage (in switches)


dimension from the gauge face of the switch rail to the back face of the open switch
rail.

Freight only line


track carrying only freight traffic.

full depth switches


switches where both stock and switch rails are manufactured from BR109, BS110A,
BS113A or CEN56 rail sections.

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fully fabricated crossing


crossings made by machining rolled rails to produce a point rail and a splice rail
fastened together with bolts or multi-groove locking pins. The wing rails are produced
from rolled rail and are fastened to the vee by bolts or multi-groove locking pins.

guard rails
additional rail or rails fixed parallel to the running rails and intended to restrain
derailed vehicles.

hand of switches (flexure)


the “set” of a switch.
NOTE: Observe from the switch fronts looking towards the crossing - if the right hand stock rail has a
set or “kink” to the right it is a right hand turnout. Similarly, a left hand stock rail with a set will define a
left hand turnout. If both stock rails having a very small set in opposite directions the turnout would be
defined as an “equal split”.

handpoints
See unworked points.

high cant deficiency curves


curves where specific train fleets have permission to run at cant deficiencies in
excess of 150 mm.

jointed track
method of track construction where rails are joined together by ordinary fishplates,
with an expansion gap between rail ends and not exceeding 30 m long.

kicking strap
a device attached to a switch rail near to the toe which passes under the stock rail of
a set of switches or under the wing rail of switch diamonds to prevent upward
movement of the switch rail.

lateral resistance plate


generic term applied to devices that are fitted to sleepers or bearers to enhance
lateral resistance to thermal and traffic forces.

length (of a track panel)


length of a track panel normally taken as 60ft or 18288 mm.
NOTE: Used in the context of the number of sleepers per length, 28/L being 28 sleepers per 60ft of
track.

level crossing
intersection at the same level of a road, footpath or bridleway and one or more
railway tracks.

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longitudinal timber
timber parallel to and supporting a running rail.

machined nose block


crossing where the vee is mechanically manufactured from a low alloy wrought steel
block, which is machined and subsequently heat treated. Pearlitic rail leg ends are
flash butt welded to the vee. Distance blocks are also welded directly onto the vee
prior to attaching wing rails by means of MGL pins, tension-controlled bolts or similar
devices.

managed (or fixed) track position


generic term for all systems (including the system of “absolute track geometry”
installed on West Coast Main Line) for the upkeep of track geometry and alignment
by reference to datum points fixed in space.
NOTE: It is used to monitor and control the position of the track, rather than the use of relative
geometry.

new construction
construction of a new railway or the construction of track on previously abandoned
formation.

non-ballasted track
track that is not supported on ballast, for example; concrete slab track, track on
longitudinal timbers and directly fastened track on bridges.

NR56 S&C
Network Rail design of S&C using CEN54 shallow depth rail & CEN56 rail sections,
NR56 is an updated version of BS113A Vertical S&C.
NOTE: The design is documented on the RE/PW/1600 series drawings

NR60 S&C
Network Rail design of S&C using CEN60 rail sections.
NOTE: It is based around the family of CEN60 rail sections, the design is documented on the
RE/PW/2000 series drawings.

NR60 S&C Mark 2


Revised Network Rail design of S&C using CEN60 rail sections currently being
developed based on the original NR60 footprint incorporating a significant number of
design improvements and modifications to address performance and reliability
issues.

obtuse crossing
assembly to permit the passage of wheel flanges where two rails intersect at an
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obtuse angle.

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ordinary or expansion fishplates


non-insulated connection of two rails by means of fishplates designed so that when
assembled as a joint the rails are free to expand and contract within limits.

P2 forces
P2 is a lower frequency peak force caused by the track being pushed down by the
passage of a vehicle generally below 100Hz. See GMTT0088 for the calculation of

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P2 forces.

parallel tamping
use of two or more specialist S&C tamping machines, working together to achieve
the simultaneous lining, lifting and packing of adjacent tracks.

part bearer
the portion (A, B or C) of a bearer that has been split into sections and joined
together with bearer ties.

permissible speed
the maximum speed over a section of line that applies to trains not travelling at
enhanced permissible speeds (i.e. not tilting trains).

plain line
track not incorporating switches and crossings.
NOTE: The term “plain line” therefore excludes the through route of S&C.

plane of the rails


flat plane projected across the crown of the two running rails of a track.

premium hardened rail steel


any grade of rail steel harder than grade 260R.

Head of [XXXX]
The Network Rail Head of the engineering discipline shown in the brackets.

rail fastenings
any system used to secure running rails into chairs or baseplates or directly to
sleepers, bearers or other rail supports.

raised guard rails


additional rails fixed higher than, parallel to and inside or outside of the running rails.
Intended to prevent vehicles from derailing.

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rate of change of cant or cant deficiency


the rate at which a vehicle experiences the change in cant or cant deficiency,
measured in mm per second.

rate of rotation of vehicle body


the rate of rotation experienced by a passenger on a train, measured in mm per
second; for a tilting train this is the sum of the rate of change of cant and rate of
application of tilt.

reverse curve
a curve formed by two circular curves of opposite hand, which should normally be
connected by transition curves.

RT60 S&C
design of S&C developed by Railtrack as a first step towards introducing S&C based
around the family of CEN60 rail sections.
NOTE: The design has now been superseded by NR60.

running line
line shown as a running line in Table A of the Sectional Appendix.

Sectional Appendix
document that contains details of all permissible and enhanced permissible speeds
for a particular route.

self-tensioning fastenings
fastening system that achieves the required tension through insertion without the
need for any post-tensioning through tightening of screws or nuts, etc.

semi-fabricated crossing
semi-fabricated crossings made by either:
a) machining and welding rolled rails to produce a crossing vee; or
b) using a cast vee;
which are then fastened to wing rails manufactured from rolled rail using bolts or
multi-groove locking pins.

serviceable rail
rail that has previously been installed in track but has been recovered and re-
manufactured, i.e. taken to a depot, examined, defects removed, and flash butt
welded back together.

shallow depth S&C


a switch assembly in which the switch rail is produced from a specific asymmetric rail
section of shallower depth than that used for the stock rail. The foot of the stock and
switch rail do not require machining as the switch rail sits above the upper surface of
the stock rail foot.
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slab track
track without ballast supported by continuous reinforced concrete slab.

sleeper
transverse beam that provides vertical and lateral support to plain line running rails,
rail fastenings and where appropriate check rails, guard rails, conductor rails and
ancillary operating equipment.

soleplate
a metal plate fitted at the toes of switches to fix the track gauge and, on power
operated points to control the position of the point operating mechanism relative to

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the switch and stock rails.

standard deviation
measure that describes how a set of values are dispersed around the mean value.
NOTE: It is applied to the measurement of track geometry quality, the range of variation in top
(vertical alignment) and line (lateral alignment) over a fixed length, normally an eighth-mile, are set out
as standard deviations. These are then used to monitor the achievement of targets, by speed bands
or ranges.

Standard Track Drawings


drawings of track components or standard designs published under the ‘RE/PW’
series of drawings.

stress free temperature


the rail temperature at which the rail is the same length as it would be in an
unrestrained state and at which, therefore, there is no thermal force present.

stressing (of rails)


the process of extending continuous welded rail (CWR) so that the stress free
temperature of the rails is within a specified temperature range.

strengthened (switches)
prefix added to descriptions of older designs of switches and crossings to reflect that
they were designed to withstand thermal forces, e.g. with stress transfer blocks
secured with 8 high tensile bolts.

strengthening rails
additional rails fixed parallel to the running rails and intended to increase the lateral
resistance and weight of the track to reduce risk of buckling.

stretcher bar
bar that connects together the two switch rails of a set of switches to maintain
flangeway gaps and the correct switch rail position.

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strings
lengths of new rail (between 18 and 108 m long) flash butt welded typically up to
lengths of 216m for transportation and installation.

structure
something built to support or retain a load.
NOTE: Includes bridges, platforms, viaducts, tunnels and culverts, but excludes earthworks.

structural adjustment switch


an adjustment switch specifically designed to accommodate additional structural
movement up to +/- 300 mm. They are designed with the switch rails as a fixed end
and a moveable stock rail to accommodate extra movement at specific locations.
They can operate over longer lengths without affecting the track gauge whilst
maintaining continuity of rail profile and inclination. They are designed to be installed
directly across the structure’s expansion joint to suit the direction of movement and
lie in either the facing or trailing direction.
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subgrade
prepared surface of the uppermost layer of naturally-occurring or fill material upon
which the railway is constructed.

swing nose crossing


A common crossing in which the crossing vee can move laterally to close the
flangeway to one or other of the wing rails to provide continuous support to
wheelsets. This type of crossing does not require the use of check rails. A swing
nose crossing counts as one point end.

switch and crossing (S&C)


track incorporating switches and/or crossings that allows one track to cross another
or diverge from or merge with another.

switch diamonds
set of switch diamonds consists of two obtuse crossings in which the obtuse point
rails are replaced by switch rails and a check rail is not required.

switches
set of switches consists of two fixed stock rails with their two associated moveable
switch rails.

tight joint
non-insulated connection of two rails by means of specially drilled fishplates and high
tensile bolts but without an expansion gap between the rail ends.

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track gauge
distance between the running edges of the rails in a track, measured without load at
right angles to the running edges of the rails in a plane 14 mm below their top
surface.

track renewals
replacement of plain line or S&C carried out under the domestic track renewals
programme or included in an enhancement or remodelling project.

track system
assemblage of rails, rail supports, rail fastenings, sleepers, timbers or bearers and
ballast, acting together to provide guidance and support for rail vehicles.
NOTE: The term also applies to other types of construction such as non-ballasted track.

Designer
engineer responsible for the design of the track engineering elements of the
infrastructure system.

trackbed
general term referring to the ballast, blanket and subgrade.

trackbed layers
general term referring to all layers placed between the subgrade and the underside
of sleepers or bearers.

train operated points


points that are designed for use in running lines with facing movements in the normal
position only.
NOTE: They are operated by the passage of trains in the trailing reverse direction. They are restored
to the normal position by the point operating mechanism after the passage of each train. “Hydro-
pneumatic self-restored points” are a type of train operated points.

transition (zone)
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A short section of track specially designed to control track geometry at an abrupt


change in track support conditions (e.g. underbridge, culvert, ballasted to slab or
direct fastened track to provide a gradual change from the stiffness of one form of
construction to that of the other.

transition curve
curve of constantly varying curvature. It is normally provided between two lateral
circular curves of differing radii, or between a lateral circular curve and a straight. If
the variation is linear, the transition is in the form of a clothoid, often approximated by
a cubic parabola. Non-linear forms such as sine and cosine curves are also
available.

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trap points
facing switches provided at an exit from a siding or converging/diverging line to derail
vehicles making an unauthorised movement, so protecting the adjacent line.

twist (design)
an intentional discontinuity in rail inclination between vertical and inclined track (twist
rail) or a cross level variation such as a cant transition curve above normal limits.

twist (fault)
a difference in crosslevel over a short distance (usually measured over 3 m) that is
greater than a predetermined amount (usually 15 mm).
Normally expressed either as an average gradient over 3 m or as a dimension in
millimetres by which the crosslevel varies over 3 m.

under sleeper or bearer pads, USPs


USPs are elastic layers which are attached to the underside side of ballasted

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sleepers or bearers. They have been shown to improve track geometry, reduce the
bearing pressure on the ballast and reduce the need for tamping by reducing the
settlement under traffic.

unworked points
points not controlled by the signalling system, other than train operated points.
NOTE: Hand points, runaway catch points and spring operated points are examples of unworked
points.

vertical curve
curve joining two track gradients in their vertical alignment.

vertical S&C (CEN56)


design of S&C developed by British Rail and introduced in the mid-1960s to replace
earlier bullhead and flatbottom designs.
Current designs of CEN56 Vertical S&C are known as ‘NR56’.
NOTE: It is based around the BS113A rail section (now CEN56) and derives its name from all rails
being without any inclination (i.e. vertical).

virtual transition
the name given to the ‘transition effect’ formed by the bogie centres of a vehicle
when traversing between two elements not joined by a geometrical transition; an
instantaneous change of radius. For calculation of theoretical Rates of Change of
Deficiency (Cant) a length, normally taken as being 12.2 m is used, thus giving
normal criteria for acceptance.

Welded cast monobloc


a crossing, all of the components of which (vees, wing rails, legs etc.), are cast as
one piece. The structure is made weldable into CWR by the incorporation of flash
butt welded leg end extensions using stainless steel inserts.

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’within S&C’
S&C and closure panels with S&C bearers up to 18.288m beyond the switch fronts
and 36.566m beyond the last long bearer.
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4 Track design policy – business outputs, systems and materials


4.1 Business outputs
NOTE: The design, specification and installation of the track system requires the consideration
and balancing of constraints to arrive at a solution that achieves the required business outputs,
eliminates hazards and reduces likely risks from hazards where elimination is not possible.

Where the design is produced by a supplier external to Network Rail, an iterative development
of the design with informed input from the Network Rail client representative will enable the
delivery of an optimal solution which takes account all of the business outputs.

To achieve the business outputs, new track systems, components, and track layouts
shall be developed taking into account the interfaces with other railway infrastructure
and systems and Health and Safety considerations.
The design development should:
a) be compliant with relevant statutory, legislative, and company standards
and other requirements;
b) be safe by design so that projects are designed and carried out in a way
that secures health and safety;
c) be cost-efficient at construction and installation whilst considering the
future ease of maintenance, inspection, operation and upkeep and repair (in
accordance with the company ergonomics policy and standards). An optimal
solution should be targeted at achieving the lowest whole life cost within the
railway system whilst taking account of railway access constraints and costs;
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d) have the designed capability and functionality informed by Asset and Route
policies;
e) have opportunities for change (enhanced or reduced capability or
functionality), and interdependencies with other asset types identified and
considered;
f) be capable of delivering improved reliability and minimising loss of
functionality, performance or capability;
g) minimise the need for human examination and intervention, and separate
these activities from train movements and live electrical equipment;
h) exploit, wherever practicable, standard or “modular” designs, products, and
layout configurations;
i) minimise the identification and application of new products and techniques
to avoid unnecessary diversity and complexities of training and competence
for constructors, operators and maintainers. Alternative products should only
to be used where there are business benefits that outweigh the risks and
costs of diversification;
j) have material specified from sustainable sources in accordance with the
company Corporate Responsibility Policy;
k) where practicable and where required by the route policy, be designed to
be installed in possessions of 8 hours duration;
l) where appropriate, be designed to enable components to be changed or
repaired and the track restored to line speed in a working time of 4 hours.

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Particular attention should also be given to the following aspects in planning for and
during the installation:
m) development of standardised installation methods and techniques, to
enable consistency of approach;
n) making the best use of the available railway access opportunities for
productive work whilst maintaining a consistent high quality of delivery;
o) care in the transportation, handling and storage of materials so that
installed quality is not impaired;
p) information and records of new or renewed assets added to asset
information repositories as soon as the assets are brought into operation or
accepted back on issue of the final completion notice.

4.2 Design of new track systems


4.2.1 General
All systems, sub systems and components shall be designed to comply with
Company Standards, Railway Group Standards, Technical Specifications for
Interoperability and where appropriate European Norms (EN’s). If newly designed
track systems are used that do not comply with Company Standards, Railway Group
Standards, Technical Specifications for Interoperability and where appropriate
European Norms (EN’s) they shall be identified, approved and recorded see
NR/L2/EBM/STP001.
New track systems should be designed and constructed to achieve the required
business outputs with the minimum of inspection and maintenance.
The design should include a combination of maintenance, refurbishment and
renewal interventions to achieve the lowest whole life cost for track assets. It should
include the interface with existing assets taking account of their condition and
design.
Risks to track workers are greatest when they are on or close to the track; therefore
the initiatives to reduce time on track, or use a time when it is safer, will also reduce
the overall worker safety risk.
When reviewing systems for acceptance if the designed service life, inspection or
maintenance intervention frequency cannot be achieved the implications should be
recorded and the impact assessed.
4.2.2 Service lives
For product and systems approval, new designs of track and track components
should be developed with the aim of achieving the following service lives.
A design life for Sleepers, bearers, baseplates and rails in normal service conditions
of:
• CEN60 track systems: the lesser of 1200 Equivalent Million Gross Tonnes,
(EMGT) or 60 years for plain line and 1000 EMGT or 60 years for S&C;
• CEN56 track systems: the lesser of 1000 EMGT or 60 years for plain line and
800 EMGT or 60 years for S&C.

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Sub-elements, e.g. ballast, rail pads, rail insulators, and rail fastenings, rail
lubricators, switches and crossings, switch rollers, and insulated rail joints may have
a design life of half of the sleepers, bearers and rails.
Formation treatment and drainage should have a design life of 60 years.

4.2.3 Inspection and maintenance intervention


A new track system comprising of conventional CEN60 ballasted track should be
designed to be compatible with an inspection and maintenance regime as follows:
a) a four-weekly geometry recording;
b) a thirteen-weekly visual track inspection cycle; and
c) a two yearly possession of the line for component and mechanised
maintenance increasing to annual for the last 25% of the service life of the
system.
Switch and crossing systems may receive additional visual inspections, typically
four-weekly.
CEN56 ballasted track systems installed in lower category routes should be capable
of similar performance but with less frequent geometry recording, typically eight-
weekly, rising to six-monthly on Category 4, 5 and 6 track.

4.3 Materials
4.3.1 General Properties
All materials and components used in the design of new track systems shall have
their performance assessed against an operating temperature range of -27° C to
+60° C.
Failure to achieve the required performance levels at the extremes of the
temperature range will not necessarily prevent acceptance. The impact on
performance should be recorded, its criticality assessed, and the need for additional
mitigation determined.

4.3.2 Identification of components


Components used in the track system shall be marked such that the identity of the
component, manufacturer and year of manufacture can be determined.
It may not be possible to mark smaller components such as clips and insulators.
Identifying marks should be applied in a manner that will not damage the item or
impede its operation. They should be large enough and formed with sufficient clarity
to be readable over the life of the product. They should be positioned (as far as is
practicable) to be readable after installation.
Additional information such as month of manufacture, batch number or individual
serial number may be necessary depending on the criticality of the component.
All switch half sets shall be fitted with an identification plate fixed to the web of the
stock rail in a location where it will not become obscured by point operating

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equipment once fitted. The plate shall be engraved or pin stamped with the following
information:
Manufacturer: PRS/VAE/VCUK/TWK etc.
Date of Manufacture: MM/YY
Switch Type: Full depth/NR56V/NR60
Switch Length: B/C/D/E/F/SG/G/H
Radial Drilling: Yes / No
Main line radius: XXXXm (OR STRAIGHT)
Flexure: Similar / Contra / N/A
Rail Grade: 260/HP etc
Manufacturers Drawing ID Number: XXXX
Points Number: XXXX

5 Track system specification


5.1 General
The minimum engineering requirements for design of the track system are specified
in this section. These apply to the design of both running lines and sidings unless
stated otherwise.
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NOTE: Compliance to clause 6 onwards will enable the construction of a compliant asset.

5.2 Track system specification


For the purposes of acceptance of design, any proposed track (system or
component) shall be compared to the original standard designs for plain line and
S&C, where the baseline is; CWR, straight track, CEN56 rail, 26 concrete monobloc
sleepers per 60 ft (18.3 m), S&C with concrete bearers at 710 mm nominal spacing,
rail fastenings with a nominal toe load of 6.5 kN and fully ballasted sleeper beds and
shoulders.
Track with jointed rail lengths of 30 m or less shall be considered to be jointed track.
Track not classified as ‘jointed’ shall be deemed to be CWR. It shall be designed in
accordance with 5.10.
The standard length of rails in jointed track is 60 ft or 18.288 m and installed with
lubricated, fishplated expansion joints.
In this standard, the track system comprises the entire track structure, e.g. for
conventional ballasted track, the subgrade, formation, drainage, ballast, sleepers,
rails, fastenings, and the geometry of the track and its relative position (gauge
clearance) to structures, vehicles and other features.

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Compliance date: 01 March 2017

5.3 Track gauge and flangeways


New track system designs shall have a minimum track gauge of 1435 mm, a
minimum flangeway depth of 55 mm and a minimum flangeway clearance of 60 mm
where back of flange contact should not occur (such as through switches and level
crossings).
See 5.9 for additional requirements for S&C.
5.4 Rail inclination
In plain line track, rails shall have an inclination of 1 in 20 towards the track centre
line.
In S&C, depending on the design of S&C, rails shall either have an inclination of 1 in
20 towards the track centre line or be vertical.
Twist rails or twist transition baseplates shall be used to accommodate the change in
verticality from inclined track to vertical track.
In two levelling S&C with vertical rails the running rails might, as a result of the two-
levelling, become inclined away from the four-foot relative to the plane of the rails.
Where rails in S&C are vertical, the rails in short lengths of adjacent plain line may
also be vertical.

5.5 Forces
The track system shall be designed to have performance characteristics capable of
sustaining the following forces:
a. a maximum static axle load of 250 kN (25.5 tonnes);
b. a vertical dynamic force, generated by the static wheel load and the low
frequency dynamic forces P2, of 350 kN per wheel and an occasional isolated
vertical load of 500 kN per wheel (see GMTT0088 for the calculation of P2
forces);
c. a lateral force generated by a train of 100 kN over a length of 2 m;
d. a lateral force on check rails of 135 kN over a length of 2 m and 50 kN at any
one mounting position;
e. a lateral force on guard rails of 100 kN over a length of 2 m;
f. a longitudinal force of 1200 kN per rail to allow for train acceleration and
braking; and
g. be capable of resisting thermal forces which may be expected to occur over a
rail temperature range of -14°C to +53°C, without distortion (equal to a tensile
force of 700 kN and a compressive force of 620 kN.

5.6 Rail
Rails shall be designed to provide support taking account of speed, axle load and
tonnage.
The rail section including the head profile shall have compatibility with sections
already existing in Network Rail's infrastructure and wheelset profiles in use.

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The metallurgy and manufacturing process for rail shall be subject to acceptance by
Network Rail so that:
a) the rails are capable of being butt welded together (using a Network Rail approved
process);
b) minimum actions (to be taken upon discovery of defects) can be defined; and
c) withdrawal criteria (for when rails reach their wear limits) can be defined.

NOTE: See BS EN 13674, NR/L2/TRK/061 and RT/CE/S/002 for the specification of rail.

5.7 Rail fastenings


Rail fastenings shall:
a) hold rails securely in the rail seat (unless designed specifically to do otherwise);
b) limit rotation of the rail about the outer edges of the rail foot;
c) minimise longitudinal movement of rails through creep and thermal forces (unless
designed specifically to do otherwise);
d) assist in retention of the track gauge; and
e) not cause damage to the rail.
Additionally they shall;
f) meet the requirements of BS EN 13481;
g) have been tested by methods specified in BS EN 13146; and
h) have Network Rail Product Acceptance.
NOTE: The preferred type of rail fastening is self-tensioning when installed. Non-self-tensioning
types of rail fastening may only be used in special applications.

5.8 Sleepers and bearers


Sleepers and bearers shall be designed with a soffit area, at the specified spacing, to
distribute loads to the ballast without overstressing the ballast, formation or
subgrade.
Sleepers and bearers shall have an end area to provide adequate lateral restraint to
the track.
Rail and baseplate pads in S&C should, as far as possible, replicate the stiffness of
plain line.
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NOTE: See RT/CE/S/021, BS EN 13145, NR/L2/TRK/029 and BS EN 13230, NR/L2/TRK/030


for the specification of steel, timber and concrete sleepers and bearers.

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5.9 Switches and crossings


5.9.1 Maximum and minimum values
The values shown in table 1 shall be applied in the design of new standard designs
of S&C. Installation and maintenance tolerances shall apply in addition to these
values.

Table 1 – Switch and crossings maximum and minimum values


Value
S&C
mm
Minimum opening at the toes of switches 100
Maximum free wheel passage in switches 1375
Minimum fixed nose protection 1432 mm gauge S&C 1391
for common crossings 1435 mm gauge S&C 1394
Maximum free wheel passage at 1432 mm gauge S&C 1350
crossing nose 1435 mm gauge S&C 1353
Maximum free wheel passage at check/wing entry 1360
Minimum flangeway width 38
Nominal flangeway width through check rails and wing rails (excluding 41
the knuckle area of obtuse crossings)
In fixed obtuse angle crossings, minimum flangeway clearance 48
between the check rail and the wing rail at the knuckle of the crossing.
Minimum flangeway depth:
 through enclosed flangeways 55
 elsewhere 51
Maximum permissible unguided length in obtuse crossing. See GM/RT2466
Maximum excess height of check rail in obtuse crossings 38
Maximum theoretical cant deficiency at switch toes:
a. Up to 40 mph 120
b. Between 45 and 105mph 105
c. Between 110 and 125mph 85
Minimum flangeway gap at the nose of swing nose crossings 85
Free wheel clearance elsewhere through swing nose crossings 1375
NOTE 1: Where switch diamonds are operated by a rail clamp point lock mechanism (clamp lock), it is
permitted to reduce the opening at the toe to a minimum of 85 mm
NOTE 2: Gauge is measured 14 mm below the running surface.
NOTE 3: Manufacturing tolerances are given in NR/L3/TRK/4004, installation tolerances in Appendix
A.
NOTE 4: Cant deficiency at switch toes is measured using a 12.2m chord centred on the switch toe.

The maximum system depth (bearers, soleplates, baseplates, pads and rail) for new
designs of S&C shall be 405 mm.

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5.9.2 Common crossings


Common crossings shall be protected by check rails.
New designs of cast common crossings should comply with RT/CE/S/012 and will
normally have welded legs.

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Semi-fabricated crossings with welded or cast vees may be used on lower category
lines. Fabricated crossings will normally be restricted to sidings.
See 11.5.3 for the restrictions on the use of fabricated and semi-fabricated
crossings.

5.9.3 Swing nose crossings


Swing nose crossings shall be used where the angle is flatter than 1 in 35.
Swing nose crossings shall be used where the linespeed exceeds 125 mph.

5.9.4 Obtuse crossings


Obtuse crossings shall not be used where the line speed exceeds 105 mph.
Fixed obtuse crossings shall incorporate check rails to protect the wheel transfer
area of the opposite crossing.
The crown or top of the check rail on cast obtuse crossings shall be raised by 38 mm
to provide greater protection.
See 11.5.4 for other restrictions on the use of obtuse crossings.

5.9.5 Check rails


The wheel transfer area between crossing nose and wing rail of fixed crossings shall
be protected on the opposite running rail by a check rail on each route.
The crown or top of the check rail shall not be lower than crown of the adjacent
running rail.
Raised check rails shall only be used with obtuse crossings.
The desirable slope of the main flare should be 1 in x (where ‘x’ is the speed in kph).

5.9.6 Stretcher bars and soleplates


Stretcher bars (or an approved equivalent) shall be used to connect the two switch
blades of a set of switches together.
Their length shall be such that when fitted the designed FWP, Free Wheel Passage
is achieved. The number of stretcher bars in standard switch designs shall be as
shown on the relevant standard drawing; there shall be at least two.
At the switch toe, a "kicking strap" shall be provided with between 3 mm and 9 mm
clearance under the foot of the stock rails.

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A soleplate or steel bearer (according to the type of point operating mechanism)


shall be provided at the toe position.
Where the point operating mechanism is positioned on the bearer ends the soleplate
(or steel bearer) shall extend to fix the relative position of the drive and detection
equipment relative to the switch and stock rails.
Stretcher bars and soleplates shall be insulated where specified by the signalling
requirements.

5.9.7 Point operating system


In running lines, the switch rails of turnouts, switch diamonds and the noses of swing
nose crossings shall be equipped with means of detecting that the movable rails are
in their correct position and are locked.
Provision for temporarily securing both the open and closed switch out of use shall
be provided.

5.10 Design of continuous welded rail track systems

5.10.1 Design of CWR – General Requirements for Stress Free Temperature


The target, minimum and natural stressing range SFTs shall be in accordance with
Table 2.
Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) shall;
a) be stressed to a target Stress Free Temperature (SFT) of 27° C;
b) have a minimum SFT of 21° C;
c) have a target SFT, achieved by tensor or thermal stressing of 27° C;
d) have a target SFT achieved by natural stressing between 24 and 30° C when
clipped down.
Where previously installed, CWR on crimp ended steel sleepers shall;
a) be stressed to a target SFT of 32° C;
b) have a minimum SFT of 26° C
c) have a target SFT, achieved by tensor or thermal stressing, of 32° C;
d) have a target SFT, achieved by natural stressing, of between 29 and 35° C when
clipped down.
Crimp ended steel sleepers shall not be used for new construction.

5.10.2 CWR - Tunnels


In tunnels longer than 180 m, CWR track between two points 40 m into either end of
the tunnel may be fastened down at ambient temperature.

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5.10.3 CWR – Slab track


The target SFT for CWR on slab track shall be 21°C. The stress transition length to
the target the plain line SFT of 27°C shall be taken as an anchor length inside each
end of the slab.

Table 2 – SFT Requirements


Natural stressing
Trackform / sleeper type Target SFT Minimum SFT
target range
Concrete, spade-ended steel or
27°C 21°C 24°C to 30°C
Wood (including wheel timbers)

Crimp-ended steel 32°C 26°C 29°C to 35°C

Slab 21°C 18°C 18°C to 24°C

In tunnels longer than 180 m, CWR track


Tunnels between two points 40 m into either end of the
tunnel may be fastened down at ambient
temperature.

5.10.4 CWR - Switches and crossings


Any S&C unit incorporated into CWR shall be capable of withstanding longitudinal
thermal tensile and compressive forces.
CWR-compatible S&C shall be welded or fitted with tight-joint or insulated fishplates
approved for use in CWR.
Units installed with tight-joint fishplates may be subject to limited expansion and
contraction. They should be assumed to experience and withstand the same thermal
forces as units that are welded in.
S&C shall not be present within the stress transition length at the end of a section of
CWR. S&C not isolated from CWR by adjustment switches shall be fully stressed.
Any stress transition length shall commence clear of the S&C.
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S&C units not approved for use in CWR, shall be isolated from adjacent CWR by
adjustment switches positioned not more than 40 m from the S&C (switch front or
last long bearer).
The distance from the S&C should be taken as the distance from the switch fronts or
the weld / joint at the back of the crossing to the nearest machined section of the
adjustment switch

5.10.5 Switch designs suitable for use in CWR


CWR-compatible Switch designs are of two types with:

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1. stress transfer blocks and bolts connecting the switch to the stock rail. Eight 25.4
mm (1 ”) diameter High Tensile Steel (HTS) bolts, tightened to a torque of 880
Nm allow transfer of 70 tonne thermal force; and

2. creep monitors. Thermal forces in the stock rails are accommodated as in plain
rail, and those in the closure rails are deemed to dissipate in the same manner as
at the free end of a length of CWR. Longitudinal thermal movement occurs at the
heel of the switch rail; this is indicated by a “ball-and-claw” creep monitor device,

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which is not intended to transfer more than 20% of the maximum thermal force.
NOTE: Only those heel blocks with two bolts, or two pairs of bolts, are deemed to be stress transfer
blocks.
The following designs of switch are strengthened to accommodate stressing and
thermal forces and are acceptable for use in CWR:
a) BS110A/BR109 FB inclined catch point;
b) CEN56 FB inclined catch point;
c) CEN56 FB vertical Full depth:
- BV (strengthened);
- CV to HV inclusive;
- 1:7 to 1:15 strengthened switch diamonds;
- 1:17 to 1:28 switch diamonds;
- CEN56 FB (113A) vertical shallow-depth: BVS to HVS
d) CEN56 (113A) Vertical scissors
e) CEN56 (113A) Tandem Switches
f) RT60 C to H; or
g) NR60 C to H.
h) Future designs such as NR60 mk2
Older inclined FB switch designs, Bull Head S&C, all designs of Slip are not suitable
for use in CWR.

5.10.6 CWR full depth switches – lateral resistance plates


Lateral Resistance Plates shall be fitted on all full depth timbered S&C installed as
CWR. As a minimum lateral resistance plates shall be installed on every bearer over
the length of the stock rail from the first heel block to six timbers beyond the toes.
The fitment of lateral resistance plates is to be in accordance with manufacturers’
instructions.
Lateral End Resistance Plates (LERP) conforming to drawing RE/PW/736 shall not
be used for new installations.
A castellated beam may be proposed as an alternative.

5.10.7 CWR trap and catch points


Trap or Catch points in running lines shall be CWR-compatible B or C design, with
concrete bearers or hardwood timbers.
AV switches may be used in sidings or where space is limited.

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Trailing, unworked catch points shall be strapped in accordance with RE/PW


drawings (worked catch points are subject to less lateral thrust and need not be
strapped).

5.10.8 Crossings suitable for use in CWR


All cast common or obtuse monobloc crossings or crossings with a cast centre and
welded-on legs are suitable for use in CWR.
Unless the crossing has welded-on legs, the joints between the casting and the
adjacent rails shall be formed by tight-joint fishplates with four 29 mm (1⅛ ")
diameter HTS fishbolts torqued to 1020 Nm.
Wing rails on semi-fabricated common crossings shall have each wing rail secured
to the adjacent vee rail by at least eight 25.4 mm (1 ") diameter MGL pins or HTS
bolts.
Fully-fabricated crossings shall not be used in CWR.

5.10.9 CWR switch diamonds


Switch diamonds that are not CWR-compatible shall be protected by adjustment
switches installed on all sides positioned not more than 40 m from the knuckle.

5.10.10 CWR - mixing sleeper types


The inclusion of more than 4 consecutive timber sleepers within a length of concrete
or steel sleepers shall require adjustments to the critical rail temperature. See
NR/L2/TRK/001 mod 14.

5.10.11 Short lengths (less than 180 m) of plain line between items of S&C
Plain line between S&C if welded or fitted with tight-joint or insulated fishplates shall
be stressed.
S&C suitable for use with CWR can be used as part of an anchor length (but not
within a stress transition length) for stressing the length of plain line. If the
recommended anchor lengths are not available the length of track shall be stressed
naturally or with the use of rail warmers.

6 Design and construction of the track system


NOTE: Compliance to clause 6 onwards will enable the construction of a compliant asset.

6.1 Design approvals and acceptance


Designs of layouts and special track forms are subject to the approval processes
specified in NR/L2/TRK/2500.
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Where a requirement calls for the agreement of the RAM this shall be documented
either as a specification requirement in the Project Requirement Specification (or
equivalent) and/or recorded as a deviation to design standards in the Approval in
Principle submission and subsequently authorised by the RAM[Track].
All materials, components and certain processes (e.g. rail welding) used in Network
Rail's infrastructure are subject to product acceptance by Network Rail, and procured
against any relevant Network Rail standards.
Components and assemblies that are the subject of Network Rail standard drawings
shall conform to those drawings.
Suppliers shall be responsible for compliance of materials, components, processes
and assemblies with the relevant specifications or drawings.
Site specific professional responsibility statements may be prepared when deemed
necessary by Route Asset Managers or Head of Track, for unique designs of track,
for example S&C on swing or lifting bridges.

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6.2 Formation, drainage and cess paths
6.2.1 Formation
The design of the formation should take account of the subgrade material and the
expected traffic loading. The formation should be stable and provide adequate
support to the ballast layer to enable the required standard of track geometry quality
to be maintained.
Formation treatment should be designed to prevent ballast contamination by the
migration of subgrade material and to direct water to the track drainage system.
Where non-ballasted track designs are adopted the formation design should be
carefully designed as subsequent adjustment of the slab after settlement can be
difficult and costly. The design of any non-ballasted track should take the interface
with existing assets and the provision of adequate transitions zones into account to
minimise changes in vertical deflection under loading. The design of any non-
ballasted track should have an integrated drainage system.

6.2.2 Stiffness of the track system


Consideration should be given to rates of change of stiffness in the design of the
track system where there is a change in support conditions. This includes interfaces
between ballasted track and direct fastened track and changes in ground conditions.
Further guidance is provided in NR/L2/TRK/4239.
See 7.6 for system stiffness values for new construction.

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6.2.3 Formation stiffness


For track renewals where the formation is exposed by the removal of the ballast and
sleepers (i.e. not ABC and TRC sites and steel sleeper relaying), the formation for
ballasted track shall be designed to achieve a minimum stiffness of:
a) Track category 1A, 1 & 2 - 45 MN/m²;
b) Track category 3 to 6 - 30 MN/m²; and
c) Sidings in track category 5 & 6 - 15 MN/m².
See 6.6 for formation stiffness values for new construction.

NOTE: See NR/L2/TRK/4239 for the specification of formation design and transition zone
stiffness.

6.2.4 Track sub-grade, formation, drainage


Prior to new construction or renewal involving ballast replacement the existing
formation and drainage shall be confirmed as being fit for purpose.

NOTE 1: See NR/L2/TRK/4239 for how to undertake an assessment of the existing trackbed.
The results of the assessment enable a suitable standard treatment to be selected that takes
into account the category of line, the drainage characteristics of the site, and the condition of
the formation.

A new drainage system shall be installed where the existing drainage arrangements
are inadequate in any new or renewed track.

NOTE 2: See NR/L3/CIV/005 for drainage policy, design and practice.

6.2.5 Cess paths


Where cess paths are renewed or newly constructed consideration should be given
to the drainage requirements of the ballast and formation and future maintenance of
track drainage.
NOTE: See NR/SP/OHS/069 Lineside facilities for personnel safety.

6.3 Ballast
6.3.1 General
Sufficient depth and width of ballast should be specified to:
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a) distribute dead and live loads to the formation, subgrade and structures without
overstressing them;
b) enable the track to be maintained to line and level;
c) provide longitudinal and lateral stability to the track system; and
d) facilitate the rapid dispersal of water.
Ballast retaining walls or boards shall be provided where necessary to retain ballast,
for example at the end of structures.
NOTE: See NR/L2/TRK/8100 and RT/CE/S/009 for the specifications for track ballast.

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6.3.2 Construction
Ballast shall be profiled so that no vertical face of any sleeper is visible. Where
sleepers of adjacent tracks are at different levels the ballast shall be heaped at the
end of the higher sleeper.
Ballast shall be kept clear of rails, fastenings, slide chairs/baseplates, flangeways,
electrification equipment and signalling equipment including points operating
equipment and stretcher bars.
Ballast shall be profiled so as to be clear of conductor rail, and of collector shoes.
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Ballast should only be heaped in the four-foot as a temporary measure and be no


higher than the plane of the rails when the line is open to traffic. Ballast should not
be heaped in the 4 foot within the limits of S&C unless it is during the construction
possession and is removed before the line is open to traffic.
Arrangements shall be made to re-profile excess ballast to clear the top of the
sleepers and fastenings particularly where the OmniVision PLPR system is utilised to
replace the manual basic visual inspection, BVI regime.
Note: See NR/L3/TRK/1015 Mod 2, Management of Inspection by PLPR system for further
information regarding ballast obscuring fastenings.
Unless approved otherwise by the RAM [S&T], ballast shall be kept clear of surface
cable troughing routes.
In S&C, ballast between bearers containing stretcher bars or drive equipment shall
be kept 100 mm below the top of the bearer.

6.3.3 Ballast profile - CWR


The minimum ballast shoulder profiles shown in table 3 shall be applied to CWR
track in the open.
Open CWR track refers to all track including the first 40 m into any tunnel.

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Table 3 – Dimensions of ballast shoulders – CWR


Minimum width of Height of shoulder
1
Location shoulder above sleeper top
mm mm
Straight track, curves Speed over 125 mph 450
over 2000 m radius Speed up to 125 375
mph
Curved track with radius 2000 m or less 450 3
125 in all cases
2 450
Any discontinuity
Curved track with radius between 500-351 m 600
(steel sleepers only)
Notes:
1 The width of the ballast shoulder is measured outside the sleeper ends, at sleeper-top level.
2 Discontinuities include insulated joints, adjustment switches, S&C, abutting toes of S&C and catch
points. The wider shoulder shall apply over not fewer than 10 bays each side of the discontinuity.
3 No greater than 200 mm. A minimum clearance of 50 mm should be maintained around conductor rail
and insulator pots.

6.3.4 Ballast profile - jointed track


For rail lengths of 30 m or less the ballast shall be at least 300m wide outside the
sleeper ends and level with the sleeper top. For rail lengths greater than 30 m long
the shoulder shall be at least 375 mm wide and heaped 125 mm above the sleeper
top - see table 4.
Rails longer than 30 m long shall be treated as CWR – see table 3.

Table 4 – Dimensions of ballast shoulders; jointed track


Length of rail between Minimum width of Height of shoulder
expansion joints shoulder above sleeper
mm mm

Up to 30 m (98 ft) 300 0


1 375 2, 3
Longer than 30 m (98 ft) 125

Notes:
1 Rails longer than 30 m (98 ft) are treated as CWR – see table 3.
2 This profile is also required for the first 90 m of jointed track from an adjustment switch.
3 A minimum clearance of 50 mm should be maintained around conductor rail and insulator
pots.

6.3.5 Ballast profile - tunnels


Heaped ballast shoulders shall be provided for the first 40 m from either end of the
tunnel.
Beyond 40 m, lateral resistance ballast should be level to the top plane of the
sleeper to the adjacent tunnel wall and across the six-foot.

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6.4 Ballast gluing


6.4.1 General requirements
Ballast gluing may be used for increasing the lateral fixity of track where clearances
are restricted or as part of a designed transition zone between different track
constructions or at structures. It may only be used with the agreement of the
RAM[Track].
The design should include the transitional arrangements from normal to glued track.
The track shall be consolidated and be to the designed level and alignment before
gluing commences.
Gluing shall be restricted to the shoulders along the sleeper ends to a depth of 200
mm (measured from the top of the sleepers) and a width of 300 mm.
To achieve adequate penetration of the glue shoulder ballast shall be levelled to the
top of the sleeper before gluing
A record shall be made of glued sites and notices erected to warn staff not to attempt
normal track maintenance methods, particularly in respect of alignment.
Where ballast gluing is used to increase the lateral fixity of the track system
consideration should be given to the higher stress that may occur on the track
components. Gluing and fixing the track can result in a loss of lateral elasticity which
can lead to localised higher forces and strains on the track and in particular the
fastening system causing additional component damage.
Gluing should be carried out as specified in RT/CE/P/027 and in accordance with
manufacturer’s instructions.

6.4.2 Clearance monitoring


Where ballast gluing has been carried out to maintain sub-standard clearances,
permanent datum markers shall be established at the time of gluing.
The position of the track shall be monitored at weekly intervals until records show
four consecutive readings with no movement. The monitoring frequency shall then
be monthly for six months. Subsequent monitoring frequencies shall be determined
by the Track Maintenance Engineer.

6.5 Non-ballasted track and structures


6.5.1 Embedment of rails or sleepers and directly fastened rail systems -
design
New and reconstructed under bridges and other isolated short lengths of track with
direct fastenings and or continuous support shall be avoided in Category 1A, 1, and
2 track.
Non-ballasted track (including embedded rails, concrete embedment of sleepers,
concrete paved track) should be designed to:
a) provide resilient rail support;
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b) maintain track gauge;


c) maintain track position;
d) build in track geometry appropriate to line speed;
e) disperse surface water;
f) permit transition arrangements at the interface with ballasted track;
g) achieve lower sector structure gauge compliance; and
h) allow for future rail replacement and the installation of closure rails in existing
worn rail.
NOTE: The provision of adjustable rail fastenings should be considered.
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6.5.2 Longitudinal timbers - design


New and reconstructed structures with longitudinal timber systems shall not be
installed in Category 1A, 1, 2 and 3 track. They can only be installed in Category 4, 5
and 6 track with the approval of the RAM [Track] and shall be compliant to
NR/L2/TRK/3038
Longitudinal timbers should be avoided whenever possible.
Where required, longitudinal timbers should be designed and constructed to:
a) provide fixity of the timbers to maintain track gauge;
b) achieve design cross levels;
c) provide fixity for chair/baseplate;
d) provide holding-down arrangements;
e) retain ballast at the interface with ballasted track;
f) permit suitable transition arrangements at the interface with ballasted track;
g) permit examination during routine track inspection.
In order to achieve correct gauge and wheel-rail interaction the design should take
the lateral stability, resistance to roll-over and the inclination of the rails relative to
the plane of the rails into account. Composite artificial timbers should be considered
which can offer improved mechanical properties, resistance to deterioration and
reduced whole-life costs.
6.5.3 Guard rails on viaducts or other at risk structures and locations to
provide protection from a derailed vehicle – design
When track is to be renewed adjacent to parapets and the edges of embankments
with a vertical face or where the consequence of a derailment is high the RAM
[Track] shall consult the RAM [Civils] on what is to be provided.
The following factors should be taken into account in the review:
a) Line speed;
b) Curvature;
c) Height of structure;

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d) Dead load on the structure;


e) Clearances to structural members;
f) Ballast depth;
g) Consequential risk;
h) Type and frequency of traffic; and
i) Existence of derailment-containment kerbs;
j) Condition of the structure and parapet.
At the approach end, the parallel portion of guard rails shall extend 18 m beyond the
face of the abutment (or the location at risk) and include a set of gathering rails.
Where guard rails already exist and they are removed, the justification for their
removal shall be recorded by the RAM [Track] in consultation with the RAM [Civils].
A derailment containment kerb should extend at least 300 mm above rail level. It
should comprise:
k) a structural metallic member; or
l) not less than 450 mm width of brickwork; or
m) not less than 300 mm width of reinforced concrete.
Guard rails should be designed and installed so they do not increase the risk of track
buckling.

6.5.4 Track on swing or lifting bridges - design


New swing and lifting structures shall not be installed in Category 1A to 4 track.
The provision of rail joints without fishplates between fixed and moving structures,
typically long steel bridges and swing bridges, shall require site specific design and
acceptance in accordance with NR/L2/TRK/2500.
The rail gap at the ends of swing or lifting bridges shall accommodate the thermal
movement of the structure, typically 15 - 40 mm wide for a span of 40 m.
A maximum permissible speed of 40 mph shall apply for joints wider than 15 mm.
Gaps or line speeds in excess of 40 mm or 40 mph shall require approval from the
Professional Heads [Track] & [Civils].
Rail joints between fixed and moving sections of track shall be square to each other
at initial construction ±5 mm unless specified otherwise.
Abutting rails, when designed without fishplates, shall be limited to a maximum 2 mm
difference in rail head longitudinal profile when unloaded with the movable span in
the closed position.
Vertical differences in rail level greater than 2 mm may be corrected by shimming. A
maximum of only two shims may be used at any single rail support point between the
structure and the rail.
Design calculations should be retained by the RAM [Civils].

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6.5.5 Thermal effects on structures - design


Structures with expansion switches shall have site-specific design and acceptance in
accordance with NR/L2/TRK/2500 and NR/L2/CIV/003.
Standard rail expansion switches shall be positioned to be clear of the moving end of
any structure. They shall be positioned and designed so that the rail fastenings toe
load per rail from the end of the movable portion of the structure and the machined
section of the expansion switch does not exceed 450 kN.
Structure adjustment switches are specifically designed and can accommodate
additional movement from structures up to +/-350 mm. They should be designed with
the switch rails as a fixed end and a moveable stock rail to accommodate extra
movement at specific locations. They can operate over longer lengths than a
standard expansion switch without affecting the track gauge whilst maintaining
continuity of rail profile and inclination. They should be designed and installed
directly across the structure’s expansion joint to suit the direction of movement and
lie in either the facing or trailing direction.
Where possible the structure should be designed to avoid large movements that
require the use of a structure adjustment switch.
Where expansion switches are needed, the track system should be designed to
anchor the rail, resist longitudinal movement from traction forces and accommodate
the thermal movement of the rail relative to the structure.
Structure adjustment switches should be treated as S&C except that stressing
should be carried out using the fixed switch rail as an anchor point.
They should where possible be installed on straight track with a constant gradient.
The Building and Civils and Track Engineer should determine whether a structure

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needs structural expansion switches. These are typically those with a moving span
greater than 30 m or where the movement of the structure cannot be accommodated
using standard expansion switches.

6.5.6 Clearances between sleepers and bearers to structures - design


The minimum distance between the end of a bearer or sleeper to any part of a
structure or platform wall shall be 100 mm. Catch pits, cable troughing etc. shall not
be installed within 100 mm of sleeper / bearer ends.
6.5.7 Loads on structures - design
Any increase in loads on structures due to a change in track type, significant change
of position (vertical or horizontal) or a change in line speeds shall be referred to the
RAM [Civils] for approval.
Ballast mats may be used to reduce vibration, limit impact forces and reduce
damage to ballast. Their specification and application should be approved by the
RAM [Track] and the RAM [Civils].
The design should take account of the transition arrangements between the structure
and adjoining track and the potential increased loading that this can induce.

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6.5.8 Loads on embankments - design


Track position on embankments should not compromise the cess or overload the
embankment.

6.6 Surveying
On major projects (route enhancements, major remodelling or new construction), a
primary and secondary survey grid shall be used in accordance with the cross-
discipline engineering survey requirements in NR/L2/TRK/3100.
Surveys shall be tied into existing primary or secondary Survey grids. Where no grid
is in place, as part of the survey, permanent ground markers shall be established
which can subsequently be incorporated into a route grid.
Line and level survey for S&C renewals shall extend a minimum of 200 m into
adjacent track. All designs shall finish within a straight or regular circular curve.

6.7 Minimum clearances


6.7.1 General design
Horizontal and vertical alignments shall be designed to afford normal structural and
passing clearances (as defined in GC/RT7073) for all vehicles and vehicle gauges
currently published for the route. Vehicles and vehicle gauges envisaged to operate
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in the future, as specified in the Gauge Capability Database, shall be considered in


compliance with NR/L2/TRK3201. At platforms, heights and offsets (as specified in
GI/RT7016) shall be achieved. Coping stones shall be adjusted to achieve the
required height and offset.
In platform cases, clearances and stepping distances may be compromised to
achieve the requirements of GI/RT7016. The detail of this compromise shall be
agreed with the Network Rail Senior Gauging Engineer.
Additional clearances for future overhead electrification shall be confirmed with the
Electrification Engineer.
Consideration should be given to restoring the original position of the track where
historic track lifting has taken place.
Where it is not practicable to achieve the above requirements, clearances should be
agreed between the RAM [Track] and the Gauging Engineer.

6.7.2 Minimum clearances – track lowering


Where track is to be lowered to increase clearances, the design shall provide normal
structural and passing clearances and standard electrical clearances. Reduced
clearances shall only be allowable by exception and where future maintainability has
been taken into account.
Where concave curves lie below structure then a constant gradient shall be provided
beneath the structure and for 30 m each side to maximise the clearance and limit the
tendency of on track machines (OTMs) to lift the curve out.

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Geometrical element lengths shall comply with 8.4.


Where track is to be lowered any design should consider the impact on existing
drainage and where necessary the provision of new drainage.
For standard electrical clearances see NR/L2/ELP/21088, General maintenance
parameters for overhead line electrification equipment.

6.8 Switch and crossing layouts


6.8.1 General design
New layouts shall be risk assessed using the S&C Design Risk Ranking Tool. This is
available as an Excel spreadsheet with drop down options in the form of a self-
calculating Track Engineering Form, TEF 3262.
Where designs are assessed as high risk the switches may require enhanced
inspections and future maintainability should be discussed with the maintenance
organisation. They may require a thorough and robust inspection and maintenance
regime to be developed, documented and implemented if the risks arising out of the
design are to be adequately controlled. The assessment should consider whether
there is sufficient access and resources to undertake the inspections and routine
maintenance.
Other factors should also be considered such as the provision of permanent fixed
lighting if the inspections are to be undertaken in the hours of darkness
Consideration also needs to be given to the provision of spares for the sharply
curved turnouts where worn components, particularly switches that remain in track
may increase the risk of derailment.
Schemes should be developed and designed using the minimum number of S&C
units. Existing S&C that is rarely used should be recovered wherever possible.
Layouts should be designed using standard designs and the ‘preferred’ geometries

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of S&C. The use of ‘non-preferred’, ‘obsolescent’ or ‘withdrawn’ S&C units should be
justified.
Wherever practicable, designs should avoid switches and crossings being placed at
the following locations:
a) bottoms of gradients;
b) within through platforms;
c) on bridges, especially of the longitudinal-timbered type;
d) on horizontal curves, especially transition curves;
e) where there would be negative cant or where the cant exceeds 110 mm;
f) where the turnout radii would be below the exceptional minimum radii for
passenger lines;
g) on vertical curves;
h) within tunnels; and
i) below overbridges.

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Where traps are installed consideration should be given to the potential


consequences of a derailment and in particular the presence of features within the
run off area.

6.8.2 Switch and crossing layouts – minimum radius


1:7 and 1:7½ slips shall only be installed on straight track.
Any through line radius applied to 1:8 and 1:10 slips shall not result in a slip radius of
less than 176 m.
S&C (of any type or design) shall not be installed on track with a through line radius
of less than 150 m.
S&C installed on track with a through line radius between 175 m and 150 m shall be
subject to a risk assessment.
The risk assessment shall include as a minimum the:
a) direction of traffic;
b) tonnage;
c) speed;

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d) wheel / rail interaction;
e) provision or absence of gauge widening;
f) provision or absence of continuous check rails;
g) inspection regime;
h) environment;
i) access; and
j) consequential risks.

6.8.3 Stressing of complex switch and crossing layouts


The advantages to be obtained from welding up and stressing of low speed complex
layouts might be outweighed by the difficulty in achieving and maintaining the correct
stress. In such cases consideration should be given to installing the layout as jointed
track.

6.8.4 Switch and crossing layouts - remote condition monitoring


All new S&C shall have the capability for remote diagnostics and condition
monitoring.
In Track Categories 1A, 1, 2 and 3 remote condition monitoring systems shall be
installed unless there is a documented business case not to do so.
Remote condition monitoring systems shall be considered for new S&C in Track
Categories 4, 5 and 6 where there is a business case to do so.

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This is to reduce the safety risk and cost of maintenance. The deployment of
intelligent infrastructure is a key component of future signalling strategy. Retrofitting
remote condition monitoring is not as effective as a system with it designed in.

See NR/L1/SIG/50021/02 for additional requirements for remote condition


monitoring.

6.9 Road vehicle access - switch and crossing layouts


Consideration should be given to providing vehicle access with off street parking to
all switch and crossing installations when carrying out major remodelling schemes.

6.10 Terminal tracks and buffer stops


6.10.1 Length of tracks
Sidings, bay platforms and terminal tracks shall be long enough for the train intended
to use them. They shall include an allowance for stopping accuracy, signal sighting
and any requirement to split trains.
Additional requirements and guidance can be found in GI/RT7016.

6.10.2 Provision and purpose of buffer stops


Buffer stops shall be provided at the termination of all running lines and on sidings
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adjacent to Network Rail controlled infrastructure.


Buffer stops shall be designed to:
a) protect passengers and train crew in the event of an over-run of a terminal line;
b) protect staff, members of the public, and structures on platform concourses
behind buffer stops from the effect of an over-running train; and
c) protect trains on adjacent running lines in the event of an over-run of a siding.

6.10.3 Design considerations of buffer stops


The requirements of GC/RT5033 shall be complied with when renewing or designing
new layouts that include buffer stops. Risk assessments of buffer stops shall be
carried out in accordance with GC/RC5633.
Energy absorbing buffer stops shall be provided at terminal or bay platforms when
constructing new platforms. They shall be provided during the complete replacement
of a buffer stop or arresting device on a remodelled track or station layout.
The track on the approach to the buffer stops shall be straight for not less than the
length of the longest permitted vehicle.
Where standard fixed buffer stops are installed, designs including rear bracing rails
(as specified in RE/PW/590) or an approved equivalent shall be used.
The design of buffer stops on passenger lines shall take the following factors into
account:

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a) type of rolling stock and buffing arrangements;


b) minimum and maximum train weights;
c) maximum likely impact speed (not less than 10 km/h);
d) average retardation rate of 0.15 g with a maximum of 0.25 g;
e) availability for movement of buffers to absorb energy from impact;
f) track adhesion conditions;
g) approach gradient;
h) station or other structures behind the buffer stops;
i) electrification, signalling or other equipment behind the buffer stops;
j) frangible platforms; and
k) track circuiting.
The design of buffer stops on freight lines shall take the following into account:
l) the type of rolling stock and buffing arrangements; and
m) any structures behind the buffer stops.
The overall design of the end-of-track arrangements may also include speed control
and/or train stop devices, permanent speed restrictions, warning lights and/or
improved illumination to the buffer stops to achieve the required protection.

6.11 Level crossings and road-rail vehicle access points


Proprietary decking systems installed at level crossings and road-rail vehicle access
points (RRAP) shall conform to NR/L2/TRK/4040.
Proprietary decking systems installed at level crossings and road-rail vehicle access
points (RRAP) shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturers' instructions
which include specific arrangements for the track system.
Flangeways of 60 mm (nominal) width shall be provided at level crossings and road-
rail machine access points.
Where flangeways of less than 60 mm are used, an entry and exit flare shall be
provided.
No fishplated joints or aluminothermic welded joints shall be located within level
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crossings or road-rail machine access point.


Flash butt welded joints, if located within the crossing, shall permit the crossing deck
units to fit correctly.
Track alignment designers should consider the road profile at level crossings.
See 9.5 for the requirements on depths of serviceable rails through level crossings.
NOTE: See NR/L3/TRK/2049 E4.1 for the selection of level crossing systems and road profiles across
level crossings. Additional information of the requirements for the surface syste are contained in
NR/L2/TRK/4040.

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6.12 Sidings
The requirements for the layout and geometry of sidings shall be as specified in
NR/L2/TRK/2049 A 6.5.

7 New construction – design


The requirements shown below are in addition to those for track renewals.
7.1 Horizontal alignment – new construction
New construction shall use normal design values.
The through alignment shall be optimised with no virtual transitions.
The minimum preferred radii for plain line running lines shall be 500 m with an
absolute minimum of 400 m.

7.2 Modelling of geometry – new construction


The curving characteristics, speed and kinematic envelope of vehicles intended to
use the track shall be modelled to determine the optimum combination of cant and
cant deficiency.

7.3 Vertical alignment – new construction


Design of track gradients for new construction shall take account of:
a) braking and traction performance of vehicles likely to use the line;
b) position of signals and operational regime (e.g. the likelihood of a train being
required to start on the gradient or stop at a station or signal);
c) predicted rail adhesion conditions, including the effect of weather; and
d) the combined effect of gradient and horizontal curvature where the gradient
coincides with a small radius horizontal curve;
The normal limiting design values for track gradient for new construction shall be 1 in
80 (12.5 mm/m).
The exceptional limiting design values for track gradient for new construction shall
be:
e) 1 in 50 (20 mm/m) for sections up to 1.9 miles (3 km) in length;
f) 1 in 28.6 (35 mm/m) for sections up to 0.5 km (0.31 miles) in length where
trains are not intended to stop and start in normal operation; and
g) 1 in 28.6 (35 mm/m) for passenger only lines where:
i. i) The slope of the moving average profile over 6.2 miles (10 km) is less
than or equal to 25 mm/m; and
ii. ii) The maximum length of continuous 35 mm/m gradient does not
exceed 3.7 miles (6 km).

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The operation of engineering trains shall be taken into account during the design of
new vertical alignments.

7.4 Vertical alignment – modelling of operational capacity


When designing the new alignment the combined effect of gradient and curvature on
the drawbar capacity and tractive effort of the proposed services should be
considered. The required tractive effort should not be greater than those listed in
static load tables.
Modelling shall be undertaken to confirm the design where either:
a) static load tables show the trailing loads for current and future trains are within
10% of the maximum; or
b) calculations show that forces in the vehicle couplings are within 10% of the
maximum; or
c) where no performance characteristics currently exist for either the type of train
or the proposed design (i.e. combination of gradient and curve)
Modelling shall be undertaken on a system which has been reviewed and endorsed
by Professional Head [Traction & Rolling Stock].

7.5 Switch and crossing design – new construction


S&C shall be positioned on straight track with standard track intervals (6’ & 10’).
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Only ‘preferred’ geometries shall be used.


Slips and tandems shall not be used in running lines sidings and in terminal station
layouts.
A or B switches shall not be used in running lines except as trap / catch points.
The use of C & D switches on running lines should be restricted to lightly used
turnouts to reduce the likelihood of switch wear, the need for subsequent repairs and
the associated derailment risk.
Consideration shall be given to the relative positioning of S&C units with respect to
ease of inspection and mechanised maintenance.

7.6 Stiffness of the track system – new construction


A target stiffness value of 160 MN/m² shall be used for the track system.
The formation for ballasted track shall be designed to achieve a target formation
stiffness of 45 MN/m².
Values for non-ballasted track systems may be different and need to be appropriate
for the specific design of system selected.

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8 Geometry design
8.1 Speeds
8.1.1 Permissible speeds
The permissible speed on a curve shall be calculated taking into account the
following:
a) radius of the curve;
b) applied cant;
c) permitted values of cant deficiency;
d) permitted values of rates of change of cant and cant deficiency on the transition
curves either side of the circular curve; and
e) available structural and passing clearances and ability to control track position.
No upward rounding of permissible speed is allowed and values shall be rounded
down to nearest 5 mph increment.

NOTE: There could be reasons other than track geometry design that restrict the permissible
speed, e.g. the ability to maintain the track to sufficiently high track quality standards, the type
of track installed, the nature of the signalling system, or the strength of structures.

8.1.2 Enhanced permissible speeds


The enhanced permissible speed shall be calculated for each type of train on each
curve. The speed on each track of a double or multiple line shall be considered
separately. On bi-directional tracks the speed in each direction shall be considered
separately.
Enhanced permissible speeds shall not be permitted on the turnout route of S&C.
The calculation of enhanced permissible speed shall take account of the factors
listed in 8.1.1 together with the following:
a) maximum cant deficiency at which the train is designed to travel;
b) dynamic roll-over resistance of the train (see GM/RT2141);
c) maintenance tolerances on cant;
d) maintenance tolerances on curvature;
e) expected local wind conditions;
f) effect of wind on the train, taking into account the characteristics of the train (see
GM/RT2142);
g) the system adopted for controlling the speed of the train and the extent to which
overspeed can occur (see GE/RT8012); and
h) a safety margin equivalent to no less than 50 mm of cant deficiency.
The enhanced permissible speed shall be as such that the likelihood of overturning
is within tolerable limits.
NOTE: See GE/RT8012 for the conditions under which trains are permitted to travel at an enhanced
permissible speed.
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8.1.3 Vehicle restrictions for enhanced permissible speeds


The cant and cant deficiency limits for tilting trains shall be as shown in table 5.

Table 5 – Vehicle restrictions for enhanced permissible speeds


Class 390 (Pendolino) Class 221 (Tilting Voyager)
Parameter / Constraints
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Maximum Exceptional Maximum Exceptional

Rate of Change of Cant


75 mm/sec 95 mm/sec 75 mm/sec 95 mm/sec
(EPS Tilt)

Maximum Cant Deficiency (EPS


265 mm 300 mm 225 mm 225 mm
Tilt)

Maximum Rate of Change of


110 mm/sec 150 mm/sec 110 mm/sec 150 mm/sec
Cant Deficiency (EPS Tilt)

NOTE: Values shown are applicable to plain line only.

8.2 Track alignments


8.2.1 General requirements
Designs for renewal work packages and new construction shall be approved in
accordance with NR/L2/TRK/2500.
Track alignment (both vertical and horizontal) and layouts should be designed
making the best use of the design values given in 8.5.

8.2.2 Co-ordinate geometry designs


Detailed design shall not be undertaken until a full survey has been completed.
A Co-ordinate geometry design shall be prepared and used for the installation of all
new construction, major route upgrades, S&C renewals and the renewal of track on
sections of route where plain line high output track renewal systems are being used.
On routes where a managed track position regime has been implemented, the track
shall be returned to the design alignment already defined for the section of route.
Following approval and installation of the new alignment the recorded design shall
be updated.

8.2.3 Relative position of adjacent tracks


Where the cant is less than 50 mm, adjacent tracks across the six-foot and ten-foot
shall be installed on the same plane.
Where vertical clearance or higher cants make this impractical, the difference in the
plane of two adjacent tracks (on a standard track interval) shall be no greater than
150 mm. This dimension should be increased by 1 mm for every 2 mm increase in
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track interval. Where this cannot be achieved a method for ballast retention shall be
provided between the two tracks.

8.2.4 Modelling of geometry


The curving characteristics, speed and kinematic envelope of vehicles likely to use
the track should be taken into account when determining the horizontal curve radii
and the ratio of cant to cant deficiency.
Modelling should also take the geometry for lower speed traffic, such as freight,
which may make up the greatest tonnage over a particular section of route into
account.
Where there are speed changes take the actual braking and acceleration values of
the traffic into account so that the designed track geometry is optimised for the
achievable speed of traffic and track is not unnecessarily over canted.
Track intervals and clearances to structures should take horizontal and vertical
curvature into account.
--`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

8.3 Horizontal alignment


8.3.1 General Requirements
On running lines, horizontal alignments shall consist of lengths of straight track and
curves connected by a linear transition. Curves shall consist of one or more circular
curves each of constant radius connected by linear transitions.
Where possible, a transition curve shall be provided between two circular curves or
between a circular curve and straight track. Curvature shall increase (or decrease)
regularly over the whole length of the transition curve.
Where it is not possible to provide a transition curve, the permissible speed shall be
calculated assuming a virtual transition 12.2 m long.
Designs of transition curves shall take the permissible speed and any enhanced
permissible speeds into account, together with the cant and radius on adjoining
curves.
On all transition curves, cant shall be proportional to the instantaneous curvature.
The through alignment should be optimised to be as good as possible with no virtual
transitions.
The number of individual elements (straights or curves) shall be kept to a minimum.
Each element shall be as long as possible, and not be of a length equal to less than
2 seconds at the maximum line speed unless agreed otherwise by the RAM [Track].
See 8.5.4 for the requirements for virtual transitions and bearing changes and 6.7 for
the requirements for minimum clearances.

NOTE: Restrictions on the location of station platforms in relation to the horizontal alignment of
track are specified in GI/RT7016. The requirements for the alignment of track at buffer stops
and arresting devices are set out in GC/RT5033.

The following principles shall apply to horizontal alignment design:


a) changes in horizontal alignment shall not be coincidental with changes in Vertical
alignment;
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b) cant (except in sidings) shall be assessed and, if necessary, applied to horizontal


curves to take account of curvature, different traffic types and speeds;
c) cant shall vary uniformly on transition curves; and
d) co-ordinated designs shall be prepared on the track centre line.

8.3.2 Horizontal alignment - implementation of designs


When implementing track designs tamping machines shall use the outer rail on
curved track as the datum rail for lining.

8.3.3 Horizontal alignment – existing tracks


The minimum radii on existing track shall be as shown in table 6.

Table 6 – Minimum radii for existing tracks

Minimum radii (metres)

Normal Exceptional

Passenger 200 150

Non-passenger 150 125

Where the existing track has been designed and constructed to radii tighter than that
in table 6, the existing horizontal radii should be improved and not worsened. Where
site constraints make it not reasonably practicable to comply, the existing horizontal
--`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

radii may be retained subject to agreement by the RAM[Track].

8.3.4 Tight radius reverse curves


If one hand of a reverse curve has a radius of less than 160 m, a minimum 3 m
straight shall be provided between the curves.
On transitions between reverse curves with no intervening straight, the point of zero
cant shall coincide with the reverse point (point of zero curvature). Where possible,
the rates of change of cant, cant deficiency and curvature shall be approximately the
same on either side of the reverse curve.
The same type of transition shall be used on either side of the reverse curve.
In the design of track layouts, the risk of buffer locking on reverse curves should be
reduced by introducing as much straight track as possible between the two curves.

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8.4 Vertical alignment


8.4.1 General requirements
On running lines, vertical alignments shall consist of lengths of track at constant
gradient connected by parabolic vertical curves.
The minimum length of each geometrical element shall be appropriate to the length
and characteristics of vehicles likely to use the track.
The maximum vertical acceleration experienced in a vehicle due to the effect of the
vertical curve shall be 0.06 g (6% g).
The design of vertical curves shall take account of the following factors:
a) The ability of vehicles likely to use the line to traverse the curves (considering, for
example, vertical buffer locking and vehicle coupling and interconnection designs).
b) Clearances between features on the track and the underside of the vehicle.
c) Clearances to structures over the track.
Changes in vertical alignment shall not be coincidental with changes in horizontal
alignment.
Each element (constant gradient) shall be as long as possible and not less than 2
seconds at the maximum line speed unless agreed otherwise by the RAM [Track].

8.4.2 Normal limiting design value for vertical curves


The normal limiting design value for vertical curve radii shall be 1000 m, subject to
the factors listed above.
8.4.3 Exceptional limiting design value for vertical curves
The exceptional limiting design value for vertical curve radii shall be 600 m over a
convex curve (hog) and 900 m in a concave curve (hollow) subject to the factors
--`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

listed in 8.4.1 Where radii less than 1000 m are used, there shall be at least 30 m
constant gradient between reverse vertical curves.
See 6.7 for the requirements for minimum clearances.
Each S&C unit should sit on one continuous gradient, extending for at least 20 m
beyond the last bearer of that unit. Gradient changes should not be within S&C but
by exception can be within the through bearers subject to there being a vertical curve
of 10000 m minimum radius. Switches should be on one continuous gradient and
may by exception be on concave vertical curves. Switches should not be on convex
curves.
8.4.4 Vertical alignment - implementation of designs
When implementing track designs:
a. co-ordinated designs shall be prepared on the low rail on canted track;
b. lift shall be calculated for the low rail on canted track; and
Tamping machines should normally use the low rail on canted track as the datum rail
for lifting.

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The high rail can be used when removing cant and for certain construction
techniques.

8.5 Curving design values


8.5.1 General requirements
When a design value is quoted without being described as either normal, maximum,
or exceptional, the limiting value shall be used and no exceptional value is permitted.
Exceptional design values shall not be exceeded.
Where possible normal design values should be used for all parameters.
Where the speed requirements cannot be met by using normal design values,
maximum design values should be used.
Where the speed requirements cannot be met by using maximum design values,
exceptional design values should be used. The reason and implications for their use
shall be justified. They shall be approved in accordance with NR/L2/TRK/2500.

8.5.2 Curving design values – cant


Maximum/minimum values for cant shall be as shown in table 7 and for cant
gradients in table 8.
Each track of a double (or multiple) line shall be treated separately.
On steep gradients slow moving freight might restrict the cant that can be applied.
NOTE: In exposed places, where high winds might be experienced, it is undesirable to apply cant to
the maximum value.
Cant is normally applied to the high rail but may be split between high and low rails
(if the low rail can be lowered).
On curves designed for Enhanced Permissible Speeds that have high cants and
deficiencies consideration should be given to applying the cant by both raising the
high rail and lowering the low rail to avoid rapid changes in mean longitudinal level.
Guidance on the principles of maximum attainable speed on curves
Where no train can attain the published speed, e.g. adjacent to a more restrictive
PSR, designs should consider the cant and cant deficiency to suit attainable speeds
to improve passenger comfort, maintainability and avoid over canted track that can
increase the growth of RCF on the high and in particular the low rail of curves.

Guidance on the principles of dominant speed on curves


Where most trains stop and only the minority will attain line speed, e.g. at a platform,
designs should consider cant / cant deficiency limits for both compliance against
maximum limits at line speed but also slower speed stopping traffic. Designs at or
near the maximum limits for cant deficiency at line speed can reduce the damage
caused by slower speed traffic. Avoiding over canted track can improve passenger
comfort, maintainability and avoid the potential increase in RCF on the high and in
particular the low rail of these curves.

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Table 7 – Cant
Maximum (or Exceptional Design
Normal Design
Minimum) Design Value (where
Parameter / Constraints Value
Value different from Max.)
Cant on existing and upgraded lines 150 mm 150 mm 180 mm (see note 1)
in platforms 110 mm 110 mm 130 mm (see note 2)
Cant Excess at the normal operating
speed of the slowest trains on a curve 110 mm 110 mm
when running under clear signals
The lesser of The lesser of
Cant (mm) on sharp - i.e. less than
(R-50)/1.5 (R-50)/1.5
320 m radius curves
or the maximum or the maximum
(where R is the radius in metres)
values above values above

Cant in CWR S&C on Concrete


bearers with 60 mm Free Wheel 150 mm 150 mm
clearance
Cant in Complex S&C (see note 3) 0 mm 0 mm
Cant in Other S&C 110 mm 110 mm
Cant on fixed obtuse crossings 110 mm 110 mm
Negative Cant - on fixed obtuse
0 mm 0 mm
crossings
Negative Cant - on the turnout route
0 mm 80 mm
and adjoining plain line

Notes:
1. Cants in excess of 180 mm are only permitted where they existed before 1st July 1999.
2. Cants in excess of 110 mm and up to 130 mm in platforms are only permitted if platforms are
to gauge and level.

--`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
3. Complex S&C is as listed in NR/L3/TRK/2049. A maximum design value of 50 mm of cant may
be applied on AV or BV(S) switches.

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Table 8 – Cant Gradients


Maximum (or Exceptional Design
Normal Design
Parameter / Constraints Minimum) Design Value (where
Value
Value different from Max.)
Maximum Cant Gradients:-
0 - 60 mph 1 in 600 1 in 500 1 in 400
65 - 95 mph 1 in 800 1 in 600 1 in 400
100 mph and over 1 in 1000 1 in 800 1 in 400
Switch Toes None None 1 in 800
Swing Nose Crossings None None
Turnout Rail opposite Common and
1 in 1200 1 in 600
Obtuse Crossings (See Note 1)
Switch Diamonds None 1 in 1200
--`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Minimum Cant Gradient 1 in 1500 1 in 2500

Notes: 1. Bearer rake and baseplate thickness shall remain constant through the crossing

8.5.3 Curving design values – transitions


Where possible, a transition curve shall be provided between two circular curves or
between a circular curve and straight track. Curvature shall increase (or decrease)
regularly over the whole length of the transition curve.
Where it is not possible to provide a transition curve, the permissible speed should
be calculated assuming a virtual transition 12.2 m long.
Designs of transition curves shall take the permissible speed and any enhanced
permissible speeds into account, together with the cant and radius on adjoining
curves.
On all transition curves, cant shall be proportional to the instantaneous curvature.
The instantaneous cant gradient at any point shall not exceed the
maximum/minimum values for transitions as shown in table 9.
Cant shall be applied to transitions in proportion to the curvature (i.e. l/radius).
In the exceptional case of curves without transitions, the change of cant shall be
applied over the length of the virtual transition.
On transitions between reverse curves with no intervening straight, the point of zero
cant shall coincide with the reverse point (point of zero curvature).
Virtual transitions should only be used by exception and not in through alignments of
S&C. Virtual transitions should not be used without the agreement of the RAM
(Track) where the rate of change of cant deficiency is greater than 35 mm/s.
Where possible, the rates of change of cant, cant deficiency and curvature should be
the same on either side of the reverse.

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Where speed changes occur the design should consider the achievable speeds
limited by braking and acceleration as well as the theoretical linespeed at these
locations.
For permissible speeds up to 50 mph and enhanced permissible speeds up to
70 mph, design of transitions should normally be based upon cant gradient rather
than rate of change of cant.
NOTE: These guideline speeds are based on maximum design values.
Table 9 – Transitions
Maximum (or Exceptional Design
Normal Design
Parameter / Constraints Minimum) Design Value (where
Value
Value different from Max.)
Appropriate to the Appropriate to the
length, speed and length, speed and
characteristics of characteristics of
vehicles likely to vehicles likely to
Length of Transition
use the track and use the track and
determined by the determined by the
maximum rate of maximum rate of
change of cant change of cant

Maximum Rate of change:

of Cant for Permissible Speed 35 mm/sec 55 mm/sec 85 mm/sec

of Change of Cant for Enhanced


35 mm/sec 75 mm/sec 95 mm/sec
Permissible Speed (See Note 1)

Maximum Rate of Rotation of


140 mm/sec 180 mm/sec 200 mm/sec
vehicle body (See Note 2)

Notes:
1. Transitions generally need to be designed to accommodate conventional trains travelling at
permissible speeds. They should be checked for tilting trains at enhanced permissible speeds.
2. Maximum rate of rotation is irrespective of vehicle type.

8.5.4 Bearing changes and virtual transitions


Changes of bearing on successive straights shall be connected by circular curves.
Connecting circular curves shall be at least 12.2 m long.
Curves and straights shall be connected by geometrical transitions.
In exceptional circumstances virtual transitions may be used between straights and
curves provided that they are previously agreed by the RAM[Track];
Where it is not possible to provide a transition curve, the permissible speed shall be
calculated assuming a virtual transition 12.2 m long.
At enhanced permissible speeds over 31 mph (50 km/h) transitions shall be provided
if the change of cant deficiency exceeds 100 mm/s for trains with a rate of tilt
application between 4 and 5 degrees per second (pro rata for other rates of tilt).
Transitions shall be used if the rate of change of cant deficiency exceeds 35 mm/s.

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Virtual transitions and the ‘curve’ of a bearing change shall be at least 12.2 m from
another virtual transition and 12.2 m from any other alignment feature.

The rate of change of cant deficiency on a 12.2 m virtual transition meets the
requirements for the maximum design rate of change of cant deficiency at the
permissible speed for conventional trains.

The rate of change of cant deficiency on a 12.2 m virtual transition meets the
requirements for the maximum design rate of change of cant deficiency at enhanced
permissible speeds up to 31 mph (50 km/h) or through switches and crossings for
tilting trains.

8.5.5 Curving design values – cant deficiency plain line


Maximum/minimum values for cant deficiency and rates of change of cant deficiency
shall be as shown in tables 10 and 11.
Cant deficiencies in excess of 100% of the applied cant are acceptable providing the
resulting cant deficiencies and rates of change do not exceed the values in table 10
and 11.
All curves should be designed to operate with cant deficiency to aid steering.
Research into rolling contact fatigue (RCF) has shown that the rate of growth of RCF
can be reduced significantly by increasing the cant deficiency on a curve. The effect
will be greatest in curves in the 1000 m to 2500 m range where vehicles with a
primary yaw stiffness in excess of 16 MNm/radian operate. In tighter curves the
reduction in RCF is less significant, although sidewear can also be reduced with
increased cant deficiency.
Where rail life due to RCF has been found to be less than 5 years, and where whole
life costs make it economic to do so, then cant deficiencies in excess of cant should
be applied.
Curves with a radius tighter than 500 m and a permissible speed up to 40 mph
should, where possible, be designed and installed without cant or with the maximum
permissible cant deficiency.
Track-Ex should be used to model the benefits of increased cant deficiency.
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Table 10 – Cant deficiency – plain line and adjustment switches


Maximum (or Exceptional design
Normal design
Parameter / Constraints minimum) design value (where
value
value different from max.)

Jointed track 90 mm 90 mm 110 mm (see note 1)

CWR for Permissible Speed 110 mm 110 mm 150 mm (see note 2)

CWR for Enhanced Permissible Speed (EPS) on datum plated curves of radius (see note 3):

700 m and over 265 mm 265 mm 300 mm

400 to 699 m 150 mm 225 mm

under 400 m 110 mm 110 mm 150 mm (see note 2)


--`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

Adjustment switches 110 mm 110 mm


Notes:
1. Applies to passenger type bogie rolling stock with air suspension and a maximum 13 tonne
axle weight with all seats full.
2. Applies to passenger type bogie rolling stock, light engines and class 140 to 144 trains
provided that no spring catch point, level crossing, direct fastening structure or other feature
that is likely to contribute to lateral misalignment is situated on the curve or transition where
110 mm cant deficiency is exceeded. Differential speeds may be required to limit the speed of
freight traffic.
3. Enhanced permissible speeds apply to specific trains only. Speeds must be calculated using
cant deficiencies which do not exceed the maximum operating cant deficiency of the particular
train. Consideration of the effects of wind should be considered for all curves with a cant
deficiency in excess of 150 mm (See GC/RC5521).

Table 11 – Rates of change of cant deficiency – plain line


Exceptional design
Normal design Maximum design
Parameter / Constraints value (where
value value
different from max.)
Permissible speed 35 mm/s 55 mm/s 70 mm/s

Enhanced permissible speed


35 mm/s 110 mm/s 150 mm/s
(See Notes 1, 2 & 3)

Notes:
1. These figures are the maximum permitted. Not all trains might be able to run at these values.
2. These rates should be calculated based on a vehicle which has no tilt lag [i.e. ignoring effects
on the leading vehicle(s)]. For transitions where cant deficiency exceeds the value at which
maximum tilt occurs, the average rate of change of cant deficiency over the length of a clothoid
or cubic parabola transition should be used.
3. See table 5 for vehicle restrictions.

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8.5.6 Cant deficiency and enhanced permissible speeds


Designs for curved track shall be based on permissible speeds and checked for
suitability for enhanced permissible speeds.
Where the speed differential exceeds 20 %, curves shall be designed for enhanced
permissible speed and checked for compliance against permissible speeds.
In all cases, the alignment and clearances to structures and other tracks shall be
checked at all speeds quoted for tilting, non-tilting and freight trains.
Cant deficiency for tilting trains should not normally exceed 200 % of the applied
cant.

NOTE: Tilting trains generally run 20% faster on curved track than non-tilting trains.

8.5.7 Cant deficiency and tight radius curves


Curves tighter than 500 m should be designed with minimum cant and maximum
cant deficiency. On such curves the rate of gain of cant deficiency should be less
than 55 mm/sec.
8.5.8 Cant deficiency and line speed improvements
Where existing routes are considered for line speed increases, cant deficiency
values of up to 50 mm greater than cant (up to a maximum of 110 mm of cant
deficiency) shall be used providing the rate of change of cant deficiency is no greater
than 55 mm/sec.
Such an application shall be supported with evidence from a vehicle track interaction
model such as Track-Ex to confirm that rail wear and Rolling Contact Fatigue (RCF)
propagation will not increase as a result. An assessment of the condition, modernity
of design and fitness for purpose of track components shall also be undertaken.
NOTE: see clause 19 for the requirements for the raising of speed or axle weights on existing tracks.

8.5.9 Curving design values – cant deficiency switches and crossings


For switches and crossings the maximum/minimum values of cant and cant
deficiency shall be as shown in table 12 and the rates of gain of cant and cant
deficiency in table 13. --`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---

When switches and crossings are located on curved track, cant shall be applied up
to the maximum, provided that the turnout is of similar flexure to the main line or
through line.
If the turnout is of contra-flexure, the cant to be applied to the main or through line
shall not cause the maximum permitted value of negative cant to be exceeded on the
turnout.

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Table 12 – Cant deficiency – switches and crossings


Maximum (or Exceptional design
Normal design
Parameter / constraints minimum) design value (where
value
value different from max.)
Through route of S&C

S&C not designed to withstand


90 mm 90 mm
stressing

--`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
S&C designed to withstand stressing
with cast centre block common 150 mm
110 mm 110 mm
crossings with welded on legs or tight (see notes 1 & 2)
jointed cast monobloc crossings

Complex S&C (see note 5) and


switches without supplementary 50 mm 50 mm
drives

Turnout route of S&C (see notes 3 & 4)

At switch toes 125 mm

Fixed obtuse crossings 75 mm

Elsewhere in vertical S&C 90 mm

Elsewhere in NR60 S&C 110 mm

Notes:
1. Cant deficiency above 110 mm in S&C may only be applied when:
a) The S&C is CEN60;
b) the main line radius is flatter than 400 metres;
c) high speed flares have been provided on the check rails and on the facing wing rails on
crossings installed on the low rail;
d) there are no longitudinal bearers, level crossings or direct fastening structures within 20 m of
the approach to or exit from the S&C; and
e) and the following have been considered and the assessment recorded with the design
information; degree of track fixity, changes in cant deficiency on the approach to or exit from
the S&C, maintenance regime.
2. The exceptional cant deficiency on the through route of S&C with swing nose crossings is 200
mm.
3. Enhanced permissible speeds are not applicable on the turnout route of S&C.
4. On leads which have been designed as ‘split equal’, both routes should be regarded as turnout
routes.
5. Complex S&C is as listed in NR/L3/TRK/2049.

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Table 13 – Rates of change of cant deficiency – switches and crossings


Exceptional design
Normal design Maximum design
Parameter / constraints value (where
value value
different from max.)
Through route of S&C

Permissible speed 35 mm/sec 55 mm/sec 70 mm/sec

Enhanced permissible speed (see


35 mm/sec 110 mm/sec 150 mm/sec
Notes 1, 2 & 3)

Turnout route of S&C


BS95RBH S&C 55 mm/sec 55 mm/sec

BR109, BS110A, CEN56E1


55 mm/sec 55 mm/sec
(BS113A) Inclined S&C

CEN56E1 (BS113A) vertical S&C (full


80 mm/sec 80 mm/sec
depth & shallow depth)

RT60/NR60 S&C (see Note 4) 80 mm/sec 80 mm/sec 93.33 mm/sec


It is permissible to disregard the rate of change of cant
Switch toes (all forms of S&C)
deficiency at the switch toes.

--`,,``,,`,,,``,,,,,````,,`,,,`,-`-`,,`,,`,`,,`---
Notes:
1. These figures are the maximum permitted, not all trains are able to run at these values.
2. These rates should be calculated based on a vehicle which has no tilt lag [i.e. ignoring effects
on the leading vehicle(s)].
3. See table 5 for vehicle restrictions.
4. In NR60 transitioned turnouts an exceptional value of 93.33 mm/sec may be applied to the
transitioned part of the turnout line between the heel of the switch and the IP of the crossing.

9 Specification of rails and rail fastenings


9.1 Rail section and grade
The grade of new rail shall not be less than 260R.
Different grades shall not be mixed in curves subject to sidewear.
Premium hardened rail steel may be used on one or both rails where the rail life is
reduced due to surface damage such as RCF or there is a high rate of sidewear, a
significant flattening of the low rail or corrugation.
Where premium hardened rail steel is used, an appropriate maintenance grinding
regime should be implemented.

The two running rails of the track shall be of the same nominal section.

NOTE 1: if serviceable or cascaded rail is being used, BS110A and BS113A sections may be
regarded as matching

NOTE 2: BS113A rail and CEN56E1 are considered to be fully interchangeable.

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Network Rail approved coated rails are recommended for use in areas subject to
significant corrosion, e.g. wet tunnels, coastal locations, and level crossings.
Historic rail sections (for example BS95RBH) are acceptable where either existing
fastenings cannot accommodate rail sections specified in 10.2 or a short section of
track is being relayed in an area of track with historic rail profiles.
9.2 Welding
For site welding, mobile flash-butt welding or other solid phase process e.g.
induction or gas pressure welding, should be employed in preference to
aluminothermic welds where it is practicable and cost effective to do so.
NOTE: See NR/L2/TRK/0032, NR/L2/TRK/0132, RT/CE/S/130, and RT/CE/S/131 for the
specification of rail welding.
9.3 Rail fastenings
Only Network Rail approved fastening types shall be used.
Where specific tools have been approved or supplied by the manufacturer of the
fastenings, these shall be used for installing and removing the fastenings.
Sherardised or other appropriate coated fastenings should be considered for use in
areas subject to significant corrosion, e.g. wet tunnels, coastal locations, and level
crossings.
9.4 Transition rails
Transition rails shall be used when changing from CEN56 to CEN60, or from
BS95RBH (Bullhead) to CEN56 in track categories 1A to 4.
Clamped temporary transition rails or transition plates may be used as a temporary
arrangement prior to the final installation of transition rails.
9.5 Level crossings
Where serviceable or cascaded rail is used at level crossings, any head loss shall be
limited to 5 mm at installation so as not to expose the crossing surface to damage.
See 10.14.1 & 10.16 for the requirements for joints in level crossings.
10 Specification of plain line
10.1 Track gauge
10.1.1 General requirements
Track gauge for new straight track and curved track over 200 m radius shall be 1435
mm nominal measured at right angles across the track and between the heads of the
rails in a plane 14 mm below their top surface.
Where serviceable concrete sleepers are used 1432 mm nominal gauge is
permitted.
Tolerances shall be as specified in Appendix A.
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NOTE: Although referred to as “1435 mm nominal”, new sleepers are designed to give gauges
of 1436 (+2/-1) mm for CEN56 rail and 1438 (+2/-1) mm for CEN60 rail.

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10.1.2 Track with gauge widening


Where gauge widening is specified the nominal track gauge and flangeway in curves
of 200 m radius or less are shown in table 14.

Table 14 – Gauge widening on curves


Track radius (m) Gauge (mm) Check rail flangeway (mm)
200 - 176 1438 47
175 - 151 1441 50
150 - 126 1444 53
125 - 101 1447 56
≤100 1450 59
1. Gauge widening may be less than shown in this table where approved by the RAM [Track].
2. Rate of change in gauge and flangeway widening shall not exceed 1 in 400, e.g. 3 mm in
1200 mm (or two sleepers).
3. The dimension from the running edge of the non-checked rail to the inner flangeway face
of the check rail (check gauge) shall be 1391 (+1/-3) mm.
4. Achievement of check gauge shall take precedence over check flangeway (subject to a
minimum 38 mm flangeway).

Gauge widening shall be achieved by moving the inner rail away from the designed
track centre line.
Curves fitted with continuous check rails shall be limited to 30 mph.
10.1.3 Gauge transition between CEN60 and 1432 mm gauge track
When CEN60 plain line (see note 3), gauge 1438 mm, abuts with track of gauge
1432 mm, sufficient 1435 mm gauge CEN56 sleepers should be used to limit the
rate of gauge variation to 3 mm in 1200 mm (nominally 2 sleepers or as shown in
table 15).
This may be achieved by using 5F40 or 5EF28 sleepers (see Note 1) - or by G44
sleepers configured for CEN56E1 track (see Note 2).
Table 15 –Gauge transition between CEN60 and 1432 mm gauge track

Line speed (mph) Up to 20 25 to 60 65 to 95 100 to 125


Permissible gauge change over 3m 6 mm 5 mm 4 mm 3 mm

Distance for gauge change from 1432 to 1438 3.0 m 3.6 m 4.5 m 6.0 m

Number of 1435 mm gauge sleepers required 4 5 6 9

NOTE 1: 5F40 & 5EF28 sleepers have a designed gauge of 1435 mm (+/-2 mm).
NOTE 2: G44 sleepers configured for CEN56E1 track have a designed gauge of 1436 mm (+2/-1
mm).
NOTE 3: G44 sleepers configured for CEN60E1/E2 track have a designed gauge of 1438 mm (+2/-1
mm).
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10.2 Plain line - rails, sleepers and ballast depths


Minimum track construction standards for plain line rails, sleepers and ballast
depths, for use when track is constructed or renewed shall be as specified in table
16. The track categories are as shown in appendix B.
Blanketing and formation treatment may also be required according to local
circumstances.

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Table 16 – Plain line - selection of rail, sleepers and ballast


Minimum
Track ab Sleepers d e and sleeper spacing ballast
Rails
Cat. mm depths
mm
1A, 1 New CEN60 CWR b New concrete, 650 spacing, or 600 if 300
cant def. >150 mm
2 New CEN60 CWR b New or serviceable Concrete or new 250
steel, 650 spacing, or concrete at 600 if (concrete)
cant def. >150 mm 200 (steel)
3 Serviceable CEN60, CEN56, Steel 650 spacing or serviceable 200
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BS113A, BS110A CWR concrete 700 spacing (concrete)


Serviceable 60ft rails to be cropped. c 150 (steel)
4&5 Serviceable or cascaded CEN56, Steel or wood at 650 spacing or 200
BS113A, BS110A CWR. serviceable concrete at 700 spacing (concrete)
Serviceable 60ft rails to be cropped. 150 (steel)
6 Serviceable or cascaded CEN56, Serviceable steel, concrete or wood, all 200, 150
BS113A, BS110A or BR109 CWR c at 700 spacing (steel only)
Or serviceable jointed in sidings or if Serviceable concrete or wood. 200
track curvature precludes CWR c All at 760 spacing.
a
For use of CWR in curved track, see 10.11.1.
b
Rail:
 CEN56 rail may be used for rerailing if the existing sleepers will not accommodate CEN60 and
are not due for replacement.
 CEN60 rail shall be installed on curves where the cant deficiency exceeds 150 mm.
c
Serviceable and cascaded rail:
 Only rail rolled after 1976 may be installed in category 3, 4, 5 and 6 track. Where rails rolled
after 1976 are not available pre 1976 rail may be only be used with the agreement of the RAM
[Track].
d
Sleepers:
 Hardwood sleepers may be used in tunnels or where guard or check rails are required.
 Where sleepers are replaced in advance of rail, they shall be capable of accommodating
CEN60 rail if that rail can be used subsequently.
 Consideration should be given to reducing sleeper spacings by 50 mm where there are special
formation difficulties.
 Serviceable sleepers in accordance with NR/L2/TRK/4100 may only be used in category 2
track with the agreement of the RAM [Track].
e
See clause 10.20 for specification of rail pads.
10.3 Plain line - ballast
10.3.1 Ballast depths
For concrete and wood sleepers, ballast shall be new or clean recycled. For steel
sleepers, existing ballast shall only be retained with the agreement of the RAM
[Track].
Where a geotextile, grid or geocomposite or a new sand blanket is installed, the
minimum ballast depth below sleeper bottom shall be 300 mm on track categories
1A and 1 and 250 mm on track categories 2 to 6.
On track category 3 to 6 lines where no geotextiles, grids or geocomposites or new
sand blankets are to be installed the minimum allowable ballast depth shall be 200
mm below sleeper bottom.

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During construction there shall be a minimum of 180 mm of ballast above the


geotextile, grid or geocomposite prior to tamping taking place.
Ballast depths are measured from the bottom of the sleeper (in the case of steel,
from the bottom of the sidewall). Crossfall of the formation will need additional ballast
to achieve the minimum depth.
Where future reballasting will be carried out with ballast cleaners assessments
should be carried out to minimise the risk of damage to existing geotextiles, grids,
geocomposites or sand blankets.
10.3.2 Blanketing and formation treatment
The depth of blanketing and formation treatment shall be in addition to the minimum
ballast depths.
10.3.3 Ballast ramps
Ballast ramps shall be installed when ballast is renewed.
The minimum length of the ramp (m) shall be determined by dividing the line speed
(mph) by 6 (minimum length 5 m). If the ballast depth is increased above the
minimum shown in table 16, the ramp shall be extended proportionally.
On short lengths of reballasting, it may not be practical to provide full ballast ramps.
Where this is the case alternative measures should be agreed with the RAM[T].
10.3.4 Ballast excavation
Excavation shall be to the designed depth and width of the trackbed. This shall
include the ballast shoulder when:
a) the track bed is not free draining (i.e. not derived from naturally occurring sand or
gravels);
b) the existing cess level is at least level or lower than the bottom of the proposed
excavation; and
c) there is no obstruction to the excavation.
Where the adjacent track is not to be renewed the excavation shall extend to the
centre line of the ‘six foot’ (to a maximum of 1300 mm from the 6’ rail).
Bottom ballast shall be levelled using laser-guided equipment on Track Categories
1A, 1 and 2.
Ballast compaction shall be undertaken for renewals in plain line track categories 1A,
1 and 2.
This can be achieved in a number of ways:
a) with an approved vibrating roller where the number of passes should be in
accordance with the acceptance requirements for the roller;
b) using approved vibrating plates, in a single layer for ballast depths up to 480 mm,
or where ballast depths under the sleeper are greater than 480 mm in layers not
exceeding 300 mm;
c) by dynamic track stabilisation; or
d) on Category 2 track and below, by tamping and lifting through the ballast in layers
not exceeding 100 mm.

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The level of compaction should be designed to safely open the line, sustain traffic at
the required speed and achieve the track geometry standard.
Consideration should be given to compaction of the formation or bottom ballast layer
before the required layer of track ballast is installed. A uniform formation stiffness
reduces differential settlement of the track ballast and track roughness, increases
service life and reduces the need for future maintenance
For track categories 3 to 6, compaction is not mandatory. It should be considered to
support the safe opening of the line, sustaining traffic at the required speed and
achieving the required track geometry standard.
10.4 Plain line - serviceable and cascaded rail
Serviceable and cascaded rail shall comply with RT/CE/S/002.
Only rail rolled after 1976 may be installed in category 3, 4, 5 and 6 track. Where
rails rolled after 1976 are not available pre 1976 rail shall be only be used with the
agreement of the RAM [Track].
Cascaded rail shall be ultrasonically tested prior to installation, or, if this is not
possible, as soon as the rail head condition permits testing.
10.5 Plain line - concrete sleepers
Concrete sleepers shall comply with NR/L2/TRK/030.
Concrete sleepers shall only be drilled on site for signalling equipment or other
attachments, providing:
a) a template approved by the sleeper manufacture is used to locate the holes;
b) an approved method of drilling is used that does not cause damage to the sleeper;
and
c) the fastenings used will not crack or shatter the concrete.
Drilling of concrete sleepers should be avoided as this has been shown to increase
the risk of the sleeper developing longitudinal cracks which can propagate and
reduce the service life of the component.
Under Sleeper Pads
Under sleeper pads should be considered for future renewals in high category track.
They have been shown to improve track geometry, reduce the bearing pressure on
the ballast and reduce the need for tamping by reducing the settlement under traffic.
They are also of particular benefit in locations where there are local variations in
ballast depth, where local variations in track stiffness may occur or where a
compliant depth of ballast cannot be installed.
10.6 Plain line - hardwood sleepers
Hardwood sleepers shall only be used in track category 1A and 1 and at speeds over
110 mph with the agreement of the RAM [Track].
Hardwood sleepers should only be used only where it is not practicable to use
concrete.
In CWR, hardwood sleepers shall be fitted with screw-fastened baseplates.

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NOTE: The inclusion of more than 4 hardwood sleepers within a length of concrete sleepers
will require adjustments to the critical rail temperature. See NR/L2/TRK/001 mod 14 for the
calculation and management of critical rail temperatures.

10.7 Plain line - steel sleepers


NOTE: These requirements do not apply to cast or fabricated hollow steel sleepers or bearers
installed to provide a cable route.

Steel sleepers shall be:


a) spade-ended;
b) separated from concrete sleepers, longitudinal timbers or switch and crossing
work by four hardwood sleepers; and
c) laid on ballast which is only lightly compacted. Where reballasting is not being
carried out, the existing ballast bed shall be scarified to a depth of 150 mm below
designed sleeper bottom. The track shall be tamped to provide acceptable track
geometry and to fill up the inverted trough of the sleeper under the rail seats with
stone. Further tamping shall then be carried out until the required track geometry
is achieved.
Steel sleepers shall not be used:
d) in 3rd or 4th-rail electrified areas;
e) in jointed track;
f) where cant deficiency exceeds 150 mm;
g) where they are incompatible with electrification systems and track circuits.
h) with welded-on housings in curves below 400 m radius, except in Track
Categories 4 and below; or
i) where the annual tonnage exceeds or is forecast to exceed 10 EMGTPA.

NOTE: Where steel sleepers are installed on curves with a radius of 500 m or less, special
requirements apply (see 10.11.3).

10.8 Plain line - sleepers for the conveyance of cables


10.8.1 Concrete cable management sleepers
Approved concrete cable management sleepers shall be used with the following
conditions;
a) They shall not be installed immediately adjacent to an insulated, fishplated or
welded rail joint;
b) EG53 and G55 sleepers shall be installed with at least two sleepers of the
same soffit depth either side; and
c) GV54 bearers shall only be installed in vertical S&C layouts with the same
sleeper soffit depth (including NR56V).
10.8.2 Fabricated or cast hollow steel sleepers
Approved cast or fabricated hollow steel sleepers shall be used with the following
conditions:
a) Cast or fabricated hollow steel sleepers shall not be used for the conveyance
of earth bonds or traction power cables;
b) They shall not be used in third rail DC electrified tracks except for the housing
of point operating equipment (POE) or hot axle box detector (HABD)
equipment;
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c) They shall not be used in steel sleepered track;


d) No more than two cast or fabricated hollow steel sleepers shall be installed
consecutively and not less than six normal sleepers shall be provided
between subsequent runs of hollow sleepers;
e) They shall not be installed within two sleepers of an insulated, fishplated or
welded rail joint;
f) Shallow depth designs shall only be used in softwood sleepered areas where
the line speed is less than 60 mph with the agreement of the RAM [Track].
The choice of bearer should be determined by sleeper type, fastening type,
construction depth (full or shallow depth) and whether a bearer with a removable top
cover is required to install the existing cable runs.
Care should be taken to check that the soffit level of hollow sleepers is consistent
with the adjacent sleeper type.
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There is no requirement to provide four timber sleepers to separate hollow steel


bearers from adjacent concrete sleepers, longitudinal bearers or S&C.

NOTE: For more information on the management of cables routes, see NR/SP/SIG/19812.

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10.9 Sleeper spacing


10.9.1 Plain line sleeper spacing
Requirements for sleeper spacing are as follows:
a) sleepers shall be installed with a maximum spacing tolerance on the centre line
of the track ±15 mm;
b) the cumulative error on centre line spacing over 10 consecutive sleepers shall be
no greater than ±75 mm;
c) a maximum skew of ±15 mm measured from the centre line of the track to the rail
foot (gauge side) is permitted;
d) sleepers through public vehicular level crossings shall be installed at 600 mm
centres ±10 mm. The cumulative error on centre line spacing through the level
crossing shall not exceed ±10 mm; and
e) spacing at joints may be adjusted for compatibility between fastenings and
fishplates.
NOTE: See NR/L2/TRK/4040.

10.9.2 Direct fastened track - rail support spacing


On slab track or structures with direct fastening systems, the tolerance on the
cumulative error on the spacing of fastenings over 10 m shall be ±50 mm.

NOTE: See NR/L2/TRK/3038 for the spacing of baseplates on longitudinal timbers.

10.10 Provision of continuous check rails


Check rails shall be fitted on:
a) all passenger lines and passenger diversionary lines with a track radius of 200 m
or less; and
b) running lines with a track radius of 200 m or less at a track interval of less than 3.1
m to adjacent passenger lines.
Check rails shall be provided with machined entry and exit splays.
The active parallel portion of a check rail shall be extended to terminate at least 9 m
into straight track or a curve with a constant radius exceeding 200 m. On reverse
curves where both curves are fitted with check rails, the active parallel portion shall
overlap at the point of reverse by at least 6 m.
No fishplated joint or machined part of an adjustment switch shall be located in either
running rail within 2 m of the end of a check rail.
On plain line, approved sleeper designs shall be used where continuous checking is
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required.
Consider whether to provide a check rail on curves with radii in the range of 201 m to
300 m where high volumes of traffic can be expected. When assessing these
locations the following should be taken into account:
a) the requirements for the provision of effective lubrication;
b) current and future operations and usage of the route;
c) deterioration history for the curve;

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d) likely consequences of any derailment; and


e) surrounding environment.
10.11 Plain line curved track
10.11.1 General
The minimum radius of curvature for the installation of new CWR without additional
measures to improve its lateral stability shall be 500 m in the open, and for a
distance of 40 m inside each end of tunnels.
Curves with jointed track with a radius tighter than 500 m shall be installed with rails
of maximum length of 18.288 m (60 ’).
On ballasted track, CWR shall not be installed below a radius of 250 m.
On slab track, CWR curves tighter than 250 m shall only be installed with the
approval of the Professional Head of Track.

Adjustments shall be made to the CRT if the additional requirements in 10.11.2


and 10.11.3 are not implemented.
NOTE: In tunnels more than 180 m long (excluding the 40 m at each end), and where a limited
temperature range exists, there is no lower limit on track radius.

See NR/L2/TRK/001 mod 14 for the calculation and management of critical rail temperatures.

10.11.2 CWR in curved track - concrete and timber sleepers and timber
bearers
Where installed on concrete and timber sleepers and timber bearers, lateral
resistance plates shall be configured as follows on curves with a radius between:
a) 500 to 351 m, install one lateral resistance plate on alternate sleepers or
bearers; and
b) 350 to 250 m, install one lateral resistance plate on each sleeper or bearer.
Lateral End Resistance Plates (LERP) to drawing RE/PW/736 shall not be used for
track renewals or new construction.
On concrete and timber sleepers and timber bearers, lateral resistance plates may
be installed to avoid adjustments to CRT values. Lateral resistance plates should be
capable of being adjusted to permit tamping and re-alignment, in line with the
manufacturer's instructions.
When installing lateral resistance plates, the sequence of work should be:
a) tamp to the correct line and level;
b) fit lateral resistance plates;
c) consolidate the ballast around the resistance plates; and
d) stress the track.
10.11.3 CWR in curved track - steel sleepers
Steel sleepers installed on curves with radii below 500 m shall be installed:
a) at 600 mm spacing:
b) with a 600 mm-wide ballast shoulder; and
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c) without any discontinuity within the curve.

NOTE: Discontinuities includes a change of sleeper material (timber, concrete etc.), adjustment
switches and level crossings.
Where steel sleepers are installed on curves with radii between 350 m and 250 m
the following additional requirements and conditions may be applied to avoid
adjustments to CRT values:
d) steel sleepers with additional housings in the four-foot for strengthening rails (as
for guard rails) should be used;
e) sleepers should be installed with the extra housing for strengthening rails
alternating from side to side except around joints in the strengthening rails where
the two sleepers either side of the joint should have housings;
f) two strings of strengthening rails (made up of serviceable rails nominally 18 m
long) should be provided in the four-foot with joints staggered by 9 m;.
g) rail pads and insulators should be used with the strengthening rails; and
h) strengthening rail joints should have normal lubricated fishplated expansion
joints.

NOTE: Joints installed in strengthening rails should be lubricated as for jointed track.
10.12 Rail lengths
10.12.1 Rail lengths in CWR
“Strings” of new 260R rail shall use rails that when rolled are not less than:
a) 108 m for track categories 1A and 1;
b) 37 m in track categories 2 and 3; and
c) 18.288 m (60’) in track categories 4, 5 and 6.
The strings shall be of the maximum length possible to minimise the number of site
welds.
“Strings” of premium hardened rail steel might not be available in 108 m lengths and
rails of the longest available length should be used.
10.12.2 Maximum rail length - jointed track
The maximum length of rail between two fishplated joints shall be 30 m, except in
tunnels over 180 m long, where lengths of 55 m are permitted.
NOTE: see 10.11.2 for the maximum length of rails in curved track.
The standard length of rails in jointed track is 18.288 m and installed with fishplated
expansion joints.
10.12.3 Minimum rail length - permanent situation
The minimum length of rail in plain line between any type of rail joint shall be not less
than:
a) 18 m where the linespeed is 90 mph or more;
b) 9 m below 90 mph; or
c) in accordance with table 17 where site constraints make this unachievable.
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Table 17 – Minimum rail lengths


1
Between  Welded joint Insulated joint Fishplated joint
and  See note 1 See note 2

Welded joint 9.0 m 4.5 m 4.5 m


Track radius < 600 m See note 3

Welded joint 4.5 m 4.5 m 4.5 m


Track radius > 600 m or more See note 3

Insulated joint 4.5 m 4.5 m 9.0 m


See note 1

Fishplated joint 4.5 m 9.0 m 9.0 m


See note 2

Adjustment switch 4.5 m 4.5 m 8.0 m


(from end of full rail section) See note 4 See note 4 See note 4 & 5

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Notes:
1. Suitable for use in continuous welded rail (CWR)
2. Includes insulated joints not suitable for use in CWR.
3. In particularly constrained sites these distances may be reduced to 3 m with the approval of the
RAM [Track].
4. This distance is measured along the full rail section (the machined length of the switch tip is additional).
5. This distance may be reduced to 5 m in Track Categories 4, 5 and 6 only, to permit re-use of cascaded
adjustment switches.

10.13 Temporary closure rails


10.13.1 General – temporary closure rails
When a temporary closure rail is replaced in CWR, the rail shall have its stress
reinstated in accordance with NR/L2/TRK/3011.
Temporary closure rails shall comply with either:
a) 10.12.3; or
b) 10.13.2 and 10.13.3 where short fishplated or clamped closures are used.
Joints shall not be constructed with a rail end gap exceeding 50 mm.
A closure rail shall be of the same nominal section and grade of steel as at least one
of the adjacent rails, and in no worse condition than either. The two sleepers either
side of each joint shall be in good condition with secure fastenings and not voided.
The rail ends shall be vertical and square with coplanar running surfaces. Sidewear
shall be blended in over a minimum distance of 1.5 m from the joint with the
sidewear angle maintained and the gauge corner rounded throughout the blended
length. Sharp or square edges are not permitted.
The installation of closure rails should be planned to minimise the number of residual
welds.
NOTE: See table 18 for the maximum speeds where the rail gap is, or has opened up, over 50 mm.
10.13.2 Temporary Joints - Rails 4.5 m or longer
The permitted speed for temporary joints shall be the lowest shown in table 18,
according to the type of joint and the rail end gap involved.
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Date: 03 September 2016
Compliance date: 01 March 2017

See table 19 for rail gaps greater than 50 mm and fly-fished joints.
Table 18 – Temporary joints - Rails 4.5 m or longer
Joint type Maximum speed Time limit
Fully bolted with high-tensile  90 mph 14 days, or 28 days when
bolts  125 mph if tight-jointed at both approved by RAM [Track]
ends and in CWR
Temporary joint fishplates d,  80 mph 7 days
back-hole bolted with high-
tensile bolts, and centre
clamps d
Back-hole bolted  50 mph 14 days, with extension to
28 days c
Clamped a b 
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50 mph for gaps up to 10 mm 7 days, with extension to


 20 mph for gaps between 10 21 days c
mm and 50 mm
a
Joints fitted with emergency clamped fishplates and a Network Rail-approved clamping system
shall be limited to 50 mph.
b
The speed shall not exceed 20 mph unless all of the following apply:
a) both rail ends have been sawn or disc cut;
b) abutting rail heads are in line;
c) the gap between rail ends does not exceed 10 mm (Note that, in order to control the gap, if
the rail temperature changes, it might be necessary to impose more frequent inspection or, in
CWR, to install temporary adjustment switches);
d) there are no voids under the two sleepers each side of the joint (that is four sleepers total);
e) the clamping system is approved by Network Rail for use at 50 mph. (G-clamps shall only be
used with emergency fishplates for the clamping of defective welds and rails); and
f) the fishplates are correct in terms of rail section and lift.
c
Any extension beyond 14 days for backhole joints or 7 days for clamped joints shall be subject to
approval by the RAM [Track]. Approval shall be dependent upon either:
a) removal being planned and dated, and additional controls being implemented and
documented; or
b) speed being reduced to 20 mph for the duration of the extension period.
d
Fishplates and clamps shall be specifically approved for operation at 80 mph. The joint shall be
installed and inspected in accordance with the procedure for their use by personnel specifically
trained and authorised.
10.13.3 Rails shorter than 4.5 m – use and permitted speed
Rails shorter than 4.5 m between fishplated or clamped joints shall not be used,
except when passing trains over broken or defective rails. In this case the rail shall
be at least 2.0 m long and supported by at least three sound and well-packed
sleepers or bearers.
A speed of 20 mph shall be applied provided that:
a) the rail is securely clamped or back-hole-bolted (not fly-fished) to the adjacent rail
at both ends;
b) neither joint gap exceeds 10 mm;
c) and the fishplates are correct in terms of rail section and lift.
If either gap subsequently exceeds 10 mm, the speed shall be reduced to 5 mph.
The line shall be blocked if either gap subsequently exceeds 50 mm.

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A speed of 50 mph shall be applied if the rail is fitted with fully-bolted fishplated joints
at both ends.
Rails shorter than 4.5 m between fishplated or clamped joints shall only be used for
48 hours, with a 24-hourly inspection during that period.
10.13.4 Temporary joints - fly-fished and wide gap joints
The maximum permitted speeds for fly-fished and wide gaps joints shall be as shown
in table 19.

Table 19 – Temporary joints – fly-fished and wide gap joints


Joint type Maximum speed
Clamped  5 mph if gap exceeds 50 mm,
 Line to be blocked if gap exceeds 75 mm
Fly-fished, with gap up to 50 mm  5 mph
 20 mph with Watchman present,
Fly-fished, with gap over 50 mm  Line to be blocked
10.14 Location of fishplated joints
10.14.1 Fishplated joints – level crossings
Fishplated joints shall not be installed within level crossings.
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The location of insulated rail joints should suit signalling and electrification
requirements.
10.14.2 Fishplated joints - underbridges
The minimum distance shown in table 20 shall be provided between expansion
fishplated rail joints and the features shown.
Fishplated joints should not, as far as practicable, be located on structures.

Table 20 – Fishplated joint location at Underbridges


Location Minimum distance
(from location to joint)
End of ballasted bridge deck (see note 1 & 2) 2.5 m (see note 3)
End of direct fastened bridge deck 4.5 m (see note 3)
End of longitudinal timber (see note 4) 4.5 m
End of longitudinal timber, where two timbers abut within the bridge 2m
(see note 4)
Notes:
1 The requirement does not apply to insulated joints over masonry arches with fully ballasted cross-sleepered
track.
2 Do not, as far as is practicable, locate fishplated joints (excludes glued insulated rail joints) over structures.
3 In the case of a skew bridge the distance should be taken along the centre of the four-foot.
4 Also applies where cross-sleepered track is seated directly onto longitudinal timbers.

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10.15 Joints in CWR


10.15.1 Flame cut rail ends and bolt holes
At bolted joints rails with flame-cut rail ends or flame-cut holes in rails or fishplates
shall not be installed in track.
10.15.2 Welded joints in CWR (welds)
Welds in CWR shall be either flash-butt or other approved solid phase weld or
aluminothermic. Aluminothermic welds shall comply with NR/L2/TRK/0032. Flash
butt welds shall comply with RT/CE/S/130.
The two sleepers on each side of a weld (four in total) shall be of the same material
and depth.
For slab track, the two baseplates on each side of a weld (four in total) shall be of the
same seating depth and resilience.
Site-made welds shall be made mid-way between sleepers.
Site-made welds should not become located over sleepers or baseplates after
stressing operations.
Where site welding is carried out lineside before installation the welds shall not end
up located over the sleepers or baseplates after installation.
For rules on the location of welds on under bridges and structure, see
NR/L2/TRK/001 mod 4, table 9.
10.15.3 Insulated joints in CWR
New track designs shall be reviewed to eliminate the need for or minimise the
number of insulated joints in CWR.
Glued joints shall be factory-assembled.
All insulated joints shall be assembled in accordance with the manufacturer's
instructions.
Where installed on baseplates, the baseplates shall have compatible fastening
positions for the type of joint.
The centre of the joint shall be located mid-way between sleepers. Joints shall not be
moved during stressing operations to a position that prevents the rail fastenings from
being installed.
The two sleepers on each side of an insulated joint (four in total) shall be of the same
material and depth.
In category 1A, 1 and 2 lines or where the cant deficiency exceeds 110 mm,
insulated joints shall be 6-hole shop-prepared glued units.
6-hole glued joints shall not be used where the track radius is below 400 m.
On lower category track and lower cant deficiencies insulated joints should be of a 6-
hole shop prepared glued units type wherever practicable.
Where dry insulated joints are installed at an existing joint, the condition of the rail
ends and the holes should be suitable for continued use.

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10.15.4 Tight fishplated joints in CWR


Tight fishplated joints in CWR shall be assembled with:
a) the correct fishplates for the rail sections (allowing for any differential rail wear);
and
b) the correct assembly of bolts, nuts and washers.
There shall be no gap between the rail ends when the rail is site drilled.
Fishbolts shall be tightened to the torque values given in table 21.

Table 21 – Torque settings for tight fishplated joints

Type of fishplate Bolt diameter and type Torque to be applied

25.4 mm (1”) -High tensile 880 Nm


Tight joint fishplate
29 mm (1⅛”) -High tensile 1020 Nm

10.16 Rail joints/welds in level crossings


Flash butt welded joints, if located within the crossing, shall permit the crossing deck
units to fit correctly.
No fishplated joints or aluminothermic welded joints shall be located within level
crossings or road-rail vehicle access points.
10.17 Standard Adjustment switches
10.17.1 Provision and siting
Adjustment switches shall be provided:
a) between CWR and jointed track;
b) between CWR and adjacent unstrengthened S&C (see 11.8); and
c) clear of the structural expansion joint of the moving end of any underline bridge
(see 6.5.5).
Adjustment switches shall be lubricated at installation and when the gap is set.
Clamp-plate bolts shall be tightened so that the gap in the spring washer is 1 mm.
Check the length of switch rail tip supported by the baseplate.
Check that the full width of the foot is supported by the baseplate at the end of the
machining and is within the clamp plates.
The gap and overlap shall be set as specified in table 22.

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Table 22 – Setting of Adjustment switches

Rail temperature Gap opening (Y) Tolerance


ºC mm mm
–4 to 2 125 ± 25
3 to 7 119 ± 25
8 to 13 112 ± 25
14 to 18 106 ± 25
19 to 27 100 ± 25

New adjustment switches shall be welded so that the distance from the closest
machined portion of the switch to the nearest weld is not less than 4.5 m and the
nearest fishplated joint is not less than 8 m.
Adjustment switches shall not be installed as a permanent feature to overcome
staging or planning difficulties.
Adjustment switches should ideally be sited on straight track. They should be laid
with strap rails and the inside tongues trailing to the dominant direction of traffic.
Lengths of CWR exceeding 120 m and abutting jointed track should be provided with
an adjustment switch at both ends.
10.17.2 Temporary adjustment switches
When CWR is being extended week by week under the cover of a 50 mph temporary
speed restriction or the linespeed is 50 mph or less, adjustment switches may be
temporarily fishplated to the CWR.
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10.17.3 Fastening toe loads – stress transition length


The toe load of clips used in the stress transitioned length approaching an
adjustment switch shall be equal to or less than the toe load of the fastenings in the
first 130 m of the stressed length.
See table 23 for toe loads of commonly used rail fastenings.

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Table 23 – Fastening Toe Loads


Clip Type Toe Load – kN per clip
Mills <6.5
SHC 6.5
PR400 series 6.5
e1800 series 9.0
Fastclip 10.0
Vossloh W14 10.0
e2000 series 12.5
e-plus series 12.5
Values are per clip, and assume all components are in a ‘as new’ condition.

10.18 Joints in jointed track


10.18.1 General requirements
Rails with flame-cut rail ends and flame-cut holes in rails or fishplates shall not be
installed in track.
Fishplated joints shall be assembled with the correct:
a) fishplates for the rail sections (allowing for any differential rail wear); and
b) bolts, nuts and washers.

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The two sleepers on each side of an insulated joint (four in total) shall be of the same
material and depth.
For slab track, the two baseplates on each side of a weld (four in total) shall be of the
same seating depth and resilience.
10.18.2 Forming of fishplated expansion joints
When joining two rails by means of a fishplated expansion joint:
a) fishing surfaces of expansion fishplates and all bolts used in fishplates shall be
lubricated during site assembly;
b) any end defects or damage at the rail ends shall be cut back or the rail replaced;
c) different rail profiles and rail depths shall be accommodated by the use of
junction and lift fishplates;
d) the gap required between the rail ends for expansion shall be provided as
specified in table 24; and
e) fishbolts shall be tightened to 475 Nm.

Table 24 – Expansion gap settings for 18.288 m rails


Rail temperature Expansion gap for 18.288 m (60 foot) rails
ºC mm
below 10 10
11 to 13 9
14 to16 8

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17 to 19 7
20 to 22 6
23 to 25 5
26 to 28 4
29 to 31 3
32 to 34 2
35 to 37 1
38 or above 0

Where rails with differential sidewear are fishplated together the step in the running
edge shall be blended in by grinding.
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This requirement is to reduce the risk of wheel flange climb.


Blend in by grinding as follows:
a) blended length to extend to a minimum of 1.5 m from the joint;
b) the sidewear angle of the more sideworn rail shall be maintained throughout the
blended length;
c) the gauge corner shall be rounded throughout the blended length; sharp or square
edges are not permitted; and
d) a fully-supported grinder (that is mounted on both rails) shall be used; manual
support alone is not permitted.
The centre of the joint shall be located mid-way between sleepers.
Joints shall be located opposite each other in the same bay. They may be located in
different bays with the agreement of the RAM [Track].
If joints have been formed at a rail temperature lower than 0° C or greater than 45° C
a joint closure temperature survey shall be carried out as soon as practicable when
the rail temperature falls within the range of 10 to 37° C.
NOTE 1: See also 10.13 for reference to restrictions regarding temporary joints, and section 13 for
reference to cold expansion of bolt holes.
NOTE 2: See NR/L2/TRK/001 for the requirements for joint closure temperature surveys.
10.19 Rail anchors
Rail anchors shall be specified in locations where rail creep is known to be or is
expected to be a problem.

NOTE: Anchors are not necessary in new CWR track. They might be necessary in jointed track.

10.20 Rail and baseplate pads


Pads shall be provided as required by the design of the baseplate or sleeper.
Older designs of rail pads described as “grooved”, “pimpled” or “dimpled” shall not be
used in level crossings or wet areas of tunnels.
Newer designs of rail pads with cylindrical studs (described as “studded”) may be
used in level crossings and wet areas of tunnels.

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On curves above 400 m radius, rail pads on concrete sleepers shall be of a “high
impact attenuation” type.
Where thin pads are used with serviceable sleepers, they shall have the maximum
impact attenuation obtainable.
On curves below 400 m radius, a stiffer, low impact attenuation, pad shall be used to
prevent any tendency towards rail roll-over.

NOTE: The principal types and performance requirements of pads are specified in
RT/CE/S/052.

Higher attenuation pads are generally softer and or thicker and are able to absorb higher
impact loads that may be applied to the rail. Stiffer and or thinner pads will normally have lower
impact attenuation and will transmit more energy into the sleeper and ballast.

Under Sleeper Pads


Under sleeper pads should be considered for future renewals in high category track.
They have been shown to improve track geometry, reduce the bearing pressure on
the ballast and reduce the need for tamping by reducing the settlement under traffic.

They are also of particular benefit in locations where there are local variations in
ballast depth, where local variations in track stiffness may occur or where a
compliant depth of ballast cannot be installed.

11 Specification of switches and crossings


11.1 S&C - track gauge
Track gauge shall be measured at right angles to and between the heads of the rails
in a plane 14 mm below their top surface.
Nominal track gauge for S&C renewals shall be:
a) 1432 mm for CEN56 Vertical S&C; and
b) 1435 mm for CEN60 S&C.
Where the radius is below 200 m gauge widening is not normally required except
where assessed as necessary following a study undertaken to determine whether
gauge widening is required given the rolling stock intended to use the route
Where gauge widening is specified appropriate flangeway widening on the adjacent
check rails shall also be applied
See 6.8.2 for the minimum radius for S&C and 10.1.2 for details of gauge widening.

NOTE 1: Tolerances are specified in appendix A.

NOTE 2: When measuring track gauge within the machined area of the switches, the undercut
on the stock rail will give a false reading when measured with a conventional track gauge. If in
doubt determine the gauge by using the field face of the stock rail as reference point.

11.2 S&C - choice of turnout and junction layouts


NR/L3/TRK/2049 gives details of leads and radii for standard designs of turnouts,
diamonds and junction layouts. Where possible the “preferred” geometries should be
used.

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11.3 S&C – bearers


11.3.1 Ballast depths and formation
The type and design of switches, crossings, bearers and ballast depths shall be as
shown in table 25.
Blanketing and formation treatment might also be required according to local
circumstances.
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Table 25 – Selection of S&C components


Minimum
ballast Recommended extent
Track a b
Design of S&C Bearers depths c of associated Plain
category
line d, e
mm
1A g & 1 New Shallow Depth CEN 56 Concrete 300 36 m off toes, 36 m off
Vertical for switches CV to FV. h last long bearer, plus
New CEN 60 S&C for fittings with ballast ramps
SG, G & H switches
2 New Shallow Depth CEN 56 Concrete 300 27 m off toes, 27 m off
Vertical for switches CV to FV. h last long bearer, plus
New CEN 60 S&C for fittings with ballast ramps
SG, G & H switches
3 New Shallow Depth CEN 56 Concrete 300 18 m plus ramps either
Vertical. h side of new S&C
4 New Shallow Depth CEN 56 Concrete 300 18 m plus ramps either
Vertical, cast centre block or semi- side of new S&C
fabricated crossings. h
5&6 Serviceable or new Shallow Depth Concrete, 250 9 m plus ramps either
Running CEN 56 Vertical, semi or fully hardwood side of new S&C
Lines fabricated crossings
5&6 Serviceable or new CEN 56 Concrete, 200
Sidings Vertical, semi or fully fabricated hardwood

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crossings
a
See NR/L3/TRK/2049 for the Maximum speeds through short switches and complex S&C.
b
Approved hollow bearers shall be used within switch panels as dictated by the choice of Point
Operating Mechanism.
c
Depths are measured below bearer.
d
Extent of associated plain line may be reduced if the existing track has not yet reached its half-life.
e
See 10.3.3 for the requirements for ballast ramps.
f
See RT/CE/S/063.
g
Only S&C manufactured using CEN 60 rails with concrete bearers shall be installed where line
speeds exceed 125 mph.
h Serviceable RT 60 or NR 60 S&C may be used if available

BR109 inclined or bullhead shall not be used when renewing leads on a like for like
basis on lower category 4, 5 and 6 lines without RAM [Track] approval.
Hardwood timbers may be used with CEN56 Vertical S&C where physical
constraints prevent the use of concrete bearers
New or serviceable RT60 or NR60 S&C may be used as appropriate.
Renewal of rail and sleepers within the ramp is dependent upon their condition.
11.3.2 S&C - CWR
Where installed in CWR track, S&C units shall be of a CWR-compatible design and
be welded and stressed on installation.
Crossings without welded-on leg-ends shall be joined to the adjacent rails with tight
fishplated joints.

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NOTE: See 5.10.5 for details of CWR-compatibility of S&C and 11.8 for requirements on the
use of adjustment switches with S&C.

11.3.3 S&C – High cant deficiencies


CEN60 S&C on concrete bearers shall be provided with high speed type E check
rails where the:
a) line speed is greater than 90 mph; and
b) cant or cant deficiency exceeds 90 mm.
11.3.4 S&C – Ballast depths and formation treatment
Ballast profiles in S&C shall be as for plain line, see 6.3. They shall be kept 100 mm
below the top of the bearer in beds containing stretcher bars, switch drive and
detection equipment.
Point motor extended bearers shall either have full ballast shoulders (as for plain line
see 6.3) or have the ends supported by a ballast retaining wall.
Ballast compaction and excavation shall be as for plain line, see 10.3.
Ballast depths in associated plain line shall be the same as the S&C.
A single layer of large aperture bi-axial grids shall be installed under S&C and
associated plain line at the base of the ballast on all installations.
RAM [Track] approval shall be obtained where it is not practicable to install them due
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to site constraints or the possession time available.


11.3.5 S&C – Re-ballasting of S&C
Jointed or timber bearer S&C in category 1A, 1 or 2 track shall only be re-ballasted
with the agreement of the RAM[Track].
11.4 Switches
11.4.1 Switches - general
The switch rail, stock rail and baseplates in both half-sets shall be a compatible
matched set. They shall comply with RE/PW drawings.
This does not apply to stress transfer blocks or anti-creep devices which can be
mixed where necessary.
In CWR track switches (other than in switch diamonds) fitted with an anti-creep
device (‘ball & claw’) should be specified in preference to stress transfer blocks.
See 6.8.2 for the minimum radius for switches.
Radial or compensated drilling shall be applied in accordance with Letter of
Instruction NR/BS/LI/365 issue 1 against NR/L3/TRK/4004.
On switches with radial drilling the bearers should be fanned out with the bearer
spacing set to standard dimensions on the lead rail.
On switches with radial drilling the POE drilling should remain as standard for the
first two bearers at the switch toes.
11.4.2 Restrictions on designs of switches
Shallow depth switches shall not be used with hand points (unworked points) or
mechanical point operation.
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Full depth switches (excluding switch diamonds) shall not be installed where the line
speed exceeds 90 mph.
Straight-cut or inset switches shall not be installed in a trailing situation without
approval by the RAM [Track].

NOTE: See 17.2 regarding the lubrication of new switches.

11.4.3 Switch diamonds


Switch diamonds shall be provided instead of fixed obtuse crossings where:
a) the line speed is 110 mph or greater;

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b) the angle of crossing is flatter than 1 in 8 (exceptionally 1 in 8.69 with the
approval of the Head of Track);
c) the cant on either route through the crossing exceeds 100 mm;
d) negative cant occurs on either route through the crossing; and
e) radius of either track is tighter than the minimum shown in table 26.
Strengthened designs are only permitted in angles sharper than 1:15.
A soleplate or approved equivalent shall be provided at the toes to connect opposite
wing rails rigidly and maintain track gauge.
Standard designs flatter than 1:17 are suitable for use in CWR.
11.4.4 Stretcher bars & soleplates
The number of stretcher bars (or approved equivalent) shall be as shown on the
relevant standard drawings.
A "kicking strap" and soleplate (or steel bearer) shall be provided at the toe position.
11.4.5 Switch securing device
An approved point clip system or switch securing device should be supplied for each
point end on concrete bearer S&C.
11.4.6 Roller and low friction baseplates
Roller baseplates and plastic insert (slippers) shall not be used on train operated
points (for example spring points and hydro-pneumatic points) or hand points
(unworked points).
Roller or other approved low-friction baseplates shall be provided as shown on the
RE/PW drawings.
Roller baseplates shall be configured according to the manufacturer's
recommendations.
11.5 Crossings
11.5.1 General requirements
Crossings shall not be located on bearers that change rake through the length of the
crossing.
Tight jointed fishplates in diamonds and insulated rail joints are the only types of
fishplated joint permitted on the welded-on extension legs of cast crossings.

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11.5.2 Crossings - hardness


Austenitic cast manganese steel crossings installed on category of 1A, 1 or 2 track
shall be pre-hardened to a minimum hardness of 320 BHN on the running surface
over the full length of the casting.

NOTE: 320BHN is normally achieved by Explosive Depth Hardening (EDH). EDH crossings
need to be specifically ordered and have a longer lead time.

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11.5.3 Crossings – restrictions on type
Semi-fabricated crossings shall only be used where the line speed is 90 mph or less.
Fully-fabricated and semi-fabricated crossings shall not be used where annual
tonnage exceeds 15 EMGT.
Fully-fabricated crossings shall only be used where the line speed is 75 mph or less.
11.5.4 Fixed obtuse crossings
Fixed obtuse crossings shall only be installed where:
a) the line speed is 105mph or less;
b) the angle of crossing is sharper than 1 in 8;
c) the cant on either route through the crossing does not exceed 100 mm;
d) there is no negative cant on either route through the crossing; and
e) radius of either track is flatter than the minimum shown in table 26.

Table 26 – Minimum radii for obtuse crossings


Angle Desirable and minimum radius for fixed obtuse crossing
1 in 5.5 or less Desirable 180 m. Minimum 160 m
1 in 6 Desirable 200 m. Minimum 180 m
1 in 6.5 Desirable 300 m. Minimum 240 m
1 in 7 Desirable 400 m. Minimum 300 m
1 in 7.5 Desirable 500 m. Minimum 400 m
1 in 8 Desirable 600 m. Minimum 500 m

Any track radius through an obtuse crossing shall extend for a minimum of 8 m
beyond each end of the crossing unit.
Raised check rails in obtuse-angle crossings shall not be used in slips or scissors
crossovers in third or fourth rail electrified areas if they could foul collector shoes.
1 in 8 obtuse crossings installed with a similar flexure through alignment shall be
provided with raised check rails. A switch diamond shall be provided if the raised
check would foul third or fourth rail collector shoes.
1 in 8.69 obtuse crossings shall be installed with raised check rails. They shall only
be used in NR60 E12.5 double junctions where the through alignment is either
straight or contra-flexure. They shall only be used with the approval of the Head of
Track.
Fixed obtuse crossings shall be cast manganese monobloc or cast manganese
centre block in track categories 1A to 4.
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Spare obtuse crossings should be provided as directed by the RAM [Track] for
locations where performance is deemed to be critical.
11.5.5 Grinding of crossings following installation
When new crossings are installed they shall be inspected at the frequencies shown
below:
a) 6 weeks (but not more than 8 weeks);
b) 13 weeks (but not more than 15 weeks);
c) 26 weeks (but not more than 30 weeks); and
d) 52 weeks (but not more than 56 weeks).
They shall be ground or weld repaired if there are signs of damage or wear.
In all cases, the crossing area should be packed prior to grinding to eliminate voiding
and provide good support.
11.6 Bearers
11.6.1 Bearers - general
Bearer for turnouts and crossovers shall be in accordance with the relevant RE/PW
drawing.
For more complex layouts, the following requirements additionally apply:
a) bearer positions shown on RE/PW drawings for turnouts, crossovers, diamonds
and junctions shall be used wherever possible;
b) ends of timber bearers shall extend at least 50 mm from the edge of the nearest
chair, baseplate or conductor rail support.
Normally this distance will be at least 200 mm.
c) bearers shall only be gapped in the four-foot provided the adjacent bearers in that
four-foot maintain gauge;
d) bearers supporting fixed crossing noses shall not be gapped in the adjacent four-
foot;
e) short timber bearers shall not be joined or interlaced;
f) bearers shall be at right angles to the main or through track and be at a nominal
spacing of 710 mm for CEN56 Vertical S&C or 650 mm for CEN60 S&C;
g) bearers under obtuse crossings shall be positioned at right angles to the centre
line of the diamond and;
h) bearers under fixed obtuse crossings shall not be shorter than 3200 mm and fitted
with strap rails (to strengthen the crossing through the wheel transfer area).
NOTE: Bearers connected together with a Network Rail bearer tie to RE/PW/2282 or
RE/PW/2288 are not regarded as being “gapped”.

Timber and concrete bearers shall only be mixed in the same unit with the
agreement of the RAM [Track].
Concrete bearers shall not be drilled on site to accept rail or baseplate fastenings as
these holes shall be formed during manufacture.

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Site drilling of concrete bearers for signalling equipment or other attachments shall
only be carried out subject to the following being used:
a) a template approved by the bearer manufacturer;
b) an approved method of drilling that shall not cause damage to the bearer; and
c) fastenings which will not crack or shatter the concrete.
Site drilling shall only be undertaken where the work has been assessed by the
bearer manufacturer and undertaken by the manufacturer or an approved supplier.
Under bearer pads should be considered for S&C renewals in high category track.
They have been shown to reduce the bearing pressure on the ballast and reduce the
need for tamping by reducing the settlement under traffic.

NOTE: See NR/L2/TRK/030 for further requirements.

11.6.2 Soffit levels in S&C


The bearer soffit levels, relative to rail level, shall vary within individual turnouts by
no more than ±10 mm.
11.6.3 Bearer ties in S&C

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Bearer ties shall not be positioned in the four foot of switch panels.
AWS magnets, TPWS equipment and axle counters shall not be installed in beds
with bearer ties.
Where bearers are split into three ‘parts’ the centre section shall contain at least one
pair of rails across track gauge.
No more than two ties shall be used on a bearer.
S&C containing bearer ties shall have the cant and longitudinal levels designed so
that tracks connected by tied bearers have no difference in the plane of the rails or a
change in gradient within 18 m of a tied bearer.
Bearer ties shall be positioned as shown on RE/PW general arrangement drawings.
For geometries where general arrangement drawings with bearer ties are not
available ties shall be positioned in line with the principles shown below:

a) the number of ties shall be kept to a minimum, short ended bearers shall be used
to reduce the number of ties;
b) bearers shall be shortened on the turnout or crossover route before being
shortened on the through route;
c) ties shall be positioned in the 6 ’ rather than the 4 ’;
d) where ties have to be positioned in the 4 ’ they shall be installed on the turnout or
crossover line in preference to the through route;
e) the number of part bearers supporting only one rail shall be kept to a minimum;
f) the lengths of part bearers shall where practicable be in increments of 75 mm;
and
g) in crossovers spanning parallel tracks (with matching geometry on sides) the
position of bearer ties and bearer lengths shall be mirrored either side of the mid-
point of the crossover.

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h) Bearer ties are not permitted on single leads where two levelling is required. If
two levelling of a single lead is required then only continuous through bearers
shall be used.
11.6.4 Lateral resistance plates in S&C
Lateral resistance plates shall be fitted on all CWR full depth timbered S&C as a
minimum on every bearer from the first heel block to six timbers beyond the toes.
Lateral end resistance plates (LERP) conforming to drawing RE/PW/736 shall not be
used for new installations.
A strengthening beam may be proposed as an alternative.
11.6.5 Two-levelling in S&C
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Where two levelling of a single lead is required then only continuous through bearers
and not bearer ties shall be used.
Wherever practicable, cant deficiency should be maximised to avoid the need for two
levelling.
Two levelling, with the crossing either higher or lower, affects the wheel transfer
between wing rail and crossing nose; in most cases leading to high impact forces
which worsen with increasing speed. The effect is more pronounced for sharper
angle crossings.
NOTE: See NR/L3/TRK/2049 for requirements.

11.7 Check rails in S&C


Check rails shall be provided opposite all fixed common crossings and as part of all
fixed obtuse crossings.
Flame-cut check rail flares shall not be used.
They shall have the appropriate approved end flares fitted and achieve the required
flangeway.
Raised check rails shall only be used in connection with obtuse crossings or as
otherwise shown on RE/PW drawings. They shall not be used in S&C in third or
fourth rail electrified areas if they would conflict with the collector shoe.
Obtaining the correct check gauge shall take precedence over the check flangeway
(subject to a minimum 38 mm flangeway being achieved).
Where the location of S&C on curves creates track radii below 200 m, the turnout
and/or through legs of the S&C shall be provided with check rails.
11.8 Adjustment switches with S&C
S&C shall not form part of a stress transition length.
Requirements for adjustment switches between CWR compatible S&C and plain line
are shown in tables 27 and 28.
S&C units which are not CWR-compatible (see 5.10.5) shall be isolated from CWR
by adjustment switches.

Table 27 – Use of adjustment switches at S&C with stress transfer blocks

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Requirement for Requirement for


Type of track in Type of track behind
adjustment switch in adjustment switch
front of toes crossing
front of toes behind crossing
Jointed Optional a Both tracks jointed Optional b
Jointed Optional b
CWR Mandatory
Both tracks CWR Mandatory
CWR Mandatory Both tracks jointed Optional b
Not required Jointed Optional b
CWR Not required
Not required Both tracks CWR Not required
a
“Optional” becomes “Mandatory” if the distance from the crossing joint or weld to the first fishplated
joint in front of the toes exceeds 37 m.
b
“Optional” becomes “Mandatory” if the distance between the last stress transfer block and the first
fishplated joint in the extension of the stock rail past the crossing exceeds 37 m.

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Table 28 – Use of adjustment switches at S&C with anti-creep devices (ball and
claw)
Requirement for Requirement for
Type of track in Type of track behind
adjustment switch in adjustment switch
front of toes crossing
front of toes behind crossing
Jointed Optional c Both tracks jointed Optional c
Jointed Optional c
CWR Mandatory
Both tracks CWR Mandatory
CWR Mandatory Both tracks jointed Optional c
Not required Jointed Mandatory d
CWR Not required
Not required Both tracks CWR Not required
c
“Optional” becomes “Mandatory” if the length of rail, without expansion gaps, of which the stock rail
forms part exceeds 37 m.
d
The length of welded rail, of which the stock rail forms part, shall extend from the switch heel for a
minimum distance of one stress transition length prior to the adjustment switch. If an anchor point
occurs within this distance then the adjustment switch may be omitted.
11.9 Joints in S&C
11.9.1 General requirements
The requirements of 10.12 to 10.15 and 10.18 also apply to S&C. In addition:
a) S&C in running lines shall be welded and stressed except when the design is not
capable of being stressed or local site conditions make stressing impractical;
b) the location of welded joints shall take account of the accessibility for welding and
the fitting of tensors for stressing; and
c) tight-joint fishplates shall be used in S&C where welding is not possible. They
shall be stressed and comply with the requirements for maximum rail lengths).
11.9.2 Forged joints in S&C
An aluminothermic weld formed in the sleeper-bay adjacent to that containing a
forged transition at the heel of a shallow-depth switch shall:
a) be no less than 1.3 m from the end of the flexing length of the switch rail (i.e.
there shall be at least two intervening fully-fastened rail seats); and
b) Comply with the minimum weld-to-weld and weld-to-insulated joint distances
specified in 11.11.
11.9.3 Insulated rail joints in S&C
Insulated rail joints should normally be positioned as shown on RE/PW drawings.
They should be located in the turnout rails in preference to the through rails.
The location of temporary insulated joints required for staging purposes should be
decided at the design stage so that plans for their inclusion or removal can be made.
S&C designs should avoid:
a) having toe-to-toe switches joined directly at the stock rail fronts by insulated
joints; and
b) joining stock rail fronts directly to the back of crossings by glued insulated joints.

Page 96 of 114
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11.10 Minimum rail length in S&C


The minimum length of a welded or jointed plain closure rail within S&C shall be:
a) 4.5 m; or
b) 2.6 m providing it is supported on at least four bearers and has the approval
of the RAM [Track]; or
c) 1.95 m, when it forms one leg of a welded-in shop-made glued insulated joint
providing it is supported on at least three bearers and has the approval of the
RAM [Track].
Extension rails welded to cast crossings are normally 2.6 m (4 beds) or as shown on
RE/PW drawings. Extension legs may be 1.95 m providing they are supported on at
least three bearers and welded at both ends.
11.11 Maximum rail length in unstressed S&C
The maximum length of rails in unstressed (jointed) S&C shall be 30 m.
11.12 Pre-curving of rails in S&C
Below 500 m radius closure rails in S&C shall be pre-curved.
11.13 Signalling equipment in S&C
Standard AWS magnets can only be used in concrete bearer CEN56 vertical S&C if
they are placed on type R baseplated bearers. Low profile AWS magnets may be
used on D type bearers.

See 11.6.3 for the requirements for bearer ties and AWS magnets, TPWS equipment
and axle counters.
12 Conversion of jointed track to CWR
12.1 Approval for conversion
All proposals to convert jointed track to CWR shall be approved by the RAM [Track].
Track to be converted shall have a minimum of 24 sleepers per length with the
fastening types shown in table 29.
Anchor lengths and the lateral stability of the track shall be assessed and found to be
satisfactory before granting approval.
See 6.5.7 regarding changing loads on structures.
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Table 29 – Fastenings approved for conversion of jointed track to CWR

Concrete sleepers
a) cast-in housings
b) converted F10 sleepers, with PR401A or e clips
c) Pan9 conversion of E1 sleepers, with PR401A clips
d) converted F16 sleepers, with PR401A or e clips
e) E1 sleepers with BH chairs and steel keys (but use wood keys in
tunnels)

Wood sleepers and longitudinal timbers


f) screw-fastened Pandrol baseplates with appropriate pads and clips (e
clips may be used in SG iron baseplates)
g) BH chairs in tunnels with wood keys

Steel sleepers
h) All spade ended steel sleepers are suitable for use in CWR

12.2 Rail requirements for conversion


FB98lb rail shall not be used when converting by re-railing.
Prior to conversion, rails shall be visually and ultrasonically examined. Defects which
would require replacement within 13 weeks shall be removed or repaired.
NOTE: See NR/L2/TRK/001 for defect classifications and removal
Rails for welding shall be at least 12 m long.
NOTE: This allows for the cropping of existing 13.7 m (45-ft) rails.
The minimum radius for the conversion of jointed track by site welding to CWR shall
be 500 m.
Jointed rails converted to CWR should have a minimum of 5 years residual life.
12.3 Conversion by aluminothermic welding
In track categories 1A, to 3 rails shall be cropped to remove fishbolt holes. In track
categories 4, to 6, bolt holes may remain, providing the weld geometry requirements
can be met.
12.4 Conversion by mobile flash butt welding
Rails shall be disc cut or sawn to remove fishbolt holes and prepare the rail ends for
welding.
12.5 Preparation for conversion
The two sleepers each side of a weld (i.e. four in total) shall be of the same material
and depth.
Replacement sleepers shall comply with table 29.
Rail pads shall be renewed.
The critical rail temperature (CRT) shall be assessed and confirmed when stressed.
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Converted track should have any cracked, decayed or ineffective sleepers replaced
prior to conversion. Softwood sleepers should be free of internal decay and of splits
extending into the baseplate area.
See NR/L2/TRK/001 mod 14 for the calculation and management of critical rail
temperatures.
12.6 Ballast
Ballast shoulders shall be provided as for new CWR track.
To reduce the risk of buckling all ballast, including shoulder ballast, shall be free of
wet beds and able to permit free drainage. Any voiding shall be assessed and
appropriate adjustments made to the CRT.
13 Holes in rails
13.1 General
Holes in rails shall comply with RT/CE/S/008 and be:
a) as shown on relevant RE/PW drawings; or
b) as otherwise specified.
Flame-cut holes shall not be installed in track.
All permanent fishbolt holes factory drilled or site drilled in CWR shall be cold
expanded (see RT/CE/S/050).
Where bond holes are required, they shall not be drilled less than 525 mm from the
rail end, or within 30 mm of a weld. They shall not be closer than 75 mm centres
from fishbolt holes and shall be located wholly within +/- 15 mm of the height of the

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fishbolt hole centreline.
Where rails are cropped, any bond holes within 525 mm of the new cut rail end shall
also be removed.
13.2 Retention of bolt holes in CWR
New CWR plain line in track categories 1A, 1 and 2 shall be planned to be installed
without redundant holes greater than 15 mm diameter.
Where the creation of fishplate backholes is unavoidable, they shall be:
a) ultrasonically inspected prior to welding and be free of cracking;
b) cold bolt hole expanded;
c) agreed by the RAM [Track]; and
d) ultrasonically inspected as fishplated joints for the first six months after welding as
specified in NR/L2/TRK/001.
In track categories 3 to 6, and within S&C in all track categories, fishplate backholes
shall be:
a) ultrasonically inspected prior to welding and be free of cracking; and
b) ultrasonically inspected as fishplated joints once within the first twelve months
after welding as specified in NR/L2/TRK/001.
Redundant front bolt holes shall not be retained in any track category.

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For track categories 3 to 6 and the turnout routes of S&C, backholes satisfying these
requirements do not need to be cold expanded.

NOTE: These requirements do not apply when jointed track is converted to CWR by site
welding of existing rails. Such conversions require site-specific approval by the RAM [Track]:
see NR/L3/TRK/3011.

13.3 Cold expanded jointed track


On existing cold-expanded jointed plain line routes all new site-drilled fishbolt holes
shall be cold expanded and marked. Fishbolt holes in replacement serviceable rails,
if not already cold expanded, shall be in accordance with RT/CE/S/051.

14 Geometry targets and tolerances


The geometry and clearance tolerances for track opening to traffic at linespeed
following renewal or any other construction activity where geometry has been
disturbed shall be as specified in appendix A. The achievement of these tolerances
shall be a pre-condition of acceptance by Network Rail of track into maintenance.
The values in Appendix A, table A.1 are for ballasted track, track supported by
longitudinal timbers, short lengths of track (generally less than 30 m) with direct
fastenings or embedded rails.
The values in Appendix A, table A.2 are for track installed as slab track.
The track quality standards required on installed track shall be as specified in
Appendix A, table A.3.

Band 1 values shall apply to whole ⅛th mile sections of new track for:
a) new construction using new rail;
b) new rail, new or serviceable sleepers, with associated reballasting;
c) new rail on steel sleepers on scarified ballast; and
d) rerailing with new rail on existing sleepers when associated with ballast treatment.

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Band 2 values shall apply to whole ⅛th mile sections of new track for:
a) new construction using serviceable rail;
b) serviceable rail, new or serviceable sleepers, with associated reballasting;
c) serviceable rail on steel sleepers on scarified ballast;
d) rerailing with serviceable rail on existing sleepers when associated with ballast
treatment;
e) all other types of renewals except rerailing which is not associated with ballast
treatment work; and
f) all eighth/quarter mile sections containing plain line within 200 m run in and run
out for any of the above work provided that the work comprises more than 60% of
the length of the eighth/quarter mile.

The target standard deviation for the adjacent existing track shall be the:
a) lower (i.e. higher standard of geometry) of the last recorded value prior to the
renewal; or
b) ‘satisfactory’ target value for the track geometry quality band.
The designer shall calculate the design alignment standard deviation for each
alignment string using software agreed by Head of Track.

15 Tamping and dynamic track stabilisers DTS

15.1 Tamping S&C


S&C shall only be tamped by machines suitable for the unit being installed. As a
minimum, machines with a third lifting point and extending tamping banks shall be
used.
Parallel tamping shall be used on S&C with bearers through two tracks where
insufficient access is available for the layout to be tamped by a single machine in
one possession, or where machines with a third lifting point are not available.

15.2 Geometry chart recorders


Where fitted, geometry chart recorders shall be used to measure the track geometry
at spate and quality tamps on both plain line and S&C. The data recorders shall be
set up to record the following channels in the following order:
a) cross-level;
b) 3 m twist;
c) track gauge;
d) horizontal geometry (as horizontal versines using lining chord on tamper); and
e) vertical geometry (as vertical versines using lining chord on tamper).

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In addition, where geometry chart recorders are fitted to DTS or combinations of


DTS and tampers and regulators:
f) measurement of the increased lateral stability by action of the DTS; and
g) measurement of the vertical load applied by the DTS.
Where the DTS is the last machine to be used prior to the track being opened to
traffic, it shall be applied in “Automatic mode”.

16 Site Marking

16.1 Geometry details


The start, finish and length of each transition curve and the cant in 5 mm steps shall
be marked permanently on the sleepers. The radius of curvature shall be marked at
the end of the transition. The cant shall be marked at intervals throughout the circular
curve. The lettering shall be black on a yellow background.
Datum marks relating to the design alignment, level and cant of new/relaid track shall
be provided:
a) in accordance with NR/L2/TRK/3201, to every structure such as overbridge
abutments and underbridge parapets, platforms, walls etc., where kinematic
vehicle/structure clearances are below 200 mm (up to 3300 mm above rail level)
or 250 mm (above 3300 mm above rail level);
b) at each overhead line mast and, where practicable, other contact wire supports
on overhead-electrified lines;
c) at suitable intervals to enable maintenance of track geometry on high cant
deficiency curves (i.e. where the cant deficiency might exceed 150 mm); and
d) on all S&C renewal sites by approved monuments.
Datum marks shall be resistant to disturbance. Details of the datum marks and their
offsets shall be supplied to Network Rail Maintenance.

16.2 High cant deficiency curves


High cant deficiency curves (deficiency >150 mm) shall be installed by machines
capable of achieving the design vertical and horizontal alignments and of producing
a post-installation record of the alignment.
All such curves and adjacent transitions shall be marked every 200 m and at each
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milepost on the sleeper in the four-foot with a blue plate with the letters “HCD” in
white.
17 Rail flange lubrication
17.1 Provision of lubricators on plain line
Existing rail flange lubricators shall be reinstated or replaced when track is renewed
or rerailed.

NOTE: Where rail flange lubricators are needed to address a series of curves an electric rail
flange lubricator should be provided.

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Where no lubricators exist and the track is to be renewed or rerailed, lubrication shall
be specified on all curves:
a) with a radius of 1000 m or less;
b) exhibiting sidewear;
c) with a history of sidewear; or
d) that have been identified as “at risk” due to the introduction of new rolling stock.
All curves fitted with a check rail shall have lubricators fitted and commissioned to
both the high (outer) running rail and the check rail rubbing face.
Lubricators shall be commissioned and working within two weeks of track being
opened to traffic.

NOTE: Working is defined as a minimum of ¾ of the grease distribution unit ports clear and
expelling fresh grease upon manual activation and with grease visually observed where wheel
contact is apparent into the main body of the curve/s being served.

Consider specifying lubrication on curves with:,


a) a radius of 1500 m or less;
b) a history of Rolling Contact Fatigue (RCF) (in order to help preserve a satisfactory
transverse rail profile); or
c) a history of noise complaints (low rail damage = low rail noise/squeal)..
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NOTE: On long or back-to-back reverse curves, either more than one conventional flange
lubricator or an electric lubricator installation might be needed.

Sites with low rail damage and or noise complaints may be better managed using low rail
friction management equipment in conjunction with conventional rail flange lubrication of the
high rail.

All new lubricator locations in plain line shall be installed in accordance with
NR/L3/TRK/3510 and have a documented location-specific risk assessment using
TEF3219.
17.2 Lubrication of switches
The machined portion of the gauge face of the high (outer) switch rail shall be
lubricated at installation. Lubricators shall be specified where high wear rates are
anticipated.
All new lubricator locations in S&C shall be installed in accordance with
NR/L3/TRK/3510 and have a documented location-specific risk assessment using
TEF3219.
18 Lineside information and signage
All Lineside signage relating to operational safety including mileposts, gradient posts,
temporary and permanent speed restriction boards shall conform to GI/RT7033.
Any dimensions, datum markers, or numbering of survey stations etc. created for the
construction or renewal shall be removed from structures upon the completion of the
works. They shall be replaced as necessary with permanent datum markers.

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Datum Plates to RE/PW/572 or an approved equivalent system shall be used for


displaying offsets, levels and cants on OLE masts, platforms walls and other
structures.
Marker plates shall be used for the permanent marking of chainages or stations on
platform walls, retaining walls or other structures. They shall be installed at a
consistent height relative to rail level. Stencils shall be used for painting chainages or
stations on cable troughs.
The permanent marking of dimensions, datum markers, station numbers (metres,
chains, or miles), and cant data etc. shall not be free hand painted onto platform
walls, retaining walls or any other structure.
Any chainage markings that existed prior to works shall be reinstated.
NOTE: See 16 for the requirements regarding the marking of track geometry details on site.
19 Raising of speed or axle weight on existing track
19.1 General requirements
The limits given in tables 30 to 34 shall apply where the existing track construction
does not meet the requirements for new track for the proposed speed, axle weight or
tonnage of the proposed traffic.

Table 30 – Raising of line speed or axle loads – components

Component or system Restriction


Rail CEN56 (BS113A) and lighter Maximum 25.5 tonne axle loads
rail sections

Rail Rails lighter than 95 lb/yd 60 mph

Rail BR98lb FB 75 mph or 90 mph for Sprinters (not Class


17X & 18X)

Rail BR109 90 mph

Sleepers Pan 8 baseplates with No increase in speed permitted


lockspikes

Sleepers Crimp-ended steel sleepers 75 mph

Longitudinal timbers 75 mph

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Table 31 – Raising of line speed – jointed track

Component or system Restriction


Jointed track 90 mph

Bullhead rail on concrete sleepers 60 mph or 75 mph if there are four wood
sleepers at each joint);

Bullhead rail on softwood sleepers 75 mph

Flat-bottom rail on concrete sleepers with 60 mph or 75 mph if there are four wood
Mills, RNB, AD, RD, CS3 or BJB fastenings sleepers at each joint);

Flat-bottom rail on softwood sleepers with 75 mph


non-Pandrol fastenings

Steel sleepers 60 mph or 75 mph if there are four wood


sleepers at each joint);

Rails less than 60 ft long 60 mph

Table 32 – Raising of line speed – CWR track

Component or system Restriction


Bullhead CWR on softwood sleepers 60 mph

Bullhead CWR on hardwood or concrete sleepers, and flat- 75 mph


bottom CWR with Mills, RNB, AD, RD, CS3 or BJB
fastenings,

Spade-ended steel sleepers 105 mph

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Table 33 – Raising of line speed – S&C

Component or system Restriction


Bullhead, and inclined flatbottom on softwood bearers 75 mph

CEN56 vertical jointed (unstressed) S&C 90 mpha

Timbered S&C with full depth switch rails: 90 mpha

Timber bearers 125 mpha

CEN56 vertical S&C 125 mpha

Maximum speed for short switches and complex S&C as specified in


NR/L3/TRK/2049

Check rail entry flares Compliant for the higher


speeds

a Type 2 Check Rails (Foot machined) to RE/PW/613 shall be used for speeds above 75 mph.
Lengths of check rail specified in NR/L3/TRK/2049

Table 34 – Raising of line speed – cant deficiency

Component or system Restriction


Cant deficiency to be between 150 mm and 225 mm Sleeper spacing no greater
than 700 mm

Cant deficiency to exceed 225 mm Sleeper spacing no greater


than 650 mm

19.2 Evaluation of formation


The critical velocity of the formation shall be taken into account in areas of ‘poor’ (or
worse) track geometry; see NR/L2/TRK/4239.
20 Conversion of freight only lines to passenger lines
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Freight only lines converted to passenger traffic shall comply with the minimum track
construction standards in clause 19.
NOTE: This applies irrespective of whether the line speeds are to be raised.
Curves below 200 m radius shall be fitted with continuous check rails in accordance
with section 10.10
21 Decommissioning of redundant assets
21.1 Redundant S&C
Redundant S&C in running lines at locations and on tracks where track renewal or
enhancement works are being undertaken shall be plain lined.
All scrap and waste materials shall be removed.

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Strategic spares shall be recovered to the extent specified by the RAM [Track]
The associated signalling controls shall be recovered to the extent specified by the
RAM [S&T].
All associated overhead line electrification and direct current third and fourth rail
electrification shall be recovered to the extent specified by the RAM [E&P].
21.2 Redundant plain line
Rails and sleepers in redundant plain line track shall be assessed and categorised
as either serviceable or scrap. They shall be disposed of as specified by the RAM
[Track].
21.3 Redundant insulated joints
Redundant insulated rail joints generated by track or signalling renewal projects and
enhancement schemes shall be removed from track to the timescales specified in
table 35.
All replacement rails shall conform to the minimum lengths as specified in 10.12.3.
They shall be stressed when installed in CWR.

Table 35 – Timescales for removal of redundant insulated rail joints

Track category Timescale

1A, 1, 2 Remove within 26 weeks

3&4 Remove within 52 weeks

5, 6 No removal necessary
(additional bonding maybe
required as specified by the
Signalling Designer)

NOTE: Timescales for the removal of shop repaired glued 6 hole insulated rail joints may be
extended with the agreement of the RAM [Track].
21.4 Redundant adjustment switches
When an adjustment switch is removed, stressing shall be carried back 180 m into
the existing CWR.
22 Records
Records of the renewed asset, as-built records and any special maintenance
requirements shall be passed to those with responsibility for maintenance on
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completion of the works.


As-built gauging records for clearances shall be checked for compliance to the
design and passed to the Network Rail gauging engineer (see NR/L2/TRK/3201).
Projects shall have a process in place to manage the transfer of records considered
critical for the safe operation of the railway between constructor and maintainer. This
shall include amendments to the records of other assets as a result of knowledge
gained during site surveys, investigations or construction work.
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NOTE: Specific arrangements are defined in the asset management plan for the project
prepared as in accordance with NR/L3/EBM/089.
Records shall be retained in the Health and Safety file as required by the CDM
Regulations.
In particular, records of track geometry (for new and relaid track) shall be created
and maintained electronically as follows.
1) Horizontal curves:
a. location of tangent points;
b. radius;
c. cant;
d. transition lengths;
e. cant gradients;
f. permissible speed;
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g. enhanced permissible speeds (where appropriate); and


h. the maintenance tolerances on cant and radius used to calculate enhanced
permissible speeds (where appropriate).

2) Vertical curves:
a. location of tangent points; and
b. minimum radius.

3) Gradients:
a. Records of all gradients on running lines shall be maintained.
b. Residual health and safety risks and non-compliances shall be recorded and
retained in the Health and Safety file.

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Appendix A
Geometrical track tolerances
The tables A.1 and A.2 specify (in mm):
a) the absolute variations and rates of change in variation from vertical and
horizontal design; and
b) the absolute variations, and rates of change in these, for cross level and
gauge that shall not be exceeded, for varying line speeds.
In platforms and where other tight clearances apply, the track shall be placed within
the vertical, lateral and cross level tolerances set by the designer on the Form B.
These tolerances shall replace the standard values and shall be approved by the
Network Rail Gauging Engineer.

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Table A.1 – Geometrical track tolerances for ballasted track, track supported
by longitudinal timbers and short lengths of track with direct fastenings and
embedded rails
Permissible or enhanced permissible speed
Parameter mph
Up to 20 25 to 40 45 to 60 65 to 95 100 to 125 over 125
Vertical alignment (mm)
a
(top)
Absolute variation from design +10, -20 +10, -20 +10, -20 +10, -20 +10, -20 +10, -20

Permissible rate of change


from design, between adjacent
10 m offsets
- in reverses in vertical curves 15 10 8 6 5 2
- elsewhere 25 15 13 10 7 3
Horizontal alignment (line) b
Absolute variation from design ±15 ±15 ±15 ±15 ±10 ±10

Permissible rate of change


from design, either difference
between adjacent 10 m offsets
15 10 8 6 5 3
or difference between
consecutive versines on
overlapping 20 m chords
Cross level (cant)
Permissible variation from
±10 ±8 ±8 ±5 ±3 ±2
design
Twist (applies also when
speed is TSR)
Maximum rate of change of
cross level over a 3 m length
(mm/3 m) on a transition (even 8 8 8 7 6 6
when transition is designed to (1 in 375) (1 in 375) (1 in 375) (1 in 428) (1 in 500) (1 in 500)
steepest limits permitted under
NR/L3/TRK/2049)
Maximum rate of change of
5 5 5 5 3 3
cross level over a 3 m length
(1 in 600) (1 in 600) (1 in 600) (1 in 600) (1 in 1000) (1 in 1000)
(mm/3 m) elsewhere
Gauge c d
plain line 1435 - 41 1435 - 41 1435 - 41 1435 - 41 1435 - 40 1435 - 40
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CEN60 S&C 1435 - 38 1435 - 38 1435 - 38 1435 - 38 1435 - 38 1435 - 37
CEN56 vertical S&C on 1431 - 35 1431 - 35 1431 - 35 1431 - 35 1432 - 35 -
concrete or steel
CEN56 vertical S&C on timber 1431 - 35 1431 - 35 1431 - 35 1431 - 35 1432 - 35 -
Permissible change over 3 m 6 5 5 4 3 2
Vertical deflection under No visible movement during passage of trains
load
Notes:
a
This applies at any point where vertical curvature reverses without an intervening constant gradient.
b
In curved track the versine shall not be of opposite hand to the design versine.
c
Any gauge widening on sharp curves should be added to these values (see 10.1.1).
d
The lower limit may be reduced to 1432 mm if serviceable concrete sleepers of nominal 1432 mm gauge are used.

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Table A.2 – Geometrical track tolerances for slab track and track not included
in Table A.1
Permissible or enhanced permissible speed
Parameter mph
Up to 20 25 to 40 45 to 60 65 to 95 100 to 125 over 125
Vertical alignment (top) a

Absolute variation from design +0, -15 +0, -15 +0, -10 +0, -5 +0, -5 +0, -5

Permissible rate of change


from design, between
adjacent 10 m offsets
4 4 3 2 2 2
- in reverses in vertical curves
6 6 5 3 3 3
- elsewhere
Horizontal alignment (line) b
Absolute variation from design
string ±6 ±6 ±5 ±3 ±3 ±3

Permissible rate of change


from design string, either
difference between adjacent
4 4 3 2 2 2
10 m offsets or difference
between consecutive versines
on overlapping 20 m chords
Cross level (cant)
Permissible variation from
±5 ±5 ±4 ±2 ±2 ±2
design
Twist (applies also when
speed is TSR)
Maximum rate of change of
cross level over a 3 m length 6 6 5 3 3 3
(mm/3 m) on a transition
(1 in 500) (1 in 500) (1 in 600) (1 in 1000) (1 in 1000) (1 in 1000)
(even when transition is
designed to steepest limits
permitted under
NR/L3/TRK/2049)
Maximum rate of change of
4 4 3 2 2 2

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cross level over a 3 m length
(1 in 750) (1 in 750) (1 in 1000) (1 in 1500) (1 in 1500) (1 in 1500)
(mm/3 m) elsewhere
Gauge c d 1435 - 38 1435 - 38 1435 - 38 1435 - 37 1435 - 37 1435 - 37
Permissible change over 3 m 3 3 3 2 2 2
Vertical deflection under No visible movement during passage of trains
load
Notes:
a
This applies at any point where vertical curvature reverses without an intervening constant gradient.
b
In curved track the versine shall not be of opposite hand to the design versine.
c
Any gauge widening on sharp curves should be added to these values (see 10.1.1).
d
The values shall be reduced to 1432 mm from 1435 mm if vertical S&C with a designed gauge of 1432 mm is to be used.

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In addition, the requirements of table A.3 shall be achieved.


Table A.3 – Track quality standards required on installed track
“Q” Speed Band 1 a Band 2 a
Band mph
WT35 AL 35 MT 70 AL 70 WT35 AL 35 MT 70 AL 70
Q1 10 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q1 15 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q1 20 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q2 25 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q2 30 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q3 35 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q3 40 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q4 45 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q4 50 2.0 1.7 2.6 1.8
Q5 55 1.7 1.3 2.1 1.4
Q5 60 1.7 1.3 2.1 1.4
Q6 65 1.7 1.3 2.1 1.4
Q6 70 1.7 1.3 2.1 1.4
Q7 75 1.4 1.1 1.6 1.2
Q7 80 1.4 1.1 2.1 1.7 1.6 1.2 2.4 1.9
Q8 85 1.4 1.1 2.1 1.7 1.6 1.2 2.4 1.9
Q8 90 1.4 1.1 2.1 1.7 1.6 1.2 2.4 1.9
Q8 95 1.4 1.1 2.1 1.7 1.6 1.2 2.4 1.9

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Q9 100 1.3 0.9 2.0 1.6 1.4 1.0 2.1 1.7
Q9 105 1.3 0.9 2.0 1.6 1.4 1.0 2.1 1.7
Q9 110 1.3 0.9 2.0 1.6 1.4 1.0 2.1 1.7
Q10 115 1.3 0.8 1.8 1.5 1.4 1.0 2.0 1.6
Q10 120 1.3 0.8 1.8 1.5 1.4 1.0 2.0 1.6
Q10 125 1.3 0.8 1.8 1.5 1.4 1.0 2.0 1.6
Q11 130 1.0 0.7 1.3 1.1 1.1 0.9 1.5 1.2
Q11 135 1.0 0.7 1.3 1.1 1.1 0.9 1.5 1.2
Q11 140 1.0 0.7 1.3 1.1 1.1 0.9 1.5 1.2
The design alignment standard deviation value when added to the appropriate value above shall not exceed
the equivalent value for ‘Good’ track quality in NR/L2/TRK/001.

NOTE: These values are based on recordings by approved Network Rail track recording vehicles. a See 14.

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Appendix B
Track Categories

140
130
120
110
Cat 1A
100
90
80
Speed (mph)

Cat 1
70
60
50 Cat 2

40
Cat
30
Cat 5 3
20 Cat 4
10 Cat 6
0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Equated Million Gross Tons Per Annum (EMGTPA)

Figure B.1 – Track Categories


NOTE: The horizontal portions of the track Category boundaries are based on the maximum speeds
of the principal traffic types. The curved portions of the track category boundaries up to 25 equivalent
million gross tonnes per annum (EMGTPA) are based on current and past experience. Above 25
EMGTPA, the curves have been extrapolated to reflect the expected track damage for very heavily
used lines.
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Appendix C Miles per hour (mph) conversion to kilometres per hour (km/h)
ERTMS (ETCS) measures speed in kilometres per hour (km/h); the Rule Book
presently only refers to speed in miles per hour (mph). Where ETCS is being
implemented speeds can be converted from mph to km/h using table C1.

Table C1 – Miles per hour (mph) conversion to kilometres per hour (km/h)

mph km/h mph km/h


5 10 70 115
10 15 75 120
15 25 80 130
20 30 85 135
25 40 90 145
30 50 95 155
35 55 100 160
40 65 105 170
45 70 110 175
50 80 115 185
55 90 120 195
60 95 125 200
65 105

Note: This can result in speeds that are not rounded down. The converted speeds shall still remain
within the limiting values.

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Standards Briefing Note

Ref: NR/L2/TRK/2102 Issue: 8


Title: Design and construction of track
Publication Date: 03/09/2016 Compliance Date: 01/03/2017
Standard Owner: Chief Track & Lineside Engineer
Non-Compliance rep (NRNC): Route Asset Manager [Track]
Further information contact: Brian Whitney Tel: 07990 533768
Purpose: This standard is intended to control the risk of Scope: This Network Rail standard specifies the requirements for
incorrect materials and components being specified and to the design and construction of track with line speeds up to
control the required quality of installation of track. It specifies the 140mph. This includes:
design principles and minimum standards for the construction of a) the construction of new sections of track and routes;
new or relayed track, including the materials to be used. It also
specifies acceptance criteria for new or relayed track in terms of b) the replacement of contiguous lengths of track components or
workmanship and the track geometry requirements for both switch and crossing layouts, either singly or in combination, as part
newly installed and existing track. of project or renewal activities;
c) the replacement of new construction of trackbed layers,
drainage, level crossings, direct fastening systems, buffer stops or
other track features;
d) the replacement of components of the track system, carried out
during maintenance, that significantly changes its design or
configuration (for instance, the installation or removal of check rails
or the installation of cast crossings with welded extension legs in
place of semi-fabricated crossings);
e) the requirements to be met whenever existing tracks are
upgraded to carry higher speeds or tonnages of rail traffic; and
f) the requirements for the design of track geometry for both newly
installed and existing track.

What’s New/ What’s Changed and Why:


1) Correction of errors in issue 7.
2) New content in ‘Definitions’ section to include omitted items and new components.
3) Clarification of a number of points and clauses where “design, construct and measure” requirements were unclear.
4) Clarification of the length of rail in jointed track.
5) Section on “structure adjustment switch” expanded to include location, use and stressing requirements.
6) Section on “ballast gluing” expanded to include use in transitions.
7) Clarification of requirements for horizontal and vertical alignment and the provision of transitions.
8) Clarification of design and use of guard rails.
9) Section on “track lowering” expanded to clarify vertical alignment requirements.
10) Introduction of a new requirement for designers to review new designs with an S&C risk categorisation tool (TEF 3262).
11) Minor amendments to text for guidance and clarification.

Technical briefing material giving a detailed explanation of all key changes included in issues 7 and 8 is available separately.

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Affected documents:
Reference Impact
NR/L2/TRK/2102 ISSUE 7 Superseded

Briefing requirements: Where Technical briefing (T) is required, the specific Post title is indicated. These posts have specific responsibilities
within this standard and receive briefing as part of the Implementation Programme. For Awareness briefing (A) the Post title is not mandatory.

Briefing Post Team Function


(A-Awareness/
T-Technical)
T Senior Project Engineers [Track], Project Engineers All Regions / Programmes Investment Projects
[Track], Assistant Project Engineers [Track]
T Senior Design Engineers [Track], Design Engineers All Regions / Programmes Investment Projects
[Track], Assistant Design Engineers [Track]
A
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Standards Briefing Note

T Programme Engineering Managers Track Investment Projects


T Route Asset Managers [Track] Asset Management Network Operations
T Senior Asset Engineers (Support) [Track] Asset Management Network Operations
T Senior Asset Engineers (R&E) [Track] Asset Management Network Operations
T Work Delivery design teams Track Network Operations
T Principal Engineers Track & Lineside STE
A Senior Engineers, Engineers Track & Lineside STE
T Principal Vehicle Track Dynamics Engineer Track & Lineside STE
T Reliability Improvement Manager [Track & Lineside] Track & Lineside STE
A Principal Reliability Improvement Specialist, Senior Track & Lineside STE
Reliability Improvement Specialist
T Principal Engineers Switches & Crossings STE
A Senior Engineers, Engineers Switches & Crossings STE
A Principal Engineers M&E / Systems Engineering STE
T Supplier design lead engineers Suppliers External

*NOTE: Contractors are responsible for arranging and undertaking their own Technical and Awareness Briefings in accordance with their own processes and procedure

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