No matter how old the railroad is, it’s the same old problem.
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad tracks suffered from near record temperatures that caused expansion of the rails.
Here, D&SNG RR maintenance of way crew can be seen fixing the rails the old fashioned way with sweat and elbow grease!
The engineering challenge of running miles of narrow gauge ribbons of steel and the total expansion that is caused during a heat wave is almost mind boggling.
Figure that an 1800 foot length of rail will expand almost an entire foot with an 80 degree change in temperature, and you can see why even a small amount of temperature change can cause havoc over the entire line.
As a result of this “buckling” phenomenon, most railroads will require reduced speeds when the temperature tops 90 degrees.
Note: Do you think the crew member that broke the head off of his spike maul should have been on the inside of the rail instead of over it?
Let us know if you have ever been on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad! We would love to hear about your experience!