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Rail as artefact!

Over the past few centuries, railway tracks have evolved from being made of wood, then metal and wood and then steel rails on wooden or concrete ties which is what is typically uses today.

As railway built larger and heavier engines and rolling stock, the weight of the rail per foot increased to the point where 130 pound per yard rail or heavier is commonly used today on mainline tracks. Often lighter rail is used on sidings or branch lines where loads and speeds are lighter.

Our 7 1/2" gauge miniature railway is unusual as we used rail weighing 8 to 10 pounds per yard which is typically used in 15" to 18" gauge railways. We used this relatively heavy rail for two reasons:
  • We were fortunate to find a good supply of surplus former amusement park ride 8 and 10 pound rail
  • Our Sweet Creek steam locomotive is among the heaviest of locomotives used on 7 1/4" gauge railways
  • Our rail is partially embedded in poured concrete
In our inventory of artefacts, we have collected lengths of rail from the past which have embossed on them information about the source of the rails. We have put some of it on display as shown in the photo below.

Click here to learn a lot more about "rail".

Posting by Russ Milland; Photo by Lance Gleich
Click on each image for a closer look!

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