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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Rail identification
Date: 11/10/00 06:46
I have a question about some rail that I took some close-up photos of a couple months ago, and wondered if anybody could identify the company that made it.
Just south of Slinger, Wis. (at Slinger Road) I photographed some new rail lying between the Wisconsin Central and WSOR mainlines that had the following markings:
150 RE VT RMSM 1999
Of course the 150 was the rail's weight and 1999 the year produced, but what the heck is "VT" or "RMSM?" I have never heard of this rail producer.
Date: 11/10/00 07:35
150 pounds per yard?????
Geez, these are heavy rails; the heaviest I've seen so far are 136 pounds per yard. (And the lightest were 60 pounds per yard on the old Roxboro siding of CN's Deux-Montagnes commuter line back in 1995).
How long have these 150 pounds per yard rails been around (i.e. marketed by the steel plants)?
Have some been installed elsewhere than on WC?
Date: 11/10/00 07:49
RE: Steel mill ID
RMSM stands for Rocky Mountain Steel Mills, a division of Oregon Steel. RMSM operates the former Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I) facility in Pueblo, Colo. RMSM and Pennsylvania Steel Technologies, a division of Bethlehem Steel, are the only two steelmakers in the U.S. still producing railroad rails.
I'd take a second look at the number 150. I don't know any railroad using rail that heavy, and there's no reason for WC or WSOR to put in anything that heavy. The two railroads have better things to spend money on.
Date: 11/10/00 07:59
I've seen CSX welded rail greater than 140 lbs in NY on the (ex-Conrail) Selkirk Branch (can't remeber the exact number, but 147 seems to sound right). Also, I believe the rail used by Union Pacific between North Platte, NE and Lincoln, NE is over 150 lbs on concrete ties.
Remember, the weight of the rail has a direct bearing on the speed a certain tonnage train can safely travel - the heavier the rail, the heavier and faster you can run trains.
Date: 11/10/00 08:02
RE: Heavy rail
A friend once told me that the heaviest rail ever laid in the U.S. was on the Conemaugh Div., 155 lbs.!
Whether this is true or not, I cannot verify.
Thanks for the info!
Date: 11/10/00 09:05
RE: 155 lb. rail
I believe the Pennsylvania laid some 155 lb. rail on the Broadway of Steel.
I know the Grand Trunk Western has a short stretch of 155 lb. rail on their main line over some unstable ground in Michigan.
Date: 11/10/00 13:13
RE: 155 lb. rail
I've never seen 155lb rail but have heard of it on the Pennsy or Conrail in PA. CSX is preparing to replace the east rail of track 2 thru the Alexandria, VA station area this Saturday night with 141 lb rail. This is the outside rail of a long right hand curve the goes under Duke Street and into the AF interlocking area. The current rail is in poor shape with several short pieces having been replaced but one or two really rough spots still evident
Date: 11/10/00 14:10
RE: 155 lb. rail
UP evidently installs 133 lb. rail when replacing existing mainline rail. On the CNW east/west mainline across Iowa, they replaced several miles in Eastern Iowa last spring. The new rail installed was 133 lb. cwr, and it replaced 136 lb. cwr the CNW installed ca. 1975. While I was observing a UP steel gang (actually, a "double" gang) working in southern Minnesota in the fall of 1999, a foreman told me that 133 lb. was the UP's standard rail. They were placing used 133 lb. rail the day I saw them. They were working the Fairmont line, and were removing CNW's jointed 100 lb. rail. The used rail they were installing "came from the main line in Wyoming " per what the foreman told me. The 136 lb. rail they picked up in Eastern Iowa was moved to Wisconsin and installed on the old CNW "Route of the 400" in the Adams area.
Yes, I understand the PRR had some 155 lb. rail. I recall reading about it in Trains Magazine many, many years ago.
Date: 11/10/00 14:15
RE: Rail identification
I would look at the rail again, I bet you will find a "1" in front of the 150RE. Some rail that I have seen actually has a "0" at the end of the weight, such as "1150" or even "11500". Although it is possible it could be 150lb rail I think a railroad like WC would be more inclined to use 115lb rail. The best way to verify the size would be to measure it.
Date: 11/10/00 15:14
What is the cost (to the RR) of different weight rail?
Date: 11/11/00 02:09
Heaviest U.S. made rail that I know rolled and used here was 162 lb. Rail used on B&LE,P&LE,and sold to N&W around 1960. 170+ was proposed ,and maybe even made but popularity of specialized treatment of head to increase wear has reduced need for heavier rails that were mostly used on heavy duty ,winding rights of way.
Date: 11/11/00 14:27
cep500, here's some dimensions to aid you in measuring that rail. I agree that 150lb rail for WC or WSOR seems way too heavy. Take a tape measure along next time and measure the width of the base. 115RE is 5.5", 131,132,133,136, and 140RE is 6". Height is a bit harder to measure accurately because of head wear and the vertical offset from the base edge to the head but do your best. Heights are: 115RE is 6.625", 131 and 132 is 7.125", 133 is 7.063", 136 is 7.313", 140 is 7.313, and 152PS and 155PS is 8.00". Please report back on what you find.
Date: 03/20/08 18:00
Re: Rail identification
150 would be pounds per yars; RE means that is it "Revised" by the American Railroad Engineering Association (AREA) at the request of the American Roadmasters Association (ARA...which seperates it from ASCE rail (American Society of Civil Engineers) which was 19th and early 20th century rail. Sometimes called square rail because the base was the same as the height. There was no uniformity to rail prior to 1893. VT is the initials of the two men responsible for developenment of 141 pound per yard rail...which was not "approved" for the solo RE mark for a while. RMSM is Rocky Mountain States Rail, which is CF&I and smaller rail manufacurers after their merge. 1999 is the year the rail was rolled, or manufactured.
Date: 03/21/08 07:12
Re: Rail identification
> 150 would be pounds per yars; RE means that is it
> "Revised" by the American Railroad Engineering
> Association (AREA) at the request of the American
> Roadmasters Association (ARA...which seperates it
> from ASCE rail (American Society of Civil
> Engineers) which was 19th and early 20th century
> rail. Sometimes called square rail because the
> base was the same as the height. There was no
> uniformity to rail prior to 1893. VT is the
> initials of the two men responsible for
> developenment of 141 pound per yard rail...which
> was not "approved" for the solo RE mark for a
> while. RMSM is Rocky Mountain States Rail, which
> is CF&I and smaller rail manufacurers after their
> merge. 1999 is the year the rail was rolled, or
Minor correction the letters "VT" stand for "Vacuum Treated" meaning the molten steel is exposed to a vacuum during cooling to remove dissolved Oxygen, which can cause pores and inclusions to form in the steel.