Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 11:01:01 -0400

Author: "Anthony Lapinski"

Subject: trains


I went to NYC yesterday on the NJ Transit train, as I have several times
in the past. The ride was very smooth. So smooth that it got me thinking
about heat and expansion joints. There wasn't that "clickety-clack" noise
one would expect to hear. It was as if each track was one continuous
piece. So I looked at adjacent tracks and noticed what appeared to be
track joiners, with basically NO space in between the track sections. This
puzzled me. We've probably all seen expansion joints on steel bridges, and
photos in texts of railroad tracks buckling during extreme heat
conditions. Does anyone know how engineers account for the temperature
effects on these tracks? I know Jersey does things a little differently
sometimes, but the laws of physics should also apply in this state! Or am
I missing something here?
From Mon May 24 12:25:15 2004