Vignoles rail

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Comparison of flat-bottomed with bullhead rail


Vignoles rail is the popular name of the flat-bottomed rail used internationally for railway track, recognising engineer Charles Vignoles who established it in Britain.

In late 1830s England, railway lines had a vast range of different patterns. One of the earliest lines to use double-headed rail was the London and Birmingham Railway, which had offered a prize for the best design. If it were true that the rail could be turned over when the running surface became worn, the argument lost its validity as it evolved into the bullhead rail, with a heavier profile to the top edge. The lower edge also wore in patches where it was borne on the chairs. Although it became the standard for the British railway system until the mid-20th century, there seems to be nothing in the literature about any other advantages it may have had.

Flat bottomed rail was first introduced in America by R.L.Stevens in 1830. There were no steel mills in America capable of rolling long lengths, so it was manufactured in Britain. Charles Vignoles observed that wear was occurring with steel rails and steel chairs upon stone blocks, the normal system at that time. In 1836 he recommended flat-bottomed rail to the London and Croydon Railway for which he was consulting engineer.

His original rail had a smaller cross-section to the Stevens rail, with a wider base than modern rail, fastened with screws through the base. He used a modified version for his Birmingham and Gloucester Railway. Other lines which adopted it were the Hull and Selby, the Newcastle and North Shields, and the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal Navigation and Railway Company.
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Vignoles rail as used for the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway in 1840


When it became possible to preserve wooden sleepers with mercuric chloride (a process called "Kyanising") and creosote, they gave a much quieter ride than stone blocks and it was possible to fasten the rails directly using clips or rail spikes. Their use spread world-wide and acquired Vignoles' name.

See also

External links

References

  • Ransom, P.J.G., (1990) The Victorian Railway and How it Evolved, London: Heinemann Ltd
Rail tracks are used on railways (or railroads), which, together with railroad switches (or points), guide trains without the need for steering. Tracks consist of two parallel steel rails, which are laid upon sleepers (or cross ties) that are embedded in ballast to form the
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Charles Blacker Vignoles (1793 - 1875) was an influential early railway engineer, and eponym of the Vignoles rail.

Early life

He was born at Woodbrook County, Wexford, Ireland.
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United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom from 1 January 1801 until 12 April 1927. It was formed by the merger of the Kingdom of Great Britain (itself having been a merger of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland) and the Kingdom of
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18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1800s  1810s  1820s  - 1830s -  1840s  1850s  1860s
1827 1828 1829 - 1830 - 1831 1832 1833

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Motto
Dieu et mon droit   (French)
"God and my right"
Anthem
No official anthem specific to England — the anthem of the United Kingdom is "God Save the Queen".
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London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR) was an early railway company in the United Kingdom from 1833 until 1846, at which date it became a constituent part of the London and North Western Railway.
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twentieth century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1901 and ended on December 31, 2000, according to the Gregorian calendar. Some historians consider the era from about 1914 to 1991 to be the Short Twentieth Century.
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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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Colonel Robert Livingston Stevens (October 18 1787 – April 20 1856 Hoboken, New Jersey) was the son of Colonel John Stevens. In 1807, the father and son built the Phœnix
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18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1800s  1810s  1820s  - 1830s -  1840s  1850s  1860s
1827 1828 1829 - 1830 - 1831 1832 1833

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Charles Blacker Vignoles (1793 - 1875) was an influential early railway engineer, and eponym of the Vignoles rail.

Early life

He was born at Woodbrook County, Wexford, Ireland.
..... Click the link for more information.
The London and Croydon Railway was opened in 1839 between London and Croydon in England.

It shared the station at London Bridge with the London and Greenwich Railway and the line as far as Corbetts Lane Junction.
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The Birmingham and Gloucester Railway is a railway route linking Birmingham to Gloucester in England.

It is one of the world's oldest mainline railways and includes the famous Lickey Incline, a two mile dead straight stretch of track running up the Lickey Ridge's 1/37
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The Hull and Selby Railway was a railway company in the United Kingdom which opened in 1840, connecting Hull with the Leeds and Selby Railway

In the early nineteenth century, the town of Hull was growing in importance as a North Sea port, in competition with nearby Goole
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The Newcastle & North Shields Railway was opened in June 1839 from a station in Carliol Square in Newcastle upon Tyne to North Shields. It was later extended to Newcastle Central Station to the west and to Tynemouth in the East, initially at its own station but later to a
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Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal is a canal in Greater Manchester, in the north west of England. It runs between Manchester, Bolton, and Bury. It is currently disused and undergoing restoration work.
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Mercury(II) chloride (also called mercuric chloride and corrosive sublimate) is a poisonous white soluble crystalline salt of mercury. It was formerly used in insecticides, batteries; as an antiseptic, disinfectant, preservative, in metallurgy and as a photographic fixitive.
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Creosote is the name used for a variety of products: wood creosote, coal tar creosote, coal tar, coal tar pitch, and coal tar pitch volatiles. These products are mixtures of many chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenol, cresols created by
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spike is a large nail with an offset head that is used to secure rails or fishplates (or baseplates) to ties in the track. Spikes are driven into wooden ties either by hammering them with a spike hammer by hand, or in an automated fashion with a spiker.
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Rail profile is a hot rolled steel profile of a specific shape or cross section (an asymmetrical I-beam).

Unlike some other uses of iron and steel, railway rails are subject to very high stresses and have to be made of very high quality steel.
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Iron-strapped wooden rails were used on all American railways until 1831. Col. Robert L. Stevens, the President of the Camden and Amboy Railroad, conceived the idea that an all-iron rail would be better suited for building a railroad.
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