Railway Preservation News

9040 joint bars
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Author:  Harry Nicholls [ Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:53 pm ]
Post subject:  9040 joint bars

Want 14 pair of 9040 bars. Also looking for 9040-136 comp bars.
Anybody have an extra ballast fork?

Harry Nicholls

Author:  Larry Lovejoy [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 9040 joint bars

You might get better results by casting a wider net. 9040 is also known as 90 ASCE, 90AS, 90A, 900 (both Tennessee and CF&I), 245 (Maryland) and a few other designations. Plus, 9040 et al has the same fishing as both 100 ARA-B and 100 RDG and is really close to the fishing of 100 PS. So, you have lots of choices. However, back in the day, it seems no two Chief Engineers could agree on a standard rail drilling pattern. So you might have to crop and re-drill your rail to match whatever joint bars you get.

While cropping may seem like a major league PITA, there are benefits. By cutting off the old battered rail ends, not only will the joint bars fit better, the rail’s running surface at the joint will be MUCH more even. At Pennsylvania Trolley Museum we routinely crop second hand rail used in main track with the result that the joints ride smooth as glass.

Note that it is usually NOT possible to swap around compromise joint bars because, even though the rail fishing might be identical, the rail head height will probably be different, both by design and due to rail head wear. A few years back, we had a pile of compromise joint bars given to us that were designed to transition from new 80 ASCE to new 90 ASCE. The donor had bought them thinking he could use them to compromise from worn 80 ASCE to new 100 ARA-B since, as noted above 90 ASCE and 100 ARA-B have the same fishing. But he had neglected to account for not only the difference in head height between the 90 and 100 pound rails, but also the 3/8 inch of head wear on the old 80 ASCE. Since he didn’t want to laboriously weld up the head of the 80 pound, he tossed the factory compromise bars in our direction and made his own by cutting bars in half and welding them to match the average worn rail conditions. We didn’t need them either, so we traded them away several years ago. If the rolling stock you're dealing with has light axle loads and/or train speeds are low, homemade compromise bars might be your best choice.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.

Author:  Harry Nicholls [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 9040 joint bars

Thanks, Larry,

If anyone reading this topic is interested, you might want to find my listing (of rail) made up by Commercial Metals wherein one can find a load of info including rail dimensions as well as the dimensions of joint bars. The lists has most of the major rail manufacturers listed along with the different numbering designations. Read carefully as some companies did make rail with a number code that was not always used as the standard used by others. Lackawanna 902, for example, is not the same dimensions as Colorado Steel 902 and others. Which is exactly the problem a friend is having in the replacement of a stick into live rail.

Harry Nicholls

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