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Spike Loading Environment in Various Wood Tie Fastening Systems

Document Series
Research Results
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
RR 22-21
Subject Track
Broken spikes, instrumented spikes, elastic fastening systems, strain measurement

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) contracted with Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) to investigate the spike loading environment in various wood-tie fastening systems. The goal was to understand how dynamic loads are transferred to the spikes in wood-tie fastening systems and identify feasible solutions to the spike breakage issue. Field testing was conducted on a six-degree curve at FRA’s Transportation Technology Center (TTC) in Pueblo, CO, in 2021. Researchers instrumented four common wood-tie fastening systems with strain-gaged cut spikes to determine their real-time dynamic bending strains.

Last updated: Friday, September 23, 2022