Reconditioning of Worn Out Crossings

Generally, noses of crossings and wing rails ungergo the maximum amount of wear in a turnout. The limiting wear for a crossing is 10 mm, after which it is required to be replaced. A worn out crossing is generally reconditioned at the stage when the wear is only 6 mm (1/4"). In the case of tongue rails, the limit of vertical wear for 52-kg and 90 R rails is 6 mm (1/4") and that of lateral wear is 8 mm. Similarly, the limit of vertical wear for 60 R and 75 R rails is 6 mm and that of lateral wear is 5 mm. Normally gas welding is adopted to recondition crossings at the site itself. The sequence of operation is as follows.

1. An advance party carries out the preliminary work in which complete and detailed attention is paid to the turnout including through packing, replacement of worn out fittings, tightening of fittings, squaring, spacing of sleepers, etc.

2. Both the vertical and side wear are measured with the help of an 1.8-m straight edge. The area where welding is to be done is cleaned, and burns, etc., are removed using chalk.

3. The surfaces to be welded are also cleaned, and burns, etc. are removed using chisels.

4. Welding is done with the help of an oxyacetylene flame using suitable welding rods after pre-heating the surface for about 5 minutes. When the section is built up to the thickness required, the deposit metal is hammered to make a uniform level surface. The prepared surface is then checked with the help of a straight edge.

5. A caution order is sent out while the work is in progress and no speed restriction is necessary.

6. One welding party consisting of one permanent way mistry (craftsman), two welders, and six khalasis (labourers) including lookout men can weld one crossing or two pairs of switches every working day. The consumable items required for reconditioning work are ilsted in Table 14.4.

Table 14.4 Consumables required for reconditioning of crossings


Requirement of

Requirement of

Requirement of

oxygen (m3)

acetylene (m3)

welding rods (kg)

One crossing




One pair of switches




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