Rail Clips and Rail Fastening Systems in the UK
Rail fasteners are the key components that consist of rail track frame for providing horizontal, longitudinal and vertical restraints and adjustment room for rails and meeting the insulation requirements of electric tracks. They should have the features of moderate elasticity and convenient maintenance and can meet various special requirements and make the rails and sleepers be connected together. For modern rail tracks, rail clips and rail fastening systems are main rail fasteners. They function together to ensure to make the position of the rails unchangeable.
Now there are many electrified railway lines. Basically the DC traction system is commonly applied on, which has very high requirements on insulation, so the insulation problem has to be put into consideration of design and construction. The contact parts of rail clips and rail fastening systems on the rails are made of all insulating materials (Gauge block made of nylon material, rail pad under the rails made of rubber material), which are called insulation constraints.
World-known Pandrol products
In the United Kingdom, railway was built earliest in the world. From that time on, The UK has been possessing greater technology advantages in the fields of railway development, including rail fasteners. The Pandrol Company is an outstanding and leading representative.
Pandrol clips and fastening systems are the world's most famous and influential products. Those products, especially E series and Fastclip Pandrol fastening system, are used throughout the dozens of countries and regions, including Belgium, Spain, Italy, South Korea, the UK, the United States and other countries. With the quick popularity of high-speed railway, even just like strong railway leading countries, for example, Japan and France, they have used a large number of Pandrol fasteners. Pandrol fastening systems are the fasteners with no shoulder and rail bolt but with high toe load (less than 11kN) and good elasticity (elastic deformation is not less than 12mm) and other advantages. Especially the systems don’t need the shoulders of the concrete sleeper, this will make the sleepers be unnecessary for design of the structure that will cause the rail bottom slope avoid horizontal movement functioned by the lateral force, which will badly result in the widening of gauge. So Pandrol clips and fastening systems have very strong ability of keeping gauge. In addition, canceling the mode of bolt connection can reduce the workload of relevant maintenance. In China, III type clip fastening system is similar to the Pandrol’s.
Because the adjustment range of rail height and track gauge is very small as using the E series Pandrol fastening system, this badly influences the scope of their use. To solve the problem, the Pandrol Company has designed and developed out new type of the Fastclip fastening systems based on absorbing the advantages of the E series fastening systems.
The Fastclip fastening systems are still the less maintenance of systems with no shoulder and bolt, composing of base plate, bolt and rubber towel, gauge baffle, elastic pad and elastic clips. Through rubber towel pre-embedded in the concrete sleepers and corresponding bolts, base plates are tightly fixed on the sleepers, on whose surfaces are the structures of elastic clip part of the system belonging to self locking fastening system. Once the elastic clip on the base plate is well installed, the system will bring about the required toe load. This type of elastic clip is similar to the W shape in profile design. The toe load of single clip can reach 12.5kN. Due to the installation method perpendicular to the rail direction, they are not easy to fall off. The corresponding rubber towels are the engineered plastic/metal composite products. They must be pre-embedded in the sleeper beforehand for screwing rail bolt, so they have to be supplied to the sleeper factory and produced out together with concrete sleepers. On the site of railway construction, the workers only push the pre-installed elastic clips ahead to the rail direction and make the clips be in right places. The installation is convenient, which can be finished by all mechanical method.
The system adopts the method of inserting the adjustable pads under the base plates to accomplish adjustment of rail height. The maximum adjustable height can reach 27mm. As adjusting the gauge, we can properly loosen the anchoring bolts and then make the base plates do lateral movements along with the slots of the bolt holes, finally tighten the bolts. The maximum adjustment range is ±12 mm.
Some typical Pandrol clips
The following we will tell you some typical Pandrol fastening systems and the corresponding clips.
It is used on G44 and EG47concrete sleepers and Series 600 steel sleepers. Its nominal toe load is 10kN.
It is used on F41 and EF36 concrete sleepers and Series 500 steel sleepers. Its nominal toe load is 10kN.
It is used only for Pandrol Type of SFC bas eplates for slab track. Its nominal toe load is 10kN.
E plus—EP20127 clip
It is used on F27, EF28 and W402 sleepers where extra resilience and insulator durability is required. It is fitted with integral Type 9903 toe insulator. Its nominal toe load is12.5kN.
E plus—EP20129 clip
It is fitted with integral Type 7387 toe insulator. It is used on NR60 S&C and EG49 fitted with 60E1. Its nominal toe load is 12.5kN.
It is left hand version of EP20129. Its nominal toe load is 12.5kN.
It is used on F23 to F27, EF28, 5EF28, W402 sleepers for re-railing operations, used in conjunction with pad type 14229. It is fitted with integral toe insulator and cannot be separately available. Its nominal toe load is 9kN.
It is used on F23 to F27, EF28, 5EF28 and W402 sleeper types for loose sleeper relaying of serviceable sleepers. It provides greater resistance to dropped sleepers during clip insertion. Toe insulator is integral to the clip. The designed toe load is 9kN.
It is used on F40 &5F40 sleepers for either re-railing or loose sleeper relaying of serviceable sleepers. Toe insulator is integral to the clip. The designed toe load is 9kN.
It is used on F40 sleepers with a Blue (HVN) insulator and all other sleepers with an Orange (Nylon) insulator. It must not be used with Grey Cast Iron PAN Type Base plates. Its nominal toe load is 9kN.
It is left handed version of E1809 clip. It can be used in IBJs in various situations. Its nominal toe load is 9kN.
It is a kind of high toe load clip for F27/EF27 sleepers used in difficult areas where insulator crushing or creep occurs. It must be used with a WHITE insulator either type 2433 or type 6924.
It is a kind of high toe load clip and cannot be interchangeable with either PR401A or e1809 clip types. It shouldn’t be used in applications fitted with orange insulator type 724a. Also used with IBJ’s in NR60 S&C. Its nominal toe load is 12.5kN.
It can be used for concrete sleepers and all PAN plates except obsolete PAN1 to PAN5 where PR303 clips were used. Its nominal toe load is 6.5kN.
It is left-handed version of PR401A. Its nominal toe load is 6.5kN.
It is only used for Zero Longitudinal Restraint (ZLR) to convert the following sleeper types to rail free’ assemblies: F23 to F27, EF28, 5EF28, W402, F40 & 5F40, with other specialist components.
It is as a maintenance replacement for PR303 in PAN1-PAN5 base plates. It is not suitable for other types of base plates. Its nominal toe load is 6.5kN.
It is as a maintenance replacement for left-handed PR304 in PAN1-PAN5 base plates. It is not suitable for other types of base plate. Its nominal toe load is 6.5kN.
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