5 Major Cross Sectional Elements of a Railway Track

5 Major Cross Sectional Elements of a Railway Track

Following are the 5 major cross-sectional elements of a railway track are described below

1. Right of Way

The area of land acquired and reserved for construction and development of railway track along its alignment is called right of way or permanent land. The width of the right of way is called permanent land width. 

2. Formation

The prepared and finished surface of earthwork(in embankment or in cutting) on which a railway track is laid is called the formation of subgrade. Formation serves the following functions.

1. It provides a firm foundation bed to the track.
2. It provides a smooth and graded surface to the track.
3. It provides effective drainage of the track. 

3. Formation width

The top width of a railway embankment or bottom width of formation of cutting excluding the side drain is called formation width. The formation width of a railway track depends upon its gauge, number of tracks to be laid and space required between them.

Minimum formation width for B. G track as per the recommendation of Indian railway board:

5 Major Cross Sectional Elements of a Railway Track

4. Side Slopes

The slopes given to the sides of the earthwork of a track in cutting or embankment for stability are called side slopes. Side slopes should be such that the earthwork becomes stable ever adverse climatic conditions.

It depends upon various factors such as the nature of the soil, climatic conditions, method of drainage, and method of protection of side slope from erosion, height of embankment and depth of cutting. Usually, 2:1 side slope for track embankment and 1:1 side slopes for cutting is recommended.

5. Side Drains

The drains provided on either side of railway tracks are known as side drains. Side drains are generally trapezoidal in section with 1.8 m top width and 0.9 m bottom width of a track embankment. In case of track in cutting, the top width of the side drain is usually kept as 1.22 m. 

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Railway Gauge

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Cross-Sectional Elements of a Highway