David Benton wrote:I would think English rail is alot lighter and lower profile than heavy haul American rail.
Lighter, yes, but not by too much. Went searching on-line and it appears the newest "heavy" rail for British rails is 120-pound rail while 132-pound rail appears to be the norm for North American lines.
The PRR had some 155-pound rail, but that's no longer produced. Locally, where I live, R.J. Corman has been putting in 127-pound rail on an as-needed basis on one of its branch lines in Pennsylvania. Much of the trackage is still jointed rail, so there's plenty of room for rail expansion in hot weather. Their biggest concern, and limiting factor, is a 14-degree curve at the base of a 0.8% descending grade. Too much train weight pushing the train down the hill and the outside rail on the curve will lay over on its side. Current operation has four SD40-2s pulling 65 loaded coal cars over the line.