Railway fish plates overview

Jan 20, 2017
railway fish plate overview

This is an informational post, please check the fish plate in railway page if you are searching for the product.

Railway fish plate, it is also called rail joint or joint bar. As one of the rail components, rail joint’s function is different from other rail components. Rail joint is a flat metal plate usually used to connect adjacent two rails by a number of rail bolts or railroad spikes. Traditionally, railway fish plate is drilled with some holes on the ends of the sections to be connected. There are some holes in the end of railway track, which are used to be lined up with the holes in the railway fish plate and jointed with rail bolt. In general, railway fish plates are made of steel, but plastics and composites are alternative raw materials for rail joint.

Typical railway fish plate types

According to different applications, rail joint can be classified into many types. Typical rail joint types include ordinary rail joint, insulated rail joint, non-standard rail joint and compromise rail joint.

Common rail joint

common railway fish plate

Common rail fish plate is made of the general material Q235 steel, this kind of rail fish plate can be used in various types of rail tracks. Appearance and weight of ordinary rail joint has some differences with the different weight of railway track. Main types of ordinary railway fish plate are 4hole and 6hole.

Insulated rail joint

insulated railway fish plate

The raw material and production process of insulated rail joint are decided by the process standard of insulating material. The size of insulated rail joint is same with the ordinary rail joint. Insulated rail joint is generally applied at railway section that near power plant or leaky section. Insulated rail joint can effectively prevent the occurrence of electrical leakage accidents.

Non-standard rail joint

non-standard railway fish plate

Non-standard rail joint has various types in all rail joints. For the section and speed of different railways, which decides some rail joints are different from ordinary railway fish plates. Normally, non-standard rail joints have three types, such as different weight, different pitch and different appearance.

Compromise rail joint

compromise railway fish plate

Compromise rail joint is different with non-standard rail joint. General compromise rail joints include bulge railway fishplate and railway Switch Expansion Joint. Basically, compromise rail joints are customized, and they are mainly used in switch expansion Joint or some railway sections appearance with special design and requirements. Compared to other types of rail joint, compromise rail joint are difficult to process.

Installation of railway fish plates

railway fish plate installation

Railway fish plate installation procedures can be summarized to four steps as follow.

  1. Before installing railway fish plate, cutting power off and
  2. Each connection joint install two rail bolts.
  3. Install spring washer and flat washer before install fish bolt, openings of washer is downward.
  4. Railway fish plate, railway track and fish bolts should be oiled.

Maintenance of railway fish plates

railway fish plate maintenance

Railway fish plate is a rail component that is widely applied in the railway track. Vehicle can produce huge impulse and friction force when the train runs at high speed. Safe railway transportation requires high quality of railway fish plates, besides that, maintenance of railway fish plate is also important.

  • Firstly, adopting supporting fish bolt can increase the performance of railway fish plate.
  • Secondly, connection rod cap can be fastened by twisting wrench strongly.
  • Thirdly, it is responsible to perform second-class maintenance at each 1200km operation. Engine oil pan should be removed in the maintenance of railway fish plate, check the usage of the engine bearing, if the gap is too large, change it immediately. At the same time, the connecting rod of fish bolt should be changed too.
  • Finally, in the daily operation, unstable operation or abnormal noise should be noted and check in time.

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