The 59th Street Branch Central Avenue crossing is slated to be enhanced this spring.
In addition to removing the existing crossing and replacing it, the project will include gauging curves and de-stressing rail.
Gauging requires removing spikes, plugging ties and bringing rail back to the appropriate distance apart. Rail will inevitably require this adjustment after a certain period of use.
Rail expands and contracts depending on air temperature. De-stressing helps prevent buckling in the summer and pull-aparts in the winter. The task is performed by cutting rail, removing anchors and then heating the rail to expand it the correct amount. The calculation is made by comparing the neutral rail temperature to the ambient temperature. After the rail’s been expanded, it is welded or jointed until such time as a weld can be performed.