Title 49

SECTION 299.329

299.329 Rail joints and torch cut rails.

§ 299.329 Rail joints and torch cut rails.

(a) Each rail joint, insulated joint, expansion joint, and compromise joint shall be of a structurally sound design and appropriate dimensions for the rail on which it is applied.

(b) If a joint bar is cracked, broken, or permits excessive vertical movement of either rail when all bolts are tight, it shall be replaced.

(c) Except for glued-insulated joints, each joint bar shall be held in position by track bolts tightened to allow the joint bar to firmly support the abutting rail ends. For track Classes H0 to H3 track bolts shall be tightened, as required, to allow longitudinal movement of the rail in the joint to accommodate expansion and contraction due to temperature variations.

(d) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, each rail shall be bolted with at least two bolts at each joint.

(e) Clamped joint bars may be used for temporary repair during emergency situations, and speed over that rail end and the time required to replace the joint bar must not exceed the limits specified in the inspection, testing, and maintenance program.

(f) No rail shall have a bolt hole which is torch cut or burned.

(g) No joint bar shall be reconfigured by torch cutting.

(h) No rail having a torch cut or flame cut end may be used.