Spiral (railway) Article

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Spiral viaduct near Brusio, Switzerland.

A spiral (sometimes called a spiral loop or just loop) is a technique employed by railways to ascend steep hills.

A railway spiral rises on a steady curve until it has completed a loop, passing over itself as it gains height, allowing the railway to gain vertical elevation in a relatively short horizontal distance. It is an alternative to a zig-zag, and avoids the need for the trains to stop and reverse direction while ascending. If the train is longer than the length of each loop it may be possible to view it looping above itself. [1] [2]

The term "loop" is also often used for a railway that curves sharply and goes back on itself: If the railway crosses itself, then it forms a spiral; otherwise, it forms the much more common horseshoe curve or bend. [3] [4]

A spiral loop is not the same as the transition spiral or spiral easement used to provide a transition from a tangent into a horizontal circular curve. Spiral easement is used to avoid abrupt changes in the sideward acceleration experienced by a railway vehicle and the passengers in the vehicle approaching the horizontal circular curve and to prevent abrupt forces and discomfort. [5] [6] [7]

List of spirals

Argentina

Australia

Bulgaria

Canada

China

Guanjiao Spiral on Qinghai–Tibet Railway at night, it was replaced by a 32-km long tunnel in 2014

Costa Rica

Replica of the Brusio Spiral Viaduct at 10°28′44″N 84°49′25″W / 10.47900°N 84.82374°W / 10.47900; -84.82374 on the Tren Turistico Arenal, 10 km east of Nuevo Arenal, Guanacaste. [29] [30] [31]

Croatia

France

Germany

India

Loop (Agony Point) on the DHR, India

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway originally had five or six spirals but only five in operation at any one time. The line also has six reverses or zig-zags. [44] [45]

Iran

Ireland

Italy

Japan

Okoba spiral and zig zag in Hisatsu Line, Japan

Kenya

There are three spirals on the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge railway line from Kenya to Uganda. This railway has been superseded by the Mombasa–Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, which has removed the need for spirals by constructing tunnels and bridges. [60] [61] [62] [63]

South Korea

Geumdae 2nd Tunnel in Jungang Line, South Korea

Madagascar

Mexico

Myanmar

Spiral in Thazi – Taunggyi line, Myanmar

New Zealand

Norway

Russia

(Tуапсе) through Gornyy to Belorechensk (Белореченск).[ citation needed]

Serbia

Slovakia

South Africa

Spain

Sri Lanka

Switzerland

Toua spiral tunnel on the RhB Albulabahn

Taiwan

Triple spiral loop on the Alishan Forest Railway

Uganda

United Kingdom

The bridge on the spiral loop at Dduallt on the Ffestiniog Railway, Wales.

United States of America

Tehachapi Loop, on the Union Pacific Railroad, California, United States, viewed from the air.
1903 view of Riflesight Notch loop, near Rollins Pass in Colorado

Former spirals in the United States

See also

References

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External links