The the United State government shifted its infrastructure

The Chinese rail system is the combination of Japan, Germany and
France technology which were synthesized with the addition of its own
technology which make it par ahead its western counterpart. Their tracks are
ballastless, they do not use rock material to stabilize them and also has track
networks that are seamless. Almost all the Chinese track are in German design,
set in concrete slab which reduce wear and tear on the wheels and track.

The China rail systems are comprised of a variety of different
technologies and it considered the most extensive high speed system in the

The Russian systems are far more advance than that of the United
State despite not having the uniform gauge but still far behind China.

Russia as the second largest globally after united. Unlike United
State and China that adopted uniform gauge (standard-gauge), Russia uses
different varieties of gauges; its rail systems are collections of different
type gauges mostly narrow and broad gauge, this as a result of private
ownership and operation companies mostly during the 19th century.

Sousan Hammad (2015) described the United State rail system as
archaic in her article posted on 30th of June 2015. Since the United
State government shifted its infrastructure spending to decisively to highway
and airports, failure of U. S companies to keep up with innovations  and lack of policies to support the
manufacture of advanced rail and transit technology, the U.S continued to fall
further and further behind. (Eurostat Statistic Books, 2009).

The United States, despite having the largest rail network system in
the world, its rail network systems are poor compare to those of Russia and
China. In terms of high speed rail construction, the same boom and usage has
not seen in the United State as it is in those aforementioned countries.

About one quarter of the 10,000 billion freight tonne-kilometers travelled
around the world, are travelled in the United State, second quarter in China
and the third quarter in the Russia.

A standard-gauge railway it is the type of gauge that is used in
the USA and China, not only in the USA, but widely used track gauge in the
world with the track gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8^1/in). It used by all high speed
line except in Russia where the broad-gauge (1,524) is been used.

The component used are the same everywhere, due to the
environmental factors, weather and climate and the improvement in  technology, some new component were introduce,
and those component mentioned above were considered as primary rail road
component. Also each and every country has it on special railway system, and is
to look at those various system adopted by these three (3) countries: USA,
Russia and China.


Railway switch is a special component of railway track, which is
applied in the railway crossing, it is simply a rail component for converting

Fig 00

2.2.8. Railway
switch or Turnout

Subgrade is the
last support layer composed of existing soil and rock, which possess slopes,
verges, ditches and other structures or materials within, which bears and
distributes the dynamic loading resultant downward along its infinite depth.

2.2.7. Subgrade

Capping layer
lying  between ballast an subgrade, it is
a layer of granular materials, composed of 
broadly graded slag or crushed aggregate..

2.2.6. Sub-ballast

Ballast not
only provide support but also transfer the load from the track to the
sub-ballast and drains water away from the rails and sleepers.

Ballast is a layer
comprises of graded crushes stone, gravel, and crushed gravel such as granite
and basalt which depends on local availability used as a tensionless elastic
support for resting sleepers.

Fig 00

2.2.5. Ballast
(or slab track)

There are many different types of fasteners, their applications
depends on the characteristic, patterns, and structure of the sleepers to be

They also transfer the all the forces cause by the wheels, thermal
change, and natural hazards from the rails to the adjacent sleepers (Kaewunruen
Remennikov 2008)

The fasteners are used for keeping rail in place by withstanding
the vertical, lateral and longitudinal forces, and overturning moments of the

Fig 00

2.2.4. Fasteners

Fig 00

2.2.3. Railway
fish plate and fish bolt

the rail and restrain longitudinal, lateral and vertical movement by embedding
itself onto the substructures.

an anchorage for the fastening system that holds the rails at their correct
gauge and preserves inclination.

transfer and distribute loads from the rail foot to the underlying ballast bed; Function of Sleepers

Esveld (2001)
grouped timber sleepers into two types: softwood (e.g. pinewood) and hardwood
(e.g. beech, oak, tropical tree). Concrete sleepers are described as either
twin-block or mini-block (FIP Commission Prefabriation, 1987) as described in
Fig 00.

sleepers, also known as railroad tie, cross tie are transverse beam on ballast
and support. Due to the availability of timber in local areas, the wooden
sleepers were used in the paste. Pre-stressed or reinforced concrete sleepers
and steel sleepers because of their durability and long serving life, were
adopted over a decades in modern railway tracks.

Fig 00

2.2.2. Railway Sleepers

The most commonly used profile is flat-bottom rail, also called
Vignole rail, and is divided into three parts, rail head, rail web and rail

Table 00

Adoped from Esveld (2001), Table 2.1 describes typical rail
profiles and their applications. Rail Profile

Rail the main part of railway track, always act as two parallel
lines; the longitudinal steel members that are placed on spaced sleepers to
guide the rolling stock. Their strength and stiffness must be sufficient to
maintain a steady shape and smooth track configuration (Selig and Walters,
1994), and resist various forces exerted by travelling rolling stock. One of
their primary functions is to accommodate and transfer the wheel/ale loads onto
the supporting sleepers (Kaewunruen and Remennikov, 2008). Esveld (2001)
reported that a modern rail track conveys signal and acts a conductor on an
electrified line.

Fig 00:  (Source:

2.2.1. Rails

Fig 00:  (Source:


Fig 00

While in China the Railway Networks were first built in the late 19th
century during the Qing Dynasty. Since then then, the Chinese railway grew into
the 3rd largest railway networks in the world. There is no need to go
deep into the history of railway in china, but the table below contain the
network track length in China since 1948 to 2016.

Fig 00

Prior to that, 7 years earlier, 1830s, the first Russian steam
locomotive was built by Russian inventors’ father and son Cherepanovs. Without
going deep into history, The table below contain the network evolution in

Fig 00

The first railway track that was built in Russia was in 1837, about
17km long track linked the Imperial Palaces at Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk
(between Saint-Petersburg and Tsarskoye Selo).

In Russia and China, second and third largest railway network
countries in the world respectively.  Russia
with over 85, 500km (53, 130 mi) exceeded only by the United States of America
as the world largest railway network country in the world and it has the
biggest railway company in the world with 0.95 million employees.

Sources:  “The Routledge Historical Atlas Of The American
Railroads,” by John F. Stover.

1840: 2,808

1850: 9,021 Miles 

1860: 30,000+ Miles 

1870: 52,922 Miles 

1880: 93,267 Miles 

1890: 163,597 Miles 

1900: 193,346 Miles 

1916: 254,037 Miles 

1945: 226,696 Miles 

1963: 214,387 Miles 

1995: 170,000+ Miles 

Today: 138,477 Miles 

Below is a timeline of railroad mileage throughout the years:

Rail Mileage throughout the Years

As this project aim at studying the Rail components of the three
(3) countries with the largest railway networks in the world, namely, USA,
Russia and China. In the United State of America, the three (3) miles Granite
Railway of Massachusetts was the first to be constructed in the 1826, but the
idea of railroad was conceived long before that, 1812, by Colonel John Stevens
and gained the first charter in North America to build the New Jersey Railroad
Company which was constructed in 1832.


Rail transport enable economic progress, used to mobilise goods as
well as people but it also has some constraints and limitations. One of the
biggest constraints of Rail transport is heavy cost. Trains need high capital
to build and maintain and the cost is magnified when a whole rail network is to
be built.

The birth and evolution of railways during the last two centuries
has had an immeasurable influence on industrial, social and economic

In terms of safety the Rail transport emerged as one of the most
dependable modes of transport. Compared to other transport mechanisms the
Trains are the least affected by usual weather turbulences like rain or fog due
to it fastening.

Rail transport the fastest (faster than shipping and cheaper than
air operation) modes of land transport powered by an engine locomotive running
on electricity or on diesel. Also complex signaling systems are utilised if
there are multiple route networks.

According to Nash and Whiteing (1988), rail transportation services
can be classified in four categories as (1) less than wagonload (services
ranging from parcels conveyed by passenger train to grouped consignments
conveyed by freight train), (2) wagonload (consignments which fill one or more
wagons, but which are not large enough to justify provision of a dedicated
train), (3) trainload (dedicated block train running from one terminal to
another) and (4) intermodal. When the last intermodal option about railways is
considered, it is seen that railways’ use in increasing due to developments in
different technologies and infrastructure such as RO-LA systems.

The Rail road is basically a long hauler and slow mover of raw
materials (coal, lumber and chemicals) and of low-valued manufactured products
(food, paper and wood products) and prefers to move shipment sizes of at least
a full wagon load (Ballou, 1999).

The Rail transport has fixed routes and schedules which make it
better organised than any other medium of transport and cannot provide
door-to-door service as it tied to a particular track. Its services are more
certain, uniform and regular compared to other modes of transport.

As it is the most commonly used, important and costless mode of
transportation, transporting people, goods and services over a long distance.
Rail transport has a less frictional resistance which helps attach more load in
terms of wagons and carriage due to the system (train) runs on metal (usually
steel) rails and wheels.

On the Economics Times Magazine website, posted that rail transport
also known as train transport. It is a means of transport, on vehicles which
run on tracks (rails or railroads).

There are three (3) mode of transportation, land, air, and water.
Rail transport and land transport are the two components of the land transport.