Main line rail size : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

In 1956 what was the size of the rail used on the ACL Main Line between Richmond and Smithfield, NC? Did it change any by 1970, (SCL era)? And do you know what would be the most accurate HO scale size rail would be to try to best match this? (example: code 70, or code 83).

Also what is the size of the rail today?

-- J. Michael Topham (, March 09, 1999


To follow up on Doug's comments from the old book, I just returned from a trip up the A-line to Rocky Mount. I took the Silver Palm so most of the trip was in daylight. I noticed that many of the double track segments are still jointed rail on number 1 track (west track). We ran most of the way on the east track (welded rail) but transferred to number 1 a few times. You can really feel the difference between jointed rail and welded rail in an Amfleet coach!

-- Jim Coviello (, April 05, 1999.

I just happen to have beside me a copy of the track diagram book for the A-line from Richmond to Florence, current to 1986. Specifically, between Richmond and Rocky Mount, there seems to be a lot of 132 lb. rail laid in 1957 (jointed). In 1981, The "east" or northbound track Richmond to Collier was relayed with 132 lb. welded. In 1984-85, the "west" or southbound track from Richmond to Collier, and Weldon to Rocky Mount was relayed for the most part with 136 lb. welded rail. The 132 lb. welded seems to predominate the Rocky Mount-Florence main line, dating to 1959-60, although the west track of the long double track segments between those two points, is jointed 131 lb. rail of 1948-49 vintage. Keep in mind that this book was given to me in 1986 when I went to Amtrak. Since that time, the entire Collier-Rocky Mount section has been single tracked, and much of the "east" or former northbound track was taken up. The remnants, used for long double track sectons, has for the most part been replaced by welded rail of the 132 lb. variety. To answer your question, there is a little bit of everything on the A-line from Richmond to Florence, but for the most part, 132, 131 or 136 lb. welded rail.

-- Doug Riddell (, March 23, 1999.

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