Spiral (railway)

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For the engineering term applying to railway track geometry, see Track transition curve.
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]

Often the phrase 'loop' is also 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[edit]

Argentina[edit]

Australia[edit]

Bulgaria[edit]

Canada[edit]

People's Republic of China[edit]

Croatia[edit]

France[edit]

Germany[edit]

India[edit]

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.[29]

Iran[edit]

Ireland[edit]

Italy[edit]

Japan[edit]

Okoba spiral and Zig zag in Hisatsu Line, Japan

Kenya[edit]

South Korea[edit]

Geumdae 2nd Tunnel in Jungang Line, South Korea

Madagascar[edit]

Myanmar[edit]

Spiral in Thazi – Taunggyi line, Myanmar

New Zealand[edit]

Russia[edit]

Serbia[edit]

Slovakia[edit]

South Africa[edit]

Spain[edit]

Sri Lanka[edit]

Switzerland[edit]

Toua spiral tunnel on the RhB Albulabahn

Taiwan[edit]

Uganda[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

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

United States[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christian Wolmar (1 May 2014). The Iron Road: The Illustrated History of Railways. Dorling Kindersley Limited. pp. 170–. ISBN 978-0-241-18186-7. 
  2. ^ S. M. Yameen Nachsch (1972). Railway Engineering. Caravan Book House. 
  3. ^ William W. Hay (16 June 1982). Railroad Engineering. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 231–. ISBN 978-0-471-36400-9. 
  4. ^ Jim Harter (2005). World Railways of the Nineteenth Century: A Pictorial History in Victorian Engravings. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8089-6. 
  5. ^ Rankine, William (1883). A Manual of Civil Engineering (17th ed.). Charles Griffin. pp. 651–653. 
  6. ^ International Correspondence Schools (1908). The Transition Spiral, Earthwork, Railroad Location, Trestles, Trackwork, Railroad Buildings and Miscellaneous Structures, Highways, Pavements, City Surveying, City Streets, Construction Drawing. International Textbook Company. 
  7. ^ Coleman O'Flaherty (1997). Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering. Elsevier. pp. 331–. ISBN 978-0-340-66279-3. 
  8. ^ Axel Borsdorf; Christoph Stadel (12 March 2015). The Andes: A Geographical Portrait. Springer. pp. 273–. ISBN 978-3-319-03530-7. 
  9. ^ The Australian encyclopaedia. Michigan State University Press. 1958. 
  10. ^ William Alan Bayley (1973). Standard Gauge Railway Across Australia. Austrail Publications. ISBN 978-0-909597-09-2. 
  11. ^ a b John Brian Hollingsworth (1982). Atlas of the world's railways. Bison. 
  12. ^ a b c d Brendan Fox; et al. (2011). The Thomas Cook Rail Map of Europe (Map) (18th ed.). 1:4000000. Cartography by Mary Spence. Thomas Cook Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84848-356-9. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Ball, Mike (1 May 2016). European Railway Atlas. 
  14. ^ Jane's World Railways. Sampson Low, Marston ; New York: Rand McNally. 1960. 
  15. ^ Graeme Pole (1 January 1995). The Spiral Tunnels and the Big Hill: A Canadian Railway Adventure. Altitude Publishing Canada Limited. ISBN 978-1-55153-907-2. 
  16. ^ Barry D. Stewart (2004). Across the Land --a Canadian Journey of Discovery. Trafford Publishing. pp. 224–. ISBN 978-1-4120-2276-7. 
  17. ^ L.D. Cross (21 July 2014). High Peaks Engineering: Rocky Mountain Marvels. Heritage House Publishing Co. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-1-927527-80-1. 
  18. ^ Les Harding (5 February 2008). The Newfoundland Railway, 1898-1969: A History. McFarland. pp. 86–. ISBN 978-1-4766-0839-6. 
  19. ^ Trinity Loop
  20. ^ Art Downs (1 May 1985). Incredible Rogers Pass. Heritage House Publishing Co. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-0-919214-08-8. 
  21. ^ a b Quail Map Company (1 January 1993). China Railway Atlas (first ed.). Quail Map Company. ISBN 978-0-900609-94-7. 
  22. ^ Yuan Lei (2014-12-29). "袁蕾, 吐库二线正式开通运营 南疆铁路进入电气化时代 新疆日报" [Yuan Lei, spit library second-tier official opening and operation of the Southern Xinjiang Railway electrification into the Xinjiang Daily Times (Machine generated)] (in Chinese). Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  23. ^ a b Benjaminse Uitgeverij BV (2013). A Travellers' Railway map of Europe (Map) (3rd ed.). 1:3800000. Cartography by Carto Studio BV. Benjaminse Uitgeverij BV. ISBN 978-90-77899-09-0. 
  24. ^ "INVENTAIRE des TUNNELS FERROVIAIRES de FRANCE" (PDF). Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  25. ^ fr:Ligne transcévenole
  26. ^ C. Harald Harlinghausen; Hartmuth Merleker (1986). Germany Federal Republic. Nagel. ISBN 978-2-8263-0761-7. 
  27. ^ Great Britain. Naval Intelligence Division (1945). Germany: Ports and communications. Naval Intelligence Division. 
  28. ^ a b c Terry Martin (2006). The Iron Sherpa: The Story of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, 1879-2006. The Iron Sherpa by T. Martin. ISBN 978-1-900622-10-3. 
  29. ^ Going Loopy. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society. 2005. ISBN 0-9541602-2-3. 
  30. ^ The Great Indian Railway Atlas. Samit Roychoudhury. 2005. ISBN 81-901457-0-3. 
  31. ^ irfca.org
  32. ^ Dr. Hooshang Guilak (7 January 2011). Fire Beneath the Ashes: The United States and Iran: A Historic Perspective 1829–1947. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 142–. ISBN 978-1-4568-3676-4. 
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ a b c d e f g Atlante Stradale Italia (Road Atlas). Instituto Geografico DeAgostini. 2009. ISBN 9788851114398. 
  35. ^ "THE SIMPLON TUNNEL.". The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld: National Library of Australia). 15 October 1904. p. 21. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  36. ^ P. M. Kalla-Bishop (1967). Railway Holiday in Italy. David & Charles. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f Shobunsha (2012). All-Japan Road Atlas. ISBN 4-398-60034-5. 
  38. ^ a b National Defense Transportation Journal. National Defense Transportation Association. 1953. 
  39. ^ [2]
  40. ^ Google (2 July 2016). "Schwenyaung Spiral" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  41. ^ Bill Pierre (1 January 1981). North Island Main Trunk: An Illustrated History. A.H. & A.W. Reed. ISBN 978-0-589-01316-5. 
  42. ^ a b c Nock O.S. (1978). World Atlas of Railways. ISBN 0-86134-003-5. 
  43. ^ a b Collins Road Atlas: Spain and Portugal (Road Atlas). Collins. 2002. ISBN 0007140738. 
  44. ^ "159-II" (Map). Torre del Bierzo (2nd ed.). 1:25000. Mapa Topografico Nacional de Espana. 2002. 
  45. ^ P. N. Cumaranatunga (2009). Patriots of Lanka. P.N. Cumaranatunga. ISBN 978-955-658-116-4. 
  46. ^ G. T. Heavyside (1980). Narrow Gauge Into the Eighties. David and Charles. ISBN 978-0-7153-7979-0. 
  47. ^ Maury Klein (1972). History of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2915-X. 
  48. ^ Phelps R. Griswold; Bob Griswold (1988). Railroads of Colorado: A Guide to Modern and Narrow Gauge Trains. American Traveler Press. ISBN 978-1-55838-088-2. 
  49. ^ R. A. LeMassena (June 1984). Colorado's mountain railroads. Smoking Stack Press. 
  50. ^ Beniam Kifle; Nathan Goodman (2013). Roaring Camp Railroads. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4671-2996-1. 

External links[edit]