Flow on a Curve-Worn Rail Head

The small lip on the head of the rail is called “flow.” It’s formed by trains running over track with heavy loads for years and ultimately deforming the heads of the rail.

The wear varies as is evident in this picture. The bottom left is a rail that is curve worn on one side where it is canted down more. That’s an indication that the lower side was on the outside rail in a curve.

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