It is interesting to see that even high speed trains use the same basic rail track design used for normal trains. These use steel as these are more resistant compared with earlier iron structures. Of course high speed tracks are made of a very high quality steel alloy but it is steel just like any other track. The heavier the rails and the rest of the trackwork, the heavier and faster the trains the track can carry.
The crucial difference however is the joining of the tracks which is know as Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) which is rails are welded together by utilising flash butt welding, to create a continuous track.
The crucial difference is in the sturdiness of the tracks. Continuous welded rail (CWR) is used, but it is not the “crucial difference.” CWR is used extensively on nearly all mainlines of substantial traffic today.
Concrete ties or slab track (made out of “slabs” of concrete) are normally used to provide a stiff structure for the train. The rail is the normal steel rail used in other mainlines in terms of material composition, and roughly in terms of weight as well. Special fasteners (ones other than your standard spike) are used to provide lateral, vertical, and gauge restraint to the rail (spikes only provide gauge restraint).
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