Train tracks

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Possible Answers:

Rails.

Last seen on: –LA Times Crossword 26 May 21, Wednesday
Daily Celebrity Crossword – 8/13/19 TV Tuesday

Random information on the term “Train tracks”:

A railway has two major components: the rolling stock (the locomotives, passenger coaches, freight cars, etc.) and the infrastructure (the permanent way, tracks, stations, freight facilities, viaducts, tunnels, etc.).

The operation of the railway is through a system of control, originally by mechanical means, but nowadays more usually electronic and computerized.

Signalling systems used to control the movement of traffic may be either of fixed block or moving block variety.

Most blocks are ‘fixed’ blocks, i.e. they delineate a section of track between two defined points. On timetable, train order, and token-based systems, blocks usually start and end at selected stations. On signalling-based systems, blocks usually start and end at signals. Alternatively, cab signalling may be in use.

The lengths of blocks are designed to allow trains to operate as frequently as necessary. A lightly used branch line might have blocks many kilometres long, whilst a busy commuter railway might have blocks a few hundred metres long.

Train tracks on Wikipedia

Random information on the term “Rails”:

The rail profile is the cross sectional shape of a railway rail, perpendicular to its length.

Early rails were made of wood, cast iron or wrought iron. All modern rails are hot rolled steel with a cross section (profile) approximate to an I-beam, but asymmetric about a horizontal axis (however see grooved rail below). The head is profiled to resist wear and to give a good ride, and the foot profiled to suit the fixing system.

Unlike some other uses of iron and steel, railway rails are subject to very high stresses and are made of very high quality steel. It took many decades to improve the quality of the materials, including the change from iron to steel. Minor flaws in the steel that may pose no problems in other applications can lead to broken rails and dangerous derailments when used on railway tracks.

By and large, the heavier the rails and the rest of the trackwork, the heavier and faster the trains these tracks can carry.

Rails represent a substantial fraction of the cost of a railway line. Only a small number of rail sizes are made by steelworks at one time, so a railway must choose the nearest suitable size. Worn, heavy rail from a mainline is often reclaimed and downgraded for re-use on a branchline, siding or yard.

Rails on Wikipedia