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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Union in McHenry County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Railroad Rails

 
 
Railroad Rails Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
1. Railroad Rails Marker
Inscription.
The first rails for horse-drawn tramways and gravity-powered railroads were simple wooden stringers. Later, wrought-iron straps on top of the wood stringers, and then cast iron rails, gave greater durability. The predecessor of the modern "T"-section rails first appeared on the Camden & Amboy in 1830, about the same time as the John Bull and other early U.S. steam locomotives.

Rail is designated by its weight per yard. At the start of the 1900's, heavy main line roads used 100-pound rail, while industries and shortlines had rail as light as 40 pounds. The most common size in service on heavy main lines today is 136 pounds, though sections as large as 152 pounds were once used on the Pennsylvania Railroad. Rail may be laid in 39 foot lengths, or in welded "ribbons" thousands of feet long.
 
Erected by Illinois Railway Museum.
 
Location. 42° 13.713′ N, 88° 31.632′ W. Marker is near Union, Illinois, in McHenry County. Click for map. Marker is on the west wall of Barn 3, on the grounds of the Illinois Railway Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7000 Olson Road, Union IL 60180, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Railroad Standard Time (here, next to this
Railroad Rails Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
2. Railroad Rails Marker
Marker to right, next to small open door.
marker); Chicago Railways Company Date Stone (a few steps from this marker); Simplex Type Automatic Coupler (a few steps from this marker); Couplers (a few steps from this marker); Railroad Brakes / Westinghouse Automatic Air Brakes (a few steps from this marker); Early Railroad Signals (a few steps from this marker); Indiana Harbor Belt 1181 (within shouting distance of this marker); Chicago and North Western 9933 (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Union.
 
Also see . . .
1. Railroad Rails article in The Ohio State Engineer. (Submitted on December 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Railroad Rails. (Submitted on December 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Photos of Railroad Rails. (Submitted on December 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 453 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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