How To Choose Railroad Spike?

railroad spike


The railroad spike is used to fasten railway track, it fix the steel rail to the rail base. As the common types of railway fastener in railway transportation, the railroad spike has been created earlier and ungraded along with the continuous development of railway track. 

At present, the commonly used railway spikes in China include screw spikes, wooden thread spikes, and dog spikes. These types of railroad spikes are used in different ways, but their functions are same.

For some new buyer, the first question is how to choose suitable railroad spikes from all types of railroad spike. To solve this problem, we learn each type of railroad spike one by one. 

Screw spike

The screw spike is usually made of steel No. 3. Because the surface of the nail rod is threaded, it is called a screw spike. Its pull-out resistance is 0.5 to 1.0 times larger than that of ordinary railroad spike, but the thrust resistance is 50% less. Due to the inconvenience of disassembly and assembly, it is difficult to adjust the gauge distance, and it is generally applied to the railway switch. 

screw spike

Technical requirements of screw spike

  1. The material of the screw spike is Q235-A steel.
  2. The upper thread of the screw spike is M24, the basic size should meet the requirements of GB196, and the thread tolerance is made according to the 8g specified in GB197.
  3. The lower thread of the screw spike is special M25.6×6—d24.0/25.6 thread, and the tooth height is 3.25—00.25mm.
  4. The end of the screw spike is manufactured in accordance with the provisions of GB2.
  5. The forged burst crack on the surface of the head of screw spike is not allowed to extend to the shaft.
  6. The upper thread of the screw spike is not allowed to have the bumps and burrs that hinder the screw gauge from being screwed in. The double cusps and scratches are not allowed to be exist.
  7. The lower thread of the screw spike should be neatly shaped, the thread is complete, and no cracks are allowed.
  8. The surface of the screw spike is not allowed to have dents, burrs, flash, burns and scales that affect the use.
  9. The screw spike should be subjected to the physical tensile test. When the load is 130kN, the screwl spike should not be broken. 

Dog spike

Common railroad spikes, also known as hook spikes or dog spikes, are mainly used for the connection of rails or rail pads and wooden sleepers. Ordinary railroad spikes are made of No. 3 hot rolled steel(GB standard). The cross section of the shank is a square of 16 mm on each side and the nail length is 165 mm. The head of the spike is in the shape of a mushroom, and the shape of the lower part of the nail head is adapted to the shape of the bottom of the rail. The surface of the shank shall be smooth and clean, the flash edge shall not exceed 2 mm, and the displacement of the shank relative to the center line of the nail head shall not exceed 1 mm in any direction. There must be no cracks at the joint between the nail head and the shank. The top of the spike is chisel-shaped, and the chisel is perpendicular to the wood grain to avoid splitting the wooden pillow. The tip edge is straight, and the top end does not allow burrs or folds that affect the use. There should be no air bubbles and excessive burns and cracks that hinder the use on the surface of the spikes. 

dog spike

  • The ordinary railroad spikes are divided into manual spikes and mechanical spikes. These two kinds of spike are the simplest in the process of installation and use, and can be directly fixed by using a nail.
  • However, these two types of railroad spikes are very different in terms of production process. The manual spikes are a relatively early production for railroad spikes. This production uses the method of hand-made to make sure the hot embryo forming of railroad spike, so the railroad spikes manufactured by this production process may have certain defects, for example, the surface of the spikes may have some convex or burrs. There are also some spikes that have more or less weight. 
  • Compared with manual spike, another common railroad spike can avoid these problems very well, that is, the mechanical spike. The production process of mechanical railroad spikes is a combination of manual and mechanical production. Commonly, the mechanical railroad spike has a smooth surface and the weight of each spike is not much different. The mechanical railroad spikes can be better used in batches, and the problem of high defective products like ordinary manual spikes does not occur.
  • Manual spikes and mechanical spikes are similar in the installation and maintenance process during use, but the mechanical spikes have strict standards and no defective requirements. At the same time, the nails of the mechanical spikes are smoother, which makes it less prone to accidents during transportation, so it is very popular among railway workers.

Manual spike

Manual spikes are a type of ordinary railroad spikes. It is generally synonymous with low-cost process, but it is undeniable that the use of such inexpensive spikes in many gentle railway sections is easier to maintain and replace. At the same time, the low cost of production also makes the manual railroad spike become a rare product that can be shipped in tons among railway accessories.

Mechanical spike

As another type of the ordinary railroad spike, the production process and raw materials of the mechanical spike are generally superior to the manual spike, so the production cost of the mechanical spike is correspondingly higher than that of the general manual spike. At present, the safety of the production and use of railway accessories is receiving more and more attention. Many railway lines have adopted the use of safer railway accessories such as mechanical spikes.

The mechanical spike is the same as the general spike in use. Therefore, the maintenance can be easily replaced by using the corresponding dowels, rail hammers and other spike mounting devices during use, which greatly facilitates the maintenance of the railway.