The site team wish to run locomotives and muck wagons with 3.5 tonne axle loads on the rails with fabricated steel sleepers located at 1.0m centre to centre.
My question is: How do I analyse the rail? I have looked at it as a continuous beam, supported at the sleepers (assumed as knife edge supports), with a series of point loads applied vertically representing the wheel loads. These wheels are moved along the rail in a train to produce worst case bending and shear.
I have also applied notional horizontal loads to the rail to represent nosing or lurching of the train on the rail. These combined vertical and horizontal effects seriously overload the rail. The results makes me think that my method of analysis is incorrect.
How should I analyse the rail??