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Different Types of Rail Fasteners in Japan and Their Features

Japan is one of the most influential countries in fields of railway construction.

The first railway of Japan between Tokyo and Yokohama was built in 1872, which is nearly half a century later than the first British railway in 1825. Although starting late, the development of Japan's railway is amazing. In 1964 the world's first high-speed rail was completed in Japan, following the lines of Hokuriku, Yamagata and so on to be finished one after another. All those formed new railway network for 2325km. That is the famous new trunk system.
shinkansen in japan

Two features of rail fasteners in Japan. 

  • One feature is the introduction of new technology. Both France and Japan are the same countries which choose rail blade as the key fastener in their rail fastening systems. In the early 1960's, Japan introduced the French RN type fasteners. When the blade fastening system can’t satisfy the high-speed requirements completely in 1980s, many new and unique types of fastener have been successfully introduced into Japan by Pandrol.
  • The other feature is the R&D of self-technology. On the basis of the introduction and hard-working R&D, Japan has formed its self-technology. Type 102 rail fastening system used on Tokaido Shinkansen in 1964 was improved from RN type rail fastening system. With the advent of the slab track, Japan has developed direct type series fastening system all with rail blades as main fasteners. 
rail fastener in japan

Main types of rail fastening systems in Japan

Main types of rail Fastening systems of Japan include
  • Type 404(a, b) rail fastening system
  • Type 3 rail fastening system
  • Type 102 rail fastening system
  • Type 103 rail fastening system
  • Direct 4 rail fastening system
  • Direct 5 rail fastening system
  • Direct 7 rail fastening system 
  • Direct 8(k) rail fastening system
main types of rail fastening systems in Japan

Main rail fasteners in Japan

1. Type 404 rail fastening system

There are two kinds of Type 404 rail fastening system. Type 404a rail fastening system is applied on wooden sleeper. Type 404b rail fastening system is applied on wooden sleeper of bridge. Main rail fasteners of the system are bolt, nut, spring blade, tie plate, etc.

2. Type 102 rail fastening system

Type 102 rail fastening system is applied on pre-stressed concrete sleeper with rail ditch. Main rail fasteners of the system are bolt, nut, flat washer, spring blade, tie plate, rail pad, plastic dowel, rail block, etc. Elasticity of spring blade isn’t separated. It is suitable for 60kg steel rail and the earliest high- speed track for Japan.

3. Type 103 rail fastening system

Type 103 rail fastening system is applied on common concrete sleeper.

4. Direct 4 rail fastening system(Direct type series)

Direct 4 rail fastening system (Direct type series) is applied on pre-stressed concrete sleeper with rail ditch (Concrete slab track). Main rail fasteners of the system are bolt, nut, flat washer, spring blade, steel plate, rail pad, plastic dowel, adjustable pad etc. Down part of spring blade fastens rail, Upper part contacts rail, the blade is with good elastic performance after screwing bolt and nut tightly. Toe clamping force of spring blade is 3kn. Elasticity isn’t separated. It is suitable for high- speed track for Japan.

5. Direct 5 rail fastening system(Direct type series)

Direct 5 rail fastening system (Direct type series) is applied on pre-stressed concrete sleeper without rail ditch (Concrete slab track). Main rail fasteners of the system are T-bolt, nut, spring blade, steel plate, tie plate, rail pad, plastic dowel, adjustable pad, insulated pad, rail block, wedge tie, etc. Elasticity is separated. Toe clamping force of spring blade is 3.43kn. It is suitable for high- speed track for Japan.

6. Direct 7 rail fastening system (Direct type series)

Direct 7 rail fastening system (Direct type series) is applied on pre-stressed concrete sleeper without rail ditch (Concrete slab track). Main rail fasteners of the system are T-bolt, nut, flat washer, spring washer, insulated dowel, spring blade, steel plate, tie plate, rail pad, adjustable pad, insulated pad, rail block, wedge tie, etc. Elasticity is separated. It is suitable for high- speed track for Japan.

7. Direct 8(k) rail fastening system (Direct type series)

Direct 8(k) rail fastening system (Direct type series) is applied on pre-stressed concrete sleeper without rail ditch (Concrete slab track). Main rail fasteners of the system are T-bolt, nut, flat washer, spring washer, insulated dowel, spring blade, tie plate, rail pad, adjustable pad, insulated pad, etc. Elasticity is separated. It is suitable for high- speed track for Japan.

Pandrol fastening system in Japan

In order to meet the requirements of fastening bolts, spring blade made by Japan must open hole. But the places around the hole are in the prone to stress concentration, and the maximum bending place of the blade is weakening section, so they are prone to damage, fastener pressure and elastic are insufficient. Therefore, Japan Railway began the introduction of British Pandrol fastening system. Since1987, Pandrol has been supplying products to Japanese railways. The focus has always been on improving designs, track safety and the introduction of new technology. The Pandrol Vanguard system is the good choice for Japan. The Pandrol Vanguard system is good for controlling of rail vibration. It works on a quite different principle to conventional base plates, by suspending the rail at the web and under its head rather than clamping the rail foot. Wedge-shaped elastomeric elements are held in compression against the rail, so that as well as being supported, the rail is secured to the track foundation. This clamping force also provides adequate resistance to contain longitudinal loads in the rail.
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