Rail Bolt and Screw Spike, What is the Difference?

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Rail bolt and screw spike are important fasteners of railway lines, which play an important role in railway system. It can be said, if there are no rail bolts and screw spikes, security of railway system will no guarantee. When mentioned screws and bolts, we may think of a round head at once, with a long, cylindrical, threaded body that can be used to fix the fasteners on the railway. But when it mentions the differences between screws and bolts, how many terms can you count? Next, let’s discuss more details about rail bolt and screw spike.

rail bolt screw spike difference

Bolts: A class of fasteners, consisting of two parts of the head and screw (cylinder with external threads), which is used for fastening the two parts with through holes. This type of connection is called bolt connection. If the nut is screwed down from the bolt, the two parts can be separated so that the bolt connection is detachable and connected. Hexagon head is the most common one, countersunk head generally used at the place where requirements of the connection.

Screws: The basic structure is similar to bolt without using a nut; you can add a washer or embedded with the plastic dowel fixed to the rotating threaded into the body of the rail sleeper. Therefore, the screw connection is a non detachable connection.

Compared with Shape and Use Features

screws shape and use features.

  • Large volume
  • Big length
  • With sharp on the bottom
  • Directly tighten into the fixed body
  • Match with washer and plastic dowel
  • Used for fasten tie plate and fastening system

  • Small volume
  • Small length
  • With plane shape on the bottom
  • Clamping fastenings with the nut
  • Match with washer and nut
  • Used for fasten rail clips and rail joints
bolts shape and use features

Considering from use side, there is a sharp on the bottom of the screw, so it can be directly screwed into fixed body through the tool to fasten the tie plate and fastening system. When the screw is in use, at the side that touched with the fastening add washer or plastic dowel to fasten into the fixed body. Due to screw spike has the advantage of long size, it is generally used to fasten the rail tie plate and fastening system to the concrete sleeper or other wooden sleeper. Be different with screw spike, rail bolt is not directly screwed into the connection parts, but clamping with nut at both ends of the connection parts. Bolt does not use plastic dowel, but with nut instead, add washer in the middle to fasten the railway fasteners and fishplates.

The Application of Screw Spikes on the Railway System

screw spikes application on railway system

You can find from the picture above, the shorter one, which across from the rail clip pore, used for fixed the clip is bolt. Rail bolts always match with nuts; they make the tie plate caught in the middle to achieve good fixed effect. Next to the bolt, with long length, this through the tie plate deeply in the cement sleeper is screw spike. Its main role is to fix the railway fastening system in the cement sleeper firmly to make it strong and difficult to shake.

The Application of Rail Bolts on the Railway System

rail bolts application on railway system

Fishtail bolt is commonly used in the track connection joint for fastening steel rail and rail joint. Because the rail connected joint also known as fish plate, so this types of bolt also called fishtail bolt. Because of its indispensable status in railway transportation, it has become an indispensable part of railway transportation. Railway transportation between track and rail connection is very important, so in track laying and use pressure rail device, spike and accessory rail clamping rail at the same time

also need to use the fish plate to connect the adjacent two segments of track.The fishtail bolt is tightly connected with the steel rail and fish plate, so its role is self-evident. In the use of fishtail bolts, for the bearing force is longitudinal tensile and transverse torsion, so the fishtail bolts strength requirements more stringent. This requires us to confirm the good product quality certification when choosing fishtail bolts. At the same time, due to the special position of bolts in the use process, it needs to have supporting the use of spare parts.

Generally used fishtail bolts are sold in complete set with corresponding fishplates, the number of each pair fish plate need to match different numbers fishtail bolts which according to the hole’s number of fish plate. In addition, fishtail bolts not only can be used in rail tracks connection, but also can be used on the railway turnout. We usually called them turnout bolts.

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