Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Train’s Railway Becomes Pasta ‘Al Dente’

It’s not like you are seeing a Photoshop’d funny picture featuring a warped railway but you are actually looking at a real photograph.

This picture scene was an after-effect of the recent earthquake that hit the countryside of Canterburry in New Zealand last September. The said calamity had caused several traces of destruction in the area which includes land deformation.

According to Dave Petley via the American Geophysical Union, the above picture of land and railway deformation might be caused by weak points being hit by the tremors. He speculates and I quote:

“The compression on the very strong railway line was accommodated when a weak point was found, leading to a comparatively rapid deformation to form the main buckle on the left. This then concentrated stress on both sides of the buckle, allowing the other (right side) bends to form."

The lesson that we can get from this photograph is to be always prepared whenever Mother Nature starts to shake our grounds.

Photo credit: via Gizmodo


  1. This could also be the result of sun kinks. When continuous welded rail is laid down and anchored it has to be at a certain rail temperature to allow for expansion and contraction in relation to the local climate. During the heating of the day the rail temperature goes up. As the rail heats up it expands and if it gets too hot the rail has to go somewhere, and that is usually sideways at the weakest points in the shoulders. Sometimes it will go upward.

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