Continuously welded rail (CWR) is among the most used railroad systems worldwide with great improvements compared to jointed tracks, including refined ride quality, increased fatigue life of track and rolling stock, and reduced maintenance costs. Rail buckling is one of the key remaining issues for CWRs to further reduce safety hazards and infrastructure deterioration, and save required track retrofit material and efforts. CWR buckling is induced by combined longitudinal, lateral, and torsional forces on the track that are caused by the synergy of rail components, the loading from moving trains, the interaction between track and substructure, and the effect of thermal variations. A systematic evaluation of factors that contribute to rail longitudinal, lateral, and torsional stiffnesses and a thorough investigation of their interactions are critical to understand rail buckling and enhance buckling resistance on CWR. This paper compiles, summarizes, and interprets existing research related to rail buckling resistance, considering parameters such as time-dependent neutral temperature of the tracks, the type of trains, various track resistors (rails, sleepers, and ballasts), and other accessories (anchors and fasteners). A discussion of previous experiments that studied resistors and rail buckling resistances is presented, which guides development of an experimental arrangements as part of an on-going large-scale rail resistance testing project in Edinburg, Tx. The information summarized in this article greatly points out additional needs for experimental and numerical studies, enlightens future research, and provides structured background for prospective improvements on rail buckling and stiffnesses of CWR.

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