Wrong question: I should have asked "what are railroad rails made of?"

FYI:
I got this from wikipedia rail profile:
"The American Railway Engineering Association (AREA) and the American
Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) specified carbon, manganese, silicon and phosphorus content for steel rails. Tensile strength increases with carbon content, while ductility decreases. AREA and ASTM specified 0.55 to 0.77 percent carbon in 70-to-90-pound-per-yard (35 to 45 kg/m) rail, 0.67 to 0.80 percent in rail weights from 90 to 120 pounds per yard (45 to 60 kg/m), and 0.69 to 0.82 percent for heavier rails. Manganese increases strength and resistance to abrasion. AREA and ASTM specified 0.6 to 0.9 percent manganese in 70 to 90 pound rail and 0.7 to 1 percent in heavier rails. Silicon improves steel by increasing density. AREA and ASTM specified 0.1 to 0.23 percent silicon. Phosphorus and sulfur are impurities causing brittle rail with reduced impact-resistance. AREA and ASTM specified maximum phosphorus concentration of 0.04 percent.[9]" Is there any disagreement with that?
Interesting to me: I got 6 cuts with one Doall Imperial 100 band saw blade in used 88# (or so) rail before it started to go dull. I'd guess that means that those rails are NOT fully hardened when they leave the mfr and that they don't work harden to the point where they are fully hard by the time they are removed from service?
Why do I have that much rail laying around? It's the left over from my son's 39 foot high Tyranosaurus Rex. He used 2 18 foot lengths to reinforce the legs.
Pete Stanaitis --------------------
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Another reason might be it was a spur line or siding that didn't get the daily pounding and such with wheels with tiny flats on them when a skid action or fast stop occurs. Really eats up the wheels.
Martin
spaco wrote:

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Not from me! :)

Ok, cool, I know this one! LOL :)
It's pure pearlite when new and only the surface of the head gets work hardened. It gets hard and slick enough to where a file or hacksaw blade has a tough time cutting into it. No kidding. :)
Put in a brand new blue-black-scaled-up rail and the first train over it always struck me funny... like the new rail wasn't going to last a week! LOL :) It'd look mashed out and abused but after just a few more trains, and it'd stop changing and look good. :)
I helped change out a -lot- of rail even tho it wasn't my job.
Alvin in AZ
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