The Point & Crossings are used in the railway tracks to guide the trains for directional changes. This Point & Crossings is comprised of three prime components, namely Point, Lead and Crossing element. One point is basically consists of single pair of tongue rails and stock rails with various necessary fittings.
While crossing is kind of device available in the form of V-piece. Both the points and crossing are primary components of track asset. These assure diversion of traffic from one track to another track. These are also used to give earliness to faster trains in the same direction. Various points and crossings are:-
- Turnout: The term denotes points and crossing with the lead rails.
- Tongue rail: It is tapered movable rail, connected at its thickest end to running rail.
- Stock rail: It is the running rail, against which a tongue rail functions.
- Switch: A pair of tongue with stock rail with necessary connections and fittings.
- Points: A pair of tongue rail with their stock rails are termed as points.
- Crossing: A crossing is a instrument which is installed at the junction where two rails cross to ensure the wheel flange of trains to pass from one track to the another.
- Heel of switch: It is an imaginary point on the gauge line midway between the end of lead rail and the tongue rail in case of loose heel switches In case of fixed heel switches, it is a point on the gauge line of tongue rail opposite the centre of heel block.
- Lead: The track portion between heels of switch to the beginning of crossing assembly is called lead.
- Turn–in–curve: The track portion between the heel of crossing to the fouling marks is called turn – in – curve.