If therefore the outer rail is laid at a level above that of the inner rail at the curve, overturning will be resisted more than would be the case if both rails were in the same horizontal plane, since the tilting of the vehicle due to this " superelevation " diminishes the overturning moment, and also increases the restoring moment, by shortening in the one case and lengthening in the other the lever arms at which the respective forces act.
The amount of superelevation required to prevent derailment at a curve can be calculated under perfect running conditions, given the radius of curvature, the weight of the vehicle, the height of the centre of gravity, the distance between the rails, and the speed; but great experience 1 See The Times Engineering Supplement (August 22, 1906), p. 265.
For instance, if the curve is of S-form, the point of danger is when the train enters the contra-flexure, and it is not an easy matter to assign the best superelevation at all points throughout the double bend.
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