Three upright parallel posts trackside?

 
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
I have noticed along many railway lines in Victoria there are sets of three upright pieces of rail planted upright in the ground, about 1 metre apart and running perpendicular to the line, each rail being about 1 metre high and often painted white. Sometimes they are on one side of the track, sometimes on both sides

What do they signify?

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  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Something to do with km markings I think?
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
That was my original idea, but they were not always in sync with the km posts. Perhaps mile markers? Confused
  skidsteer Chief Train Controller

Location: In the country
Sometimes underground pits for cables/fibre optics are protected by these posts.
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Sometimes underground pits for cables/fibre optics are protected by these posts.
"skidsteer"
They usually have two posts painted white, at diagonally opposite corners the manhole cover. You need to work around them  when getting shots on the Geelong line.

The poles I mentioned earlier are only 2 or so metres from the running rails.
  fast01 BUTTSCRATCHER!

Location: Somewhere your not.
Culverts? Everytime I've seen them its been right on top of old culverts.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Creep pegs.

The middle post is the one that the rail creep is referenced off.  The other two are to discourage regulators and such from knocking the other one over and destroying the reference.  On the rail there will be a punch mark in the head of the rail.  Place a string line between the posts and measure where the rail as gone.

They are not consistent in their application however.  On some lines they are set up in conjunction with the km pegs.  Others have them where the km pegs were and since been re-pegged.  Others just have them where they are needed.  Its a district by district preference thing.

Some are posts, while others are posts mounted on top of substantial concrete monuments.
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
In the metro area, creep points are usually marked with the word "CREEP" sprayed onto an overhead staunchion, hence the need for other poles when in the regional railways.
  dalts 1985 Banned

Location: Banned
The same apply's in NSW, except the ARTC/Railcorp Network has the markers painted a Blue Aqua colour...
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I would have thought that three upright parallel posts meant that somebody had pinched a behind post.
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Thanks for the answers everyone. I thought I took photos of them a while back, but ended up getting some more. I used to wonder what the "creep" spray painted on some stanchions meant as well - I thought it was odd graffiti!

Here is a KM post and the triple rail jobbie, on the Ballarat - Ararat line:


Single rail and KM post on the Warrnambool line:


Odd 'monument' type on the Western SG beyond Ararat - only place I have ever seen there:


And the punch mark on the side of the rail head (on the LHS):
  vlinecars V/Man - "Yeah!"

Location: Here, there, everywhere!
Might be a stupid question, but what exactly does 'creep' mean in this context?
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Might be a stupid question, but what exactly does 'creep' mean in this context?
"vlinecars"
The rail moves 'up' or 'down' the line in relation to the ground and sleepers. Dunno how it happens, heat contraction and expansion, or it slides down hills? Confused
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Creep = the movement of the rail through the fastenings.  

We like to know where the rail is moving to so that we can control the stress in the rail.  The term 'stress' is not a really good description as its more like controlling the tension in the rail so it can handle the range of temperature and the expansion and contraction of the steel.  In the old days you could monitor your creep with observations of the joints etc.  With continuously welded rail, if you end up with too much rail in one place you are suseptible to heat buckles and also alternatively too tension in cold weather with a higher propensity to have broken rails ( the tension acts on the defects in the rail).

What makes the rail move?

There are three kinds of creep.

1.  Grade creep - where the rail hangs off the hill and heads for the low points.

2.  Tonnage creep - where the rail moves in the direction of the tonnage

3.  Steering creep - a bit rarer but due to the steering aaction of the wheels pushing one rail ahead of the other.  A good example of this was on the Pimba bank I recall.

One aspect of the three kinds of creep is that they can co exist together or be any combination etc.

Hope that helps
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Thanks for that skitz - I had just dug up a ATSB report that defined creep and was about the post a link, but yours is much easier to understand. Laughing

Here is is anyway.
  vlinecars V/Man - "Yeah!"

Location: Here, there, everywhere!
Thanks very much for that skitz, very interesting!

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