In the railway industry, specialized screws play a crucial role in ensuring the safety, reliability, and efficiency of rail systems. These screws are designed to withstand extreme conditions, provide secure fastening, and contribute to the overall stability of railway tracks and structures. In this article, we will explore the specifications of special screws used in the railway industry and their significance.

Types of Special Screws

There are several types of special screws used in the railway industry, each serving a specific purpose. Let’s take a look at some of the commonly used ones:

  1. Rail Anchoring Screws: Rail anchoring screws are used to secure the railway tracks to the sleepers or ties. They are designed to withstand heavy loads, vibrations, and lateral forces. These screws typically have a high tensile strength and are made from durable materials such as alloy steel.

Rail anchoring screws are available in various sizes and thread types, including coarse threads and fine threads. The coarse threads offer higher strength and stability, while the fine threads provide better resistance against loosening due to vibrations. These screws are often coated with corrosion-resistant finishes, such as zinc plating, to enhance their durability in harsh environmental conditions.

  1. Anti-Lock Screws: Anti-lock screws are specially designed to prevent loosening due to vibrations. They have unique thread designs that create frictional resistance, keeping the screw securely fastened. These screws are essential for maintaining the integrity of the rail system, especially in high-speed and heavy traffic areas.

Anti-lock screws feature advanced thread geometries, such as serrated threads or thread locking patches, which increase the resistance to vibrational loosening. Additionally, they are often made from high-strength materials and undergo specialized heat treatment processes to enhance their durability and resistance to fatigue. These screws are available in various sizes and can be coated with anti-corrosion finishes for extended lifespan.

  1. Insulated Screws: Insulated screws are used in electrified railway systems where the tracks are powered by electricity. These screws have insulating properties to prevent electrical conduction between the rail and other components. Insulated screws help in avoiding short circuits and maintaining the safety of the rail system.

Insulated screws are typically made from non-conductive materials such as fiberglass-reinforced composites or polymers. These materials offer excellent electrical insulation properties while maintaining sufficient mechanical strength. The dimensions of insulated screws may vary depending on the specific requirements of the rail system, and they may have specialized thread designs to ensure a secure fit and prevent electrical arcing.

  1. Tamper-Resistant Screws: Tamper-resistant screws are utilized to deter unauthorized tampering or sabotage attempts on railway infrastructure. These screws have unique drive designs that require specialized tools for installation and removal. They enhance the security of critical rail components and help prevent accidents or disruptions caused by malicious activities.

Tamper-resistant screws come in various forms, such as one-way screws, which can only be tightened and cannot be easily removed without the specific removal tool. Other designs include unique drive types, such as triangle or hexalobular (torx) drives, which provide increased resistance against unauthorized access. The materials and coatings used for tamper-resistant screws may vary depending on the application and level of security required.

Specifications of Special Screws

The specifications of special screws used in the railway industry vary depending on their intended application and the specific requirements of the rail system. Here are some common specifications to consider:


Special screws for railways are often made from high-strength materials such as alloy steel or stainless steel to ensure durability and resistance to corrosion. These materials offer excellent mechanical properties and can withstand the demanding conditions of railway environments.

Thread Type

Different screws may have various thread types, such as coarse threads or fine threads, based on the specific application and load requirements. Coarse threads provide better strength and stability, while fine threads offer improved resistance against vibrational loosening. The choice of thread type depends on factors like the weight of the rail, the expected forces, and the environmental conditions.

Drive Type

The drive type of a screw refers to the shape of the recess or socket used to turn it. Common drive types include Phillips, slotted, hexagonal (Allen), and Torx. The selection of the drive type depends on factors such as ease of installation, the required torque, and the desired level of tamper resistance. Certain drive types, like Torx, provide better resistance against unauthorized removal attempts.


Special screws may have coatings or finishes to enhance their corrosion resistance, such as zinc plating or black oxide coating. These coatings provide a protective layer that helps prevent rust and corrosion, extending the lifespan of the screws. The choice of coating or finish depends on the specific environmental conditions the screws will be exposed to, such as moisture, chemicals, or temperature variations.

Tensile Strength

The tensile strength of a screw indicates its maximum load-bearing capacity without breaking. Special screws for railways often have high tensile strength to withstand heavy loads and forces. The tensile strength required depends on factors such as the weight and type of rail, the expected forces, and the safety factors employed in the design. It is crucial to ensure that the selected screws have adequate tensile strength for the specific application.


The dimensions of special screws, including length, diameter, and thread pitch, vary depending on the specific application and the requirements of the rail system. It is essential to consider factors such as the thickness of the rail, the depth of the thread engagement, and the required torque during installation. Proper sizing ensures that the screws provide secure fastening and maintain the structural integrity of the rail system.


Special screws used in the railway industry may need to meet specific certifications or standards to ensure compliance with safety regulations. Examples include ISO 898 for mechanical properties and EN 14399 for high-strength structural bolts. These certifications guarantee that the screws meet the necessary quality and performance standards required for railway applications.

It is important to consult the relevant industry standards and guidelines when selecting and specifying special screws for railway applications. This ensures that the screws meet the necessary requirements for safe and reliable performance.


Special screws used in the railway industry are designed to meet stringent requirements for safety, reliability, and durability. Rail anchoring screws, anti-lock screws, insulated screws, and tamper-resistant screws each have their specific applications and specifications. By considering the specifications outlined in this article, rail system operators and engineers can make informed decisions when selecting and specifying the appropriate screws for their specific needs. These screws contribute significantly to the overall integrity and performance of railway tracks and structures, ensuring safe and efficient rail transportation.