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Penn National finally replacing old inside rail?   HRN Horse-Races.Net General Discussions

Started Oct-1 by TexSquared; 527 views.
TexSquared

From: TexSquared

Oct-1

https://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/penn-national-replacing-51-year-old-track-rail/

OK, Penn National Gaming owns numerous casino/hotel properties all over the place, so you know they're raking in the dough.  They couldn't afford to put in a safety rail at their namesake track 15 years ago when those rails started appearing everywhere?  I know Woodbine put theirs in (same kind as Keeneland, Santa Anita, etc) when they installed the original Poly in 2005.

And they're going the cheap route -- article says PVC breakaway type rail.  We have that at Woodbine too -- it's the outside rail of the Tapeta (permanently installed) and the inside rail of the inner turf (movable).  They are flimsy things...  I think they're made in France or Australia. 

SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G

Oct-1

The old rail is only 51 years old?  I think they're jumping the gun.  Get another ten years or so...

Save the money for where it's needed - in the casino.  Oh, the irony.

TexSquared

From: TexSquared

Oct-1

We shouldn't criticize too much.  I'm sure the inside rails at all 3 NYRA tracks are the same ones Secretariat ran by... look at photos of Big Red then photos of those tracks today...

SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G

Oct-2

I don't doubt it.  NYRA is one of the worst and that's my home circuit.  Saratoga is their cash cow and until a few years ago the barns and stables were falling apart.  Aqueduct is a dump.  I will withhold judgement on Belmont until I see the finished product.  I used to celebrate when they painted the benches.  

Nor mercy,  Tex.  Haha!

TexSquared

From: TexSquared

Oct-2

I'll correct myself as I just looked at pics from today's card at Aqueduct.  Aqueduct has modern safety rails, same style as the tracks I listed earlier.  However I'm certain Belmont and Saratoga still have the old ones.  Maybe after the 2-3 year closure Belmont will have modern rails.

Which is bizarre given that the plan is to close Aqueduct for good and race year round at Belmont (with the Saratoga meeting as the exception).

These are the movable PVC rails Woodbine uses on the inner turf course.  I shouldn't criticize them any further -- if they're good enough for the Melbourne Cup, should be good enough for us!  http://globalbarriersystems.com/mawsafe/plastic-running-rails/  [I also read that it's what Keeneland uses as the temp rail on its turf course, as they have hedges for lane 1]

The outside rail of the Tapeta is this set of rails from France -- I know I saw "Made in France" embossed on them when I'm there to shoot!
http://fornells.com/running-rails-horse-pvc-rails-upvc/

SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G

Oct-2

Thanks for those links, Tex.  Good information for someone like me, previously devoid of any knowledge of modern rails.

TexSquared

From: TexSquared

Oct-2

I can see why the PVC rails might be safer for the horses... one of the sites had a video of a race where the horse bumps into the rail and it flexed and got the horse upright again without losing the rider... so kind of like the SAFER Barrier in NASCAR!

If that happened on the metal safety rail with the "shelf" on top the jockey's going over the top.

  • Edited October 2, 2023 11:42 am  by  TexSquared
SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G

Oct-2

Anything that is safer for horse and rider is to be commended.  It's a dangerous enough sport with everything going perfectly.  Half ton animals running 40 mph with little humans on their backs?  Very dangerous.  It speaks to the skill level of riders and the incredible athleticism of the horses that accidents are very rare, indeed.

Unavoidable errors, accidents, injuries, etc. will always be in the sport, I am afraid.

My point has always been - eliminate all the avoidable errors, accidents, injuries and fatalities and we will be approaching the international standard.  We must in order to justify the sport going into the future.  Just my opinion.

Wintertrian

From: Wintertrian

Oct-7

Interesting conversation Tex.  I believe, as you noted, that breakaway rails are safer for horses and riders.  

These aren't highways with motor vehicles where a solid rail is going to protect from going over a cliff or into another on-coming opposing lane, or like bars on a large glass window to keep an infant from falling one or 2 stories out of a window, in which case you would need very sturdy rails. 

I can imagine a horse or rider would not have quite the same kind of injury hitting a breakaway as a solid piece of steel or iron, etc.   

All that said, I've made many things out of PVC in my former life as a homestead type, and UV rays, heat, cold do make them brittle, so even breakaways need to be changed ever 5 years or so if exposed to weather (and not underground like plumbing). 

 

TexSquared

From: TexSquared

Oct-7

Wintertrian said:

All that said, I've made many things out of PVC in my former life as a homestead type, and UV rays, heat, cold do make them brittle, so even breakaways need to be changed ever 5 years or so if exposed to weather (and not underground like plumbing). 

I think the PVC rail on the outside of the Tapeta has been there since the Polytrack went in.  And as you know it gets both hot and cold up here!

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