（Railroad.) a. One form of railroad-rail, which bears the rolling stock on its edge.
The rail is contradistinguished by its name from the flat-rail, which was first used; the angle-rail, which succeeded that; the bridge-rail, which presents an arched tread and has lateral flanged feet; the footrail, which has a tread like the edg-rail, but, unlike it, has a broad base formed by foot flanges.
The first public railway laid with edge rails was made by Jessop of Loughborough, England, 1789.
They were of cast-iron in 3 or 4 feet lengths, and had vertical holes near each end by which they were wooden-pinned to the sleepers.
They were fishbellied, and subsequently laid on cast-iron chairs.
Wyatt's patent in 1800 was an oval east-iron rail.
The upper surface was afterwards flattened.
Rolled-iron edge-rails were made in 1820 under Birkenshaw's patent.
See rail; Railway.
b. A rail placed by the side of the main rail at a switch to prevent the train from