Why are the bolts that hold steel rails together in oval holes?

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It has to do with the design of the bolts. The reason that head of the bolt is oval. The head of a bolt fit flush into the bar and set in opposing sets is so that a piece of dragging equipment will not shear off all the bolts in a joint but rather the just the nuts one side. As a result, if the hole were not oval on one side there would be no way to tighten or loose the bolts in a joint.

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