This is a temporary diversion provided on a double-line track to allow one of the tracks to shift and pass through the other track. Both the tracks run together on the same sleepers. It proves to be a useful connection when one side of a bridge on a double-line section is required to be blocked for major repairs or rebuilding. The speciality of this layout is that there are two crossings at the ends and no switches [Fig. 15.13 (a)].
Gauntletted tracks are also used on sections where trains have to operate on mixed gauges, say, both BG and MG, for a short stretch. In such cases both the tracks are laid on the same set of wooden sleepers [Fig. 15.13(b)].
The salient features of the gauntletted track are as follows.
(a) Two tracks are laid on the same sleepers with two sets of crossings without any switches.
(b) Gauntletted tracks can be economically used for mixed gauge, i.e., say, for tracks with both BG and MG.
(c) This layout is used when part of a double-line bridge is under repair. It is also used to economize the cost of a double-line bridge.