In this study, the head hardening process was employed, by using a mixture of air and water under laboratory conditions, to improve the residual stress behavior of R260 grade rails . For this purpose, three types of specimens were selected. One group of rails was heated up to the austenite stage and then cooled for 20 s; the next group was heated up to the austenite stage and then cooled for 40 s and the third group was not exposed to any heat treatment. The hardness results showed that the specimens cooled for 40 s had excessive hardness; the specimens cooled for 20 s exhibited similar properties as that of R350HT rail standards, which are especially preferred in the lower radius of curvature bends in railways, but not that of R260. According to the analysis of residual stress, all samples had compressive residual stress, but the specimens cooled for 20 s had the highest stress value.