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Track Research Overview

Tracks & Structures

Track and infrastructure failure is the second leading cause of train derailments in the U.S. Incorrect interaction between moving vehicles and the track is a common cause of derailments. Strategic priorities for this program are:

  • Develop track inspection technologies that detect defects before they become failures in service
  • Develop computer modeling capabilities to improve understanding of vehicle-track interaction, wheel and rail profiles and contact conditions
  • Expand the use of autonomous recording methods to provide more frequent and cost-effective measurements of track condition
  • Develop new methods for monitoring difficult to detect safety issues such as longitudinal rail force, ballast lateral restraint and ballast condition
  • Contact us
  • Federal Railroad Administration
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC 20590
  • Regional Offices