Technical Reports

Acoustic Detection of Railcar Roller Bearing Defects: Phase III, System Evaluation Test

  • 01
  • Aug
  • 2003
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
KEYWORDS: Wayside Acoustic Bearing Detection; Railcar Roller Bearing Defects; Raceway Spalls; Roller Defects; Water Etching; Loose Bearing Components; Spun Cones
ABSTRACT: In July 1999, Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), conducted a system evaluation test as part of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Improved Freight Car Roller Bearing Inspection Program (Task Order 122). at the Transportation Technology Center, Pueblo, Colorado. It included a series of simulated revenue service tests using a consist of eight railcars that contained wheelsets with both good bearings and specific roller bearing defects. The purpose of these tests was the evaluation of improved wayside acoustic bearing detection systems. TTCI was the only supplier of a prototype acoustic bearing detector system for evaluation  although several other suppliers participated by collecting onboard or wayside data, which may lead to other developments. The acoustic beating detector was developed as part of AAR’s Track Performance Monitoring Strategic Initiative funded by AAR member railroads.