Technical Reports

Anti-Derailment Sensor System

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 1973
AUTHOR: J.H. Armstrong, F.C. Kluge, F.H. Swaim, J.D. Terrell, W.W. Wassmann
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD 74/17
SUBJECT: Accident Reduction
KEYWORDS: Railroad Cars, Accident Prevention, Warning Systems, Journal Bearings
ABSTRACT: In the context of items of hardware which have been developed for military use, principal causes of derailments were studied to determine those amenable to anticipation detection or by onboard sensors. Other elements for relaying sensor outputs and taking appropriate action to prevent or ameliorate the effects of derailment were combined into system concepts. Hardware for key and unique functions was fabricated and tested. Test results and experience data were used to combine the most promising alternatives into systems, for which tangible benefit versus sensor system cost estimates were made. A basic hotbox detector system with phase-change-alloy thermal sensors actuating the train air brake via a self-powered electrical on-car communication system is proposed as feasible, compatible with railroad operating practices, and productive of major net cost benefits. Associated systems for incipient resonant rock-of£ and local derailment detection are discussed.
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