Technical Reports

Transportation of Vibration Sensitive Equipment By Highway Trailer on an Intermodal Railcar- Volume I

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 1979
AUTHOR: M. Kenworthy
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD-79/05.1
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Railroad Research, Intermodal Transportation, Trailer-on-Flatcar, Vehicle Dynamics, Lading Response, Ride Quality
ABSTRACT: This report includes the results of a cooperative research project between Government and industry to explore the potential for the use of highway trailers on intermodal railcars (Trailer on Flatcar) or (TOFC) to transport vibration sensitive lading. The industrial participants in the study were the Boston and Maine Railroad, the Digital Equipment Corporation and Mooney Moving and Storage (representing Allied Van Lines). The purpose of the project was to characterize the operating environment of TOFC during the transport of vibration-sensitive teletypewriters. To this end, the lading two types of trailers and the conventional TOFC flatcar were instrumented to quantify the shock and vibration environment during typical over-the-road revenue operation. The trailers used were a conventional railroad-owned leaf-spring trailer and an air-ride moving van. Various measurements of the accelerations experienced by the lading as well as the TOFC components were taken during the road test. The test was conducted using a special train operating over sections of the main line tracks and yards of the B&M Railroad between Boston and Mechanicville, NY. Test equipment, test procedures and data processing techniques used are discussed in the report. The results of the test indicated that the ride quality of both types of trailers is similar and that TOFC is feasible for the transportation of vibration-sensitive equipment. Test results contained in the report provide useful information to traffic managers and packaging engineers.

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