Technical Reports

Integrated Railway Remote Information Service

  • 01
  • Jun
  • 2004
AUTHOR: Firdausi Irani, John Tunna, Roy B. Wiley, Ryan McWilliams
SUBJECT: Safety Performance Measures
KEYWORDS: Wayside Detection, Defect and Condition Monitoring, national Database, Safety Enhancements, Preventive adn Predictive Maintenance
ABSTRACT: TTCI via the FRA was tasked by the Congress of the United States to demonstrate the feasibility of using and linking defect detector systems across North America to develop a national database that will enable the railroad industry to engage in predictive maintenance (processes that allow maintenance scheduling when equipment is idle or already in the shop). These detectors measure equipment performance parameters such as the forces between the wheel and rails. The Integrated Railway Remote Information Service, InteRRIS®, an Internet-based system, designed and developed by TTCI, was used to aggregate, interrogate, and store data from field-deployed detector systems. A key task under the program was the determination and implementation of appropriate access to a National Rail Corridor Vehicle Performance Database (VPD), which would draw performance-based data from InteRRIS® for FRA and railroads responsible for the safe operation of cars and locomotives as needed to enable effective performance-based safety monitoring. The VPD has been populated with data from a number of Truck Performance and Wheel Impact Load Detectors in order to capture representative and geographically diverse traffic from freight, mixed freight/commuter/passenger lines, and hazmat lines. The AAR and FRA have a mutual interest in promoting the implementation of performance-based maintenance through the deployment of a wayside detector network with the necessary database to monitor all cars so that preventive action can be taken. This detector network hopes to reduce the necessity to visually inspect cars and locomotives thereby focusing efforts on making repairs. This could greatly enhance the efficiency with which railroads make safety critical repairs. Such tools, with detector data in a central database, should they prove feasible, could eventually lead to the development of performance-based inspection standards.