Technical Reports

Proof-of-Concept Demonstration: Controlling Rolling Contact Fatigue with Top of Rail Friction Control

  • 01
  • Dec
  • 2006
AUTHOR: Proof-of-Concept Demonstration Controlling Rolling Contact Fatigue with Top of Rail Friction Control
SUBJECT: Rail and Infrastructure Integrity
KEYWORDS: Top of Rail, Rolling Contact Fatigue, Friction Modifier, Dye Penetrant
ABSTRACT: A proof of concept demonstration was conducted on two curves to demonstrate the effectiveness of wayside based top of rail (TOR) friction control in reducing occurrence and growth rate of rolling contact fatigue (RCF) on low curvature railroad track. Benefits were primarily noticed on the low rail of the test curve. Results on the high rail were less noticeable, in part due to variable gage face lubrication throughout the trial period. Vertical wear rate of the low rail was reduced by applicator of TOR friction control, while at the same time high rail vertical and gaga face wear varied by changes in gage face lubrication policy. The improvement in rail surface behavior allowed the grinding cycle in this area to be extended from the present 8 months to a 10 month interval while developing the same level of RCF. While this demonstration was limited to two curves, the low rail RCF performance suggested an improvement with the use of TOR. A more extensive test with a larger range of curvatures and rail is suggested to improve data quality and obtain statistically significant results.