Technical Reports

1985 Track Survey: National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)

  • 01
  • Oct
  • 1985
AUTHOR: Office of Safety, Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Track/Train Interactions
KEYWORDS: track gage, cross level, wrap, profile, alignment, curvature
ABSTRACT: From September through December 1984, the FRA conducted an intensive survey of all mainline track utilized by Amtrak (see fig. 1). Three automated track geometry railcars -- the latest in railroad state-of-the-art inspection technology -- measured track gage, cross level, wrap, profile, alignment and curvature. The inspection cars provided analog charts of the measured parameters and exception reports detailing exceptions, by location, to the allowable limits. Amtrak accident statistics over recent years were also analyzed. A 59-percent reduction in the accident rate for Amtrak trains has occurred from 1978 through 1983. Data gathered during the surveys were monitored by the FRA inspectors on board and were given to the various on-board carrier officials so that they were immediately available for use in locating and correcting deviations. FRA track inspectors made follow-up inspections on the ground to verify the data and ascertain that the railroads had taken appropriate corrective actions.