Technical Reports

Track Degradation at FAST

  • 01
  • Feb
  • 1985
AUTHOR: W. C. Thompson, R. F. Tuve, J. W. Brent
KEYWORDS: track gage alignment
ABSTRACT: This report describes the Track Degradation Experiment performed on the FAST track at the Transportation Test Center, near Pueblo, Colorado. The railroad industry's need to allocate resources more effectively has prompted strong interest in methods of predicting when track will degrade geometrically to the point where maintenance is necessary. Safety and reliability are dependent upon the condition of track and supporting structures. Eleven segments of track were studied consisting of tangent and curve track with jointed and continuous welded rail on wood and concrete ties. The purposes of the study were to: 1) develop a method of quantifying track degradation and maintenance requirements relative to defined standards, 2) measure track degradation as a result of traffic, and 3) determine the feasibility of predicting the rate of track degradation under known operating conditions and maintenance practices.