Technical Reports

Rail Inspection Systems Analysis and Technology Survey

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1977
AUTHOR: W. D. Kaiser, R. H. Byers, D. Ensminger, H. C. Meacham, J. H. Flora, W. C. Bruce, L. Becker, G. Posakony
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD-77/39
SUBJECT: Evaluation, Best Practices
KEYWORDS: Flaw, Ultrasonic, Magnetic, Automatic Data Processing, Nondestructive Testing
ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to identify existing rail inspection system capabilities and methods which might be used to improve these capabilities. Task I was a study to quantify existing inspection parameters and Task II was a cost effectiveness study to utilize the results of Task I. in defining the total costs incurred in inspecting and replacing rail and in defining the most cost effective inspection system. Some of the major findings from these studies were that the practices of stopping for hand check and to mark flaws and of manually processing all data were the major factors presently limiting inspection speeds. It was concluded that use of automatic data processing and elimination of the stops would allow speeds to be increased to about 25 mph (40 kmph) and inspection costs would be reduced by about a factor of 2. It was also concluded that with extensive transducer and carriage development, speeds up to 50 mph (80 kmph) were feasible and would further reduce inspection costs from 0 up to a maximum of about 30 percent depending upon usage. A recommendation was made to develop an inspection vehicle with an ultimate speed capability of 50 mph (80 kmph) or higher.
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