Technical Reports

A Prototype Maintenance-of-Way Planning System Volume I: Final Report Including Appendices A through E

  • 01
  • Nov
  • 1980
AUTHOR: A. Hamid, D. Sawyer, M. A. Kenworthy, K. Rasmussen
SUBJECT: Automated Track Inspection Program (ATIP), Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Track Maintenance Planning, Track Quality Indices, Track Degradation, Track Geometry
ABSTRACT: The results of this study substantiate the concept of using automatic track inspection vehicles as a tool in Maintenance-of-Way planning. This study is based on data collected over a period of one year on 288 miles of CONRAIL mainline track. Track geometry was measured using an FRA Track Geometry Measurement Vehicle. The concept of a figure of merit, based on track geometry (gage, profile, alignment, crosslevel and warp) and used as a means of quantifying track condition is developed. It is shown through correlation with Federal Track Safety Standards, standard Ride Quality Indices, and derailments that these figures of merit, referred to as Track Quality Indices (TQl's), are an objective measure of track condition. An initial set of 14 candidate TQl's is reduced to a set of five which best quantify the track's ability to meet its functional requirements. Next, eleven selected physical parameters, which affect the rate of track deterioration, are investigated. These are categorized as traffic, track structure and maintenance parameters. It is found that a subset of these is capable of accounting for at least 80 percent of the change in track condition as measured by a TQI. Predictive equations for each of the five TQl's are given for six levels and/or types of maintenance. These equations are significant above the 0.999 level. Illustrative degradation curves are derived from the predictive equations and specific observations are made for the test zone.