Technical Reports

Measurement of Wheel/Rail Forces at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 1980
AUTHOR: D. R. Ahlbeck, H. D. Harrison, J. M. Tuten
SUBJECT: Track/Train Interactions
KEYWORDS: Wheel/Rail Wear, Urban Transit Vehicles, WMATA
ABSTRACT: Under the direction of the Urban Mass Transportation Authority (UMTA) measurements of wheel/rail forces were made in August 1979 by the Transportation Systems Center (TSC) with the assistance of Battelle Columbus Laboratories to determine the causes of excessive wheel/rail wear experienced by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail System. In addition to measuring the absolute magnitude of the wheel/rail forces, it was the intent to compare alternative methods for relieving wheel/rail wear. For tight gage the average flange force between the leading outer wheel and the high rail of an 800-foot radius curve was 9400 pounds, unworn cylindrical profile; 6300 pounds, unworn tapered profile; 7900 pounds, worn cylindrical profile. For widened gage the average flange force was 6300 pounds, unworn cylindrical profile; 5500 pounds, unworn tapered profile. On the basis of these results it was recommended that cylindrical wheels be replaced by tapered wheels and tight gage curves be widened to standard gage. This report consists of two volumes: Volume I, The Analysis Report, analyzes the data and presents conclusions and recommendations; Volume II, The Test Report, describes the wayside sites and instrumentation and presents the wheel/rail load data from the test runs in a tabular format.
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