Technical Reports

Measurements of Wheel/Rail Loads on Class 5 Track

  • 01
  • Feb
  • 1980
AUTHOR: Donald R. Ahlbeck, Milton R. Johnson, Harold D. Harrison, James M. Tuten
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD-80/19
SUBJECT: Track/Train Interactions, Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Load Measurement Techniques, Flat Wheel Impact Loads, Rail Joint Impact Loads, Statistical Description
ABSTRACT: Measurements have been made on two tangent test sections and a curved test section to characterize the wheel/rail load environment on Class 5 track. The tangent-track test sections included a 3-mile length of bolted-joint rail under a 3-mile length of continuous welded rail. Wayside measurements of loads under passing revenue traffic were obtained from randomly located strain gage patterns on the rail, while an instrumented 100-ton freight car was run over the test sections at a range pf speeds to define the load spectrum from the vehicle. Joint impact loads were defined from the instrumented wheelset measurements, while special wayside measurements were included to define the influence of wheel flats. Additional measurements were obtained from the on-board instrumentation over a test section that included two 6-degree, 6-inch superelevation curves. This report presents the data obtained from these measurements and describes the wayside and vehicle-borne instrumentation, the experiment design and operation, and the data reduction and analysis approach employed. Statistical summaries of the load environments are presented.
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