Technical Reports

Lightweight Vehicle Track Shunting

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 1981
AUTHOR: R. B. Whalen, R. Horvath, P. Foley
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD-81/56
SUBJECT: Signal and Train Control
KEYWORDS: Signal/Control Systems, R&D, Grade Crossing Warning Systems
ABSTRACT: The objective of this contract was to determine the extent of the shunting problem on lightweight rail vehicles and identify research recommendations to resolve it. This study discloses that special precautions must be taken before single-unit lightweight railroad cars can be operated on common carrier railroads. Such operation without special precautions introduces the likelihood of signal malfunctions in train protection systems and rail-highway grade crossing warning systems. Malfunctions of the signal system result from failure of the vehicle to make known its presence on a track by failing to pass sufficient current in a given time through its wheels and axles from one rail to the other. This is known as a shunt failure. This report is an effort to define the extent of the problem and possible avenues for solution. As such, it presents the following and is an'excellent reference text: (1) Development of a clear statement of the problem; (2) Identification of applicable (government and industry) regulations and gathering of related data; (3) Assessment and documentation of industry developments and operational requirements, and (4) Formulation of R&D recommendations.

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