Technical Reports

Truck Design Optimization Project (TDOP) Phase II: Performance Characterization of Type I Freight Car Trucks

  • 01
  • Jan
  • 1981
AUTHOR: P. V. Ramachandran, M. M. ElMadany
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD 81/10
SUBJECT: Facilities & Test Equipment, Freight Operations
KEYWORDS: Standard Trucks, Performance Regimes, Performance Characteristics, Lateral Stability, Trackability, Ride Quality, Steady State Curve Negotiation
ABSTRACT: TDOP/Phase II is part of a series of studies being conducted by the FRA to define the engineering options available to the railroad industry to improve the efficiency and productivity of rail freight operations. As part of this effort, experimental and analytic studies have been conducted to define the performance capabilities of the current freight car truck configurations. The results of these studies are used in arriving at quantitative characterization of performance of the standard, three-piece freight car truck under revenue service conditions. Field test data generated during TDOP/Phase I were supplemented with additional data gathered from field tests conducted during Phase II. These test data were reduced, analyzed, and interpreted in the light of physical reasoning as well as analytic simulations. Overall truck performance has been classified into four distinct and non-overlapping regimes, namely lateral stability, trackability, steady state curve negotiation, and ride quality. Performance indices, or measureable quantities typical of each performance regime, have been defined and quantified through the use of field test data and analytic simulations. Correlating the quantified performance indices within each regime with representative operating conditions such as speed, lading, and track quality, ranges of quantified performance levels have been arrived at as being characteristic of truck performance under the corresponding conditions of operation.
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