Other Reports

Correlation of Accident Data with Physical Characteristics of Derailed Freight Vehicles

  • 01
  • Feb
  • 1982
AUTHOR: F. P. DiMasi
SUBJECT: Track/Train Interactions, Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Track/Track Dynamics, Rail Safety, Track Geometry
ABSTRACT: [From the Preface] The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is sponsoring research to provide improved safety of the rail transportation system at reduced life-cycle costs. These studies are aimed at developing important relationships between track design construction, and maintenance parameters and the safety and performance of the fleet of railcars operating over the track system. To meet these objectives engineering descriptions of track and the fleet of U.S. railway rolling stock operating over the nation's track system have been developed for use in vehicle/ track dynamics simulation modeling. Quantification of the relationships between track roughness, train operating speeds and physical characteristics of rolling stock will permit development of improved performance-based standards for track geometry which will limit vehicle/track dynamic interactions to safe and tolerable levels at reduced life-cycle costs. Because of the scope of this problem, it is desirable to prioritize analytical studies, to the extent possible, by conducting vehicle-accident correlation studies of railcar derailments and defining sets of conditions leading to these derailments. This report describes actuarial studies correlating FRA accident data, physical characteristics of derailed freight vehicles and related fleet characterization data to identify: (a) Freight vehicle configurations having a disproportionately high incidence and (estimated) frequency of derailment on a per-mile basis, and (b) Commonly occurring derailment scenarios implying specific modes of vehicle/track dynamic interactions leading to derailment. Results of this study should aid in prioritizing analytical studies in rail systems dynamics to develop improved performance based standards for track which should have large and near-term benefits to railroad operations.
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