Other Reports

Roller Bearing Temperature Measurements on Double-Stack Container Cars

  • 26
  • Sep
  • 1988
AUTHOR: R. J. McCown, T. E. Moser
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Instrumentation, Wayside Hotbox Detector, Laboratory Testing
ABSTRACT: This report describes the test methods, operations, and results obtained from monitoring roller bearing temperatures on double-stack container cars and conventional cars in revenue service train operations. The purpose of the testing was to determine whether roller bearings on double-stack cars operate at substantially higher temperatures than bearings on other cars, as many hotbox detector readings have appeared to indicate. However, the hotbox detector indications were not regarded as definitive because the detectors are designed and calibrated to detect extreme temperatures indicating imminent bearing failure; they are not normally used to measure the relatively small temperature differences of interest in this study. It is thought that significantly higher operating temperatures might contribute to the extensive grease "weepage" or "leakage" which has been observed from roller bearings on the double-stack cars and to a lesser extent on conventional cars. A method which allows practical, economical monitoring of several bearings in a revenue service consist was designed to conclusively compare operating temperatures of both double-stack and conventional car bearings operating under identical conditions in the same consist. This report describes both a prototype test run made between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Los Angeles, California, and a full comparison test in which both double-stack and conventional car bearings were monitored between Atlanta, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. The prototype test measured only bearing temperatures on double-stack cars to validate the test equipment and procedures. In both tests, wayside hotbox detector readings were obtained for comparison with the onboard data.