Other Reports

Investigations of Wheel Conditions

  • 13
  • Jan
  • 1989
AUTHOR: R. C. Rice, S. W. Rust
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Instrumentation, Trigger Mechanism Analyses, Railroad Technology
ABSTRACT: Approval of this task was confirmed on March 21, 1988, and it is currently scheduled for completion on December 20, 1989. The objective of this task is to ensure the validity of wheel discoloration test data developed with the cooperation of the American Association of Railroads (AAR) and to provide an analysis of these data so that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Safety can make technically sound decisions concerning the safety of operating discolored curved plate wheels in normal railroad service. This report summarizes Battelle's activities on this task to date. Progress on the FRA/AAR wheel discoloration program has lagged behind the expectations of nearly everyone involved, because there is still some disagreement concerning the details of the AAR test plan and, therefore, the nature of a waiver that the FRA should grant to allow the AAR to develop the necessary discolored wheel service data. As a result, the majority of Battelle's efforts to date have been devoted to a critique of the American Association of Railroads' (AAR) most recent implementation proposal for the discolored wheel study. Areas of concern with this plan are identified in this report and alternative approaches and analyses are offered for consideration by the FRA. Anticipated activities for the next 6 months are reviewed. Conclusions and recommendations for FRA action are also provided.