Technical Reports

FAST/HAL Mechanical Component Performance Test

  • 01
  • Aug
  • 1991
AUTHOR: Robert L. Florom
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Flange and Rim Wear, Wheel Profile, Three-Piece Trucks
ABSTRACT: The Association of American Railroads and the Federal Railroad Administration conducted a research program to investigate the implications of operating Heavy Axle Load (HAL) freight cars using a controlled consist of locomotives and fully loaded HAL freight cars equipped with conventional three-piece trucks at the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing, Transportation Test Center, Pueblo, Colorado. During the 160 MGT program, the performance of the car and locomotive mechanical components was monitored in the Mechanical Component Performance Experiment. A wheel performance test was conducted as a part of the Mechanical Component Performance Experiment to generate data on the wear behavior of heat treated wheels operating in the HAL environment. The Wheel Performance Test was designed to monitor wear behavior for new AAR Class C, two-wear cast steel wheels operating under 33- and 39-ton axle load cars equipped with Barber S-2 three-piece trucks and loaded to a rail weight of 157.5 tons and 132.0 tons, respectively, under dry and lubricated rail conditions. Comparative data obtained during the experiment included: flange and rim wear as a function of accumulated mileage for each car type and wheel profile variations as a function of wheel position for each car type. The tests revealed that, on a car mileage basis, there was no statistically significant difference in the flange or rim wear data obtained for the two car types. During the course of the program, corrugations were observed on the wheels of both 33- and 39-ton axle load cars. Since corrugated wheels have not been reported as a problem occurring on 33-ton axle load cars currently operating in revenue service, it appears that the corrugations occurred due to the nature of the HAL consist operation and the design of the High Tonnage Loop and are not associated with the increased axle load condition.