Technical Reports

Improving Transportation Through Railroad Research: 1988-1991

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 1992
AUTHOR: Office of Research and Development
SUBJECT: Best Practices
KEYWORDS: Safety Regulations, R&D, Track Buckling, Rail Restraint, Vehicle/Track Interaction, Rail Integrity, Operating Practices, Maglev, TTC, FAST
ABSTRACT: The Office of Research and Development (R&D) of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) conducts research, development, test, and evaluation projects to directly support the FRA's safety responsibility and to enhance the railroad system as a significant national transportation resource. This report summarizes the FRA's research and development (R&D) activities conducted from 1988 through 1991. A report published in January 1988 covered the preceding seven years. This report does not include all of the R&D activities undertaken; instead, it is representative of the work done. Many projects were undertaken in conjunction with the railroad industry. Where required by the FRA's public safety responsibility, the work was done independently. The Office of Research and Development has relied on cooperative and coordinated programs with other research organizations, other Government agencies, industry associations, individual railroads, and railroad suppliers. Organizations participating in cooperative research include the Association of American Railroads, the Railway Progress Institute, the American Railway Engineering Association, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the United Transportation Union, individual U.S. railroads and their suppliers, and the Canadian Government and railroads. This report consists of an Introduction, four major sections, and three appendices. Each section describes the R&D activities of one of the FRA's four functional research programs: (1) the Track, Structures, and Train Control Program including related areas of bridges, switches, signals, and controls; (2) the Equipment Operations and Hazardous Materials Research Program; (3) the High Speed Guided Ground Transportation Safety Program; and (4) the National Maglev Initiative Program.