Technical Reports

Lightweight Car Simuloader Test

  • 01
  • May
  • 1993
AUTHOR: David L. Cackovic
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD-93-16
SUBJECT: Facilities & Test Equipment
KEYWORDS: Simulation, Railcar Fatigue Performance, Transportation Test Center
ABSTRACT: Railcars experience fatigue damage from loads encountered during in-train revenue service operation. In 1984, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) acquired an electro-hydraulic shaker system that allowed railcar fatigue performance to be investigated at the Transportation Test Center, Pueblo, Colorado. The system, known as the Simuloader, was donated to the FRA by the Union Tank Car Company and re-creates truck bolster motions and longitudinal coupler forces. Testing conducted in 1986 focused on validating the Simuloader’s ability to replicate desired environments, including on-track induced vibrations and motions introduced into a railcar by another shaker system. The tests were performed on an intermodal railcar designed to transport single highway trailer units. The following conclusions were drawn from the course of testing: techniques developed previously for obtaining inputs for the Vibration Test Unit (VTU) can be used to generate inputs for the Simuloader; the Simuloader was able to invoke car body responses similar to responses when testing on the VTU; the Simuloader was found to excite test car responses with and without its suspension in a manner similar to responses encountered on-track. With practice and experimentation, differences in response amplitudes can and have in subsequent test programs, be reduced to acceptable, minimal levels.

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