Technical Reports

Fiber Optic Availability and Opportunity Analysis for North American Railroads

  • 20
  • Jul
  • 2018
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-33
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-18/23
SUBJECT: Fiber Optic
KEYWORDS: Fiber Optic Acoustic Detection, FOAD, North American railroads, safety improvements, Wayside Detection, Railroad Cost Benefits
ABSTRACT: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sponsored an evaluation conducted by Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) regarding the opportunity and availability to use Fiber Optic Acoustic Detection (FOAD) in the North American railroad industry. The work was performed at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC) from January 15, 2016, through November 14, 2016. The FOAD task force, organized by the Association of American Railroads’ (AAR) Railway Electronics Standards Committee (RESC), identified the priority applications for use of FOAD technology to be broken rail detection, train tracking, monitoring equipment health and track integrity, security, and detection of environmental hazards. Additionally, this project identified that there is the potential for cost savings to the railroads, especially if FOAD is used for multiple applications and along regions of track with existing fiber optic cable installed.

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