TRB Gary Carr v1

Core Research Areas
Fit with D.O.T. strategic goals
High Speed and Intercity Passenger rail
Freight rail
Facilities & Equipment
Looking forward
Track Research Division
• Track and Structures
• Track / Train Interaction
• Operations / Facilities
~150 projects
typically $40M/year
Equipment and Operating Practices
• Rolling Stock And Components
• Train occupant protection
• Energy, Efficiency and Environment
• Hazardous Materials
• Human Factors
Track & Structures
Signals, Train Control and Communications
Signals, Train Control & Comms
• Signals and Train Control (Including PTC)
• Grade Crossing
• Communications
Equipment & Operating Practices
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
2001 to 2011 - Enacted
2012 - Requested
Livable Communities
Economic Competitiveness
Environmental Sustainability
State of Good Repair
High Speed/Improved Passenger Rail
• “Improve public health, safety, and security by reducing
transportation-related fatalities and injuries” – D.O.T.
• Scope of responsibility includes
Railroad employees
Passengers on trains and in station areas
Members of the public living near the railroad
Members of the public using grade crossings and footbridges
Freight (all classes and short lines), intercity, commuter (not transit)
Injuries as well as fatalities, health as well as safety
• Reportable train accidents
Accidents per Million Train Miles
Human Factors
Grade Crossing
Misc. (excl. GC)
Source: FRA Safety Database
• Safety Risk Model
– Indicates priorities for R&D
– Separated into hazards and accident
– Separated into groups (passengers,
workforce, public)
– Allows calculation of safety metrics
• Passenger – equivalent fatalities per
billion passenger train kilometers
• Workforce – equivalent fatalities per
million worker hours
• Risk exposure for a typical traveler or
– Allows tracking of safety risk over
• “Foster livable communities through
place-based policies and investments
that increase transportation choices and
access to transportation services.” –
• Some FRA R&D topics:
– Improved grade crossings that safely
accommodate pedestrians, bicycles,
wheelchairs and baby strollers
– Reduced noise and vibration from railroad
– Improved access to railroad transportation for
special needs populations and individuals with
• “Foster transportation policies and investments that serve the
traveling public and freight movement, and bring lasting
economic and social benefit to the Nation.” – D.O.T.
• Some FRA R&D topics
– Methods for increasing capacity
– Development of domestic rail
equipment manufacturing and
testing facilities
– Increasing the proficiency and
retention of the workforce
– New technology to improve
• “Advance environmentally
sustainable policies and
investments that reduce carbon
and other harmful emissions from
transportation sources.” – D.O.T.
• Some FRA projects
– Alternative fuels
– Improved efficiency of rail
• “Ensure the U.S. proactively maintains its critical transportation
infrastructure in a state of good repair.” – D.O.T.
• Some FRA R&D topics
– Rail corridor inspection and
assessment equipment
– Understanding the life cycle of
railroad assets including defect
initiation and growth rates
– Challenges from high-speed and
shared track corridors
Broad Agency Announcement priorities
• Track & structures
• Equipment
• Autonomous and efficient inspection
• 125 mph non-electric locomotive
• Materials and construction
• 125+ mph passenger equipment
• Improved turnout performance
• Vehicle weight and unsprung mass
• Corridor hardening
• Modeling and simulation software
• Train control
• Grade crossing protection
• Capacity improvements
• Interoperable wireless
• Positive Train Control (PTC)
integration and enhancements
• High-speed truck – passenger and freight
• Train occupant protection
• Human factors
• Interface with controls and displays
• Cab environment
• Employee training for new technology
and operations
Supplier contacts
Concept papers submitted
Concept papers accepted
Proposals submitted
Proposals accepted
HSR R&D Account
BAA and other Awards
Committed (PRs)
Next 6 Projects
Projected Account Balance
• Grade crossing improvements
or elimination
• Alignment and super-elevation
in curves
• Spiral design
• Track geometry standards and
• Maintenance windows
• Inspection requirements
• Turnout design
• Bridge transitions
• Capacity
• Faster freight trains
• Corridor “hardening”
– Separation
– Fencing
– Wayside detectors
• Cost allocation
• Aerodynamics
– Tunnels
– Track workers
• Electrification
• Platform clearances
52 square miles near Pueblo, CO
~50 miles of test track
Max. testing speed – 165 mph
Laboratories and workshops
AAR/TTCI has been the Care,
Custody and Control contractor
since 1982
• Current contract extended to
September 30, 2022
• Most recent FRA/TTCI Partnering
Agreement signed March 2011
Bring ideas
Problems, opportunities, technology
- emails or phone calls
Review our publications and
suggest next steps
Look for ways to improve on
Participate in technology evaluation
and demonstrations
Support cost-safety benefit analysis
Suggest innovative partnerships and
financing to implementation
Congress Reviews
• New Concept Identification
– Early stakeholder engagement
• Assessment
– Analysis and test
– Cost-safety benefit analysis
• Demonstration
– In partnership with stakeholders
• Implementation
– Industry and Government rule changes
• Measure impact
– Safety, financial, performance
• Improve
– Technology, processes, rules
Project Description:
• Research and development with goal of developing an
automated means of quantifying switch and special track
work condition to FRA standards.
• Initial investigations have concluded that a combination of
laser and vision technologies has the best chance of success.
• Near term development efforts to concentrate on adapting
laser and vision technologies to address measurement
requirements, data analysis and processing, and system
performance testing.
Railroad Impact:
• High resolution, automated inspection system for switch and
other special track work.
• Improved safety through accurate, routine inspection for
compliance with FRA standards
• Possible integration into existing geometry measurement
platforms and autonomous systems.
• Leverages technology achievements in laser and vision that have
seen widespread use in the industry.
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Task Monitor: Cameron Stuart
Phone Number: (202) 493- 6384
Email: [email protected]
Project Partner: TBD.
Project Description:
• This project is currently in the fourth year of a five year study, led
by an Industry Steering Committee, to:
• Determine the prevalence of and underlying causal factors
for rail-related suicides
• Develop effective measures to reduce the incidence of
suicide along railway rights of way (including crossings)
• Establish pilot programs for testing countermeasures
• Develop standard protocol for documenting suicides and
provide baseline data for monitoring trends
• Retrospective and prospective assessments of the prevalence of
suicide has been completed and comprehensive psychological
autopsy data collected from 60 suicide cases. A pilot program has
been initiated to evaluate use of signs as suicide prevention
strategy. Data analysis is ongoing and will inform the development
of additional suicide countermeasure pilot programs.
Railroad Impact:
• Addresses National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (U.S. Surgeon
General, 2001) to “Promote efforts to reduce access to lethal
means and methods of self-harm.”
• Suicide accounts for 30 – 50% of trespasser-related serious
injuries/fatalities on railroads
• In 2004, suicide was the leading cause of rail-related fatalities in
Illinois, with 30 probable suicide deaths and 3 additional
attempts involving trains in Chicago alone.
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Task Monitor: Michael Coplen
Phone Number: (202) 493-6346
Email: [email protected]
Project Description:
• Conduct a pilot study evaluating education and outreach
methods used to educate the public of the hazards of grade
crossings (Operation Lifesaver, Inc.)
• One recent study, involving analysis of the effectiveness of
education and enforcement strategies in two communities in
the state of Illinois (PEERS), revealed different effectiveness
results that could be partly associated with the methods the
two different communities used to reach out to their
Point of Contact Information:
Railroad Impact:
• Provide effectiveness estimates for different education and
outreach methods
• Relevant to Strategic Plan Topic “Education and Public
Awareness” and Sec. 201, 206, 207, and 208 of the RSIA of 2008.
FRA Task Monitor: Leonard W. Allen III
Phone Number: (202) 493-6329
Email: [email protected]
Project Description:
• Create and facilitate a Trespass Prevention Stakeholders User
Group including all stakeholders within the West Palm Beach
Florida geographical area. Conduct site visits. Develop plan
for acquiring locomotive video information in line with South
Florida Rapid Transit Administration (SFRTA).
• Work with stakeholders in partnership to review the
implementation of signs, barriers and education efforts.
Evaluate potential benefits of the lessons learned from local
activities. Develop strategies for further reduction of
trespass events within the study area.
• Evaluate additional strategies through before and after data
collection efforts.
Railroad Impact:
• Reduce trespass fatalities within the rail networks in West Palm
Beach, Florida.
• Document results via research results and reports and
support the development of a US Guidance document on
Trespass Reduction Strategies.
Point of Contact Information:
• Demonstrate potential benefits, including documenting best
practices and lessons learned through implementation and
rigorous evaluations conducted within the study area.
• Relevant to Strategic Plan Topic “Education and Public
Awareness” and Sec. 201 and 208 of the RSIA of 2008.
FRA Task Monitor: Leonard W. Allen III
Phone Number: (202) 493-6329
Email: [email protected]
Project Description:
• Establish consensus on vehicle dynamics safety limits which
define adverse vehicle responses and severe loading of track
• Apply analysis tools and simulation programs to define
largest amplitude of geometry signatures that would not
exceed safety limits (focus only on high speed & high cant
deficiency operations)
• Develop effective inspection techniques to identify critical
track geometry signatures so that track/vehicle system
operates within established safety limits
Railroad Impact:
• Track Geometry has been identified as one of major causes of
main line derailments in US (15% of Track Caused Derailments).
Point of Contact Information:
• Improve railroad safety via reduction of track geometry
conditions that cause derailments
Phone Number: (202) 493-6438
FRA Task Monitor: Ali Tajaddini
E-Mail: [email protected]
• More economic, accessible, and enforceable standards
• New standards for combined geometry
Project Partner: VOLPE
Project Description:
• Proposed task intends to develop advanced means to visualize the
results of manual inspections of suspected internal rail flaws;
• Initial phase of study would employ a technology survey to
ascertain the state-of-the-art in inspection technology;
• Efforts will then focus on the use of signal processing practices
used in other fields, such as tomography, or alternative
approaches, to process data collected with the final goal of
creating a user interface that displays a 3-D image of the rail
defect being interrogated.
Images Courtesy of Olympus NDT
• Performs rapid sizing, type and location of rail flaws in the field.
Railroad Impact:
• Following the identification of a potential internal rail defect by
an inspection vehicle, detailed inspections of suspect areas are
conducted to confirm the presence of the defect prior to the
removal of the affected area;
• Follow-up inspections are often conducted with portable
ultrasonic devices that require a significant amount of
experience to properly operate;
• This proposed task focuses on the development of
instrumentation that yield easily interpreted results that could
eventually lead to automated detection and imaging of internal
rail flaws.
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Task Monitor: Leith Al-Nazer
Phone Number: (202)493-6128
E-Mail: [email protected]
Project Partner: ENSCO Inc.
Large-scale test of
@ UCSD Powell Labs
Excitation at 275kHz: actuator PZT1 , sensor PZT4
2 1
Buckling test of steel
I-beam (exp.)
70 feet
Load [kips]
Project Description:
• Develop a new system for monitoring stress levels (NT) and
incipient buckling in CWR by using mid- and high-frequency wave
features that are little affected by rail supports.
• Phase I preliminary studies (numerical FEA and experimental)
showed sensitivity of certain linear and nonlinear wave features to
stress levels in steel beams and rails.
• In Phase II a unique large-scale testbed of CWR (70-ft long) has
been constructed at the world-renowned UCSD Powell Structural
Laboratories for conducting a series of heating tests in a controlled
• Based on the results of the large-scale laboratory tests, a
prototype will be designed, assembled, and tested to determine
NT & Incipient Buckling detection in CWR in motion or in a
stationary manner.
Railroad Impact:
• Knowledge of NT in CWR is critical to avoid breakage in cold
weather and buckling/instability in hot weather. Rail buckling
was responsible for 48 derailments and ~$13M in direct costs
during 2006 alone in U.S.
• Methods to determine rail NT today either require unfastening of
~100’s feet of rail or are very sensitive to rail fastening/support
conditions (e.g. D’Stresen technique too sensitive to tie-to-tie
• Railroads would benefit from a system able to measure rail stress
and imminent buckling of CWR that can be operated in motion
or in a stationary manner.
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Project Manager: Mahmood Fateh
Phone: (202) 493- 6361
E-Mail: [email protected]
Project Partner: University of California, San Diego, Volpe and
BNSF PI: Dr. Lanza di Scalea
Project Description:
• Research and development program to adapt service-proven track
geometry measurement technology to autonomous operation.
• Reduce capital and operating costs of geometry inspection
• Provide routine and frequent data for safety assurance
activities and track degradation analysis
• Pilot system currently in service and performing well. Technology
refinements currently in development to permit 90 day
maintenance interval, improve automatic geo-location
performance, and to perform automatic track degradation and
reporting functions.
Railroad Impact:
• Continuous, un-manned geometry data collection provides
critical track data in real-time wherever the system(s) are
• No impact on rail traffic operations. The system can be installed
on normal revenue railcars or locomotives and run in consist.
• Track testing is automatically scheduled based on normal
operation of the vehicle.
• ATGMS provides a reduction in complexity, size and cost of
traditional geometry systems without compromising
• Second system is currently in development for deployment on
Amtrak NE Corridor.
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Task Monitor: Cameron Stuart
Phone Number: (202) 493- 6384
Email: [email protected]
Project Partner: ENSCO Inc.
Project Description:
• The objective of this project is to design a system that will
provide autonomous real-time measurements of track
modulus from a moving railcar operating in revenue service
(like no existing system).
• Continuous modulus for large sections of track.
• Currently working on commercial implementation and
thresholds .
Railroad Impact:
• Significant support from both UPRR & BNSF
• Validation test had significant support from UPRR (20-30 UPRR
personnel and work train for 3 days)
• BNSF & UPRR have committed to significant testing in 2010 (at
least 2 tests with UPRR and 4 with BNSF on coal lines)
• Conducted bridge study on UPRR investigating pads to reduce
vertical track stiffness on bridges
• Has tested over 10,000 miles of BNSF & UPRR coal lines in 200910
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Task Monitor: Mahmood Fateh
Phone Number: (202) 493- 6361
E-Mail: [email protected]
Project Partner: University of Nebraksa, Lincoln (UNL)- , BNSF,
UPRR, OPPD, PI: Dr. Shane Farritor
Project Description:
• To support FRA’s continuing research program to provide a
technical and empirical basis for rule-making on enhanced
and alternative performance standards for tank cars. This
includes a review of new and innovative designs that are
developed by the industry and other countries as well as full
scale testing
Protective panel
added to
tank car for side
impact testing
Point of Contact Information:
Railroad Impact:
• Evaluate crashworthiness performance of tank cars used in the
transportation of Toxic by Inhalation materials (TIH)
• Evaluate a new design protective panel to increase the
crashworthiness of the tank car
• Improve tank car design in order to improve hazardous materials
transportation safety.
FRA Task Monitor: Francisco González, III
Phone Number: (202)493-6076
E-Mail: [email protected]
Project Partner: TTCI (S Anankitpaiboon)
Project Description:
• This project will develop a tailored, interactive, multi-media,
web-based education program geared towards providing
train crews and other railroad employees with:
• Scientifically-valid information on the importance of sleep,
• A customizable tool to assess personal risk for sleep
disorders, and
• Proven, practical strategies for improving sleep health.
Railroad Impact:
• Fatigue in the Transportation Industry is a pressing problem that
has been singled out by the NTSB as a high priority for education
and research since 1990.
• The major underlying cause of fatigue-related rail accidents is
sleepiness. An educational website for railroaders focusing on
the causes of sleepiness and mitigation strategies under an
operator’s control should reduce sleepiness and fatigue-related
• The planned website can be used by individual railroad
employees and as an education component of a railroad carrier’s
fatigue management plan, as required by the Rail Safety
Improvement Act of 2008.
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Project Manager: Michael Coplen
Phone Number: (202) 493-6346
Email: [email protected]
Project Description:
• Develop a safety-critical, wireless, handheld device used by the
employee-in-charge (EIC) of roadway workers to communicate
with a CBTC system to:
• Request and release work zones
• Control entry and speed restrictions of trains allowed into the
work zones
Phase 3 Objectives:
Current Functionality – Build 1
• Integration and testing with BNSF’s PTC system (ETMS).
• Modifying current EIC PRT prototype to comply with operating
rules/procedures, desired user interface characteristics, and the
ETMS environment
• Verify the EIC PRT meets safety requirements
• Provide documentation to support interoperability
• Perform all stages of testing required
• Provide necessary input to the product safety plan
• Accept and Display Maintenance of Way Protection (MWP)
• Accept and Display Requests to Enter MWP
• Transmit EIC Instructions to Locomotive
Point of Contact Information:
Phone Number: (202)493-6362
• OBC enforcement and thereby protection is maintained through MWP
with EIC specified movement parameters
• Mitigates EIC working outside of MWP protected time
• Prevents instructions to the locomotive by 3rd party (spoofing)
through the EIC PRT communications interface.
FRA Task Monitor: Jared Withers
E-Mail: [email protected]
Project Partner: TTCI (Thom Nast)
Project Description:
• To develop a next generation communication network to
support PTC/business applications
• To assist in the migration to narrow banding of 160 MHz
radios-integrate voice and data
• To require robustness and throughput for railroad safety
critical applications
• To establish 220 MHz communication standards and
protocols to support interoperability
Railroad Impact:
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Project Manager: Jared Withers
An integrated digital communication network
Adoption of narrow-banding 160 MHz insures interoperability
Upgraded communication network in compliance with FCC ruling
Supporting train control, existing digital applications and
foreseeable expansions
Phone Number: (202) 493- 6362
Email: [email protected]
PTC Architecture – 220 MHz Comm Links
Project Description:
• Upgrade communications & testing capabilities of PTC Test Bed at
TTC to support field testing of ITC-Compliant PTC 220 MHz radios.
• Provide equipment for field testing 220 MHz radios
• ITC-Compliant WIUs & radios for 10 WIU reporting
locations, including 4 remotely controlled switches
• 2 ITC-compliant base stations to support hand-off testing
• 2 V/ETMS-equipped locomotives
• Wabtec TMDS CAD system & ETMS BOS
• Install required equipment
• Integrate, test, and commission upgrade equipment
• Perform check-out of enhanced Test Bed comms capabilities
• Ensure upgrades support potential for future Test Bed expansions
to provide test environments for full blown deployment testing
with the communications density of a major metropolitan area
Railroad Impact:
• To meet PTC communications demands, the Industry has
purchased 220 MHz frequency and is specifying a new PTC 220
MHz data radio. Communications among all PTC system
elements will be via the 220 MHz network using these new
• A venue for field testing of PTC communications using the new
radios will be needed in 2011
• Full implementation of PTC is contingent upon successful testing
of ITC-Compliant 220 MHz radios
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Project Manager: Jared Withers
Phone Number: (202) 493- 6362
Email: [email protected]
Project Partner: TTCI (Richard Morgan)
Project Description:
• Development of a simulation model to replicate a rail line
operation with a specific train control method.
• To simulate the dispatchers’ decision on prevention of
deadlock, meet and pass planning and preset train priorities.
• To generate metrics of risk exposures to interface with risk
• To provide capacity/rail performance output..
Railroad Impact:
• Improve on risk assessment and risk mitigation analysis.
• Expedient preparation of Product Safety Plan of new train
control system.
• Optimize railroad line usage by safely increasing capacity with
minimal investment.
• Promote wider deployment of Positive Train Control technology.
• Provide preliminary cost estimates of adding passenger rail
service to freight rail lines.
Point of Contact Information:
FRA Project Manager: Karen McClure
Phone Number: (202) 493- 6417
Email: [email protected]

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