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The National Academies

TCRP D-07 [Active]

Joint Rail Transit Research with the Association of American Railroads/Transportation Technology Center, Inc.

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Stephan A. Parker
Research Agency: Transportation Technology Center, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Firdausi (Dose) Irani
Effective Date: 10/28/1999

Over the years, a number of track-related research problem statements have been submitted for consideration in the TCRP project-selection process. In many instances, the research requested has been similar in nature to research currently being performed for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the freight railroads at the Association of American Railroads' (AAR) Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) in Pueblo, Colorado. As such, it was felt that perhaps, with some additional TCRP funding, the research being performed at TTCI for the FRA and freight railroads could be modified to provide value to the transit industry, thus leveraging the TCRP investment. Based on this possibility, a TCRP task force of transit track, signal, and rail vehicle experts was formed to review the research being conducted by TTCI to determine whether or not such opportunities existed.

Based on this effort, a number of research topics were identified by the task force where TCRP funding could potentially be used to leverage research currently being done at the TTCI for the benefit of the transit industry. As such, a request was made to the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee to provide funding for a joint research effort with the TTCI.

The objective of this project is to use TCRP funds to supplement and leverage research already being performed for the FRA and freight railroads at the TTCI in order to obtain benefit for the transit industry. The research will be conducted through the TTCI, thereby taking advantage of similar work being conducted for the FRA and freight railroads.

Status: Twenty-one research tasks have been approved for funding to date: 

  1. Broken Rail Detection Techniques
  2. Transit Switch Design Evaluation, Phase I
  3. Rail Welding Techniques
  4. Control of Wheel/Rail Friction through the Use of Rail Coatings
  5. Transit Switch Design Evaluation, Phase II--Guidelines for An Alternative Transit Switch Design
  6. Exothermic Welding of Heavy Electrical Cables to Rail
  7. Optimized Wheel/Rail Lubrication
  8. Wheel/Rail Profile Optimization and Flange Climb Criteria
  9. Review of AREMA Track Standards: Identification of Those in Need of Revision for Public Transportation
  10. Acoustic Approach to Broken Rail Detection
  11. Development of Direct-Fixation Fastener Specifications and Related Materials
  12. Restraining/Guard Rail Study
  13. Performance and Testing Requirements for Portable Track Geometry Inspection Systems
  14. Rail Base Corrosion Study
  15. Design of Track Transitions
  16. Guard/Restraining Rail Study, Phase 2
  17. Rail Base Corrosion Study, Phase 2
  18. Performance-Based Track Geometry
  19. Performance-Based Track Geometry, Phase II
  20. Wheel Profile Maintenance Guidelines
  21. Performance-Based Track Geometry, Phase III  

The final report summaries for Task 1 through Task 15 have been assembled as a Compendium (a single, 25 MB PDF file) by TCRP staff.

The final reports for Task 1, Task 3, and Task 4 were published in a single volume as TCRP Report 71, Volume 1.

The final report for Task 2 was published as
TCRP Report 71, Volume 2.

The final report for Task 5 has been published as
TCRP Research Results Digest 72.

The final reports for Task 6 and 9 were published in
TCRP Report 71, Volume 3.

The final report for Task 7 was published as
TCRP Report 71, Volume 4.

The final report for Task 8 was published as
TCRP Report 71, Volume 5.

The final report for Task 10 has been published as
TCRP Research Results Digest 76.

The final report for Task 11 has been published as
TCRP Report 71, Volume 6. The PDF of the two-part report found on the CD can also be downloaded here (15 MB). 

The final report for Task 12 has been published as TCRP Research Results Digest 82.

The final report for Task 13 has been published as TCRP Research Results Digest 83.

The final report for Task 14 has been published as TCRP Web-Only Document 37

The final report for Task 15 has been published as TCRP Research Results Digest 79 .

The final report for Task 16 has been published as
TCRP Web-Only Document 47.

The final report for Task 17 has been published as TCRP Report 71, Volume 7: Guidelines for Guard/Restraining Rail Installation.

The final report for Task 18 has been published as TCRP Web-Only Document 52.

The final reports for Task 19 has been published as TCRP Web-Only Document 64: Performance Based Track Geometry Phase 2.

The final report for Task 20 has been published as TCRP Web-Only Document 65: Wheel Profile Maintenance Guidelines.

Research is in progress for Task 21, Performance-Based Track Geometry Phase III.

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