ARM has extensive experience in the planning and implementation of multi-year turnkey rail grinding programs. We combine high level technical expertise with years of hands-on practical experience. This blending of disciplines allows ARM to handle all aspects of rail and wheel optimization, from initial assessment to ongoing contract management.
With the unique ability to analyze rail/wheel conditions and wear patterns, recommend effective improvements to rail and wheel profiles, and deliver corrective solutions, ARM has demonstrated the benefits of this type of informed approach to turnkey rail grinding programs on heavy- haul railways and rail transit systems.Examples of these successful turnkey rail grinding services include the following.
The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) announced that Advanced Rail Management Corporation (ARM) has been selected for development and operation of a long-term rail management program for Caltrain. The three-year “turn-key” program includes planning, execution, and economic analysis for JPB’s annual and long-term Rail Maintenance Program. This annual contract, which includes the main tracks of the entire JPB system, incorporates wheel/rail maintenance analysis, production rail grinding on open track and specialty track work on areas such as turnouts and road crossings.
“We have seen a real migration toward our turn-key rail management concept,” said ARM President Gordon Bachinsky. “Long-term contracts like this allow us to show the customer significant measurable results and cost savings over time.”
San Diego Trolley
ARM conducted turnkey corrective rail grinding programs on various portions of San Diego Trolley (SDT) in 2007 and 2008. These programs were designed to eliminate corrugation, improve rail surface conditions and move the “flat” rail profiles on SDT’s head-worn rail toward a more desirable transit profile that will be fully implemented through a subsequent grinding program.
To support the planning and execution of the program, ARM’s Optical Rail Measurement System was brought on-line to supply highly accurate measurement data on various parts of the SDT system.
In 2009, ARM was awarded a five-year contract for turnkey rail/wheel optimization services on the San Diego Trolley Transit system. The contract includes investigation of existing rail/wheel conditions, analysis of current rail/wheel profiling strategy, design of optimized rail/wheel profiles, and supervision of all related work. ARM will measure and report on track and vehicle conditions before and after corrective measures are implemented while providing personnel and expertise for all practical field operations. Rail/wheel lifecycle projections, energy conservation, noise abatement and ride quality will be assessed as well.
Edmonton Light Rail Transit
ARM was initially hired by Edmonton Transit in Canada to conduct a wheel/rail interface study in 1991. This comprehensive study led to the implementation of a corrective/preventive rail grinding program and the development of a sustained turnkey rail grinding program, which ARM has planned, implemented and supervised since 1992.
ARM introduced optical rail measurement on their system over the past 7 years to enhance the grinding program and support other rail management areas, and will introduced track geometry on their system in 2009
ARM designed and executed a unique turnkey rail maintenance program including optical rail measurement and rail grinding services on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line in 2002. The program required the introduction of a new rail grinding technique, which is unique to the MBTA, that allowed for the removal of a lip (or shelf) condition that had developed on the gauge face of the rail on segments of the MBTA Green Line, creating high levels of gauge-face angle (GFA). Additional profile rail grinding was also introduced to extend rail (and wheel) life, improve ride quality and reduce noise levels. The success of the program was such that MBTA contracted ARM to conduct a turnkey rail grinding program on the MBTA Orange and Red Lines. ARM is currently performing ongoing turnkey rail grinding and optical rail measurement services on the MBTA Green, Red, Blue and Orange Lines. It is important to note that much of the rail grinding on the MBTA has involved work on old rail (in some cases over 25 years old) that had never been ground since being installed.
ARM has been working successfully in Boston for over six years, involving well over 500 days of rail-grinding operations and over 200 days of optical rail measurement for pre- and post-grind data collection.
ARM served as the primary consulting/service provider to reduce excessive rail (and wheel) wear on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) Red Line. ARM worked closely with LA Metro to generate a specification for a specific rail grinding machine, which it purchased for use on its expanding system.
ARM also designed a grinding strategy for the entire LA Metro system at that time (Red, Green, and Blue Lines), including the design of rail and wheel profiles, and trained LA Metro personnel in the operation of the grinder and selection of the appropriate rail profiles. The new program not only reduced rail wear, it also extended wheel life from less than 50,000 miles to a range of 500,000 to 750,000 miles.
In 2008 ARM was again hired by LA Metro to conduct optical rail measurement services on their entire system (i.e. Gold, Blue, Red, Purple and Green Lines).
Detroit People Mover
ARM’s extensive field experience played a key role in the successful execution of this contract. Our staff’s hands-on expertise allowed us to efficiently and accurately administer all necessary corrective measures.
This turnkey project required that multiple rail profiles, which were specified in an earlier wheel/rail study, were to be successfully implemented. It should be noted that ARM’s 2002 program was the first ever profile rail grinding program conducted on the Detroit People Mover since it started operations in 1987. Significant tight clearance issues had to be addressed in the design and delivery phases of this unique project.