New York City Transit awarded Advanced Rail Management Corp. (ARM) a multi-year contract for broad-based assessment of rail conditions, oversight and technical support of rail grinding programs. As part of the award, ARM will also assess the potential benefits of rail milling versus rail grinding, and will provide recommendations regarding rail lubrication and friction management practices at NYCT. Working closely with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), ARM will develop, manage, and/or oversee six primary areas. ARM and the NRC will:
Analyze and characterize rail defects on the NYCT lines; supplement defect data with field measurements; develop a cloud-based data storage system with analytics to develop procedures for corrective maintenance and strategies for preventive maintenance.
“We will supplement the NYCT defect database with defect-depth and crack-length measurements to determine the total metal removal required to remove each class of defect and achieve the desired profile,” said Mark Reimer, ARM's Director of Business Development & Projects.
Develop a family of rail profiles (based on up to six track model/types and five vehicle model/types) for use in various alignments, rail sections, track structures, and operating conditions for all non-elevated track; develop a corrective grinding program; and provide QA/QC for each year of a five-year grinding program.
“The NRC will design up to three tangent, two low-rail, and four high-rail templates,” Reimer said. “The performance of each profile will be modeled to determine where they should be applied.”
“The goals of an effective long-term grinding program are to move from corrective to preventive grinding operations and to reduce rail and wheel wear, noise and vibration and derailment potential,” he said. “An effective program can also extend rail and wheel asset life.”
Provide NYCT-specific classroom-style technical training sessions to NYCT track supervisors and engineers on the Principles of Rail Grinding, Grinding Planning and Management, and Quality Assurance / Quality Control.
“ARM's custom “Principles” courses cover a wide range of topics that are designed for both experienced and novice railway staff.” Reimer said. “We've previously provided courses to several transit properties ranging from Toronto to San Diego.”
Provide technical support to ensure that the grinding equipment is operating at optimum levels; ensure defects are being removed and that the desired profiles are being achieved; provide ongoing in-field training for NYCT supervisors; conduct grinding audits.
“Audits will ensure that the specifications are being met,” Reimer said. “They'll include the use of a Bar Gauge for visual verification of profile, MiniProf for measurement of profile, Magnetic Particle Tester for surface, shallow and subsurface discontinuities, Surface Roughness Tester for rail finish quality, and photos of the pre- and post-grind conditions.”
Review and update specifications for rail lubrication, including the gauge-face of running rail and the guard-face of restraining rail in curves; and evaluate the effectiveness of top-of-rail friction management in inhibiting corrugation growth through tests on unguarded curves at 34th St. Hudson Yards.
“We will use a combination of L/V [lateral/vertical] data (a measure of the lateral forces that a given vehicle applies to the track), which is collected from track-mounted instrumentation or truck-mounted instrumented wheelsets, acoustic data collect from microphones on the NYCT's Data Collection Car, and corrugation-growth data measured by a Corrugation Analysis Trolley,” Reimer said.
Conduct a business case study of the benefits of milling versus grinding as they relate to the technical and operational requirements of NYCT.
“The comparison between grinding and milling effectiveness will consider the metal removal rates, operating speeds, actual available track time and production time at NYCT (to provide practical achievable productivity per shift with either machine), total track miles eligible for rail milling (which can significantly influence pricing models), actual equipment uptime and the required level of maintenance, and the cost per foot for completed work,” he said.
Overall, this five-year plan reflects NYCT's commitment to utilizing the latest research and technologies and the practical field expertise required to implement them,” said ARM President Gordon Bachinsky. “It also reflects NYCT's commitment to training and providing the technical support to its rail maintenance staff.”
ARM is a consulting/services company that provides expertise in all areas related to the wheel/rail interface to railways and transit systems.
For more information contact:
Advanced Rail Management Corp.