2 Outline Organization Core Research Areas Budgets Fit with D.O.T. strategic goalsHigh Speed and Intercity Passenger railFreight railFacilities & EquipmentImplementationLooking forward
3 Core Research Program Areas Track Research DivisionTrack and StructuresTrack / Train InteractionOperations / FacilitiesEquipment and Operating PracticesRolling Stock And ComponentsTrain occupant protectionEnergy, Efficiency and EnvironmentHazardous MaterialsHuman FactorsSignals, Train Control and CommunicationsSignals and Train Control (Including PTC)Grade CrossingCommunicationsCurrent ResearchPositive Train Control (PTC) implementationTrain Occupant Protection - crashworthiness for passenger rail vehicles and locomotivesImproved Track Inspection Techniques and Technologies- autonomous geometry and acceleration, optical joint bar, laser ultrasonic rail flaw detectionHuman Factors - fatigue mitigation (hours of service), Risk Reduction Program (RRP) activities: Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), Switching Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA) validationVehicle/Track Interaction (VTI)– derailment analysis, equipment qualification, modeling and simulationGrade crossing safety and trespasser casualty prevention and mitigationRisk-based analysis of tank car safety and integrityEnergy efficiency and environmental protection issues – LEADER, lubrication, bio-diesel, fuel cell, diesel hybrid, hydrogenNetwork capacity analysisHigh-speed rail technologies
5 DOT Goals Safety Livable Communities Economic Competitiveness Environmental SustainabilityState of Good RepairHigh Speed/Improved Passenger RailThis is the most important goal for FRA since this is the only one for which we have regulatory powersHence this is where most funding is directedHowever, safety projects often help other goals to be achieved e.g. **Security is handled by TSA
6 Safety Goal“Improve public health, safety, and security by reducing transportation-related fatalities and injuries” – D.O.T.Scope of responsibility includesRailroad employeesPassengers on trains and in station areasMembers of the public living near the railroadMembers of the public using grade crossings and footbridgesTrespassersFreight (all classes and short lines), intercity, commuter (not transit)Injuries as well as fatalities, health as well as safetyThis is the most important goal for FRA since this is the only one for which we have regulatory powersHence this is where most funding is directedHowever, safety projects often help other goals to be achieved e.g. **Security is handled by TSA
7 Safety Trends Reportable train accidents Describe chart axis/bars Good thing about statistics of these accidents is that they are going down (decreasing)These statistics can be deceiving, they represent what the accident has been attributed to.Example: Signals are very low. However, failure to comply with signal is categorized with human factors.Compare to 1978, Railroads have significantly reduced the number of accidents.A different way of looking at the data is with a risk-potential chart.Source: FRA Safety Database
8 Safety Risk Model Uses Safety Risk Model Indicates priorities for R&D Separated into hazards and accident typesSeparated into groups (passengers, workforce, public)Allows calculation of safety metricsPassenger – equivalent fatalities per billion passenger train kilometersWorkforce – equivalent fatalities per million worker hoursRisk exposure for a typical traveler or workerAllows tracking of safety risk over time
9 Livable Communities Goal “Foster livable communities through place-based policies and investments that increase transportation choices and access to transportation services.” – D.O.T.Some FRA R&D topics:Improved grade crossings that safely accommodate pedestrians, bicycles, wheelchairs and baby strollersReduced noise and vibration from railroad operationsImproved access to railroad transportation for special needs populations and individuals with disabilitiesStress place-based
10 Economic Competitiveness Goal “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 topicsMethods for increasing capacityDevelopment of domestic rail equipment manufacturing and testing facilitiesIncreasing the proficiency and retention of the workforceNew technology to improve competitivenessExample of safety project that give benefit for this goal – broken rail detection
11 Environmental Sustainability Goal “Advance environmentally sustainable policies and investments that reduce carbon and other harmful emissions from transportation sources.” – D.O.T.Some FRA projectsAlternative fuelsImproved efficiency of rail equipment
12 State of Good Repair Goal “Ensure the U.S. proactively maintains its critical transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair.” – D.O.T.Some FRA R&D topicsRail corridor inspection and assessment equipmentUnderstanding the life cycle of railroad assets including defect initiation and growth ratesChallenges from high-speed and shared track corridorsHigh-speed – what was good repair for low speed may no longer be for higher speeds
13 High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Research - $25M in FY 2010 Broad Agency Announcement prioritiesTrack & structuresAutonomous and efficient inspectionMaterials and constructionImproved turnout performanceCorridor hardeningModeling and simulation softwareTrain controlGrade crossing protectionCapacity improvementsInteroperable wireless communicationsPositive Train Control (PTC) integration and enhancementsEquipment125 mph non-electric locomotive125+ mph passenger equipmentVehicle weight and unsprung mass reductionHigh-speed truck – passenger and freightTrain occupant protectionHuman factorsInterface with controls and displaysCab environmentEmployee training for new technology and operations
14 Broad Agency Announcement Program Status July 23, 2011 Supplier contacts100+Concept papers submitted62Concept papers accepted30Proposals submitted24Proposals accepted21Awards15HSR R&D Account$25.0MBAA and other Awards$8.23MCommitted (PRs)$0.65MNext 6 Projects$4.64MProjected Account Balance$11.48M
15 Some Shared Track Issues OtherGrade crossing improvements or eliminationAlignment and super-elevation in curvesSpiral designTrack geometry standards and maintenanceMaintenance windowsInspection requirementsTurnout designBridge transitionsCapacityFaster freight trainsCorridor “hardening”SeparationFencingWayside detectorsCost allocationAerodynamicsTunnelsTrack workersElectrificationPlatform clearances
16 Facilities and Equipment TTCDOTX-218CTILThe Office of Research and Development maintains an inventory of Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) that includes the DOTX216, DOTX218, and R-4 research vehicles. These vehicles provide the necessary research platforms used to support the safety related mission of the FRA
17 FRA’s Transportation Technology Center 52 square miles near Pueblo, CO~50 miles of test trackMax. testing speed – 165 mphLaboratories and workshopsAAR/TTCI has been the Care, Custody and Control contractor since 1982Current contract extended to September 30, 2022Most recent FRA/TTCI Partnering Agreement signed March 2011AAR was CCC contractor from 1983, TTCI took over in 1998TTCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of AARCumulative Surplus Investment allows credits to be built up
18 Ways to Get Involved Bring ideas Problems, opportunities, technology - s or phone callsReview our publications and suggest next stepsLook for ways to improve on successesParticipate in technology evaluation and demonstrationsSupport cost-safety benefit analysisSuggest innovative partnerships and financing to implementation
20 Implementation FRA Stakeholders New Concept Identification Assessment Early stakeholder engagementAssessmentAnalysis and testCost-safety benefit analysisDemonstrationIn partnership with stakeholdersImplementationIndustry and Government rule changesMeasure impactSafety, financial, performanceImproveTechnology, processes, rulesFRAStakeholders
22 Automated Switch Inspection System 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 standardsPossible 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 StuartPhone Number: (202)Project Partner: TBD.
23 Countermeasures to Reduce Suicides on Railway Rights of Way 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 suicidesDevelop effective measures to reduce the incidence of suicide along railway rights of way (including crossings)Establish pilot programs for testing countermeasuresDevelop standard protocol for documenting suicides and provide baseline data for monitoring trendsRetrospective 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 railroadsIn 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 CoplenPhone Number: (202)
24 Evaluation of Education and Outreach Strategies and Methods 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 citizens.Point of Contact Information:FRA Task Monitor: Leonard W. Allen IIIPhone Number: (202)Railroad Impact:Provide effectiveness estimates for different education and outreach methodsRelevant to Strategic Plan Topic “Education and Public Awareness” and Sec. 201, 206, 207, and 208 of the RSIA of 2008.
25 Trespass Prevention Research Study 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.Document results via research results and reports and support the development of a US Guidance document on Trespass Reduction Strategies.Railroad Impact:Reduce trespass fatalities within the rail networks in West Palm Beach, Florida.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.Point of Contact Information:FRA Task Monitor: Leonard W. Allen IIIPhone Number: (202)
26 Revise Track Geometry Safety Standards Project Description:Establish consensus on vehicle dynamics safety limits which define adverse vehicle responses and severe loading of track structureApply 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 limitsRailroad Impact:Track Geometry has been identified as one of major causes of main line derailments in US (15% of Track Caused Derailments).Improve railroad safety via reduction of track geometry conditions that cause derailmentsMore economic, accessible, and enforceable standardsNew standards for combined geometryPoint of Contact Information:FRA Task Monitor: Ali TajaddiniPhone Number: (202)Project Partner: VOLPE
27 Handheld Rail Flaw Tomographic Imaging System 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.Performs rapid sizing, type and location of rail flaws in the field.Images Courtesy of Olympus NDTRailroad 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-NazerPhone Number: (202)Project Partner: ENSCO Inc.
28 Neutral Temperature & Incipient Buckling Detection System for CWR Large-scale test of NT/buckling@ UCSD Powell LabsBuckling test of steel I-beam (exp.)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 environment.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 variations).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 FatehPhone: (202)Project Partner: University of California, San Diego, Volpe and BNSF PI: Dr. Lanza di Scalea
29 Autonomous Track Geometry Measurement System (ATGMS) Project Description:Research and development program to adapt service-proven track geometry measurement technology to autonomous operation. Objectives:Reduce capital and operating costs of geometry inspection systemsProvide routine and frequent data for safety assurance activities and track degradation analysisPilot 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.Second system is currently in development for deployment on Amtrak NE Corridor.Railroad Impact:Continuous, un-manned geometry data collection provides critical track data in real-time wherever the system(s) are deployed.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 performance.Point of Contact Information:FRA Task Monitor: Cameron StuartPhone Number: (202)Project Partner: ENSCO Inc.
30 Real-Time Measurement of Track Modulus from a Moving Car 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 & BNSFValidation 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 bridgesHas tested over 10,000 miles of BNSF & UPRR coal lines inPoint of Contact Information:FRA Task Monitor: Mahmood FatehPhone Number: (202)Project Partner: University of Nebraksa, Lincoln (UNL)- , BNSF, UPRR, OPPD, PI: Dr. Shane Farritor
31 Full-Scale Tank Car Impact testing Protective panel added totank car for sideimpact testingProject 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 testingPoint of Contact Information:FRA Task Monitor: Francisco González, IIIPhone Number: (202)Project Partner: TTCI (S Anankitpaiboon)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 carImprove tank car design in order to improve hazardous materials transportation safety.
32 Railroader Sleep Health and Safety Website 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, andProven, 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 accidents.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 CoplenPhone Number: (202)
33 Employee In Charge Portable Remote Terminal 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 zonesControl entry and speed restrictions of trains allowed into the work zonesPhase 3 Objectives: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 environmentVerify the EIC PRT meets safety requirementsProvide documentation to support interoperabilityPerform all stages of testing requiredProvide necessary input to the product safety planEIC PRTCurrent Functionality – Build 1Accept and Display Maintenance of Way Protection (MWP)Accept and Display Requests to Enter MWPTransmit EIC Instructions to LocomotiveBenefit:OBC enforcement and thereby protection is maintained through MWP with EIC specified movement parametersMitigates EIC working outside of MWP protected timePrevents instructions to the locomotive by 3rd party (spoofing) through the EIC PRT communications interface.Point of Contact Information:FRA Task Monitor: Jared WithersPhone Number: (202)Project Partner: TTCI (Thom Nast)
34 Higher Performance Data Radio Project Description:To develop a next generation communication network to support PTC/business applicationsTo assist in the migration to narrow banding of 160 MHz radios-integrate voice and dataTo require robustness and throughput for railroad safety critical applicationsTo establish 220 MHz communication standards and protocols to support interoperabilityRailroad Impact:An integrated digital communication networkAdoption of narrow-banding 160 MHz insures interoperabilityUpgraded communication network in compliance with FCC rulingSupporting train control, existing digital applications and foreseeable expansionsPoint of Contact Information:FRA Project Manager: Jared WithersPhone Number: (202)
35 PTC/Communication Test Bed PTC Architecture – 220 MHz Comm LinksProject 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 radiosITC-Compliant WIUs & radios for 10 WIU reporting locations, including 4 remotely controlled switches2 ITC-compliant base stations to support hand-off testing2 V/ETMS-equipped locomotivesWabtec TMDS CAD system & ETMS BOSInstall required equipmentIntegrate, test, and commission upgrade equipmentPerform check-out of enhanced Test Bed comms capabilitiesEnsure 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 areaRailroad 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 radios.A venue for field testing of PTC communications using the new radios will be needed in 2011Full implementation of PTC is contingent upon successful testing of ITC-Compliant 220 MHz radiosPoint of Contact Information:FRA Project Manager: Jared WithersPhone Number: (202)Project Partner: TTCI (Richard Morgan)
36 Generalized Train Movement Model 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 assessment.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 McClurePhone Number: (202)
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