Rail Integrity and Initial Performance Testing at the Mega Sites

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) with the Association of American Railroads (AAR) co sponsored rail integrity and performance testing as part of the joint Heavy-Axle-Load (HAL) Revenue Service Program. Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) investigated the performance of improved rail alloys, curve lubrication practices, and grinding practices in revenue service at the eastern and western mega sites located near Bluefield, WV, and Ogallala, NE, respectively. The testing and evaluation began in 2005 and concluded in 2017. This report serves as the final update for those tests. The results obtained from testing at the mega sites include the following: Over the testing period, more than 2,200 million gross tons (MGT) was accumulated at the western mega site and more than 500 MGT at the eastern mega site; No internal rail defects were reported to TTCI over the period of testing; and Only intermittent rolling contact fatigue (RCF) growth was detected after approximately 1,000 MGT. There was also a statistically significant reduction in the rate of wear for both high and low rails in one of the 2-degree curves at the western mega site, following the implementation of top-of-rail (TOR) friction modifier.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 4p
  • Serial:
    • Research Results
    • Issue Number: RR 19-08
    • Publisher: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01707748
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: May 28 2019 9:21AM