This U.S. Department of Transportation test center has a new Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST) which is designed to replace the railroad practice of putting a limited number of track or equipment components into service and observing their performance for 10 to 20 years. This testing is the equivalent of approximately 10 years of experience on the most heavily used main lines in North America and thus will provide life testing of both track and cars in one-tenth of less of the time it would take in revenue service. Other test facilities include a dynamics laboratory for vibration testing of cars and locomotives and a flame test facility to test thermal insulation coatings of tank cars that carry hazardous materials. One of the test run at the center was the crash of a locomotive into a standing train and caboose. Other crash test have simulated impacts of tank cars in the switchyard. A water filled tank car, coupled to a hopper car on one end was struck by another hopper on the other end, simulating an attempt to couple at too high a speed. In addition to freight equipment test, the center is also occupied with rail transit and advanced design systems. The transit test programs include state-of-the-art cars, standard light rail vehicles, energy storage cars and gas turbine electric cars. The Rail Dynamics Laboratory, although only partially completed, has run test programs on its vertical shaker. The shaker simulates track conditions by subjecting rail cars to vibrations over a wide variety of frequencies and amplitudes.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 2-5
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

  • Subject Areas: Administration and Management; Highways; Railroads;

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00155981
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1977 12:00AM