An overview of the track structure at the Federal Railroad Administration Facility for Accelerated Service Testing is presented in this paper. The facility consists of a 7.7-km (4.8-mile) loop of relatively conventional railroad track at the U.S. Department of Transportation's Transportation Test Center near Pueblo, Colorado. In September 1976, a loaded freight train began traveling the loop 16 h/d and was scheduled to continue doing so for 1 year, subjecting the track to as much loading as is hauled over an average freight line in 10 years. Many types, makes, sizes, and arrangements of track components (rails, ties, fasteners, and ballast) are used in the 22 track sections of the loop. The rail elements being tested include five types of rails with varying metallurgy or heat treatment, various frogs and guardrails, jointed and continuously welded rail, insulated and glued joints, and four turnouts. Steel, prestressed concrete, reconstituted, and laminated ties were installed, in addition to several kinds of wooden ties. Differing arrangements of cut, elastic, screw, and lock spikes are used, as are various special rail fasteners and tie plates. Granite, limestone, traprock, and slag ballasts of varying depths and shoulder widths are included. The accelerated service test will provide information on the durability and maintenance requirements of these components. An extensive system of observations and measurements has been scheduled to ensure safety and collect data for immediate and long-range analysis. The results should provide the industry with new tools and knowledge to improve railroad safety, reliability, and operating economy.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 32-37
  • Monograph Title: Track systems and other related railroad topics
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00183891
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026822
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1978 12:00AM