Rail wear assessment techniques at FAST

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 81, No. 914, 1988

RICHARD P. REIFF, Transportation Test Center, Pueblo, Colorado

The Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST) program has been involved in numerous rail wear tests since its inception in 1976. A number of specialized tools have been developed to aid in assessing specific performance parameters including gauge face wear, head height loss, metal flow, head area loss, hardness, and welded rail end batter. The layout of a test site, including position in curve, number of measurements per rail, and train operation must be properly controlled/monitored to provide valid wear comparisons. This paper will provide an overview of the above-mentioned tools and techniques. In addition, a summary of recent test results from FA S T, including information on head hardened rail in vesti-gations, will be provided. A set of guidelines for establishing a revenue service field test site will also be provided to aid users in performing evaluations of their own.
Keywords: Materials engineering, Rail Technology, Rail wear, FAST, Instrumentation.