DOT Digest: FRA Distributes AREMA Rail Bridge Inspection Handbook to all Railroads, Issues Two Rail Research GrantsRailroads
Friday, August 22, 2008 (Washington, D.C)
DOT to Hold Third Aviation Consumer Forum on Sept. 9 in New York . The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will host its third aviation consumer forum on Tuesday, Sept. 9 in New York to help educate air travelers about their rights and responsibilities and discuss problems facing the air travel industry. Members of the public will be able to share their air travel experiences with DOT officials as well as with airline and airport representatives. Topics to be discussed include flight delays and cancellations, baggage problems, oversales, reservations, and ticketing. The forum, which is free to the public, will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, and will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Previous airline consumer forums were held April 17 in Miami and June 24 in Chicago. The public may register for the forum in advance at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/forum/acf.cfm . Contact for news media: Bill Mosley (202) 366-4570.
FRA Research Grant Awarded to UCSD to Study Rail Buckling The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a $225,932 research grant to the University of California at San Diego to continue studying thermal-induced stress in Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) that can lead to rail buckling in hot weather. Being able to better understand and detect when rail buckling is likely to occur will improve safety and the operation of freight and passenger trains. The work to be performed under the grant involves development of a model that can reliably measure and predict the response of CWR as stress is applied to it. Future work will involve laboratory testing of the model, and development of prototype automated detection equipment for full-scale field testing. Contact: Warren Flatau (202) 493-6024
UIC Receives FRA Grant to Develop Software to Study Track Performance The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a $549,132 grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago to develop a computer software simulation tool to evaluate track performance and vehicle dynamics under high speed operation. Once complete, the software will enable to users to assess the behavior of complex light weight rail vehicles over rail lines. Through modeling and three-dimensional simulation, the application will demonstrate the interaction between train wheels and track under diverse conditions. It will also permit the study of derailment scenarios and how various types of rail vehicles are able to safely navigate track with different physical characteristics. Contact: Warren Flatau (202) 493-6024
FRA Provides First-Ever Bridge Inspection Handbook to All Railroads . The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) have collaborated to distribute AREMA’s first-ever Bridge Inspection Handbook . It contains vital information for use by bridge inspectors, maintenance of way managers, and all other persons who are involved in decisions related to railroad bridge safety and management. It provides sound direction and advice based on recognized engineering practices to assist railroads in meeting its bridge inspection duties. FRA purchased and distributed one copy of this important reference guide to each of the nearly 700 railroads in the U.S. Additional copies are available through AREMA at http://www.arema.org/eseries/scriptcontent/custom/e_arema/pubs/Bridge_Inspec_Hndbk_Order_061908.pdf