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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Track/Train Interaction Overview

A train wheel on a track.The Track/Train Interaction Program addresses the safety implications arising from the dynamic interaction between track and train. Among other things, this program will

  • Improve analytical and experimental methods for assessing derailment risk due to anomalous interactions of track geometry and railcar suspension system,
  • Provide improved guidelines for rail grinding or lubrication that will facilitate optimum wheel-rail contact and truck steering industry wide,
  • Apply  and improve computer programs that model and simulate railway vehicle/track systems for the purpose of derailment investigations and identifying engineering improvements to mitigate derailment hazards, and
  • Provide the scientific justification for development of, and engineering support to implement, comprehensive vehicle/track system qualification procedures based on simulation and testing.

This program will support the development of performance-based standards and guidelines for vehicle/track interaction safety and ride quality, and of safety standards and guidelines for transverse wheel and rail profiles.