RT&S January 2019

Page 1

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Improving the accuracy and efficiency of patch rail planning

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February 2018 // Railway Track & Structures 1

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January 2019



Rail Flaw Detection Continuous, nonstop testing is moving testing accuracy and efficiency forward. Is machine learning or artificial Intelligence the next wave?





Industry Today Fluor, Walsh Construction win contract for Chicago subway modernization


Georgia-Pacific to build rail line connecting plant to GFRR mainline


5 6

Supplier News Acquisitions, contracts and other news People New hires, promotions and appointments

Cover Photo: Rail Flaw Detection, Herzog Services, Inc.​ Story on page 12. Credit: Herzog Services, Inc.


Follow Us On Social Media @RTSMag


TTCI R&D Update on Component and Structure Evaluations at FAST

Patch Rail: Improving the Planning Process CSX takes top honors for the development and use of a software tool that saves money and minimizes risk associated with its annual patch rail replacement plan.




Vegetation Management Though the winter months can pose additional challenges for railroads, vegetation management requires efforts year-round.





Ad Index



Sales Representatives


Classifieds Advertising


Professional Directory

AREMA News Message from the president; Student chapter update; International vision for AREMA

On Track New editor grabs the throttle


NRC Chairman’s Column State of the Association Address

January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 1



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On Track

Meet the new Editor-in-Chief Vol. 115, No. 1 Print ISSN # 0033-9016, Digital ISSN # 2160-2514 EDITORIAL OFFICES 20 South Clark Street, Suite 1910 Chicago, Ill. 60603 Telephone (312) 683-0130 Fax (312) 683-0131 Website www.rtands.com Paul Conley Editor-in-Chief pconley@sbpub.com Kyra Senese Managing Editor ksenese@sbpub.com Bob Tuzik Consulting Editor btuzik@sbpub.com btuzik@sbpub.comCORPORATE OFFICES CORPORATE OFFICES 55 Broad St 26th Fl. 55 Broad St 26th Fl. New York, N.Y. 10004 Telephone New York,(212) N.Y.620-7200 10004 Telephone Fax (212) (212) 633-1165 620-7200 Fax (212) 633-1165 Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. J. and McGinnis, Jr. Arthur President Chairman President and Chairman Jonathan Chalon Publisher Jonathan Chalon Publisher Mary Conyers Production Mary Conyers Director Production Director Nicole D’Antona Nicole Art Director D’Antona Art Director Aleza Leinwand Graphic Leinwand Aleza Designer Graphic Designer Maureen Cooney Maureen CirculationCooney Director Circulation Director Michelle Zolkos Conference Michelle Zolkos Director Conference Director Customer Service: 800-895-4389 Reprints: PARS Service: International 800-895-4389 Corp. Customer Reprints: 253 West PARS 35th International Street 7th Floor Corp. 253 West New 35th York,Street NY 10001 7th Floor 212-221-9595; New York, fax NY212-221-9195 10001 212-221-9595; curt.ciesinski@parsintl.com fax 212-221-9195 curt.ciesinski@parsintl.com


told you in this column last month that we were conducting a thorough search for the next editor of Railway Track and Structures. We interviewed a bunch of candidates who had varying levels of experience and familiarity with the railroad industry. In the end, we found our man. Meet Paul Conley. He’s been a reporter, editor, bureau chief, producer, executive and entrepreneur. He’s now editor-in-chief of RT&S. While Paul has been away from the industry for a while, some of you may remember him from his days as a young reporter covering the Interstate Commerce Commission for Traffic World magazine -- back in the days when both of those institutions still existed! And if you had anything to do with railroads and/or the steel industry in the 90s, you probably met him when he was the Midwest bureau chief for the Journal of Commerce. After leaving the JOC, Paul launched one of the first business-to-business news products on the Internet -- a transportation newsletter distributed through the then-nascent technology of AOL Mail. In the years after that, Paul held editorial jobs at some of the most prestigious names in business publishing, including CNN Business, Primedia Business, Bloomberg, and CFO Publishing. Today, Paul is one of the best-known practitioners of the art and science of

business-to-business journalism in the digital age. His blog about the future of business publishing debuted in 2004 and quickly became required -- and controversial -- reading in the industry. He is the creator of The Conley Index, a trademarked method of measuring (and improving) the quality of online editorial. And his one-man consulting business has counted some of the giants of the publishing industry as clients, including New York Times Digital, IndustryDive, Penton, IDG, SmartBrief, Vance Publishing, and Reed Business Information. He’s also a husband, a dad, a New Yorker, a veteran, and … so he tells us … a darn good dancer. But we’ll let you be the judge of that. Paul will be based in our New York office and will work closely with Managing Editor Kyra Senese, who will continue to work out of our Chicago office. Bob Tuzik, whom you met last month, will continue on in a consulting role. I’m proud to say that we’ve assembled a heck of a team – one that Paul will lead to deliver the kind of excellence that you expect from RT&S, and to expand and improve upon our digital footprint.

Jon Chalon Publisher

Railway Track & Structures (Print ISSN 0033-9016, Digital ISSN 2160-2514), (USPS 860-560), (Canada Post Cust. #7204564; Agreement #40612608; IMEX P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, Canada) is published monthly by Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, 55 Broad St. 26th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Pricing: Qualified individual and railroad employees may request a free subscription. Non-qualified subscriptions printed and/or digital version: 1 year Railroad Employees (US/Canada/Mexico) $16.00; all others $46.00; foreign $80.00; foreign, air mail $180.00. 2 years Railroad Employees US/Canada/Mexico $30.00; all others $85.00; foreign $140.00; foreign, air mail $340.00. Single Copies are $10.00 ea. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. COPYRIGHT © Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 2017. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact: PARS International Corp., 102 W 38th St., 6th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10018 Phone (212) 221-9595 Fax (212) 221-9195. For subscriptions and address changes, Please call (US Only) 1-800-553-8878 (CANADA/INTL) 1-319-364-6167, Fax 1-319-364-4278, e-mail rtands@stamats.com or write to: Railway Track & Structures, Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Railway Track & Structures, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407.

January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 3

Industry today

Fluor, Walsh Construction win design and build contract for Chicago subway modernization


he Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) selected Fluor Corp. and Walsh Construction Co. to design and build the first phase of a $2.1 billion Chicago subway modernization project. The Red and Purple Line Modernization Program is the largest capital spending project in the history of the Windy City’s transit system. The project includes designing and building new elevated tracks along a 1.9 mile section in the city including new bridges, support structures and existing tracks; and upgrading 3.2 miles of the signal system. Most notably, a Red-Purple Bypass will modernize the 100-year-old Clark Junction where the Red, Purple and Brown Line trains

now intersect at the same grade. The fly-over bypass structure will eliminate train congestion by allowing eight more Red Line trains per hour during rush periods, accommodating up to 7,200 additional customers per hour during rush periods and increasing train speeds through the intersection. The project also includes rebuilding four of the city’s busiest stations, Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr, and all the tracks and support structures for more than a mile adjacent to the stations. Other contractors working on the project include lead designer Stantec Consulting Services, and major subconsultant designers EXP, International Bridge Technologies and TranSmart/EJM Engineering, according to Chicago-based Walsh.

The project includes rebuilding four of the city’s busiest stations, Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr

BUILD Grants awarded for rail projects in five states Programs in five states received word that they would receive funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program in 2019. In Oregon, the International Port of Coos Bay was awarded a $20 million federal grant to rehabilitate 15 bridges along its Coos Bay Rail Line. In addition, the Port of Morrow, located on the Columbia River near Boardman, Ore., learned it will get a $19 million grant to build rail infrastructure to connect a Union Pacific mainline to four separate barge terminals within the port’s industrial park.

In Missouri, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and U.S. Representative Jason Smith announced that the Southeast Missouri Regional Port Authority (SEMO) will receive a $19.8 million grant to finish a loop track at the port it operates on the Mississippi River near near Cape Girardeau. The SEMO Port is served by both the Union Pacific and BNSF. In Illinois, the city of Springfield will get a $22 million BUILD grant for rail improvements, including drainage, grading and the construction of two bridges in the capitol city. The Southeastern Pennsylvania


Transportation Authority (SEPTA) received news it would get a $15 million grant to fund platform widening, elevator installation and other projects at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. Vermont will receive a $20 million BUILD grant to help improve or replace 31 bridges along the Vermont Railway, according to a statement released by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) The plan is to increase the weight ratings for rail bridges to support the industry standard for freight car loads of 286,000 pounds. At present, most rail lines in Vermont can support weight loads of only 263,000 pounds.


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Industry today

California rail projects win big as state announces $600 million in transportation funding The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) will allocate more than $600 million for hundreds of transportation projects, including a number of high-profile rail jobs. The Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program was allocated nearly $32 million for four rail and transit projects, according to Caltrans. Among these rail-related projects are: The Monterey County Rail Extension, which is working to extend passenger rail service from Santa Clara County south to

Salinas, will get $11.2 million to build direct signalized access to the train station via an extension of Lincoln Avenue, bus transfer area for local and intercity buses, bike lanes and storage, expanded and improved parking including loading zones, and pedestrian crossings. (Contractors interested in building the Salinas train station have until Feb. 13 to submit bids.) The Metrolink commuter rail system will get $29.8 million for design work along its Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura line, including improvements to the Marengo siding and double track in Simi Valley, according to a news release from Caltrans.

Georgia-Pacific to build rail line connecting plant to GFRR mainline Forest-products powerhouse Georgia-Pacific is building a rail link to connect a new plant to the mainline of the Georgia & Florida Railway, LLC (GFRR. Construction of the new subsidiary rail line and related crossing and communications upgrades is expected be completed in 2019. The rail line will run from the site of a planned facility in Albany, GA, to the GFRR’s mainline in the adjacent Albany-Dougherty Industrial Park. The paper-and-lumber giant will pay all costs to build the link. The companies did not disclose the estimated costs of the rail link. A spokesperson

for Georgia-Pacific told Railway Track & Structures that a contractor had not yet been chosen for the project. When the the line is complete, it will serve a $150 million, 320,000 square-foot, GeorgiaPacific plant slated to open in late 2019. That plant will produce approximately 300 million board-feet of lumber a year, which translates to more than 1,250 railcars of building materials and wood chips transported on the GFRR annually, according to a written statement from OMNITrax. GFRR is affiliated with OMNITrax, a Denver-based provider of railroad and transportation services.

Hohl Industrial, Scrufari Construction win $27.7 million contract for new Buffalo station Hohl Industrial Services Inc. and Scrufari Construction Co. won a $27.7 million design-and-build contract for an intermodal passenger transportation hub planned for downtown Buffalo. The New York State Department of Transportation announced the winning bids for the three-story structure last week. The Exchange Street Station will be built rtands.com

on the footprint of the existing 66-year-old Amtrak station, but be twice the size. The new facility will be elevated and located closer to the street than the existing Amtrak building. The new station will accommodate additional Amtrak routes as well as intercity buses, and will connect to Buffalo’s new light-rail system through a newly covered pedestrian plaza.

Supplier News Alstom won a three-year, $56 million extension of its Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) services contract with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (S FM TA ). U n d e r th e te r m s of the deal, Alstom manages the i n v e n to r y s u p p l y c h a i n a n d provides parts for the SFMTA’s fleet, which is composed of 149 light rail ve h ic les, 39 h isto ric streetcars and 31 cable cars. A merger of Alstom and Siemens Mobility is expected to close early in 2019. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), a member of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, toured tke Koppers rail-tie plant in Galesburg, IL. Bustos is a longtime supporter of the rail industry and co-sponsor of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which would make permanent a tax credit that would promote additional i n ve s tm e n t by s h o r t l i n e s i n improvements and maintenance. R a i l -f a s te n i n g m a n u f a c t u r e r Pandrol, won a new contract with Eesti Raudtee (Estonia Railways) to supply more than 4 30,000 FASTCLIP FE fastening systems (four per tie) for the 65km (40.3 miles) stretch from the towns of Tapa to Narva in the north east of Estonia. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) awarded R a i l Wo r k s C o r p., a p rov i d e r of rail track construction and maintenance services, a sevenyear, $133 million contract to carr y out upgrades along MARTA’s network. D X C Te c h n o l o g y ( D X C ) h a s been selected by the New York M e t r o p o l i t a n Tr a n s p o r ta t i o n Authority (MTA) to transform its enterprise asset management c a p a b i l i ti e s a n d s u p p o r t i t s digital transformation.

January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 5

Industry today

People Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) selected Ericka Thomas as the national rail safety education organization’s new manager of Education, Training and Instructional Design. In her new position, Thomas is expected to develop safety education materials for the public, offer oversight for the organization’s online OLI eLearning programs and provide instructor-led training for Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteers (OLAVs) and OLI Coaches. Sound Transit n am e d Ron Lewis as its executive director of Design, Engineering and Construction Management (DECM). Lewis began working with the transit authority by planning the first light-rail segment that now operates between downtown S e a t tl e a n d S e a-Ta c A i r p o r t a n d which the agency says will bolster an aggressive system expansion program.

Prior to his permanent appointment, Lewis had been ser ving as interim executive director. He will now report to K i m b e r l y F a r l e y, d e p u t y c h i e f executive officer. Reading & Northern named Chris Goetz to serve as the regional railroad’s vice president, Maintenance of Way, and Erik Yoder as assistant vice president, Real Estate. The Northern Plains Rail Companies (NPRC) have appointed Dan Mack as executive vice president of Finance, Marketing and Sales. In his new role, Mack will be tasked with managing the strategic financial planning activities at NPRC. He will also lead the company’s marketing and sales efforts, according to a company statement. Mack is based in Woodbury, Minn. Urban Engineers, a planning, design, environmental and construction support

services consulting business, hired Peter Fedun, PE, as the firm’s new deputy practice leader for rail and transit. Pe n n Sta te U n i ve r s it y ’s Ra i l Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n E n g i n e e r i n g (R TE ) program announced that Charles N. “Charlie” Marshall, a former executive at Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and Conrail, was donating $600,000 for scholarships and other supports for the program. Norfolk Southern (NS) named M a rq u e I . Le d o u x v i c e p re s i d e n t Government Affairs, effective Jan. 1, 2019. He will replace the retiring Bruno Maestri. Ledoux joined NS in 2003 as assistant vice president Government Affairs and has served in that capacity in Washington, D.C., for more than 15 years. Prior to joining NS, Ledoux worked at FedEx for 16 years in several p u b l i c re l a t i o n s a n d g ove r n m e n t relations positions.

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NRC Chairman’s Column

State of the Association Address


Failure to abide by safety principles at both home and work can have an extremely negative impact on our family and co-workers.”

The National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association, Inc. 410 1st Street, S.E. Suite 200 Washington D. C. 20003 Tel: 202-715-2920 www.nrcma.org info@nrcma.org rtands.com

am now half way through my two-year term as chairman and I thought I would make this article a “State of the Association” and a review the accomplishments of 2018. I am deeply honored to serve this association as chairman, with the Executive Committee of Jim Hansen of Herzog as vice chairman, Steve Bolte of Danella as secretary/treasurer and Chris Daloisio of Railroad Constructors as past chairman. It is as good a team as I have ever served with in my almost 43 years in the railroad industry. I can definitively state this Executive Committee, along with our entire Board of Directors and the NRC staff at CC&H, has accomplished more than I had ever expected. As always, I want to touch on safety. Congratulations to all 78 companies that received NRC Safety Awards this year! We had another record year of applicants and winners. We’ll announce winners at the conference and in RT&S. Let’s continue to improve our numbers and participation in this annual contest. Remember, safety starts at home and failure to abide by safety principles at both home and work can have an extremely negative impact on our family and co-workers. January and February tend to be brutal winter weather months, especially in the northern tier of the country, so let’s all ensure we are making good decisions as the roadways become icy and slick. There have been many accomplishments that we can all be proud of: • W hen we entered into 2018 the NRC had a “Memorandum of Agreement” with CC&H. I am proud to say we now have a formal contract with CC&H. • Our CC&H team is stronger than ever: we hired two new employees, Mike McGonigle and Chana Elgin, who have both quickly grown into their positions and, along with Chuck Baker and Matt Bell, provide a high level of service in managing our association. • We had a banner year for memberships, thanks to Jody Sims and her membership committee. • We set another attendance record with our 2019 conference and exposition at Marco Island, Fla. • We integrated four new Board members into the NRC Board (Curtis Bilow of Ames, Allen Branham of Harsco, Dave Landreth of Kiewit, and

Brett Urquhart of Vossloh) and all are contributing mightily. • We had a record-setting used rail construction and maintenance equipment auction. Thanks to Danny Brown and his auction committee. • Our grassroots team at CC&H and our member companies have had a phenomenal year hosting Members of Congress at their facilities. • NRC members participated in strong numbers in Railroad Day on the Hill. • We awarded two educational grants to two very deserving winners, University of Kentucky and Michigan State. • We continued our scholarship programs and provided those scholarships to very qualified candidates that, hopefully, will have an impact on the health of our association and the industry as a whole in the future. Now it’s time for NRC members to start gearing up for a new year of projects. There will be lots of repair and maintenance work this winter for all our equipment, so when the weather starts to turn warm our equipment will function at a high level of production. NRC member companies are key to assisting the railroads in keeping their infrastructure in a “state of good repair”, so we need to be ready to go when called upon. The railroads depend on our member companies to deliver projects on time, on budget and with a high level of quality. I would also like to thank all our member companies, their employees, the CC&H NRC staff, the NRC Board of Directors, the NRC Committees, and most certainly our families for their efforts and hard work in the 2018 year behind us and in the 2019 year ahead. Also I would like to thank Wabtec for their continued support of my serving on the NRC Board of Directors as its chairman. Stay safe and warm.

Mike Choat NRC Chairman

January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 9


Update on Component and Structure Evaluations at FAST Major tests in 2018 involved steel bridges, EPC ties, thermite welds, and more by Joseph LoPresti, Scientist,Transportation Technology Center, Inc.


ransportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) is a leading provider of rail research, especially in the areas of on-track testing, laboratory testing, and computational analysis. The evaluation of track components and structures on the High Tonnage Loop (HTL) at the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST) at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC) near Pueblo, CO, continues to be an important part of the Association of American Railroads’ (AAR) research program. This facility provides valuable information to the North American rail industry as new and untried products, along with bridge structures more than 100 years old, are evaluated under highly demanding, yet controlled conditions. Approximately 131 million gross tons (MGT) were accumulated at FAST in 2018. This brought total tonnage at FAST to approximately 4.6 billion gross tons, with approximately 3.5

billion of that MGT under 39-ton axle loads. Experiment Summaries There were several major test programs at FAST in 2018. Brief summaries of some of those tests are presented in this article, with more detailed reports in future RT&S articles. Steel Bridges There are five riveted-steel bridge spans being evaluated. The spans range in length from 24 feet to 65 feet. Four of the five spans are more than 100 years old; tonnages on those spans from operations at FAST are 1,260 MGT, 525 MGT (two spans), and 131 MGT. The other span is 64 years old and has accumulated 700 MGT. All spans are performing adequately, even though the equivalent Cooper’s loading of the FAST heavy axle load train exceeds the normal rating of four of the spans by amounts ranging from 7 percent to 33 percent. Data gathered during testing is being used to improve fatigue rating methodology. This is resulting in more realistic, and in most cases, longer fatigue life estimates. The 32-foot span, which is overloaded by 33 percent, is the most heavily overloaded. In addition, the bottom cover plate on one of the girders of this span was notched in three places to promote crack growth. The objective is to evaluate crack growth, and the behavior of the remaining girder elements, should the cracks in the cover plate result in breakage of the plate. Crack growth to date has been slow.

Figure 1: EPC ties in 6-degree curve.

10 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

Rails A test of high-strength rails from six suppliers that started in 2014 was concluded after 650 MGT. The test was conducted in a 5-degree curve with no direct rail lubrication. The major degradation modes were gage-face wear on the high rail, and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) on the tops of both high and low rails. In addition, eight of the electric flash butt welds that joined the 40-foot test rails fractured. Metallurgical analysis of the rails and welds is underway. A new test with high-strength rails started in the summer of 2018. TTCI researchers are continuing to study the effects of wide (57-inch) and narrow (56¼-inch) track gage on the performance of intermediate-strength rail in a 5-degree curve with rail lubrication. This study started in 2016. There are slight differences in rail wear between the wide and narrow zones, and more noticeable differences in the development of RCF on the low rails. TTCI simulation models are being utilized to better understand the effects of track gage on vehicle dynamics and wheel-rail contact stresses. The information will be used to inform railroads’ decisions on re-gaging track. Ties and fasteners Engineered polymer composite (EPC) ties from two suppliers are being tested in a 6-degree curve. One hundred ties installed in 2015 have accumulated 420 MGT and are performing well. Two other types of EPC ties installed during that same time period were removed from track due to excessive cracking. One hundred additional EPC ties were installed during the summer of 2018 and have accumulated 50 MGT. Those ties are shown in Figure 1. Failure modes observed at FAST are being related to results from new lab tests currently being developed for EPC ties. The goal is to have lab tests that are better predictors of in-track performance than are current tests. Researchers installed 860 mixed hardwood ties from 2015-17. These had a variety of plate sizes and types, cut spike or elastic fastenings, and cut spike or screw type hold downs. Measurements and observations will quantify and characterize the effects of the different components on gage strength, component failure, and tie life. rtands.com

TTCI r&d

Figure 2: Ultrasonic impact treatment of thermite weld collarsteering coverage from the three MPA probes.

Rail welds Twelve thermite welds were treated with an ultrasonic impact device (Figure 2) that can slightly modify weld collar geometry, and can introduce beneficial compressive residual stresses into that part of the weld. The weld collar, especially at the head/web and web/ base radii, and at the bottom of the weld base, is an area of higher dynamic stresses and is prone to occurrences of weld imperfections, which can act as stress risers. Weld failures often initiate in these locations. Lab tests have shown that ultrasonic impact treatment of the sensitive areas noted above increases weld fatigue life. While it is still too early for results, testing at FAST will determine how the treatment affects in-track performance. The supplier of the treatment device is using experience gained during work at FAST to improve the treatment system. TTCI installed seven full-section, highhardness thermite welds in a 5-degree curve in 2016. After 155 MGT, to date, there have been no weld failures and the condition of the welds is good. The weldment of these welds closely matches that of current generation high-strength, high-hardness rails. The increased hardness of these welds, compared to conventional thermite welds, has thus far reduced differential wear and deformation between rails and welds. Rainy section There are many advantages to testing at rtands.com

Figure 3: Saturated ballast condition at FAST rainy section.

FAST, but there are also limitations. One of those limitations is climate. Annual precipitation averages less than 12 inches per year, making the ability to assess the effects of excessive moisture on track substructure difficult, but not impossible. A section of track has been constructed at FAST to simulate wet conditions: the so-called “rainy section.� This system includes large ballast pans, a sprinkling and water recovery system, and extensive instrumentation to provide information on the effects of various amounts of moisture combined with varying degrees of finematerial contamination in the ballast layer (Figure 3). The tests are identifying critical thresholds of contamination and moisture at which track settlement under loading rapidly increases. Special trackwork Special trackwork tests include: two No. 20 turnouts, both with switch point geometry that reduces dynamic forces during diverging moves. One turnout has a movable point frog and the other a heavy point frog that meets Class 6 track standards. In addition, a new design continuous running surface frog was installed in a No. 11 turnout during the summer. Inspection technologies FAST is also used as a test bed for the development and evaluation of inspection and

monitoring technologies, such as machine vision car and locomotive inspection, buried fiber optic cable for detection of rail breaks and flat wheels, automated cracked wheel detection, wheel load impact detectors for curved track, and rolling contact damage measurement. Tonnage at FAST is accumulated with an 18,000-ton train; most of the cars are loaded to 315,000 pounds. Typical train operating speed is 40 mph, compared to a balanced speed of about 34 mph in the 5- and 6-degree curves. Traffic is bi-directional, with about 50 percent in each direction. Future work FAST experiments are regularly updated to ensure that the program meets the needs of the industry. AAR research committees and advisory groups are providing their guidance as plans for 2020 research are being developed (the 2019 plan has already been approved, but is flexible enough to accommodate changing needs). Upcoming tests include: an additional riveted steel bridge span, life extension for degraded concrete ties, improved steels for turnout frogs, and new applications for EPC ties. Acknowledgements The author would like to acknowledge all TTCI support teams that make FAST possible. January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 11

Rail Flaw Detection Sperry’s Adaptive Testing System (ATS) is a smaller, easily deployable system that allows high-frequency rail flaw detection. The system attaches to existing hi-rail equipment.

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Continuous, non-stop testing is moving testing accuracy and efficiency forward. Is machine learning or artificial Intelligence the next wave?


12 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

first non-destructive method of detecting internal rail defects. The approach, as described by the TTCI engineers Matthew Witte and Anish Poudel in the TTCI’s Technology Digest (TD-16-030), uses transducers housed in the roller search units (RSUs) of

The biggest problem in testing today is the inability to get full coverage of the rail.”

a detector car to emit ultrasonic waves into the rail then “listen” for the echo of reflected energy that occurs at internal discontinuities and the surfaces of the rail. The amount of reflected sound energy is displayed on a time chart, which provides information



By Bob Tuzik, consulting editor

ear over year, rail breaks caused by internal defects represent a, if not the, leading cause of trackrelated derailments in North America. Year over year, Class 1, regional, passenger and rail transit systems submit to ultrasonic (UT) inspection to find and remove internal defects before a heavy train, a high-impact wheel load, or a cold snap finds them and leaves the rail, and sometimes trains, in pieces on the ground. The good news is that UT inspection has proven effective at finding on the order of 90 percent of the internal defects in rail before something catastrophic happens. The bad news is that due to limitations of the technology, the other 10 percent remain out there, lurking in the rail base, the mid-web and web/head fillet of the rail where the existing technology cannot “see,” and under shells and other rail surface anomalies that mask their presence and prevent detection by conventional UT inspection systems. UT rail flaw detection dates to 1928, when Dr. Elmer Sperry introduced the world’s


about the features that reflect the sound. A trained operator learns to discern the difference between defects and normal features, such as bolt holes and welds. “Several factors limit the detection capability of conventional ultrasonic systems. Foremost is the directionality of the ultrasonic beam. Ultrasonic waves are directionspecific, which works both for and against the inspection objectives. The benefit is that measurements are accurate in a given direction; the drawback is that the directions must be selected and controlled. As a result, there is no broad coverage from a conventional, single-crystal probe. Conventional ultrasonic inspection systems use several probes pointed in specific directions to inspect certain volumes of the rail material. The inspection angles are pre-determined and fixed by the hardware; this inherently limits the area of the head that gets inspected. Only ‘high likelihood’ areas are inspected for defects.” As one railroader put it, the biggest problem in testing today is the inability rtands.com

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Rail Flaw Detection

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to get full coverage of the rail. On northern railroads, for example, rail breaks occur under high tensile stresses induced by low temperatures in the winter months. Investigations into broken rails have shown that the defects found at rail breaks are essentially undetectable with the current technology. The number of service failures caused by detail fractures, for example, are outweighed by the number of breaks that occur in the base, the web/head fillet, and mid-web areas of the rail—defects that can’t be found with the current technology. Due in large part to effective management of testing cycles, the bulk of the defects found on most Class 1s are categorized as “small”—evidence of an effective testing cycle. But those “undetectable” defects in the rail base or web continue to lead to track outages and service interruptions. And finding the “undetectables” requires coverage of the entire rail. Another issue is the current technology’s inability to detect detail fractures, vertical split heads, and other types of defects beneath shelled or spalled rail, conditions that are often considered components of rolling contact fatigue (RCF)—damage to 14 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

the surface or subsurface of the rail that is caused by wheel/rail contact. The masking of defects by RCF is one of the biggest challenges and shortcomings of ultrasonic testing, said Brad Spencer, CSX Transportation’s director of track testing. “There are some advancements, such as

Depending on the route, we get anywhere from two to four times the daily production from continuous testing.” — Brad Kerchof

oblique 70-degree angles and combination induction/ultrasound testing, but there are still plenty of undetected defects.” Managing the mechanical and economic effects of RCF, which the TTCI has pegged

as a $700-million problem, is quickly becoming one of the biggest issues in the freight and rail transit industries. But that’s a story for another time. Continuous, non-stop testing One of the bright sides of rail flaw testing has been the advent and adoption of continuous testing. Under continuous testing, the rail flaw test car operates essentially as a data-collection vehicle, continuously moving forward without stopping to verify indications. Testing is typically conducted at night, with verification of indications, via hand testing, occurring the next day (or no later than the second day). In contrast, under the traditional start-and-stop method of testing, a verifying hand test takes place immediately. Once an indication is verified as a defect following a continuous test, it is treated like any other defect and must be repaired, or the track slow ordered, as required by the FRA’s Track Safety Standards. To use the continuous test method under the current FRA regulations, a railroad must obtain a route-specific waiver from FRA. Norfolk Southern is among the Class 1s that uses continuous testing. Of the 13 rtands.com

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Rail Flaw Detection

personnel and equipment that follow the test vehicle. “The truck might test 20 miles and not find any defects, but that gang still has to follow behind, just in case,” he said. “On the other hand, when the gang follows a continuous-test verifier who is looking at only changed or new indications, there’s a much better chance that the changeout gang will be put to work right away.” A third benefit is that NS can run the test cars at night, when there is much less competition for track time.

another hand test. “Only changes in indications or indications that clearly suggest that something may be wrong need to be verified,” said Brad Kerchof, NS’s Director of Research and Tests. Reducing the number of hand tests that is required represents a significant advantage of continuous testing. Another advantage of continuous testing is that rail changeout gangs become more productive. The traditional start-and-stop method, which requires the operator to stop and hand test every indication, ties up the

Sperry rail test vehicles on NS, four operate in continuous-test mode, working on four different routes. During a continuous test, the vehicle sends the test data wirelessly to one of Sperry’s offices where an analyst reviews each of the indications. By comparing the current scan to the scans of prior tests, the analyst can determine whether an old indication has changed, or a new indication has appeared. An old, unchanged indication that was previously hand-tested and confirmed not to be a defect does not require

Turning up the Technology Suppliers focus on increasing the speed and accuracy of rail testing.

HSI collaborated with sister companies to add Video Track Chart™ (VTC) capabilities to its testing fleet.

Herzog Services Inc. H e r zo g S e r v i c e s I n c .’s ( H S I) n e w Series 7000 system, successor to the Series 6000 system, is a conventional u ltraso n ic i nsp e c tio n sys te m with upgraded hardware and sof tware components. The 7000 series’ carriage, which is also being applied to the 4000 series equipment, was redesigned to incorporate more channels in the test. The control system uses the CAN bus standard for communicating between various components on the vehicle and the inspection software. HSI is further developing a 7000 series test system for use on more nimble pickup trucks. With the introduction of the 7000 series platform, HSI has finalized the first phase of its new vision system, which

16 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

takes photos of the rail and integrates the images into the operator’s inspection workflow. Future development is aimed at automatically measuring the depth of crushed heads, identifying specific track structures, and monitoring rail service conditions more accurately. By integrating additional inspection systems, HSI can offer more value each time one of its inspection vehicles is on track. HSI is also completing development of e q u i p m e nt fo r co nti n u o us-tes t o p e ra t i o n s , w h i c h i t e x p e c t s to initiate early this year. Continuoustest operations “expand the entire rail inspection process into three separate phases with various delay timeframes between inspection and remediation, much like current track inspection

capabilities,” said HSI Vice President Carlo Patrick. This process is part of HSI’s strategy to transition the current rail flaw detection processes to a more cost-effective rail management process. A reduction in rail failures will reduce maintenance costs and the number of track outages a s so c i ate d with ra i l fa i l u re s a n d increase the overall life of the rail assets. Introduction of this process noticeably increases the inspection capabilities of the railroad, provides the opportunity to detect the potential defect before it reaches a critical size, and reduces potential rail failure. Herzog continues to develop its datab ase of insp e c tio n data, a n improvement that the company has found to be integral to the continuoustesting project and a valuable tool for the quality assurance team, said Tim Coolman, HSI’s R&D software manager. To streamline the audit process, HSI re ce ntly a uto m ate d its a bilit y to simultaneously review results at specific inspection locations with the previous five inspections. HSI is also developing neural network-type of review capability within its continuous-test software that will help the analysis team review certain rail conditions faster than it can with the current process, Coolman said. “ H S I h a s th e u n i q u e c a p a b i l it y to collaborate with its multiple sister companies within our organization,” said HSI President Troy Elbert. “Herzog Services, Inc. and Herzog Technologies, Inc. are currently collaborating to f i n a l ize th e a d d itio n of Ra il Flaw Detection (RFD) with Video Track Chart™ (V TC) data storage. This sof tware


Rail Flaw Detection

“Depending on the route, we get anywhere from two to four times the daily production from continuous testing,” Kerchof said. That means that NS can double and, in some cases, quadruple the number of miles it tests. And while the daily cost for a continuous-test vehicle is higher, the cost per mile can be significantly less. By covering more miles per test day, NS has been able to increase its test frequency. For example, a line that had been tested six times per year under stop-and-start can be

tested monthly under continuous test. More frequent testing reduces the likelihood for a defect to grow undetected and potentially break under a train, Kerchof said. Regardless of the method, rail testing is often compromised by spalls, shells, or corrugation associated with RCF. Subsurface shells that are as small as 2 inches are not only big enough to originate a transverse defect (TD), they’re big enough to hide one, as well, Kerchof said. Safety of operations becomes a particular concern when

there is more than one shell. It’s unusual to have a single shell. Shells develop because of a combination of circumstances, relating to metallurgy, wheel/rail conditions, loadings, track geometry, etc., that are present at more than just one spot. “Where there’s one shell, it’s not uncommon for the same combination of circumstances to result in multiple shells and possibly multiple TDs,” he said. “In our experience shelling and spalling occur in areas with high traction forces,

Turning up the Technology cont. program will provide access to up-tod a te i m a g e r y, tra c k c h a r t s , a n d geographic maps of track. There are many benefits to this software, one of them being the ability to see how RFD trends with other data being collected, such as LiDAR and geometry.” “The industry is always looking for solutions to accomplish more inspection with minimal impact to traffic flow,” Elber t said. Toward that end, HSI is developing a platform to combine m u l ti p l e i n s p e c ti o n te c h n o l o g i e s, including “light” track geometry, Laser Identification Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) inspections and measurement of rolling contact fatigue (RCF).

Sperry Rail Ninety years after the beginning of the world’s first rail inspection company, Sperry Rail has more than 500 rail flaw detection systems in service throughout the world. Its technology has been used to test more than 18 million miles of track and has identified more than 6 million rail defects. Building on the foundation that Dr. Elmer Sperry established in 1928, Sperry’s global reach includes relationships with railways from heavy haul networks to metropolitan transit s ys te m s i n N o r th A m e r i c a, S o u th America, Europe, and Asia. Among the Sperr y innovations is non-stop testing, which increases test frequency and maintains test quality while interfering less with dayto-d a y ra i l o p e ra ti o n s . N o n-s to p testing, which can provide earlier detection and a reduction in service failures, has driven quality, efficiency, and operational improvements. It also has enabled Sperr y to incorporate additional technologies, such as joint


bar inspection, eddy current, and vision systems to non-stop testing, all of which will improve efficiency and productivity. The current industry focus on RCF motivated Sperry to innovate further, enhancing its non-stop testing by applying eddy current technology to detect small fractures on the rail head surface. By adding eddy current, a nondestructive inspection method that uses electromechanical induction to detect and characterize defects that occur on or below the surface of the rail, Sperry will be able to detect the types of damage that are associated with RCF. Sperry’s latest eddy current technology was implemented on a Class 1 railway last year. Sperry also deployed its high-speed ultrasonic and eddy current systems in Europe, providing the highest testing speed on the continent, 80 kph. Sperry a c c o m p l i s h e d th i s by l eve ra g i n g technology advancements and historical knowledge of high-speed testing in Asia. The system incorporates algorithms to optimize measurement resolution and defect detection at higher operating speeds. Recognizing changing requirements associated with increased traffic and reductions in available track time, along with the aging infrastructure, higher speed, and heavier loads that mean more inspections are needed to ensure safety, Sperry introduced the Adaptive Testing System (ATS). Deployed first in Europe and growing in North America, ATS offers a smaller, easily deployable system that allows for high-frequency track testing at a lower cost. Sperry’s ATS can couple to existing railway-owned equipment. It quickly assembles and deploys, and once installed, requires no

additional drivers or maintenance crews to operate the system. Sperry’s newest rail safety innovation is Elmer®, an artificial intelligence tool that uses machine learning based on neural networks to identify patterns in the detection data that may indicate the presence of defects. The system learns from the data gathered by ultrasound, induction, and eddy current inspection methods, applying modern, AI-driven data analysis. The system was named for and inspired by Dr. Elmer Sperry’s focus on improving rail safety. Autonomous identification of defects is continuously improved by Elmer®’s m a c h in e le arn in g. Th e n um b e r of defects that are missed by human inspectors are reduced by use of this smart, data-driven system. Sperry uses this technology in its own analysis as part of its effort to remove defectrelated decision making from operators. The drive for continuous improvement will motivate further development of the Elmer® artificial intelligence tool to improve automated data analysis and produce a useful, reliable output. Sperry’s 360° solution, a full scope technology suite that captures the Rail Health® of an entire network, combines comprehensive testing techniques and technologies, such as eddy current for full surface coverage of the rail head, while leveraging the Elmer® AI tool and big data predictive analytics. The 360° solution utilizes algorithms and tools as a predictive tool to measure probability and consequences of failure from detected exceptions and provide a complete view of the infrastructure. The 360° solution can be deployed on any Sperry hi-rail or railbound vehicles, including the ATS.

January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 17

Rail Flaw Detection

A Rogues’ Gallery Transverse Defects in the Rail Head

Detail Fracture (from shelling)

Transverse Fissure

Longitudinal Defects in the Rail Head

Vertical Split Head

Horizontal Split Head

such as in curves and turnouts—in particular, at the stock rail / switch point transition, where the wheels are making their transition from one rail to another,” Kerchof said. Here, impact and creep forces are elevated, which tends to develop RCF. The creep (spinning or sliding) of one wheel can be transferred through the axle to the other wheel, which explains why RCF often develops on a straight stock rail. “Anything that disturbs the smooth rolling of the wheel on one side, such as the transition from the bent stock rail to the straight switch point (or vice versa), can transfer across to the other side,” he said. “Some of our worst derailments have occurred on straight stock rails that have broken due to multiple shells with TDs hidden beneath them.” The problem is that when one rail breaks, the impact from the wheels banging over the broken rail accelerates the growth of a nearby TD, leading to a second break, resulting in a short piece of unsupported rail, Kerchof said. “That is what causes the derailment.”

On the R&D front In work performed under the Association of American Railroads’ Strategic Research Initiative to improve detection of rail flaws/ defects, the Transportation Technology Center Inc, (TTCI) has been looking into various types of defect-detection technology over the past several years. Responding to the industry’s need for complete coverage of the rail, the TTCI recently completed research into the application of phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) technology for detecting internal defects in the head and web. Phased Array is a head-contacting ultrasonic inspection method that can compensate for rail wear and detect defects under shells (see TD-16-030 and TD-16050). The TTCI demonstrated the ability of the PAUT prototype to characterize defects at speeds up to 20 mph. While a production-ready technology that could effectively test the entire rail would be a godsend to the industry, the TTCI concluded that the PAUT technology would be cost prohibitive to implement compared to conventional

18 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

UT inspection. And like conventional UT inspection, it is not able to inspect the flange of the rail base, a critical area that must be covered by the next, improved technologies. With that work completed, the TTCI’s focus has shifted from detecting internal defects in the head and web to identifying technologies for inspecting the base flange and methods to detect and measure RCF. The TTCI started with the application of Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMAT) as a method to characterize material failure associated with early-stage RCF. Testing revealed that while the EMAT method can characterize ductility changes in the rail surface material, it does not perform well after cracks have already formed (TD-18-004.) As such, its potential application in the field is limited. Instead, Electromagnetic Field Imaging (EMFI) is proving to be effective for measuring RCF crack and pit depth (TD-18-016). The TTCI is now testing a rail-shaped EMFI sensor on track at the TTC to demonstrate the technology’s ability to measure and map crack and pit depth on the surface of the rail. Beyond that, railroaders would like to see the industry move beyond the interpretive nature of UT testing. While providers have been steadily improving their hardware, software and detection algorithms to provide better information, much of the detection process is still left to analysts to interpret the data and determine what is or is not a defect. False positives, of which on some roads are many, hinder production. Eliminating or reducing the number of false positives, such as fillet indications on welds, would improve overall efficiency. In an ideal world, railroaders would like to see UT testing get to where geometry testing is today, identifying precisely where exceptions are located. Relying on the human element, as is done in the current UT testing environment—especially in the type of stressful environment that gives you only 30 minutes of track time to work with—won’t cut it in the long run. Some sort of Artificial Intelligence will be needed to get to the point of truly automated defect detection. Technology providers are also thinking along the same lines (see sidebar). Herzog Services, Inc., for example, has begun incorporating vision systems that integrate photos of the rail into the operator’s view, with future development aimed at automatically measuring the depth of crushed heads. HSI is also developing neural network-type of review capability within its continuous-test software to help analysts review rail conditions faster than it rtands.com

Rail Flaw Detection

can with the current process. Sperry Rail has begun incorporating additional technologies, such as joint bar inspection, eddy current, and vision systems to its non-stop testing equipment. The application of eddy current, a nondestructive inspection method that uses electromechanical induction to detect and characterize defects that occur on or below the surface of the rail, will enable Sperry to detect the types of damage associated with RCF. Sperry’s eddy current technology was implemented on a Class 1 railway last year. Last but not least, Sperry Rail has introduced Elmer®, an artificial intelligence tool named after the company’s founder, that uses machine learning based on neural networks to process data from detection systems to identify patterns that may indicate the presence of defects. The system learns from the data gathered by ultrasound, induction, and eddy current inspection methods, and applies modern, AI-driven data analysis. These research efforts and new technologies represent the next development wave in this crucial area of track testing.

An analyst reviews data collected by Herzog’s Series 7000 inspection vehicle. HSI recently automated the ability to simultaneously review results from the previous five inspections.



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January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 19 1/9/18 12:20 PM



CWR for patch rail programs is unloaded by a gantry crane in one of CSX’s Robel trains.

Improving the Planning Process CSX takes top honors for the development and use of a software tool that saves money and minimizes risk associated with its annual patch rail replacement plan. By Bob Tuzik, consulting editor


lanning annual curve rail replacement programs is an essential element of maintenance planning on Class 1 railroads. Every railroad does it, with varying degrees of automation in the planning office and verification in the field. Until recently, CSX Transportation’s patch rail replacement planning was a manual effort—an annual paper chase fraught with guesswork and assumptions that sometimes led to overspending as planners erred on the conservative side to ensure safety on the system. The approach worked, but it was cumbersome. In order to evaluate the legitimacy of up to 5,000 annual requests for patch rail from the field, the capital planning group had to review data from a variety of sources, including paper

20 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

notes, emails, spreadsheets, along with data from 14 ultrasonic rail testing trucks and three track geometry cars collecting data on more than 21,000 miles of track. Pulling this disparate data together was a time-consuming job in and of itself. Sometimes there was conflicting information. Sometimes the critical information from the geometry car printouts that were bound in books went missing, or bad data from a recent test replaced good data from the previous test. “If we didn’t have data to review, I’d have to rely on institutional knowledge and guesswork based on what I know about curvature, speed, tonnage and the age of the rail in a curve, to make a decision,” said Ed Tubbs, director of capital planning for CSX. “Even if I’m 98 percent

right, the wrong assumptions still cost money. A potential 2 percent error can cost us $1.5 million a year—money that with no other planning system in place would go unnoticed.” On average, a wrong decision can cost CSX nearly $80,000 dollars,” said Jennifer Hollar, CSX manager - engineering systems. “The old way wasn’t a very good process,” Ed Tubbs said. “We had to find something that would work better for us.” In order to improve the planning process, CSX started by importing rail wear data into Bentley Systems, Inc.’s Optram software, which was already being used to generate track charts across the system. “Then we started brainstorming,” Tubbs said. After a thorough assessment of its needs, the maintenance planning group rtands.com


determined that it needed a software program that could incorporate measurement data, along with notes, images and requests from the field, all in one place. It also needed a way to differentiate requests that had been reviewed from those pending evaluation. CSX first tried to develop a program internally. When it became clear that that wasn’t going to work, it approached Bentley to see if they could come up with a solution. One month later, Bentley delivered the OpenRail Operational Analytics (formerly Optram) platform, the tool that the CSX planning group envisioned to overlay requests from the field with rail wear measurement data from the geometry cars, enabling planners to make qualitative assessments and determine which of the thousands of requests for patch rail to include in its annual program. The last piece of the puzzle was to incorporate a “checkbox” into the OpenRail Operational Analytics system that enables the user to overlay multiple sets of data for any segment for which there is a request for patch rail. The checkbox identifies the requests and curve segments that have been reviewed and/or approved. Whatever is not approved rolls over for consideration in the following year. “The checkbox allows us to go to the exact location of the requests, so I can see what the field has asked for with multiple layers of data superimposed,” Tubbs said. In the paper-planning past, mistakes would go unnoticed. The railroad could be spending money two to three years too early. While a 2 percent error doesn’t sound like much, it represents $1.5 million in capital that could be spent on other projects, such as tie, surfacing or out-of-face programs. “Now, we get it right the first time,” Tubbs said. In addition to the increased accuracy that it provides, the software, which was first used to support the 2017 patch rail program, reduced the time required for the annual capital planning review by two resource months. More importantly, the software, which is also available to the roadmasters and track supervisors who make the requests and carry out the replacement plan, has provided reassurance that the field and planning groups are in sync, accurately identifying and managing the risks associated with rail wear and defects. The project has been so effective that it rtands.com

was recognized as the project of the year in the Road and Rail Asset Performance Category at Bentley’s 2018 The Year in Infrastructure Awards. One of the jurors who considered the scope of the project, the ROI, and the impact it had on the organization, characterized it as “a simple solution that had a massive impact on efficiency, a rela-

A wrong decision can cost CSX nearly $80,000 dollars” —Jennifer Hollar

tively low cost to implement, which resulted in millions being saved, and one that CSX plans to expand to other areas as a result of the program’s success,” said Meg Davis, Senior product marketing manager in Bentley’s AssetWise Road and Rail group. “CSX had a clear sense of what they wanted and were able to articulate it so that the developers could deliver it,” Davis said.

How the System Works The patch rail planning process, which includes curves and short tangents between curves, begins with requests for rail from the field. Field personnel use an internal application to file their requests for rail. That information is loaded weekly into the Optram / OpenRail Operational Analytics system. From there, it is overlaid with data from the geometry cars and internal defect information that is collected by ultrasonic rail f law detection cars that cover the network. Planning consists of two components: the “potential” plan, which consists of requests from the field, and the “actual” plan, which represents the projects that are approved by Ed Tubbs and the rail planning group. Once the data is in the software, Tubbs and the planning staff review every request overlaid with the geometry car data for that segment. While there is no cap on spending to execute the patch rail replacement program, CSX endeavors to spend every dollar wisely. “In 2018, less than a third of the jobs that were submitted made it into the actual plan,” CSX’s Jennifer Hollar said. “We have to be careful how we allocate

The Optram / OpenRail Operational Analytics system helps planners visualize multiple data sets and requests from the field for curve patch rail. Multiple layers of rail wear, geometry and rail defect data are superimposed over segments at which field personnel have requested patch rail. The yellow highlight shown in the screenshot indicates a patch rail request that has not yet been approved. The blue highlight indicates that the request has been approved. Also shown are visualization of Engineering data, measurement data from geometry cars, and defects reported by UT testing. January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 21


The “magic” checkbox system clearly identifies which of the patch rail requests have been reviewed and which have been approved.

funds,” Tubbs said. Field forces are known to do everything they can to get their projects approved. This includes cherry picking information that puts their requests for rail in the most favorable light. They may, for example, send photos of rail worn to or near its condemning limits. What they may not say, however, is that that information represents 50 feet of data from the worst spot in a 2,000-foot curve. “It’s our job to catch that,” Tubbs said. “A case like this may only require a 50-foot plug, rather than replacement of the entire curve.” The 3,083 requests for patch rail in the 2018 program represented 936 linear miles of track at a cost of $251 million. After careful review and analysis CSX approved 1,020 jobs representing 272 linear miles at a cost of $73 million. Any request that was not approved automatically rolls to the




From Railway Age, GROUP RT&S and IRJ NEWS




22 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

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10/26/17 9:06 AM

following year for re-review. With the Optram/ OpenRail Operational Analytics program, CSX can overlay measurement data against requests from the field to determine if the requests are legitimate. In some instances, the number of defects in a curve can dictate replacement, regardless of how much or how little the rail is worn. “We’ll flag any curve that has three defects or more, especially short curves, but we also look at the age of the rail, tonnage, and the type and size of the defects,” Tubbs said. “Some defects are more critical than others. An engine burn, for example, is not indicative of rail fatigue, so it’s not as important as a vertical split head on rail that’s approaching the condemnable limits on a heavy tonnage line,” Tubbs said. But if Tubbs sees near-condemnable rail wear in conjunction with rail defects, or rail defects that are clustered, he’ll plan to take them out of track. “I’m not going to leave anything risky in there that could lead to a derailment,” he said Tubbs and the planning group also look beyond the requests and perform an overall network analysis to see if there’s anything that should come out of track that was not requested. Then we’ll approve any additional work—based on risk—that the field has neglected to submit. The patch rail program does not have a cap, per se. It’s based on the risk assessment that comes from measurement data and field assessments. But If approvals for patch rail exceed the annual budget, adjustments are made to other programs, such as ties or surfacing programs. Once it began using the software, CSX determined that while the tabular and strip chart views the software provided effectively organized the confluence of information, something was still missing. With multiple users of the software and new data uploaded weekly basis, it was hard for users to tell which requests had been reviewed and whether they have or have not been approved. “Most importantly, we needed the program to update our internal capital planning application. And, the integration needed to be seamless to the user,” Jennifer Hollar said. That drove CSX and Bentley to come up with a “checkbox” system that clearly identifies which of the patch rail requests have been reviewed and which have been approved. “Once we have viewed all the data elements, we click the magic checkbox to access our capital planning application within CSX’s Technology Engineering software,” said Hollar, who also serves as the liaison between the Bentley enterprise application and the CSX Engineering Asset and Track Data Information applications. “The two systems talk to each other so seamlessly that you’d never know that you’re running two systems,” Tubbs added. The Optram / OpenRail Operational Analytics program provides a user interface that’s quick and easy to use, Hollar said. Several people can work within the program at the same time to review different patch rail requests. Initially, two planning people were required to manage the patch rail program. “With the software, Ed can manage the patch rail program on his own and the other person can devote his efforts to out-of-face work,” she said. The software has proved such an effective tool to manage the patch rail program that CSX plans to begin using it to plan re-gauging work and tie pad repair/replacement on concrete ties. “This is the perfect system for us. It’s exactly what we need,” Tubbs said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.” rtands.com

January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 23



Beyond Track. Beyond Trains.


Opening Session




• How digital access is transforming the supply chain

A New Strategy For Freight Rail

• Class I’s: Investing in industrial development is good for business



Transportation and Logistics Advisors

• Blockchain & the future of freight rail • First & last mile: Short lines show the way on freight • Intermodal & the container port arms race


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Equipment Leasing and The Key To Class I Growth



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Closing Remarks



CN and Railway Age 2019 Railroader of the Year

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MAR. 12, 2019

Union League Club of Chicago

Vegetation Management

When using herbicides to keep railways free from unwanted vegetation, Corteva Agrisciences says it’s important to rotate chemistry and introduce new active ingredients to minimize the impact of weed resistance.

Though the winter months can pose additional challenges for railroads, vegetation management requires efforts year-round. By Kyra Senese, managing editor


he problems that vegetation causes for railroads are numerous. Branches obstruct operators’ views, plants become fire hazards when they grow close to cantenary wires, wet leaves cause subway cars to slide through signals, etc. This month, RT&S highlights recent developments in brush fighting equipment and weed controlling herbicides, in addition to new tools being used to monitor vegetation. Customerfocused tools, modern chemical combinations and newly released attachments all help railroads meet their vegetation management goals. 26 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

Asplundh This year, Asplundh is testing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone herbicide application as a new method focused on treating railroad crossings. The benefits in comparison to current application methods come down to safety of the applicator along with the ability to apply herbicide over uneven terrain from a remote location, Asplundh Railroad Division Manager Kevin Styles said. “There are also advantages from programming the drone to the exact spec required by the railroad customer or state laws, and recording the application data for future use,” Styles explained. The company said its primary customers include CSX, Norfolk Southern and other Class 1 and shortline railroads, and it focuses on providing brush cutting and bridge vegetation control. As for demand, the company said chemical tariffs are raising uncertainty regarding chemical costs. “With the potential for large cost increases, we are finding difficulty in pricing long term contracts,” Styles said.

Corteva Agriscience Corteva Agrisciences, formerly Dow AgroSciences, recently introduced its Freelexx® herbicide, said Damon Palmer, business leader, Pasture & Land Management, Corteva Agriscience™ Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. Palmer said the Freelexx® herbicide is built on new 2,4-D choline technology to deliver lower odor and volatility than traditional 2,4-D formulations. The company’s customers include all railroads and railroad applicators. “We’re continuing to build on the success of the recent launches of Vastlan® and Cleantraxx® herbicides,” he added. “Vastlan delivers selective brush control and Cleantraxx brings two new modes of action to total vegetation control.” Additionally, Corteva Agriscience™, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, offers several herbicides and technologies in the pipeline that Palmer said are promising for railroad vegetation management. “We are currently in the final stages of screening and testing these solutions — and rtands.com

Photo credit: Corteva Agriscience


Vegetation Management

are excited about their potential for this market,” he explained. Homer Deckard, railroad territory manager, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, said customers are currently seeking answers regarding how they can stretch a two-month or threemonth vegetation control program to last six months or more. “Most times those questions stem from inadequate budget being allocated to the development of an effective vegetation management program,” Deckard explained. “Implementing substandard programs typically results in vegetation control deteriorating quickly as the year progresses, leading to large-scale retreating, and further contributing to weed resistance issues.” Deckard added that customers also frequently ask for help with specific recommendations on how to best control tough resistant weeds they are missing, such as marestail, kochia and pigweed. “We continue to promote herbicide rotation as a critical management technique in light of the well-documented issues with weed resistance this industry faces,” Deckard said. Deckard says the most important issue in the railroad vegetation control market remains resistance management. He explained that its impact continues to grow in significance as worn-out chemistries continue to be applied. “The proven answer is rotating chemistry and introducing new active ingredients to herbicide programs,” Deckard said. “This serves to minimize resistance, lengthens the life cycle of effective chemistry and generates better long-term vegetation control.” Deckard said when applicable, the use of selective herbicides for rights-of-way vegetation management meets objectives such as keeping weeds and brush under control, while also helping create a habitat in which native plants and animals flourish. Deckard said more intelligent brush fighting techniques, such as chemical sidetrimming, are intelligent alternatives to mechanical brush-cutting. “Chemical side-trimming uses herbicides to control the growth of portions of tree limbs that could affect rail lines or access roads, safety and visibility,” he said. “Certain herbicides, when used correctly, can effectively ‘prune back’ only the treated tree limbs while not controlling the whole tree.” The herbicide is only applied to the branches of the trees that pose a threat to the right-of-way, keeping the tree alive, healthy and more aesthetically pleasing, rtands.com

while removing only the problem area of the vegetation, he said. Corteva Agriscience continues to promote implementing the principles of an integrated vegetation management (IVM) strategy as a best practice, Deckard said. The strategy relies on various treatment methods and focuses on the selective use of herbicides to control incompatible vegetation. “IVM delivers the most effective control and brings a better return on investment than using straight mechanical methods,” Deckard said. As for market demand, Deckard said many in the industry have shifted their focus away from program efficacy in favor of reducing up-front costs when developing a vegetation management program. “I always encourage managers to consider long-term value versus initial purchase price. Treating at a low cost per acre using a less effective herbicide isn’t as attractive when you factor in things like shorter treatment cycles and the likely need to retreat acres. It also means missing out on technical and claims support from the product manufacturer, which can prove invaluable.” In the coming year, Palmer said the company looks forward to seeing the fruition of the 2017 merger of The Dow Chemical Company and DuPont, which created DowDuPont™. In June 2019, pending board approvals, a new, independent agriculture company will spin off and become Corteva Agriscience™. “This highly-focused new company will bring together the talent and assets of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Crop Protection and DuPont Pioneer to position it uniquely across agriculture, including vegetation

management,” Palmer explained. “With innovative chemistry and technology on the near horizon, Corteva Agriscience will remain committed to continuing our more than 60-year heritage of leadership in railroad vegetation management.” Jarraff Industries Jarraff Industries recently unveiled a new Jarraff All-Terrain Tree Trimmer with an updated design, new look, higher power output and improved efficiency, the company said. The updated Jarraff trimmer features a patent-pending rotating saw head design that the company said allows the operator to rotate the blade assembly by 180 degrees. A new touch screen information center is also featured to provide the operator with improved control, engine monitoring and a high-definition camera display. The new Jarraff features a Cummins 130 horsepower, Tier 4 engine that meets all environmental emission standards and mandates, the company said. “Since the first Jarraff debuted in the late 1970s, Jarraff Industries has been dedicated to evolving with times and pushing design and innovation to meet the demands of the market by offering the best equipment available,” said Jarraff President and CEO Heidi Boyum. “This latest Jarraff model is a result of those continuing efforts. It’s embracing technology, as well as a creative engineering team, to provide our clients with the safest, highest quality most efficient and productive product possible.” The Jarraff All-Terrain Tree Trimmer also provides ROW maintenance contractors with a dynamic field of operation. A

The Bad Ax disc mulcher is a new addition to the Loftness line of vegetation management equipment.

January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 27

Vegetation Management

rotary manifold offers a 360-degree plus range of motion as a standard feature, and the unit also provides lateral tilt and 75-foot cutting height. Two four-way joysticks and fingertip controls offer optimal precision. In addition, Jarraff’s cab is completely ROPS, FOPS and OPS certified. Full panel, lexan windows prevent distortion and provide a clear view of operations. “The Jarraff adds safety to every job because workers never leave the ground,” the company said. Loftness Loftness recently introduced the new Bad Ax disc mulcher attachment for skid steers. The attachment features a fully-machined disc, dual recutter bars, bolt-on tooth mounts and many other unique features to improve performance and cut material into finer particles than competitive disc mulchers allow, said Bill Schafer, product development supervisor for Loftness. Loftness has also released new Battle Ax horizontal drum mulcher models for both skid steers and excavators.


“The Battle Ax has a unique new rotor design with depth gauges to help optimize the amount of material being fed into the drum, no matter which type of cutting tooth is used,” Schafer said. The Battle Ax also features an exclusive two-stage cutting chamber for producing finer particle sizes than other units on the market. Loftness’ primary customers include vegetation management contractors who specialize in right-of-way maintenance, Schafer explained. “Our main strength is providing customers with compact equipment solutions to make their operations more efficient,” Schafer said. “Our product line includes vegetation management attachments for excavators and skid steer loaders, as well as prime movers up to 400 horsepower.” Loftness also manufactures the KwikTrim compact mechanical tree trimmer, which can trim branches up to 53 feet high using a mini excavator chassis. Loftness’ niche in the vegetation management industry is the development

of compact equipment, which the company says is often more efficient and cost-effective than larger mulching and trimming equipment, while being able to access more areas. The company said vegetation management contractors are always looking for ways to address tight budgets. “Loftness anticipates a strong 2019 because of the large number of right-of-way miles that continue to require maintenance, no matter the economic or political environment,” Schafer said. Progress Rail Progress Rail recently introduced its Kershaw SkyTrim 75G3 tree trimmer, which the company notes is equipped with a U.S. EPA Tier 4 certified Cat® 4.4L engine. “This model was designed with an engine that meets today’s stringent emissions regulations, while still offering customers the power and performance that they need to accomplish their vegetation control projects,” Progress Rail said. The company said its Gen 3 Kershaw

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Vegetation Management

SkyTrim has been popular with customers and has a rotating head that offers 185-degrees of coverage. “This feature helps customers get into tight spots to trim trees more efficiently, offering more versatility,” Progress Rail said. “Our ability to manufacture equipment that can prove nimble, accessing track easily and ensuring flexibility for operations, helps our customers finish the job right the first time,” said Dean Mackey, National Sales Manager, Progress Rail. “Our new 75HRT Hi-Rail Truck is just one example of a product that delivers strong performance and meets these needs. Progress Rail’s 75G2-HR Hi-Rail SkyTrim is a rough terrain, rubber-tired vehicle with telescoping boom and saw-type cutter head designed to trim trees on nearly any terrain.” Equipped with hydraulically-controlled rail wheels, Mackey said the machine can be prepared to propel down the rail track in a matter of minutes. The company serves a broad mix of utility contractors, co-ops, departments of transportation, state and county municipalities,

Class 1s and shortline railroads. In a recent trend, Progress Rail said the company has observed changes to the market resulting from the unemployment rate having dropped in the United States. “We’ve witnessed increased challenges to find qualified labor, more vegetation management companies have been moving toward mechanization, thus creating further interest in our products,” the company said. The Progress Rail team continues to focus on customers’ needs to build upon the company’s existing vegetation management product line, including its various SkyTrim models. The company said it remains focused on ways to enhance current features or examine options for new additions. “Our goal is to ensure reliability, quality and performance remain top of mind. Our customers’ uptime is crucial and we take their feedback seriously,” Progress Rail said. Supertrak Supertrak’s new release is a SK170MX,

Industry First Tier 4 final dedicated Mulching Excavator. 170hp 4.4 T4F single engine, said Dave Evans, marketing/sales manager. Evans said the machine has a high flow / high pressure system for dedicated pumps, cooling and reversing fan systems that are needed for vegetation management. The company’s customers include those working in railroad ROW, pipeline ROW and powerline ROW, and more. An issue in the vegetation management field Evans said needs to be addressed is the necessity that customers ensure their equipment has adequate cooling for high ambient applications. Evans also noted that emissions requirements have been driving change within the equipment world for several years. “New designed cooling systems, fuel systems and exhaust systems are a critical part of how well they will perform in the vegetation industry,” Evans said. He explained the company believes 2019 will bring a strong demand for the vegetation industry, driving longer lead times from vendors.

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January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 29

Membership in AREMA demonstrates that you are a professional dedicated to improving your knowledge and are interested in advancing the railroad engineering industry.

Renew your membership today.


AREMA helps further your education by offering numerous seminars, webinars and also the recommended practices for railway engineering infrastructure. Through your membership, stay connected as a member of AREMA Technical Committees. If you have not already done so, be sure to renew your membership today to take advantage of what AREMA can offer you. Login now to www.arema.org and renew your 2019 dues. Not a member? Join today.

Message from the President


appy New Year! I will start the year by discussing our student chapters and the new direction being taken by the AREMA Educational Foundation. AREMA’s student members represent the future of our association and the railway industry. Our support of these student members is vital to encouraging them to become engaged in our industry and become the leaders of tomorrow. We are excited about the continuing increases in student involvement AREMA is seeing. The AREMA Student Chapter program was initiated about a decade ago and now has evolved to include 24 student chapters on college campuses throughout North America, with the University of Delaware being our newest student chapter. These student chapters provide a great avenue to expose students to the depth and breadth of an industry many have never been exposed to. This provides our railroad, transit, consultant and supplier communities with a growing pool of engaged talent for prospective hires. AREMA is committed to supporting its student chapter initiative as students are an integral part of keeping our organization moving forward as the association of choice for railway engineering professionals. One way that we are able to do this is by proactively encouraging attendance and involvement at our Annual Conferences by making the event welcoming and affordable to students and faculty. We plan and host events at the Annual Conference that are specifically tailored to the next generation, including fun rail-oriented social events, networking and mentoring activities as well as more academically-focused events such as research project poster board competitions. A big hit has been our “Meet the Next


Generation” career event where typically a dozen or more HR representatives from affiliated companies have booths and can actively meet and recruit students. Last fall, we welcomed about 150 student members at our Annual Conference. Out of our 24 student chapters, there were 14 represented at the event. As an organization, we have also demonstrated our support for the next generation through our scholarship program which is administered by the AREMA Educational Foundation. In 2018, 33 scholarships were awarded totaling $68,000. Currently, the AREMA Educational Foundation is responsible for the AREMA scholarship program, the Watford Fellowship Program and support for the Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES). The foundation has its own Board of Directors and operates separately from AREMA, although AREMA staff support is donated to the foundation.

students are an integral part of keeping our organization moving forward.

As the foundation has become more successful, some challenges have arisen: • There are a large number of scholarships, many of which have very specific requirements. It is sometimes challenging to select qualified applicants that meet these requirements and it has become difficult for our volunteers to match applicants to each of the scholarships. • The scholarship awards are generally under $2,000 and have been for some time. Due to rising education costs, it has been recommended by the foundation’s advisors that the award values be increased. After comprehensive consideration, the foundation’s Board has approved a plan to strategically grow the foundation and take the next steps forward to best position the foundation to be able to offer new initiatives and opportunities serving the rail industry. Not only will the foundation be able to

offer expanded scholarship opportunities, but the new scholarship structure will also better position the foundation to be more proactive in honoring donor support for the foundation and meet the growing needs of its constituents. Key elements of this new plan that will be implemented in 2020 (for the 2021 scholarship cycle) include: • Current endowments will not be changed in any way. Future endowments will continue to be accepted at a minimum of $50,000. • Donations will be made to the foundation’s General Fund. Donors will have the option to be recognized as providing funding in honor/memory of a designated person on the foundation’s donor page. Procedures will be implemented to ensure that those remembered by donated funds are noted in the Annual Conference awards recognition and that donors are acknowledged, if they desire to be named. • There will no longer be specifically named individual/committee scholarships. • The foundation will offer general scholarships and will attempt to offer scholarships that distinguish the focus of AREMA’s Functional Groups (Communications & Signals, Engineering Services, Maintenance-of-Way, Passenger & Transit, Structures and Track). • At the end of the 2020 scholarship cycle, existing individually named/committee scholarship funds that have not been allocated for a specific purpose will be pooled into the General Fund and distributed to fund scholarships in a manner that will meet donor intent as close as possible. • When there are specific programs such as the Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) – funds to a specific program will be restricted funds as those funds will be for a specific purpose. The AREMA Educational Foundation Board and AREMA are very thankful for the donations and support received throughout the years. The foundation has been very successful and has assisted many students with scholarships that have helped them reach their education goals. The foundation will continue to be in a great position to help engineering students who specialize in the railway industry to meet their professional goals and to offer other opportunities to the railway industry. I thank you for your contributions to the foundation and encourage your continued support. January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 31

Professional Development AREMA is focused on your education and helping you to advance in the railway industry. AREMA’s web courses and in-person seminars provide Profe s s i o n a l D eve l o p m e nt Hours (PDH) to ser ve your educational needs.

Introduction to Wayside Detection Systems Webinar Date: Jan. 23 Time: 2-3 p.m. EST PDH: 1 hour

Design & Construction of Highway/Railway Grade Crossings Webinar Date: Feb. 19 Time: 2-3:30 p.m. EST PDH: 1.5 hours

Micropiles and Grouting for Railroad Structures Webinar Date: March 6 Time: 2-3 p.m. EST PDH: 1 hour

Introduction to Practical Railway Engineering Seminar Date: May 20-22 Location: Lanham, MD PDH: 20 hours

For more information on our webinar and seminar programs and to register, please visit www.arema.org.

Follow Arema on Social Media:

32 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

Student Chapter RT&S Highlight by Zhipeng Zhang, AREMA student chapter president and graduate research assitant at Rutgers


hen was this AREMA Student Chapter established? Rutgers’ AREMA Student Chapter was established in the spring of 2016, as the 19th AREMA Student Chapter. How many members does this student chapter currently include? Currently, Rutgers’ AREMA Student Chapter involves 19 members. These student members have multi-major backgrounds, which include civil engineering, mathematics, urban planning and computer science. Who is your chapter president? The current chapter president is Zhipeng Zhang, a graduate student in civil engineering at Rutgers. Has this student chapter hosted any exciting events recently that you would like to share with the readers of RT&S ? • Rutgers’ AREMA Student Chapter members visited several facilities belonging to Port Authority Trans-Hudson

(PATH) in October of 2018. This tour included the Newark Penn Station, Harrison Station, and the headquarters of PATH; and was kindly provided by Mike Marino, executive director and general manager and staff. The group primarily learned about the track engineering and asset management practices at PATH, as well as the railroad career opportunities. • Rutgers’ AREMA Student Chapter also visited the Conrail swing bridge at Bridgeport, NJ, in October of 2018 with a visitor group from George Mason University. The Student Chapter aimed to understand the operations and technologies behind the newly upgraded remote-control bridge. The field visit was hosted by Conrail’s C&S and bridge departments. • Rutgers’ AREMA Student Chapter invited New Jersey Operation Lifesaver to deliver grade crossing safety educations to the public in order to raise awareness of rail safety during the 2018 Rutgers Day. • Earlier this fall, Rutgers’ AREMA Student Chapter attended the AREMA 2018 Conference in Chicago. Student members delivered two presentations and one Rutgers student also participated in the poster competition. Do you have any upcoming events scheduled? • Rutgers AREMA Student Chapter is planning to invite speakers from the industry and academics to present in Rutgers rtands.com

Railroad Seminars in 2019. • Rutgers’ AREMA Student Chapter plans to attend the Rutgers Young Engineers Day again in February of 2019. Some rail infrastructure-related education would be provided to the young engineers, who are middle school students in New Jersey. • The Rutgers AREMA Student Chapter also plans to coordinate with fellow student chapters. Rutgers will join Penn State Altoona AREMA Student Chapter for


future group visits to some railroad operators or facilities that are close to both in the greater Pennsylvania/New York/New Jersey area. The two chapters agreed to share visit opportunities and team up for more industrial outreaches. • Rutgers AREMA Student Chapter will organize interested Rutgers students to attend the quarterly meeting of the New Jersey Railroad Association. The next meeting would be in January of 2019.

org or contact mbruins@arema.org for more details.

Happy New Year! AREMA would like to wish you and your family a prosperous new year. Re-released af ter four years, order the NEW 2018 edition of the Portfolio of Trackwork Plans. This edition features new specifications that relate to the details, materials and workmanship for switches, frogs, turnouts and crossovers, crossings, rails and other special trackwork. Order online now at www.arema.org or contact mbruins@arema.org for more details. Order the 2019 Communications & Signals Manual now. With more than 50 new, revised, reaffirmed or extended manual parts, it’s the perfect time to get the 2019 manual. Order online now at www.arema.

Please join AREMA in welcoming its two newest student chapters: the Illinois Tech Railroad Club at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Delaware! AREMA student chapters represent the next generation of the railway industry and bring together students interested in railroading where they can be directed toward activities that foster their academic curiosity in railway engineering. If you are an AREMA member interested in speaking to a student chapter or a student curious about starting a new chapter, please contact the Student Chapter Coordinator at scc@arema.org. Call for Entries for the 2019 Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence: The selection process for the 20th W. W. Hay Award has

begun. Entries must be submitted by May 24, 2019. Please visit www.arema.org for more information. Leverage the power of your trusted association’s Railway Careers Network to tap into a talent pool of job candidates with the training and education needed for long-term success. Visit www.arema.org/ careers to post your job today. Use code RAILCAREER to receive a discount. AREMA members, if you have not already done so, be sure to renew your membership today to take advantage of what AREMA can offer you. Login now to www.arema.org and renew your 2019 dues online. Not an AREMA member? Join now to get exclusive rates on prod ucts and ed ucational courses, committee opportunities, access to the directories, subscriptions to your favorite magazine and much more!

International vision for AREMA The railway industry supply chain is global in nature and references to th e AR EMA Man uals can be found worldwide. Recognizing that international cooperation and understanding can be beneficial to its members, AREMA has been expanding its international reach with activities such as the Watford Fellowship and InnoTrans scholarships. The AREMA Board of Governors at its November 2018 meetings approved a resolution of international cooperation with the Railway Technical Society o f A u s t ra l a s i a ( R TS A ), a l e a r n e d society of individuals founded in 1997 by Engineers-Australia. Under this relationship, AREMA and RTSA will become “Technical Affiliates” to share educational opportunities with their


members by publicizing Calls for Papers, offering reciprocal member discounts on registration fees for each other’s events, creating links on each other’s websites, and organizing study tours. “AREMA is excited about this new technical relationship with RTSA and the opportunity it brings for AREMA’s members to meet our Australasia peers for the exchange of experiences and ideas. We look forward to greeting RTSA members at Railway Interchange in Minneapolis,” AREMA stated. An initial focus will be placed on organizing reciprocal Study Tours on Railway Engineering (STOREs) with an Australian delegation visiting the USA in September 2019 coinciding with the AREMA Annual Conference and Railway Interchange in Minneapolis.

In May of 2020, AREMA will sponsor a to u r to A u s t r a l i a t h a t w i l l b e centered on the RTSA Conference on Railway Excellence (CORE) in Perth with tech n ical visits to th e h eav y haul iron proper ties in the Pilbara as well as visits to some of the huge passenger projects currently underway in the eastern cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Mark Walbrun, who has led many of the AREMA international study tours, will be assisting in the program development for the USA/ Australian study tours. The Technical Affiliate relationship has an initial term of three years and will be coordinated by James Michel for AREMA.

January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 33

Upcoming Committee Meetings 2019

February 21


January 7

Committee 12 - Rail Transit Teleconference

Committee 34 – Scales San Diego, CA

February 21

May 14 - 15

Committee 12 - Rail Transit Teleconference

Committee 15 – Steel Structures Kansas City, MO

February 28

May 15 - 16

Committee 27 - Maintenance of Way Work Equipment Racine, WI

Committee 5 – Track Little Rock, AR

Committee 10 - Structures, Maintenance & Construction San Marco Island, FL January 17 Committee 12 - Rail Transit Teleconference January 23 Committee 16 - Economics of Railway Engineering & Operations Teleconference January 24-25 Committee 8 - Concrete Structures and Foundations St. Petersburg, FL January 25-26 Committee 24 - Education & Training and Foundations Atlanta, GA February 4-5 Committee 1 - Roadway & Ballast Fresno, CA February 5

March TBD Committee 37 - Signal Systems Jacksonville, FL

Committee 10 - Structures, Maintenance & Construction Petaluma, CA

March 12 - 13

September 10 - 11

Committee 38 - Information, Defect Detection & Energy Systems Jacksonville, FL

Committee 15 - Steel Structures Columbus, OH

March 13 - 14

Committee 15 - Steel Structures New Orleans, LA February 20-21 Committee 7 - Timber Structures Georgetown, TX

September 22

Committee 39 - Positive Train Control Jacksonville, FL

Committee 10 - Structures, Maintenance & Construction Minneapolis, MN

March 21


Committee 12 - Rail Transit Teleconference

January TBD

March 24 - 26

Committee 9 - Seismic Design for Amanda Hongisto Committee 11 - Commuter & Intercity Railway StructuresSenior Design Engineer Rail Systems New Orleans, LA CSX Transportation, Inc. Raleigh & Charlotte, NC February 5-6

June 18 - 19

Committee 17 - High Speed Rail Systems Raleigh & Charlotte, NC April TBD Committee 14 - Yards & Terminals Norfolk, VA

Committee 10 - Structures, Maintenance & Construction Albuquerque, NM June TBD Committee 10 - Structures, Maintenance & Construction New York, NY September 13 Committee 10 - Structures, Maintenance & Construction Dallas, TX

If you’d like to learn more about the AREMA Technical Committees and would like to get involved, please contact Alayne Bell at abell@arema.org. For a complete list of all committee meetings, visit https://www.arema.org/events.aspx. Negotiated airline discount information for AREMA Committee meetings can be found online at: http://www.arema.org/ meetings/airlines.aspx.

34 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019



JANUARY 6 - 9. NRC Conference and the NRCR E M S A E x p o s i t i o n . J .W. M a r r i o t t Marco Island, Marco Island, FL. Phone: 202-7 1 5-2 9 16 . We bs ite: w w w. n rc m a . org/2019conference. 8. Western Railway Club Meeting. Union League Club Chicago, Phone: 847-877-1514 22. AAR’s 31st Quality Assurance Auditor and Industry Conference. Hilton Riverside, New Orleans, LA. Contact: Don Guillen, Quality Assurance Committee Manager or Mark Rusovick, Quality Engineer at QA@ aar.com. 24 . S o u t hwe s te rn Ra i l C o nf e re n c e. Magnolia Hotel – Park Cities/SMU – Dallas. Website: www.texasrailadvocates. org/2019-southwestern-rail-conference/

FEBRUARY 2 8 . Wisconsin Railroad A s soc iation Freight Rail Day. The Westin Milwaukee. Milwaukee, Wis. Contact: Shari Liebe.

Phone: (608) 512-1280. Website: https:// wisconsinrailroadassociation.com/.

MARCH 11-15. Railroad Track Inspection & Safety Standards. TN Valley Railroad Museum. Chattanooga, Tenn. Website: http://ttap. utk.edu/. 12. Next-Gen Freight Rail, presented by Railway Age. Union League Club Chicago. Website: /www.railwayage.com/ngfr/ A conference for logistics and supply chain professionals across business development, client relations, sales, finance, planning, and infrastructure, looking to understand the future of freight rail. 26-27. 24th Annual AAR Research Review. Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Transportation Technology Center Inc. in Pueblo, Colo. http:// aar.com/2019AnnualReview_register.php

APRIL 6-9. American Short Line and Regional

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24. Light Rail 2019, presented by Railway Age and RT&S. Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica, Santa Monica, CA. Website: www. railwayage.com/lightrail/ An event for transportation professionals in planning, operations, civil engineering, signaling and vehicle engineering, who want new insights into light rail.

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Duro® Inertial position solution

Spike removal tool

Swift Navigation, a San Francisco startup building centimeter-accurate GPS technology to power autonomous vehicles, and Carnegie Robotics LLC (CRL), a robotic components and systems provider, announced their second joint product, the Duro® Inertial. Representatives describe Duro Inertial as a ruggedized version of Swift Navigation’s flagship Piksi® Multi dual-frequency Real Time Kinematics (RTK) GNSS receiver combined with Carnegie Robotics’ SmoothPose™ sensor fusion algorithm, which fuses GNSS and inertial measurements into a combined solution. The blending of GNSS and inertial measurements provides a dead reckoning capability that allows Duro® Inertial to provide an accurate, continuous position solution during brief GNSS outages and to deliver a robust precision navigation solution in harsh GNSS environments, the companies said.

Focused Technology Solutions Inc., a division of the Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway Company, is billing its new SpikeEase as the world’s first and most advanced portable battery-operated spike removal tool. Developed in response to listening to customers and their needs, SpikeEase is an environmentally safer alternative solution to hydraulic spike removal tools and claw bars, according to the company. It eliminates the need for gas-powered generators, 50-foot hydraulic hoses, hazardous fluids, and dangerous claw bars that can cause Rule 22 violations and/or adjacent track violations. The unit, lightweight at only 25.8 pounds, can remove a spike in as fast as 3 to 7 seconds. That speed leads to increased productivity and can help reduce the potential for injuries. More information about SpikeEase, Focused Technology, and other Marmon/ Bershire rail products can be found be found at www.railserve.biz.

The Railway Educational Bureau Track Safety Standards


Workplace Safety

Subparts A-F

Track Safety Standards, contains all the Track Safety Standards, Subparts A-F, for Classes of track 1-5. The standards cover general information, Roadbed, Track Geometry, Track Structure, Track Appliances and Track-Related Devices, and Inspection. Includes Defect Codes. Updated April 3, 2017. Track Safety Standards, Subparts A-F Only $9.86 for orders of 50 or more!


Bridge Safety Standards FRA Part 237 establishes Federal safety requirements for railroad bridges. This rule requires track owners to implement bridge management programs, which include annual inspections of railroad bridges, and to audit the programs. Part 237 also requires track owners to know the safe load capacity of bridges and to conduct special inspections if the weather or other conditions warrant such inspections. Updated April 3, 2017. BKBRIDGE Bridge Safety Standards $7.95

Federal Regulations

This reprint includes the FRA's Railroad Workplace Safety Standards addressing roadway workers and their work environments. These laws cover such things as: personal protective equipment, fall protection, and scaffolding for bridgeworkers; and training issues. Also includes safety standards for on-track roadway vehicles. Updated April 3, 2017.



Railroad Workplace Safety Only $9.45 for orders of 50 or more!

Track Calculator The Track Safety Standards Calculator is a must for anyone who works on track. This slide rule type calculator contains many of the details for Classes of track 1- 5. Deviation from uniform profile and from zero cross level. Difference in cross level. Updated as of July 11, 2013. BKTCAL Track Calculator $10.50 Only $9.50 for orders of 50 or more!

Only $7.15 for orders of 50 or more!

The Railway Educational Bureau 1809 Capitol Ave., Omaha NE, 68102 www.RailwayEducationalBureau.com 36 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019



Add Shipping & Handling if your merchandise subtotal is:

UP TO $10.00 10.01 - 25.00 25.01 - 50.00 50.01 - 75.00

U.S.A. $4.50 7.92 10.78 11.99

CAN $8.75 12.65 16.80 21.20

Orders over $75, call for shipping


Ad Index






AREMA Marketing Department




Cover 3

Diversified Metal Fabricators, Inc.





Harsco Rail

803 822-9160

803 822-8107



Herzog Services, Inc.





Light Rail









Next-Gen Freight Rail





North American Rail Products





Progress Rail, A Caterpillar Company





Rail Insights





RCE Equipment Solutions Inc.




Cover 2

Railway Education Bureau, The





Sperry Rail




Swift Navigation, Inc.



Cover 4

Western Cullen-Hayes





Advertising Sales MAIN OFFICE Jonathan Chalon Publisher 55 Broad St., 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 (212) 620-7224 Fax: (212) 633-1863 jchalon@sbpub.com AL, KY, Jonathan Chalon 55 Broad St., 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 (212) 620-7224 Fax: (212) 633-1863 jchalon@sbpub.com

CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA, WV, Canada – Quebec and East, Ontario Jerome Marullo 55 Broad St., 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 (212) 620-7260 Fax: (212) 633-1863 jmarullo@sbpub.com AR, AK, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, In, KS, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NM, ND, NV, OK, OR, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY, Canada – AB, BC, MB, SK Heather Disabato 20 South Clark Street, Suite 1910 Chicago, IL 60603 (312) 683-5026 Fax: (312) 683-0131 hdisabato@sbpub.com The Netherlands, Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal,

Switzerland, North Germany, Middle East, South America, Africa (not South), Far East (Excluding Korea / China/India), All Others, Tenders Louise Cooper International Area Sales Manager The Priory, Syresham Gardens Haywards Heath, RH16 3LB United Kingdom +44-1444-416368 Fax: +44-(0)-1444-458185 lc@railjournal.co.uk Scandinavia, Spain, Southern Germany, Austria, Korea, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe Baltic States, Recruitment Advertising Michael Boyle International Area Sales Manager Nils Michael Boyle Dorfstrasse 70, 6393 St. Ulrich, Austria. +011436767089872 mboyle@railjournal.com

Reader Referral Service This section has been created solely for the convenience of our readers to facilitate immediate contact with the RAILWAY TRACK & STRUCTURES advertisers in this issue.

Italy, Italian-speaking Switzerland Dr. Fabio Potesta Media Point & Communications SRL Corte Lambruschini Corso Buenos Aires 8 V Piano, Genoa, Italy 16129 +39-10-570-4948 Fax: +39-10-553-0088 info@mediapointsrl.it Japan Katsuhiro Ishii Ace Media Service, Inc. 12-6 4-Chome, Nishiiko, Adachi-Ku Tokyo 121-0824 Japan +81-3-5691-3335 Fax: +81-3-5691-3336 amkatsu@dream.com CLASSIFIED, PROFESSIONAL & EMPLOYMENT Jeanine Acquart 55 Broad St., 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 (212) 620-7211 Fax: (212) 633-1325 jacquart@sbpub.com

The Advertisers Index is an editorial feature maintained for the convenience of readers. It is not part of the advertiser contract and RTS assumes no responsibility for the correctness.


January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 37

New & Used Equipment

R. E. L. A. M., INC.


SECTION TRUCKS – GRAPPLE TRUCKS ROTARY DUMP TRUCKS ... PICKUP TRUCKS … AND MORE ALSO HEAVY DUTY HI-RAIL TIE & RAIL CARTS Omaha Track Equipment 13010 F Plaza • Omaha NE 68137 (402) 339-4512 Contact PAUL WARD • (402) 651-6632 paul@omahatrack.com




Service Parts

New and Used Hi-Rail Trucks Available

Nationwide DELIVERY

- Pickup Trucks - Service Bodies

- Flatbeds - Bucket Trucks

- Welding Trucks - Section Trucks - Grapple Trucks

- Track Inspector Trucks - Boom Trucks

CAll Bruce Harrod: 877-888-9730 BHarrod@aspeneq.com 38 Railway Track & Structures // January 2019

Email: RelamCFE@aol.com Tel: 440-439-7088 Fax: 440-439-9399 Visit our website at: www.relaminc.com EQUIPMENT FOR SHORT OR LONG TERM LEASE HARSCO AND NORDCO TAMPERS 6700S, 6700SJ, 6700SJ2 Switch and Production Tampers Mark IV Switch and Production Tampers 3300 and HST Chase Tampers 3000 Tampers w/Raise & Line or Chase Tampers 2400 Tampers w/Raise & Line HYDRAULIC STABILIZERS HARSCO TS-30HDs TIE INSERTERS/EXTRACTORS Nordco TRIPPs TR-10s and TKOs 925 S/Ss, Standards, KTR-400s KNOX KERSHAW PRODUCTS KBR-860s and 925s, KSF-940 Ballast Regulators & Snow Fighters KBR-940 Dual Head Brush Cutters KTC-1200 Tie Cranes KKA-1000/1050 Kribber-Adzers KPB-200 Plate Brooms NORDCO ANCHOR APPLICATORS, SPIKERS & GRABBERS Models CX and SS Spikers M-3 Screw Spike Machines Model F Anchor Machines and BAAMs Model SP2R Dual Spike Puller/Grabbers RACINE RAILROAD PRODUCTS Dual Anchor Spreaders, Squeezers, Knockers (Anchor Removers), Anchor Applicators, DAACs (Dual Anchor Adjuster Cribber), Dual e-Clip Applicators, Ride-on Regauge Adzers, TPIs, Tie Straighteners, OTM Reclaimers, SAFELOK IIIs (SAR IIIs) HI-RAIL CRANES, SPEEDSWINGS & RAILHEATERS Pettibone Model 445E/445F Speedswings w/Multiple Attachments (F’s with Tier 4 Engine) Geismar 360/360-Tronic Hi-Rail Excavators, (Cold Air Blower, Brush Cutter, Grapple, Heel Boom, Train Air & Knuckle available) Badger 30 Ton Cranes w/Hi-Rails Propane and Diesel Railheaters - Single & Dual Sided, Self-propelled w/Vibrators HI-RAIL TRUCKS, EXCAVATORS, & CARTS Hi-Rail Gradalls, XL3300 Series III w/Digging Buckets & Brush Cutters Hi-Rail Rotary Dumps, Various Hi-Rail Pickups Hi-Rail Grapple Trucks (available w/Magnet, Rail Racks & Creep Drive) 25-ton Hudson Ballast Cars 25-ton Rail and OTM Carts, 5-ton Tie Carts

Available for Lease 3000 cu ft Covered Hopper Cars 4650 cu ft Covered Hopper Cars 4300 cu ft Aluminum Rotary Open Top Gons 65 ft, 100-ton log spine cars equipped with six (6) log bunks 60 ft, 100 ton Plate F box cars, cushioned underframe and 10 ft plug doors 50 ft, 100 ton Plate C box cars, cushioned underframe and 10 ft plug doors 26,671 Gallon, 263k GRL, NC/NI Tank Cars Contact: Tom Monroe: 415-616-3472 Email: tmonroe@atel.com rtands.com

New & Used Equipment

MOW Equipment Lease & Sale Brushcutting Specialized Hauling Track Surfacing Low Boys with Rail

www.RailwayEquipmentServices.net “A full service company with over 25 yrs exp!”

Products & Services

ERIC HEADRICK President 205 N. Chestnut/PO Box 404 Arcola, IL 61910

Ph217-268-5110 cell217-259-4823 Fax217-268-3059 email eric@rrcri.com Exchange Units/Related Tamper Parts and Assemblies

Professional Directory

To purchase parts, contact: New & Rebuilt sales@rrcri.com Electromatic/Hydraulic Units available for same Workheads day shipping


• Track construction and maintenance • On-track ditching and rotary dump service • On-track tree trimming and brushcutting • Storm and flood cleanup and debris removal • Tie distribution, removal and disposal


K. W. Reese, Inc.

Box 298 • Mercersburg, PA 17236

(717) 328-5211 • fax (717) 328-9541 • www.kwreese.com

2016 NRC PlatiNum Safety awaRd wiNNeR

MARKETPLACE SALES Contact: Jeanine Acquart Ph: 212/620-7211 Fax: 212/633-1165 Email: jacquart@sbpub.com

RAIL BRIEF rtands.com

The Weekly RT&S Email Newsletter Subscribe at: www.rtands.com/RailBrief

ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED January 2019 // Railway Track & Structures 39

RAIL NEWS DELIVERED TO YOU AT HIGH SPEED RAIL GROUP NEWS brings you a daily round-up of news stories from Railway Age, RT&S, and IRJ. This email newsletter offers North American and global news and analysis of the freight and passenger markets. From developments in rail technology, operations, and strategic planning to legislative issues and engineering news, we’ve got you covered.

RAIL From Railway Age, RT&S and IRJ GROUP www.railwayage.com/rgn NEWS




AREMA Educational Programs To help your advancement, AREMA offers web-based programs that will extend our ability to serve the educational needs of our railway engineering community with PDH accredited web briefings and web based courses.

Introduction To Wayside Detection Systems Webinar Description: This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the operations of defect detector systems and how they operate. Date: January 23 Time: 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST PDH: 1.0

Design & Construction of Highway/ Railway Grade Crossings Webinar Description: This webinar will provide design and construction elements alongside AREMA recommendations to highway designers for projects that have railroad at-grade crossings. Date: February 19 Time: 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST PDH: 1.5




Swift Navigation’s Duro® Inertial is an enclosed dual-frequency GNSS + Real Time Kinematics (RTK) receiver with an integrated inertial measurement unit (IMU) that allows for continuous centimeteraccurate positioning in the harshest of environments.


Designed and built to survive long-term, outdoor deployments, Duro Inertial combines centimeter-accurate positioning with military ruggedness at a breakthrough price. Duro Inertial utilizes Carnegie Robotics LLC (CRL’s) SmoothPose™ sensor fusion algorithm, with Swift’s Starling™ Positioning Engine, to deliver a continuous and robust positioning system for a variety of applications, even at times where there is little to no GNSS visibility. This combination of technologies allows Duro Inertial to be more robust to anomalies and to provide position solutions with higher availability and smoother trajectory—delivering the robustness your rail assets need to achieve Positive Train Control.