The Educational Railroading Conference Leader Since 1994


Bill Doran

Bill Doran
(Los Angeles)


Rail and Track Measurement Systems for Assessing FTA State of Good Repair

Federal regulations to establish requirements defining “State of Good Repair” are in development. Under the regulations, transit agencies will be required to measure and report on the condition of their assets on a regular schedule. Various technologies exist that will provide measurement of the condition of all track components. Laser rail profiling is a common method as an accurate method of measuring the wear at the top of the head, along with the side wear and the gauge face angle. The results of Laser rail profile measurements translate directly to a condition scale. Track geometry measurements, however, are more difficult to quantify in terms of a condition. Basic statistical measurements are easy to apply to track geometry data, but do not provide results directly in terms of FRA track safety standards. This presentation will discuss the use of laser rail profiling as a tool to regularly evaluate the condition of rail and to project when replacement will be required. An approach to the use of track geometry data as a predictive tool is also discussed, and a method of converting statistical measures to an FRA condition scale is proposed.