The Educational Railroading Conference Leader Since 1994


2019 Rail Transit Session


Findings from the NYCT-FTA Wheel/Rail Analytics Project

Eric Magel

Eric Magel
National Research Council, Canada

Starting in early 2017, an autonomous instrumented trainset began running on New York City Transit’s #7 line. Equipped with two instrumented wheelsets, truck mounted accelerometers, microphones and energy consumption monitoring, the trainset ran in regular revenue service for nearly 18 months. As part of an FTA sponsored Wheel/Rail Analytics project, this train based data was paired with wayside data collected from L/V, TBOGIE and WheelScan systems. While each of these several train based and wayside systems provides valuable information in its own right, analysis of the data streams together enables synergies, cross validations and analytics not otherwise possible.

Several interesting findings arose through the course of study, including that forces and damage are worst for newly installed components, rail corrugation increases energy consumption by at least 5%, and that the New York winter is particularly costly with respect to wear and forces. These and other findings will be discussed.