2023 Heavy Haul Session


Quantifying Rail Life Extension with Infinite Grinding Pattern Control

Brian Barthel

Brian Barthel
Loram Technologies Inc.

Along with removing RCF on the surface of the rail, reprofiling the rail is one of the main objectives of rail grinding. Past studies have found maintaining the correct transverse rail profile can lead to limited wheel-rail contact stresses, improved steering, and improved fuel efficiencies.

Until recently, mainline rail grinders were limited to a set of up to 50 patterns to grind a transverse rail profile to a desired template. A recent breakthrough has created the ability for rail grinders to generate patterns from a practical infinite set of machine pattern configurations in real time to grind to any desired template.

This presentation discusses the advancement of modeling since the testing utilizing near infinite patterns based on real time machine and rail conditions was completed on a Class 1 railroad. Updated estimates to the natural wear rates for the pattern selection scenario for both high and low rails have been modeled.  At the same time, natural wear rates have been found with the same operating conditions as if the perfect profile was achieved, showing the natural wear rates for near infinite pattern scenario.