The Educational Railroading Conference Leader Since 1994


2017 Rail Transit Session


Combining Onboard Noise Measurements with Other Data Sets to Characterize Track Condition

Hugh Saurenman

Hugh Saurenman
ATS Consulting

Since 2013 ATS Consulting has been measuring noise onboard revenue service trains to help the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system prioritize their rail grinding program. The application used to display the data has proven useful for identifying locations with rail corrugation where rail grinding is needed. In addition, the MySQL database used to store the noise data as a function of milepost has been expanded to store and display a variety of data from other measurement procedures including rail profiles and rail defects identified with ultrasonic measurements. BART is currently in the process of replacing their current aging vehicle fleet with new vehicles. As part of the introduction of new vehicles, BART management has decided to change from a cylindrical wheel profile to a tapered contoured profile that will negotiate curves without the wheel flange rubbing on the gauge face of the outside rail. The database capability was a key tool used by BART staff and consultants to selecting locations to monitor the progress of implementing the new wheel profile. A similar data analysis approach is being developed at the Sound Transit Link LRT system to help track their State of Good Repair program.