- Vehicle Testing
- Inspection Vehicles
- Sperry Rail Service
- Rail inspection
- Rail Transit Systems Standards
Rail inspection is the practice of examining rail tracks for flaws that could lead to catastrophic failures. The leading cause of railway accidents is attributed to human error. The contribution of poor management decisions to rail accidents caused by infrequent or inadequate rail inspection is significant but not reported by the FRA, only the NTSB. Every year, North American railroads spend millions of dollars to inspect the rails for internal and external flaws. Nondestructive testing NDT methods are used as a preventive measures against track failures and possible derailment. The first rail inspections were done visually. Many sources cite that the need for better rail inspections came after a derailment at Manchester, New Yorkin That particular accident resulted in the death of 29 people and injuries to 60 others. The investigation of the accident revealed that the cause was a transverse fissure a critical crack which lies perpendicular to the length of the rail in the rail. Further investigation in the late s showed that this type of defect was quite common. With increased rail traffic at higher speeds and with heavier axle loads today, critical crack sizes are shrinking and rail inspection is becoming more important. InDr. Elmer Sperry built a massive rail inspection car under contract with the American Railway Association. Magnetic induction was the method used on the first rail inspection cars. This was done by passing large amounts of magnetic field through the rail and detecting flux leakage with search coils. Since then, many other inspection cars have traversed the rails in search of flaws. There are many effects that influence rail defects and rail failure. One effect that can cause crack propagation is the presence of water and other liquids. When a fluid fills a small crack and a train passes over, the water becomes trapped in the void and can expand the crack tip. Also, the trapped fluid could freeze and expand or initiate the corrosion process. A majority of the flaws found in rails are located in the head, however, flaws are also found in the web and foot. This means that the entire rail needs to be inspected. The techniques mentioned above are utilized in a handful of different ways. The probes and transducers can be utilized on a "walking stick", on a hand pushed trolleyor in a hand held setup. These devices are used when small sections of track are to be inspected or when a precise location is desired. Many times these detail oriented inspection devices follow up on indications made by a rail inspection cars or HiRail trucks. Handheld inspection devices are very useful for this when the track is used heavily, because they can be removed relatively easy. However, they are considered very slow and tedious, when there are thousands of miles of track that need inspection. Rail inspection cars and HiRail trucks are the answer to today's high mileage inspection needs. The first rail inspection cars were created by Dr.
Sperry Rail Service
The rail speeder, otherwise known as a motor car, putt-putt, jigger, crew car, track-maintenance car, trike, quad, trolley or inspection car was invented as far back as when a vehicle was needed to help the maintenance of way crews and track inspectors to move quickly to and from work sites. It was reported that the U. Daimler Motor Company created a gasoline powered rail inspection car capable of 15 mph. Early speeders were human powered pump types later followed by gasoline powered engines. These cars were used by the railroad to transport workmen and supplies for maintenance. Typically the car has a front windscreen, roof, and rear bulkhead, the sides being open. This speeder was one of many used on the Nfl. Railway by workers responsible for maintenance, repair, and upkeep of the tracks on the railway. The enclosed cabin had seating for four persons while the trailer could be loaded up with tools, ties, and other equipment. Because of this, they must slow down or stop at crossings and make sure no cars are coming before crossing or flag the crossing if traffic is heavy. Although it is slow compared to a train or car, it is called speeder because it is faster than a human-powered vehicle such as a handcar. They also had to get special permission from the dispatcher to use the track. A privately owned Fairmont MT speeder on display at a model railroad show in February In the s, these types of speeders were replaced by pickup trucks using flanges wheels that could be lowered for on-rail called road-rail vehicles or hi-rails for highway-railroad. Various railways and their workshops also manufactured speeders, but today, Fairmont is the only major speeder manufacturer still in business. After buying Tamper Inc. The speeders left from the earlier days are now owned by hobbyists and can cost several thousands of dollars to rebuild and maintain. Former Queensland Rail Australia speeders. People buy and refurbish these and ride them around on abandoned track. Speeders are collected by hobbyists, who refurbish them for excursions organized by the North American Railcar Operators Association in the U. The Speeder — A motorized vehicle formerly used on railroads around the world by track inspectors to transport work crews and equipment. Jun 23, David Goran.