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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Hi-Rail Vehicle Question


Date: 02/09/16 05:43
Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: DuneCoon

After seeing one of these go down the track slowly, what exactly is the person looking for? Can they even spot small track defects just cruising along?

Thanks


DC



Date: 02/09/16 07:07
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: svecellio

http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L04404#p1_z50_gD_lCM

FRA 213
Subpart A to F Class of Track 1-5 sums up everything they look for. The class of track indicates the standard and speed allowable.



Date: 02/09/16 08:37
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: Out_Of_Service

DuneCoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> After seeing one of these go down the track
> slowly, what exactly is the person looking for?
> Can they even spot small track defects just
> cruising along?
>
> Thanks
>
>
> DC


no not really ... with the long hoods on the trucks it's tough to see joints and/or bleeding rail (sign of a internal defect) ... back in 50s-60s-70s hi-rail inspection vehicles use to be specially built trucks with flat windshields and no front hood where it enabled the inspector to see the track directly in front of him/her ... the inspectors look for track deviations with these modern hi-rail trucks ... alignement and mud spots and profile deviations can be seen from a modern insptection vehicle but they inhibit the inspector's vision checking for rail defects which can be difficult to be found with these rail inspection vehicles ... broken joint bars unless split in 1/2 (and only the gage side can really be seen) will never be able to be found from that type of hi-rail truck unless the inspector gets out and gives the joint/a a thorough visual inspection from the ground on his/her knees ... the inspector will be looking for all types of track deviations ...



Date: 02/09/16 09:13
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: xrds72

Track inspection is an "art" as much as a science. Technoloy is driving the science side with more and more sophisticated means to read track geometry at faster and faster speeds. That does not replace (even though many think it can) the basic "art" to riding along and having a well calibrated ass-o-meter. 

The track is talking and the inspector's job is to listen. This is done in a combination of ways. Walking (sometimes crawling), riding in a hirail, riding in a locomotive or just standing and looking. 

It is often not what you actually see but more what you feel or think may be different from your last rip. That's when you stop and back up to get out and look closer. 

The regs put a large burden on the inspector and they are personally responsible for what they do and do not find. The rule of thimb is write what's there.The Roadmaster then has to determine how to fix what is found. 

Similar rules apply to bridge inspectors.



Date: 02/09/16 09:27
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: cjvrr

Love that statement!   And where can I get one of those meters?  

xrds72 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
 That does
> not replace (even though many think it can) the
> basic "art" to riding along and having a well
> calibrated ass-o-meter. 
>



Date: 02/09/16 10:35
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: xrds72

They are made not bought



Date: 02/09/16 11:14
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: Englewood




Date: 02/09/16 17:07
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: RMD23

May I have a hearty "Here..here" from the ney-sayers!  Track inspection is not easy.   However IMHO the type of vehicle has much less to do with a thorough track inspection than does the mental focus (and by default the professionalism) of the individual who is doing the inspection.  Of course one cannot discount the 'seat of the pants' effect of an unexpected flange-on-rail impacts to immediately brings 'top of the head' thinking back into full focus.    



Date: 02/09/16 19:35
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: Out_Of_Service

RMD23 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> May I have a hearty "Here..here" from the
> ney-sayers!  Track inspection is not easy.  
> However IMHO the type of vehicle has much less to
> do with a thorough track inspection than does the
> mental focus (and by default the professionalism)
> of the individual who is doing the inspection. 
> Of course one cannot discount the 'seat of the
> pants' effect of an unexpected flange-on-rail
> impacts to immediately brings 'top of the head'
> thinking back into full focus.    

​when things got tight on Amtrak i would go to track inspection around the Philly area ... Amtrak does all their track inspection by foot patrols ... in the 38 years i was working i probably had a combined service of about 5-7 years of track inspection ... there was only one vehicle patrol and that was on the Harrisburg Line due to a lighter schedule altho i believe then went to foot patrol because of the change in the number of trains with the PENNDOT high speed Keystone upgrade ...



Date: 02/10/16 03:44
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: JUTower

From what I've learned, listening is a big part. A tight rail joint sounds like "click". If you hear "clink" or worse "clank" then you stop and take a closer look. As an example.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/10/16 10:08
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: Out_Of_Service

wjalang Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> From what I've learned, listening is a big part. A
> tight rail joint sounds like "click". If you hear
> "clink" or worse "clank" then you stop and take a
> closer look. As an example.
>
> Posted from iPhone


funny story regarding hi-rail inspection ... hi-rail inspection on the NEC is just not feasible so back in the 90s Amtrak bought 8 hi-rail pickup hydraulic utility trucks that they wanted to use for night time inspection ... like with everything else, the Philly Sub was the guinea pig for this assinine idea ... the FRA inspector was called to go on the night inspection on the Harrisburg Keystone Line ... well luckily for the inspectors the Amtrak supv assigned Art (purposely) to be the pilot inspector ... Art was the BIIIIIIGEST PAIN IN THE A$$ anybody could deal with ... he could take any minute (mine-noot) thing and blow it waaaaaaaay out of proportion ... well his antics did just that and Franny the FRA guy wasn't too keen on the night inspection idea in the first place and between both Franny and Art they were able to show how ridiculous of an idea this was ... the night inspection idea was scrapped and Amtrak wound up using their $80,000 wannabe inspection trucks for regular maintenance

when inspecting sighting obviously is the most important ... you know what things look like under normal conditions so after a while your eye goes to the anomaly ... as for the "clank" ... it surely brings attention to it ... there's likely more than just a gapped joint and it's coupled with a profile spot either from loose ties, deteriorated ties, soft mud or AOTA ...

Amtrak standards Class VII standards are as stringent as an 1/8" in alignement and profile and X-level ... with a trained eye that deviation can be detected ... it just stands out ... plus rail head wear ... wide gage and/or low profile spot will show the shine towards the middle of the rail head which also stands out ... with wooden ties gage deviation happens in the wood ... with concrete ties gage deviation happens in the rail ... of course curves more susceptible than tangent ... wood would be through interlockings with concrete outside of it ...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/16 11:05 by Out_Of_Service.



Date: 02/11/16 15:20
Re: Hi-Rail Vehicle Question
Author: PlyWoody

Correction, legal track inspection can not be performed using a locomotive, regardless of the vantage point. If no inspection Hi Rail or track car, it must be walked.



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