Technical Sessions, including those on track, were featured at this year’s AREMA Annual Conference.
As part of the AREMA 2023 Annual Conference, there are technical sessions that occur Monday, October 2nd through Wednesday, October 4th. These sessions are broken down into six categories: Communications, Signals, & IT, Engineering Services, Maintenance-of-Way, Passenger & Transit, Structures, and Track. As far as we’ve seen here at RT&S, these sessions have been well-attended. After attending two sessions on track, what follows is a very brief summary of what was presented.
The first session was “Track Buckles in a Controlled Environment,” presented by Stephen Wilk, a Senior Engineer. In the Sagamore 2 room, the session details states that MxV Rail “produced and monitored two track buckle events in a controlled environment.” These high-impact events happen when the “compressive longitudinal rail forces exceed the buckling resistance provided by the track structure, producing large misalignments.” This particular presentation detailed the effort to understand these forces and resistance components in order to identify potential future high-risk situations and to provide “remedial action options.”
During Stephen Wilk’s presentation, they discussed utilizing a burn rope on one of the rails in order to increase compressive forces. The first buckle event measured at 1 ¼ inches, and afterward, they played a video loop showing its second buckle event. In it, the track buckled 30 inches within a few seconds, and the audience let out an audible gasp.
Immediately afterward, Dr. Debakanta Mishra, an Associate Professor at Oklahoma State University, and Dr. Rakan Alturk, a Senior Engineer at ENSCO, Inc., presented “Lateral Load Measurement using Strain Gauges: Accuracy, Challenges, and Recommended Protocol.” With infectious enthusiasm, Dr. Mishra broke down the several different influential factors that were studied, including the effect of vertical load magnitude on lateral load measurements, the effect of the spacing, and the effect of deterioration to adjacent ties.