The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference—LMOA

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference at Railway Interchange 2019 “serves to educate attendees on new technologies and trends in the rail industry and provide an opportunity for industry networking and collaboration. There are more than 50 educational sessions on railcar maintenance, rail operations, air brake technologies and trends and a focus on leadership in the rail industry,” RSI notes. “Session content is provided by the Railway Supply Institute, the Air Brake Association, the International Association of Railway Operating Officers, the League of Railway Women, the Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association and the Railcar Technical Services Association."

The Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association (LMOA) “represents railroaders and suppliers with a mission of driving improvements and recommendations for safer, more reliable rail operations.” Its mission includes reducing maintenance costs, improving locomotive productivity and reducing the environmental impact of locomotive operations and maintenance. The 2019 conference will present topics of interest to locomotive maintenance professionals including locomotive emissions labeling and record keeping, best practices for locomotive storage, battery life and fuel usage, locomotive systems and maximizing the use of data analytics, and opportunities and trends in predictive maintenance.

Among the LMOA sessions:

  • Locomotive Storage Revisited: Recommendations from a previous LMOA paper will be revisited, including potential issues with new engine technology and lessons learned from units that were returned to service after storage. The speaker is Tom Kennedy, Kennedy Rail Consulting.
  • Problem Solving Basics: There are various problems that impact locomotive performance, the most troublesome being those that keep coming back after you thought they were resolved. Problem solving steps and tools will be reviewed to ensure root causes are properly determined and permanent corrective actions are put in place. The speaker is Tim Standish, Progress Rail.
  • Emissions – Locomotive and Engine Labeling and Record Keeping: Labeling considerations will be reviewed to reduce confusion as to where labels are located and what information is included on them. The presentation will also go over thoughts on emission records to help maintenance departments with tracking along with sharing of this information with other roads. The speaker is Mark Duve, Norfolk Southern.
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Overview and Experience: As more units utilizing SCRs and DEF are being introduced into railroad fleets, it is an opportune time to go over the DEF system, its components and applications to help mechanical departments understand it and enable them to perform as intended. The speaker is Allen Meek, Cummins.
  • Battery-Electric Locomotive: This is an overview of a battery-electric locomotive in forming a hybrid locomotive consist to help reduce emissions and fuel consumption. This session describes the motivation for this initiative, its technical and operational approaches, expected behavior, and a path for future development. The speaker is Michael Cleveland, BNSF.
  • Effects of a Hydrogenation Derived Renewable Diesel (HDRD) Fuel Surrogate on Emissions and Fuel Efficiency of a GE Tier-2 Line Haul Locomotive: Renewable Diesel (aka HDRD) Fuel is becoming more prevalent in the North American diesel fuel supply. Because no additional labeling is required for HDRD fuel, it is not easy to identify which specific fuel streams contain HDRD or the quantity in any given fuel delivery.  As such, minimal emissions and efficiency testing has been performed with HDRD. This presentation details emissions and efficiency test results from prior experience with Fischer Tropsch (FT) diesel fuel. FT diesel fuel is chemically similar to HDRD, and thus provides a good basis for comparison and prediction of HDRD performance. The speaker is Jerainne Heywood, Wabtec Corporation.
  • Used Oil Analysis – Is it Reliable? Analysis of locomotive lubricating oil (aka Used Oil Analysis, or “UOA”) is an important tool for reducing costs associated with engine operation by determining engine maintenance needs, maximizing reliability and efficiency, and minimizing unplanned engine down time. However, these benefits rely on accurate, precise, repeatable and reproducible data from the oil analysis laboratory, as well as proper interpretation of the data. This presentation details evaluation of several UOA programs noting what tests were acceptable, where improvements were needed, and provides suggestions for future refinements of the UOA programs. The speaker is Dennis McAndrew, Dennis McAndrew, Inc.
  • Review of AAR M-963-84 Specification for Journal Box Lubricating Oil: AAR M-963-84 is an All Year Journal Box (JB) Lubricating Oil specification, last revised circa 1985. Lubrication technology has advanced considerably since that time. Further, confusion between Journal Box lubricating oil and Traction Motor Support Bearing Oil has led to a request for review of the M-963 JB oil specification. This presentation details findings from the specification review, results of compatibility testing and recommendations for possible amendments to the existing AAR M-963 specification. The speaker is Anju Singla, American Refining Group.
  • Engine Oils for Improved Fuel Economy and Oil Consumption in Railroad Service: It has long been known that lubricating oils can affect the fuel efficiency and oil consumption of internal combustion engines. However, measuring these changes with sufficient precision to ensure confidence has been challenging. This presentation details the findings of an extended railroad service field trial conducted with precision fuel economy measurements. The speaker is Fred Girshick, Infinium US.
  • Lost in Transition: This session will cover the findings of an investigation into AR20 Transition Fuses and Diodes. A collaborative “tiger team” of Union Pacific and EMD performed the work and analysis. The speaker is Jason Smith, EMD/Progress Rail.
  • What Can the Load Regulator Tell Me? The Load Regulator is a key part of a locomotive’s control system when governor-controlled diesel engines are used. Understanding the principles of operation will help when troubleshooting reports of low power on a locomotive. The speaker is Dean Becker, Progress Rail.
  • Battery Technology Options: Lead acid batteries have been the predominant battery type on diesel-electric locomotives in North America. This session looks at how starting technologies have evolved, and possible battery alternatives. The speakers are Amarjit Soora, ZTR, and Shane Sledge, Norfolk Southern.
  • Innovations in Wheel Set Profile Maintenance: This session will review the latest technological innovation in maintaining locomotive wheel profiles, along with the latest machinery available in the market. The speaker is Brandon Teal, Simmons Machine.
  • Let’s Stop Going to the Storehouse: This session will highlight the resources and man-hours wasted on bringing material to the locomotive/component workspace. It will show best practices in the industry utilizing shop floor and workstation material handling. The speaker is Steve Hulshizer, BNSF.
  • Bar Coding for Emission-Critical Locomotive Components: This session will cover the latest innovations and best practices utilized in the industry to track emissions-critical components using bar coding. The speaker is Ron Delevan, Morgan PLC.
  • Reducing Locomotives Held for Material: This session will feature forecasting and cooperative initiatives between railroads and suppliers to assure the material necessary to repair and maintain locomotives is available when needed, where needed. The speaker is Mike Zerafa, NRE.
  • Real Time Data Processing and Predictive Analytics: This session will review the significance of real time data acquisition and edge processing in predictive analytics and maintenance models of locomotive subsystems and components. The speaker is AJ Ferrante, ITG.
  • Predictive Data Analytics, Reliability and Maintenance: This session is about creation and use of locomotive data for predictive failure modeling and its impact on reliability and maintenance of locomotive fleets. The speaker is Connie Nordhues, Wi-Tronix.
  • Integration of Data Analytics with Railroads Operating and Maintenance Systems: This session is about the importance of integration of locomotive data and data analytics (including predictive failure analysis and maintenance) with railroad operating and maintenance systems, the effects of such integration on railroad efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance of maintenance systems. The speaker is Casey Pytel, Progress Rail.
  • Standardized LIG Data Parameters This session is about the benefits of standardization of LIG data streams across multiple vendor platforms, the effects on data storage (time/location stamp), decoding, analysis and use by other locomotive subsystems. The speaker is Cody Fischer, CR Rail.
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