The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference—ABA

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 mission of the Air Brake Association (ABA) is “to enlighten, educate, and establish a dialog to advance the safety and success of the rail industry. The ABA provides a forum that allows for the dissemination of knowledge that plays an integral part in the development of technology.  The technical presentations provide the industry with a platform to not only discuss pertinent issues, but also offer innovative solutions. The 2019 program includes papers discussing important industry initiatives such as air brake regulatory trends, expert testimonials on the latest air brake technologies and tips for reducing wheelset costs.”

Among the ABA sessions:

  • Regulatory Reform and 49 CFR Part 232- 2019: This session will discuss the new notices of proposed Rulemaking of Executive Order 13777 issued on 2/24/17 with regard to EOT device waivers, single car air brake tests, 232 Appendix B updates, 24-hour off-air for Class 1 brake inspections, air flow method calculations, permitting 90 CFM air flow on DP trains, automated single car tests and extended haul notification. The speaker is Steve Zuiderveen, MP&E Senior Safety Specialist, Office of Railroad Safety, FRA
  • BSC Update 232 Re-regulation: The AAR Brake Systems Committee will provide an update of the 2018-2019 activities of the committee, such as modifications and regulatory changes as well as preview work of the committee for the upcoming year. The speaker is Bill Sheesley.
  • Wheelset Savings Study – Using Conventional Powered Sustained Release Hand Brakes: This session will detail a comparison study of Group Q and Group N hand brakes equipped on 60 freight cars of two Class 1 railroads using AAR car repair billing data of wheel replacements illustrating monetary savings incurred when using statistical analysis concerning the time value of money. The speaker is Dan Davern, Amsted Rail.
  • The Sound of Air Brakes: This session will provide a chronology of the development of the various air brake valves used in the locomotive cabs from early days to present, with a theme of how over time they have become virtually silent with the advent of the EAB Systems. The speaker is Don Crawford, CABC.
  • Underslung Air Hose Arrangements – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: This presentation will focus on air hoses that are located under the couple, the problems they can cause if not properly adjusted, the basics of the underslung air hose arrangements, what a good system looks like and common problems that cause unwanted air hose separations and train delays. The speaker is Dave Cummins, CN.
  • Development of a Modular Integrated Bogie Brake System: This is a discussion of the development of a modular integrated truck mounted brake system that should reduce asymmetric wheel wear and tapered shoe wear. The session will also discuss several field trials with data to support the reduced wear. Speakers are Ryan Kepley and Keith McCabe, Amsted Rail.
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