(a) All rolling stock types which operate at Class 6 speeds and above shall be qualified for operation for their intended track classes in order to demonstrate that the vehicle dynamic response to track alinement and geometry variations are within acceptable limits to assure safe operation. Rolling stock operating in Class 6 within one year prior to the promulgation of this subpart shall be considered as being successfully qualified for Class 6 track and vehicles presently operating at Class 7 speeds by reason of conditional waivers shall be considered as qualified for Class 7.
(b) The qualification testing shall ensure that, at any speed less than 10 m.p.h. above the proposed maximum operating speed, the equipment will not exceed the wheel/rail force safety limits and the truck lateral accelerations specified in § 213.333, and the testing shall demonstrate the following:
(1) The vertical acceleration, as measured by a vertical accelerometer mounted on the car floor, shall be limited to no greater than 0.55g single event, peak-to-peak.
(2) The lateral acceleration, as measured by a lateral accelerometer mounted on the car floor, shall be limited to no greater than 0.3g single event, peak-to-peak; and
(3) The combination of the lateral acceleration (L) and the vertical acceleration (V) within any period of two consecutive seconds as expressed by the square root of (V2 L2) shall be limited to no greater than 0.604, where L may not exceed 0.3g and V may not exceed 0.55g.
(c) To obtain the test data necessary to support the analysis required in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, the track owner shall have a test plan which shall consider the operating practices and conditions, signal system, road crossings and trains on adjacent tracks during testing. The track owner shall establish a target maximum testing speed (at least 10 m.p.h. above the maximum proposed operating speed) and target test and operating conditions and conduct a test program sufficient to evaluate the operating limits of the track and equipment. The test program shall demonstrate vehicle dynamic response as speeds are incrementally increased from acceptable Class 6 limits to the target maximum test speeds. The test shall be suspended at that speed where any of the safety limits specified in paragraph (b) are exceeded.
(d) At the end of the test, when maximum safe operating speed is known along with permissible levels of cant deficiency, an additional run shall be made with the subject equipment over the entire route proposed for revenue service at the speeds the railroad will request FRA to approve for such service and a second run again at 10 m.p.h. above this speed. A report of the test procedures and results shall be submitted to FRA upon the completions of the tests. The test report shall include the design flange angle of the equipment which shall be used for the determination of the lateral to vertical wheel load safety limit for the track/vehicle interaction safety measurements required per § 213.333(l).
(e) As part of the submittal required in paragraph (d) of the section, the operator shall include an analysis and description of the signal system and operating practices to govern operations in Classes 7 and 8. This statement shall include a statement of sufficiency in these areas for the class of operation. Operation at speeds in excess of 150 m.p.h. is authorized only in conjunction with a rule of particular applicability addressing other safety issues presented by the system.
(f) Based on test results and submissions, FRA will approve a maximum train speed and value of cant deficiency for revenue service.