49 CFR 213.57 - Curves; elevation and speed limitations.

§ 213.57 Curves; elevation and speed limitations.
(a) The maximum crosslevel on the outside rail of a curve may not be more than 8 inches on track Classes 1 and 2 and 7 inches on Classes 3 through 5. Except as provided in § 213.63, the outside rail of a curve may not be lower than the inside rail. (The first sentence of paragraph (a) is applicable September 21, 1999.)
(b)
(1) The maximum allowable operating speed for each curve is determined by the following formula—
Where—
Vmax = Maximum allowable operating speed (miles per hour).
Ea = Actual elevation of the outside rail (inches). 1

Footnote(s):
1 Actual elevation for each 155 foot track segment in the body of the curve is determined by averaging the elevation for 10 points through the segment at 15.5 foot spacing. If the curve length is less than 155 feet, average the points through the full length of the body of the curve.

D = Degree of curvature (degrees). 2

Footnote(s):
2 Degree of curvature is determined by averaging the degree of curvature over the same track segment as the elevation.

(2) Table 1 of appendix A is a table of maximum allowable operating speed computed in accordance with this formula for various elevations and degrees of curvature.
(c)
(1) For rolling stock meeting the requirements specified in paragraph (d) of this section, the maximum operating speed for each curve may be determined by the following formula—
Where—
Vmax = Maximum allowable operating speed (miles per hour).
Ea = Actual elevation of the outside rail (inches). 1
D = Degree of curvature (degrees). 2
(2) Table 2 of appendix A is a table of maximum allowable operating speed computed in accordance with this formula for various elevations and degrees of curvature.
(d) Qualified equipment may be operated at curving speeds determined by the formula in paragraph (c) of this section, provided each specific class of equipment is approved for operation by the Federal Railroad Administration and the railroad demonstrates that:
(1) When positioned on a track with a uniform 4-inch superelevation, the roll angle between the floor of the equipment and the horizontal does not exceed 5.7 degrees; and
(2) When positioned on a track with a uniform 6 inch superelevation, no wheel of the equipment unloads to a value of 60 percent of its static value on perfectly level track, and the roll angle between the floor of the equipment and the horizontal does not exceed 8.6 degrees.
(3) The track owner shall notify the Federal Railroad Administrator no less than 30 calendar days prior to the proposed implementation of the higher curving speeds allowed under the formula in paragraph (c) of this section. The notification shall be in writing and shall contain, at a minimum, the following information—
(i) A complete description of the class of equipment involved, including schematic diagrams of the suspension systems and the location of the center of gravity above top of rail;
(ii) A complete description of the test procedure 3 and instrumentation used to qualify the equipment and the maximum values for wheel unloading and roll angles which were observed during testing;

Footnote(s):
3 The test procedure may be conducted in a test facility whereby all the wheels on one side (right or left) of the equipment are alternately raised and lowered by 4 and 6 inches and the vertical wheel loads under each wheel are measured and a level is used to record the angle through which the floor of the equipment has been rotated.

(iii) Procedures or standards in effect which relate to the maintenance of the suspension system for the particular class of equipment; and
(iv) Identification of line segment on which the higher curving speeds are proposed to be implemented.
(e) A track owner, or an operator of a passenger or commuter service, who provides passenger or commuter service over trackage of more than one track owner with the same class of equipment may provide written notification to the Federal Railroad Administrator with the written consent of the other affected track owners.
(f) Equipment presently operating at curving speeds allowed under the formula in paragraph (c) of this section, by reason of conditional waivers granted by the Federal Railroad Administration, shall be considered to have successfully complied with the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section.
(g) A track owner or a railroad operating above Class 5 speeds, may request approval from the Federal Railroad Administrator to operate specified equipment at a level of cant deficiency greater than four inches in accordance with § 213.329(c) and (d) on curves in Class 1 through 5 track which are contiguous to the high speed track provided that—
(1) The track owner or railroad submits a test plan to the Federal Railroad Administrator for approval no less than thirty calendar days prior to any proposed implementation of the higher curving speeds. The test plan shall include an analysis and determination of carbody acceleration safety limits for each vehicle type which indicate wheel unloading of 60 percent in a steady state condition and 80 percent in a transient (point by point) condition. Accelerometers shall be laterally-oriented and floor-mounted near the end of a representative vehicle of each type;
(2) Upon FRA approval of a test plan, the track owner or railroad conducts incrementally increasing train speed test runs over the curves in the identified track segment(s) to demonstrate that wheel unloading is within the limits prescribed in paragraph (g)(1) of this section;
(3) Upon FRA approval of a cant deficiency level, the track owner or railroad inspects the curves in the identified track segment with a Track Geometry Measurement System (TGMS) qualified in accordance with § 213.333 (b) through (g) at an inspection frequency of at least twice annually with not less than 120 days interval between inspections; and
(4) The track owner or railroad operates an instrumented car having dynamic response characteristics that are representative of other equipment assigned to service or a portable device that monitors on-board instrumentation on trains over the curves in the identified track segment at the revenue speed profile at a frequency of at least once every 90-day period with not less than 30 days interval between inspections. The instrumented car or the portable device shall monitor a laterally-oriented accelerometer placed near the end of the vehicle at the floor level. If the carbody lateral acceleration measurement exceeds the safety limits prescribed in paragraph (g)(1), the railroad shall operate trains at curving speeds in accordance with paragraph (b) or (c) of this section; and
(5) The track owner or railroad shall maintain a copy of the most recent exception printouts for the inspections required under paragraphs (g)(3) and (4) of this section.
[63 FR 34029, June 22, 1998; 63 FR 54078, Oct. 8, 1998]

Title 49 published on 2014-10-01

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