49 CFR 213.333 - Automated vehicle inspection systems.

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§ 213.333 Automated vehicle-based inspection systems.

(a) A qualifying Track Geometry Measurement System (TGMS) shall be operated at the following frequency:

(1) For operations at a qualified cant deficiency, Eu, of more than 5 inches on track Classes 1 through 5, at least twice per calendar year with not less than 120 days between inspections.

(2) For track Class 6, at least once per calendar year with not less than 170 days between inspections. For operations at a qualified cant deficiency, Eu, of more than 5 inches on track Class 6, at least twice per calendar year with not less than 120 days between inspections.

(3) For track Class 7, at least twice within any 120-day period with not less than 25 days between inspections.

(4) For track Classes 8 and 9, at least twice within any 60-day period with not less than 12 days between inspections.

(b) A qualifying TGMS shall meet or exceed minimum design requirements which specify that -

(1) Track geometry measurements shall be taken no more than 3 feet away from the contact point of wheels carrying a vertical load of no less than 10 kips per wheel, unless otherwise approved by FRA;

(2) Track geometry measurements shall be taken and recorded on a distance-based sampling interval preferably at 1 foot not exceeding 2 feet; and

(3) Calibration procedures and parameters are assigned to the system which assure that measured and recorded values accurately represent track conditions. Track geometry measurements recorded by the system shall not differ on repeated runs at the same site at the same speed more than 1/8 inch.

(c) A qualifying TGMS shall be capable of measuring and processing the necessary track geometry parameters to determine compliance with -

(1) For operations at a qualified cant deficiency, Eu, of more than 5 inches on track Classes 1 through 5: § 213.53, Track gage; § 213.55(b), Track alinement; § 213.57, Curves; elevation and speed limitations; § 213.63, Track surface; and § 213.65, Combined track alinement and surface deviations.

(2) For track Classes 6 through 9: § 213.323, Track gage; § 213.327, Track alinement; § 213.329, Curves; elevation and speed limitations; § 213.331, Track surface; and for operations at a cant deficiency of more than 5 inches § 213.332, Combined track alinement and surface deviations.

(d) A qualifying TGMS shall be capable of producing, within 24 hours of the inspection, output reports that -

(1) Provide a continuous plot, on a constant-distance axis, of all measured track geometry parameters required in paragraph (c) of this section;

(2) Provide an exception report containing a systematic listing of all track geometry conditions which constitute an exception to the class of track over the segment surveyed.

(e) The output reports required under paragraph (c) of this section shall contain sufficient location identification information which enable field forces to easily locate indicated exceptions.

(f) Following a track inspection performed by a qualifying TGMS, the track owner shall, within two days after the inspection, field verify and institute remedial action for all exceptions to the class of track.

(g) The track owner or railroad shall maintain for a period of one year following an inspection performed by a qualifying TGMS, a copy of the plot and the exception report for the track segment involved, and additional records which:

(1) Specify the date the inspection was made and the track segment involved; and

(2) Specify the location, remedial action taken, and the date thereof, for all listed exceptions to the class.

(h) For track Classes 8 and 9, a qualifying Gage Restraint Measurement System (GRMS) shall be operated at least once per calendar year with at least 170 days between inspections. The lateral capacity of the track structure shall not permit a Gage Widening Projection (GWP) greater than 0.5 inch.

(i) A GRMS shall meet or exceed minimum design requirements specifying that -

(1) Gage restraint shall be measured between the heads of the rail:

(i) At an interval not exceeding 16 inches;

(ii) Under an applied vertical load of no less than 10 kips per rail; and

(iii) Under an applied lateral load that provides a lateral/vertical load ratio of between 0.5 and 1.25, 10 and a load severity greater than 3 kips but less than 8 kips per rail. Load severity is defined by the formula:

10 GRMS equipment using load combinations developing L/V ratios that exceed 0.8 shall be operated with caution to protect against the risk of wheel climb by the test wheelset.

S = L−cV
Where -
S = Load severity, defined as the lateral load applied to the fastener system (kips).
L = Actual lateral load applied (kips).
c = Coefficient of friction between rail/tie, which is assigned a nominal value of 0.4.
V = Actual vertical load applied (kips), or static vertical wheel load if vertical load is not measured.

(2) The measured gage and load values shall be converted to a GWP as follows:

Where -
UTG = Unloaded track gage measured by the GRMS vehicle at a point no less than 10 feet from any lateral or vertical load application.
LTG = Loaded track gage measured by the GRMS vehicle at a point no more than 12 inches from the lateral load application.
L = Actual lateral load applied (kips).
V = Actual vertical load applied (kips), or static vertical wheel load if vertical load is not measured.
GWP = Gage Widening Projection, which means the measured gage widening, which is the difference between loaded and unloaded gage, at the applied loads, projected to reference loads of 16 kips of lateral force and 33 kips of vertical force.

(j) As further specified for the combination of track class, cant deficiencies, and vehicles subject to paragraphs (j)(1) through (3) of this section, a vehicle having dynamic response characteristics that are representative of other vehicles assigned to the service shall be operated over the route at the revenue speed profile. The vehicle shall either be instrumented or equipped with a portable device that monitors onboard instrumentation on trains. Track personnel shall be notified when onboard accelerometers indicate a possible track-related problem. Testing shall be conducted at the frequencies specified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (3) of this section, unless otherwise determined by FRA after reviewing the test data required by this subpart.

(1) For operations at a qualified cant deficiency, Eu, of more than 5 inches on track Classes 1 through 6, carbody acceleration shall be monitored at least once each calendar quarter with not less than 25 days between inspections on at least one passenger car of each type that is assigned to the service; and

(2) For operations at track Class 7 speeds, carbody and truck accelerations shall be monitored at least twice within any 60-day period with not less than 12 days between inspections on at least one passenger car of each type that is assigned to the service; and

(3) For operations at track Class 8 or 9 speeds, carbody acceleration shall be monitored at least four times within any 7-day period with not more than 3 days between inspections on at least one non-passenger and one passenger carrying vehicle of each type that is assigned to the service, as appropriate. Truck acceleration shall be monitored at least twice within any 60-day period with not less than 12 days between inspections on at least one passenger carrying vehicle of each type that is assigned to the service, as appropriate.

(k)

(1) The instrumented vehicle or the portable device, as required in paragraph (j) of this section, shall monitor lateral and vertical accelerations of the carbody. The accelerometers shall be attached to the carbody on or under the floor of the vehicle, as near the center of a truck as practicable.

(2) In addition, a device for measuring lateral accelerations shall be mounted on a truck frame at a longitudinal location as close as practicable to an axle's centerline (either outside axle for trucks containing more than 2 axles), or, if approved by FRA, at an alternate location. After monitoring this data for 2 years, or 1 million miles, whichever occurs first, the track owner or railroad may petition FRA for exemption from this requirement.

(3) If any of the carbody lateral, carbody vertical, or truck frame lateral acceleration safety limits in this section's table of vehicle/track interaction safety limits is exceeded, corrective action shall be taken as necessary. Track personnel shall be notified when the accelerometers indicate a possible track-related problem.

(l) For track Classes 8 and 9, the track owner or railroad shall submit a report to FRA, once each calendar year, which provides an analysis of the monitoring data collected in accordance with paragraphs (j) and (k) of this section. Based on a review of the report, FRA may require that an instrumented vehicle having dynamic response characteristics that are representative of other vehicles assigned to the service be operated over the track at the revenue speed profile. The instrumented vehicle shall be equipped to measure wheel/rail forces. If any of the wheel/rail force limits in this section's table of vehicle/track interaction safety limits is exceeded, appropriate speed restrictions shall be applied until corrective action is taken.

(m) The track owner or railroad shall maintain a copy of the most recent exception records for the inspections required under paragraphs (j), (k), and (l) of this section, as appropriate.

[63 FR 34029, June 22, 1998; 63 FR 46102, Aug. 28, 1998, as amended at 78 FR 16107, Mar. 13, 2013]

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