HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
<<  <  Page 2/2
Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
Another interesting railroad technology
Jim_E   11/15/2012 11:25:22 AM
NO RATINGS
Another interesting railroad technology, is the application of Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes.

Railroads have been using the same brake technology since the late 1800's!  Here's an over simplification: Basically, there's a continuous air line that runs the lenght of the train.  The locomotive generates air that charges a small resevoir under each car.  When sufficient air is present in the system, the brakes on the train release.  To activate the brakes, the engineer releases a small amount of air from the system, which propogates back through the train, applying the brakes an amount related to the amount of air released.  With long trains, it takes a long time for this air control to pass through the train, resulting in odd train handling where brakes are applying and releasing at different times in different parts of the train.  Worst of all, is that if the engineer makes too many brake applications without recharging the system, the train can lose all braking ability!

With ECP, air is still used to operate the brakes, but an electrical system is used to tell the brakes when to apply and release.  With this system, the locomotive can keep charging the air line so that the train won't lose braking power.  They can also apply and release the brakes with more precision, and all cars react at the same time, decreasing stopping distances.  And, there are individual car brake diagnostics available.

http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/PubAffairs/ECP%20Brakes%20FINAL.pdf

Testing has shown it to work well, but adoption is slow due to the cost and amount of rail cars out there.  It's primarily being used to "unit" trains in captive service, but I hope that the technology becomes more widespread eventually.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Railroad wheel bearing failure detection.
William K.   11/15/2012 10:18:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Back about 1987 I designed a system using spectrum analyzers designed for exacly that purpose, industrial fault detection. I coulkd set the frequency range to examine and then have ten "boxes" around the PSD (Power Spectral Density) trace, and if the amplitude went outside the "box" a TTL signal would pull low and my equipment would know that the part being tested was outside of the specification. I believe that package was produced by Spectral Dynamics, but I don't recall the model number. One of the last testers used it to check in-tank fuel pumps, and I gather that it worked quite well. What I don't know is if they are still using that device to chek pumps. IT was an easily upgradeable test stand, so it could be still checking those pumps now, 32 years later. We did build equipment to last.

It would seem that a similar system could listen for bad bearings, but the train speed would need to be quite closely controlled.

Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
Rail grinding & sparks flying
Jon Titus   11/16/2012 11:03:30 AM
NO RATINGS
Railroad companies have special cars that grind the rails to specifications, and sparks do fly out of the grinders.  A water car at the end of this type of train sprays any small fires that get started in brush.  Here's a short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pAfMlr4Pko.

Buring a trip through Evanston, Wyoming my wife saw one of these grinding trains and thought it was on fire.  So sometimes sparks are intentional.

<<  <  Page 2/2


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
The Window Watcher stops the burglar before he does damage or enters the house. House alarm service companies set off alarms and call the service only after the burglar has damaged and entered the house.
If you’re designing a handheld device or industrial machine that will employ a user interface, then you’ll want to check out the upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center course, "Engineering Principles Behind Advanced User Interface Technologies.”
Brooke Williams of Texas Instruments explains how TI’s new TDA3x chip will help future vehicles “see” all around themselves.
It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Nov 3 - 7, Engineering Principles behind Advanced User Interface Technologies
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service