RESEARCH PAPERS: Additional Technical Papers

Energy Savings Due to Wheel/Rail Lubrication—Seaboard System Test and Other Investigations

[+] Author and Article Information
R. A. Allen, S. P. Singh

Association of American Railroads, Technical Center, Chicago, Ill.

W. E. Mimis

Seaboard System Railroad, Jacksonville, Fla.

R. C. Rownd

Association of American Railroads, Transportation Test Center, Pueblo, Calif.

J. Eng. Ind 107(2), 190-196 (May 01, 1985) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3185984 History: Received July 26, 1984; Online July 30, 2009


Following work carried out at the Transportation Test Center (TTC), a test was conducted on the Seaboard System Railroad as the first in a series designed to determine the extent of potential energy savings resulting from lubrication of the interface between the flange of a wheel and the gage face of a rail. The test was conducted on a section of track with significant grades and curvature. Energy savings of approximately 15 percent for lubricated track, as compared with dry track, were measured. The test results are described in the paper. Comparisons of predictions from a train performance simulation computer model with the test results, showed that it is probable that energy savings occurred on tangent track sections, as well as on curves. These predicted tangent track savings are of similar magnitude to those measured at TTC. Through the use of analytical models, the effects of various wheel and truck tolerances and clearances on tangent track resistance are discussed, and it is shown how lubrication can produce a dramatic reduction in this resistance.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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