Current Interest Topics
Communications & Signals
Pending MUTCD Regulations/Standards, Moving block integration into PTC, Wireless crossing integration into PTC (Interoperability).
Terminal capacity, Leveraging PTC, Hump process control, Changing nature frac/crude, Implementing UA Systems, Use of UA data for railroad application, Big data analytics, Shortlines and FRA 219.
Advances in track maintenance techniques for short window perations (minimal train delay, minimal slow orders while maintaining a safe operations), Advancement in track inspection procedures in limited track windows (Being efficient in short windows), Material Organizational Excellence: the process of having a smaller footprint in material storage leading to a more efficient use of material and manpower, Building a safer work force thru job briefings and rules understanding. Using safety initiatives that educates the less tenured work force for tomorrows processes (I.E. 1.4 million years of experience has left the industry the last 7 years), Updating and being involved in new training techniques for the industry, Advancing basic maintenance for power switches across the industry. Focus on joint inspection with Track and Bridge forces, Advancement in crossing inspection and basic crossing maintenance, Advancing the boots on the ballast basic maintenance and inspection for Bridges in the industry.
Passenger & Transit
PRESS (Passenger Rail Equipment Safety Standards) standards for high capacity passenger cars, Platform heights, edge locations, clearances, GIS/LIDAR/ Asset management, Transit – “Off Wire Running”, Impact loading on transit structures, Rail/structure interaction, “rail breaks and gaps”, Shared crossings, Pedestrian safety at stations on freight corridors, CFR-219 new guidelines – FRA panel discussion, New corridor planning, agreements, stakeholders, permits, etc., FRA presentation on emerging inner-city passenger rail studies (i.e. south east)Structures - Applications of new Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) materials & systems, Case study of projects using roll-in processes or other means to reduce work windows or enable work to be performed under traffic, Multi-modal/multi-phase projects, Innovative International projects.
Improving the performance of track systems and components to enhance track safety and reduce life-cycle costs, Addressing the design, construction and maintenance challenges of special trackwork, Research results, designs and methodologies to improve rail integrity. (Topics could include research related to rolling contact fatigue (RCF), rail grinding, rail corrosion, or rail material and manufacturing improvements), Effective methods to improve track support in transition areas, Track designs that mitigate noise and vibration in urban environments, Focused reports of Track Functional Group committee activities (e.g. important changes to the MRE, student involvement and outreach, etc.), TTCI update on specific track related research projects, Experiences from Class 1 freight, passenger and transit systems on the construction and maintenance of track, such as innovative work methodologies, the successful application of new technologies or the use of new materials, Track related innovations from the international railway community with potential for use in North American railways.