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7/10/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FRA extends ENSCO contract for sixth term


Federal Railroad Administration continues to put its faith in ENSCO Inc.



Last week, FRA extended the company’s Operation, Maintenance, Instrumentation and Analysis (OMI&A) contract for a sixth term. Under the $11.4 million extension, ENSCO will continue to provide inspection technology, field-testing, instrumentation and engineering analysis.



The three-year pact — which includes an option for two additional years — also incorporates projects designed to enhance security of U.S. railroad operations. Security work could include facility vulnerability assessment, security risk analysis, damage modeling for explosive attacks and nondestructive inspection with ground-penetrating radar.



ENSCO is in the process of assembling a team of specialists to implement new FRA-assigned Track Safety Standards and evaluate new high-speed rail operations.



During the previous OMI&A contract term, ENSCO designed, constructed and operated the T-16 high-speed geometry and research car, and assessed new high-speed trains for safety. The company also supported the development of Gage Restraint Measurement System technology for track-strength assessment and a neural network using track geometry to predict wheel forces.



Among the rail testing and research platforms ENSCO’s developed under previous pacts: track inspection cars T-1 through T-4, T-6 and T-10, used by FRA’s Office of Safety (OS), as well as data collection cars T-5 and T-7 used by FRA’s Office of Research and Development. ENSCO currently is operating the T-16, which inspects potential high-speed corridors. For OS' Automated Track Inspection Program, ENSCO operates the T-2000, which collects data as a means to monitor Federal Track Safety Standards compliance and provides track system maintenance planning support.


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