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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR schedules St. Louis meeting to discuss freight-car maintenance initiatives


On April 5, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) will hold a town hall meeting from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis to update freight-car owners and other stakeholders on the rail industry’s Advanced Technology Safety Initiative (ATSI) and Equipment Health Management Systems (EHMS).

AAR officials will discuss the progress of ATSI and EHMS since both were implemented in October 2004, and present plans to expand ATSI — which stresses predictive rather than reactive rail-car maintenance techniques — next year.

For ATSI’s second phase, the AAR will develop a performance-based metric for “truck hunting,” which occurs when at least one of a freight car’s wheel sets shift from side to side and the wheel flanges strike the rail as the car moves. Truck hunting can cause excessive wear to truck components and compromise safety, according to the AAR.

“Preliminary FRA data indicates there was a 16.8 percent reduction last year in the number of train accidents caused by equipment problems,” said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger in a prepared statement. “As we’re still analyzing the data, we don’t know the extent to which ATSI was responsible for this, but this is a trend we want to see continue.”

The association scheduled the meeting in advance of the 27th Annual AAR North American Rail Mechanical Operations Seminar, which will be held April 5-7 at the same location.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/23/2006