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admin 03.05.2015

Members of the North American Rail Car Operators Association, or NARCOA, came through Stephens, Franklin, Hart, and Elbert counties Saturday on their Putt Putt’s and Speeders, riding the rails as the invited guests of the Hartwell Railroad. Morman said the little cars are vintage rail cars historically used for railroad maintenance.
Starting in Bowersville, about 30 members rode their tiny rail cars from Bowersville south to Elberton. After about an hour’s stop in Martin, they rode back to Bowersville through Lavonia, where train enthusiasts came with their children and grandchildren to watch the little vintage cars go by. Morman said members of NARCOA are train enthusiasts who come from all over North America and all walks of life to ride the rails in these little cars. Transportation and structural engineering researchers are teaming up to develop an analytical method to measure the safety performance of railroad tank cars.

While statistical models have been useful to evaluate existing tank car designs, the ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration between CEE’s railroad and structural engineering groups will pave the way for development of an analytical model to bridge statistical and analytical modeling (i.e. Tank car safety design optimization needs to consider the tradeoff between safety and efficiency, Saat said. The development of this new analytical model is driven by industry and will be used for policy making. The work is a collaborative effort between government agencies and private industries involved in hazmat transportation in North America and is sponsored by the Association of American Railroads, Railway Supply Institute, American Chemistry Council, Chlorine Institute and Fertilizer Institute. Photo: A tank car built by Trinity Industries to the new standards with thicker shell and head and lower-profile protective housing. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Their techniques will be used to establish new industry standards to ultimately reduce the risk of transporting hazardous materials (hazmat) by rail.
Rapik Saat (BS 03, MS 05, PHD 09), a research assistant professor in the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC). Barkan, professor and executive director of RailTEC, are working with Junho Song and Paolo Gardoni, both associate professors in structural engineering, to understand how new tank car designs will perform in accidents. CEE graduate students Laura Ghosh and Xiaonan Zhou have contributed to the project as well as Stephen Kirkpatrick from Applied Research Associates and Todd Treichel of the RSI-AAR Railroad Tank Car Safety Research and Test Project.

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