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Implementation of Wheel-Rail Friction Management Strategy on MRS Railroad

[+] Author Affiliations
Cristiano Jorge

MRS Logistica, Juiz De Fora, MG, Brazil

Walter Vidon, Jr., Felipe Vidon

Ch Vidon Rail Consultant, Juiz De Fora, MG, Brazil

Rob Caldwell

NRC-CSTT, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Paper No. JRC2010-36054, pp. 113-120; 8 pages
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference, Volume 2
  • Urbana, Illinois, USA, April 27–29, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4907-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3867-9
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME and Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada


For several years, North American Railroads and their Research Institutions’ have been involved in implementing best-practice friction management strategies on heavy haul tracks. During 2006, MRS Railroad visited CP Rail and was impressed with the 100% effective Friction Management strategy that had been developed and implemented in CPR mountain tracks. The strong similarity of CPR’s track and train characteristics to those of MRS Railroad was also noted. By the beginning of 2007, MRS Railroad invited NRC-CSTT to bring this innovative methodology to Brazil and to rapidly develop and implement a customized strategy of 100% effective Gauge-Face lubrication and Top-of-Rail friction management. The utilization of a Brazilian contract service to ensure proper maintenance and filling of the friction management equipment, the gathering of measurement data and analysis of results ensured the success of the project. This paper will discuss the processes (installations, inspections and monitoring), technologies (equipment, devices and tools), results and benefits based on this best-practice methodology applied to the MRS Railroad over two years (2007–2008). The work was divided into five phases: selection of an optimal rail curve grease; selection of test sites and measurement of the baseline case (dry condition); measurement and management of 100% effective Gauge-Face lubrication using rail curve grease; measurement and management of 100% effective friction management using Top-of-Rail friction modifier; and the final economic analysis. This paper will also report the results of the business case analysis, quantifying the actual net savings accrued to MRS as a result of the implementation of Friction Management on test sites, and the projected savings that will occur through the expansion of this strategy to the entire MRS system. In the last 12 years, MRS’ operational reliability has significantly improved through the strategic application of innovation, technology and knowledge. Expanding this strategy to include best-practices friction management will contribute to increased safety and productivity at MRS. Production is projected to increase from over 136 million net tonnes expected in 2010 to 300 million net tonnes by 2018.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME and Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada
Topics: Friction , Railroads , Rails , Wheels



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