• New detector to monitor flat spots on wheels?

  • Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM
Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM

Moderator: Komachi

  by Hawko
There is a flat spot (thumper) detector on the BNSF's St. Croix Sub near Cochrane, WI at MP 339. Unlike hot box or dragging equipment detectors, crews do not get an automatic reading when they go over this particular thumper detector. The crew calls the St. Croix dispatcher & lets the dispatcher that they are going over the detector. After the information has been processed, the dispatcher will usually only notify the crew if there are any problems.

How does the thumper detector on the Northeast Corridor work? Is it automatic or do the Amtrak crews also have to notify the dispatcher?

  by UKrailwayman
In the UK we have two systems, "Wheelchex" and "WILD".

The WheelChex system collects data about the trains passing over the site by the use of strain gauges attached to the web of the rail between sleeper supports. The system can provide such details as the train speed, weight, axle loadings and peak wheel loads (impact forces).

The WILD (Wheel Impact Load Detector) system comprises of a series of strain gage load circuits, micro-welded directly to the neutral axis of a rail, create an instrumented zone for the measurement of vertical forces exerted by each wheel of a passing train.

Signal processors, housed in a nearby bungalow, electronically analyze the data to isolate wheel tread irregularities. If any wheel generates a force that exceeds a tailored alarming threshold, a report identifies that wheel for action. Reporting criteria are flexible: for example, a low-level alarm identifies cars for service at the next available opportunity; a mid-level alarm limits a train's maximum speed until the vehicle can be detached; and a high-level alarm directs a train to stop as quickly and safely as possible to avoid a potential derailment.