The Educational Railroading Conference Leader Since 1994


2021 Heavy Haul Session


Efficient and Effective Grinding through Infinite Pattern Control

Brian Barthel

Brian Barthel
Loram Technologies, Inc.

Along with removing RCF on the surface of the rail, reprofiling the rail is one of the main objectives of rail grinding. Past studies have found maintaining the correct transverse rail profile can lead to limited wheel-rail contact stresses, improved steering, and improved fuel efficiencies.

Until recently, mainline rail grinders were limited to a set of up to 50 patterns to grind a transverse rail profile to a desired template. A recent breakthrough has created the ability for rail grinders to generate patterns from a practical infinite set of machine pattern configurations in real time to grind to any desired template.

This paper discusses the development of the technology but focuses on the results of a two-year test utilizing near infinite patterns based on real time machine and rail conditions on a Class 1 railroad including increased pass miles and finished track miles per shift, reductions in metal removal per 100 MGT, and improved contact stresses as evidenced by less required work on subsequent cycles after pattern creation.