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Research on railroads takes many forms. New and improved materials must be evaluated. New testing procedures have to be developed. Technological developments must be examined to see if they are applicable to railroads. Facilities must be studied for possible improvements to meet the requirements of modern railroad operations and maintenance. Maintenance must be made more efficient by centralizing, building new facilities, and automating. In the first paper in this volume, E. Lenzin and F. H. Stengele discuss the importance of cleaning in the maintenance of railroad equipment. New facilities were designed for centralized servicing and rebuilding of diesel locomotives on the Southern Pacific Railroad. The authors describe both the cleaning operations that were automated in order to meet maintenance requirements with reasonable cost and the special cleaning equipment. R. McBrian and C. O. Penney discuss the design of improved rail sections of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, developed as an outgrowth of photoelastic stress analysis techniques, which were applied to the study of rail loads and stresses. Various factors related to rail service life and rail failures are mentioned, together with nondestructive testing and inspection techniques used to detect such failures in their incipient stages. Some unsolved problems relating to rail testing and inspection are also presented.
Pedrick, A. S.
Assistant Manager, Southern Pacific Co., San Francisco, Calif.