Title: Reliability analysis of high-utilization railway cars

Authors: D.E. Bray, M.D. Stubbings

Addresses: Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 77843, USA. ' Manager, Quality Engineering, North American Rockwell, USA, 200 N. Memorial, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74151, USA

Abstract: Mathematical models for failures in high-utilization railway cars manufactured in 1965 and 1966 have shown that the failure rate and reliability can be adequately described using a Weibull distribution. The reliability of Trailer Train high-utilization cars after ten years of operation exceeds 0.99. In other words, after ten years service, 990 of every 1000 cars purchased would be operating without failure. In the first five years, the reliability is only slightly decreased from one: fewer than two cars per thousand will have failed after only five years of operation. It has been clearly demonstrated in this study that failures can be reduced through proper inspection and maintenance. If a standard reliability or car failure rate were specified by federal standards, it would be a simple matter to establish a matching inspection interval. Unfortunately, these do not exist in the Federal Car Safety Standards.

Keywords: vehicle reliability; standard reliability; mechanical reliability; railway cars; failure rate; failure patterns; failure reduction; Weibull distribution; safety standards; train inter-model; auto-rack; railways; transport modes; mathematical modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1979.061225

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1979 Vol.1 No.1, pp.49 - 60

Published online: 25 May 2014 *

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