New Jersey Transit’s (NJT) ALP-46 locomotives have been successfully introduced into revenue service. On April 7, 2003, NJT received Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approval to operate at 100 mph on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Bombardier Transportation (Holding) USA, Inc. supplied these all-electric locomotives after proving the safety and performance of their product by passing an aggressive test specification prescribed by the FRA. The FRA specifications call for strict dynamic performance and compliance with wheel/rail interaction forces. Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), designed and constructed two instrumented wheelsets (IWS) for use on NJT’s ALP-46 Locomotive Project. This Cardan drive locomotive required an innovative wheelset design because the right and left wheel plate shapes were not the same. To complete this unique system, TTCI incorporated a new amplifier system that digitized all the signals and transmits them via a single fiber optic cable to the data collection and analysis computer. This system eliminated the need for traditional slip rings normally used to transmit signals from rotating equipment. The vehicle qualification tests were conducted on Bombardier’s ALP-4601 locomotive in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) from Newark, New Jersey, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The maximum speed achieved was 110 mph and the maximum cant deficiency (CD) was 6 inches. The FRA criteria for the vehicle qualification test were pre-programmed into TTCI’s real-time data analysis system to produce exception reports every 3 minutes during the actual testing. All data and any exception reports are referenced to a milepost via Global Positioning System (GPS) signals that are incorporated as part of the data collection.

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