The Rail Transportation Engineering and Advanced Methodology (“RailTEAM”) is a three-membered consortium which is led by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and has the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT) and the University of Delaware (UD) as members.
RailTEAM is a Tier-1 University Transportation Center (UTC) under the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology (OST-R) program who proposes to focus its UTC on the theme of Improving Rail Transportation Infrastructure Sustainability and Durability.
Improving the durability and viability of the railway infrastructure is eminently critical to improving operational performance and safety of rail transportation, which is vital to the nation’s social well-being and economic growth. Within the priority area of “Improving Durability and Extending the Life of Transportation Infrastructure,” the following main thrusts are selected, as they relate to rail transportation:
- Asset management and performance management: Developing advanced approaches for managing the “big data” that results from high-tech inspection systems to improve the performance and maintenance of critical railway components.
- Condition monitoring, remote sensing, and use of GPS: Providing timely and effective in situ monitoring of railway and rolling stock components that most frequently lead to derailments, slow orders, and other events that pose safety risks or interrupt operations.
- Application of new materials and technologies: Exploring new and materials and technologies for maintaining and re-conditioning rail surface, based on applying the science and physics of tribology, surface chemistry, and advanced grinding techniques.
- Construction methodologies and management: Providing guidelines for the more rigorous demands of high-speed rail infrastructure by bringing together global knowledge with the geological and topological information of the location of the railway, for such critical infrastructure as bridges and bridge bearings.