Railcar Maintenance Practices

There is a large, diverse and aging railcar fleet used by transit agencies across North America. The fleet is aging, with a growing $50 to $80 billion in deferred maintenance and replacement needs. In the current fiscal and policy environment, the industry, with leadership from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), is interested in improving maintenance practices and more generally asset management strategies to better address the State of Good Repair needs. In addition, out of necessity, agencies are increasing the in-service life of their fleets, which is resulting in larger maintenance needs. This research effort will provide data that contrasts different maintenance practices, especially the level of diagnostic effort compared with more planned remove and replace efforts. In addition, the extent of the utilization of work order based maintenance plans with preplanned work assignments, parts kits and diagnostic equipment should illustrate the relationship between planned and corrective maintenance philosophies. A further dimension of analysis is the levels of maintenance training and supporting supervision employed. The principal purpose of this Cooperative Agreement support the Recipient's (PB) public purpose of performing research and making it on Railcar Maintenance Practices. The results of this research will provide any agency that operates and maintains transit railcars with improvements to those practices. This research will then provide the quantitative analysis: measuring availability, duty cycle, maintenance operating and capital budget resources and costs, then comparing performance outcomes between different maintenance practices. The study will identify and then focus on those agencies that collect and can provide this information on an individual railcar to form the basis for the analysis process. It is in this context, that this research takes place, and offers the opportunity to identify practices that will have the potential for large business impacts and cost savings for the industry. The research can identify practices that help to extend the service life of equipment and that will enable transit agencies to better assess the work and the associated costs involved in ensuring railcar availability.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: National Research Program, National Research


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Centolanzi, Patrick

  • Performing Organizations:

    Parsons Brinckerhoff

    3200 Tower Oaks Boulevard
    Rockville, MD  United States  20852
  • Principal Investigators:

    Rose, David

  • Start Date: 20110718
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120630
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28920

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01489193
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: NY-26-7011
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 3 2013 12:53AM