Hank Investigates: Noisy MBTA trains

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: Hank Investigates: Noisy MBTA trains

Postby AEM7AC920 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:20 pm

It has been done before on other subways systems.
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Re: Hank Investigates: Noisy MBTA trains

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:57 pm

Someone deserves a PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) for this thread.

Greasing curves has been done since there have been steel rails! Slippage is required for two wheels linked by a solid axle to go around a curve. The sharper the curve, the greater the slippage. The heavier the car, the louder the noise. The noise is exacerbated by solid steel wheels, which is why resilient wheels and dampers were invented. Grease does not have a big impact on noise when the curve is tight, but on a broad radius curve, the grease is enough by itself. All rapid transit curves in Boston used to have greasers, which made a distinctive sound when a wheel hit the actuator. They mostly put the grease on the restraining rail, but heat and other forces, such as gravity spread it around. It didn't work as well at Ashmont, since the extra restraining rail wasn't able to be properly greased, doubling the screech. Lost of grease on the railhead will diminish braking ability especially on cars with disc or drum brakes. The tread brake is the best since the shoes clean the wheels.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Hank Investigates: Noisy MBTA trains

Postby CRail » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:24 pm

Grease is used in all rail applications in one form or another. Sure, it's a museum operation, but real world physics still apply; At Seashore, grease is used for a number of reasons most far more important than noise abatement. On top of wear and tear, it also does wonders in preventing the D word from happening.

Especially in tight curves, flanges require slippage because the alternative requires shuttle buses, special work equipment, and orange vests as far as the eye can see. I couldn't care less about the noise, but those curves should still be greased.
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