RailPros provides a variety of track inspection services to public agencies and freight railroads nationwide. Our seasoned inspection personnel is uniquely qualified, with an average of 25 years of railroad experience. They possess solid, practical, real-world understanding of how railroad track is constructed, maintained, and inspected in accordance with contract documents, engineering standards, and FRA regulations. Our inspectors are trained to identify immediate issues and provide detailed direction to address non-compliance, as well as to observe any potential impacts to future operational requirements. RailPros has extensive experience conducting projects under live railroad traffic without impacting service and providing improved flexibility in operations.
Rail Inspection and Assessment Services
Most recently, RailPros was asked to perform an independent inspection and assessment of all installed rail for all New York MTA East Side Access (ESA) projects. The RailPros team reviewed prior reports, studies, and methodologies prepared by others; performed a physical inspection, walking all eight miles of ESA track; conducted a data-focused, quantitative independent assessment of the track inspection data, including current site-specific environmental conditions of ESA trackage; and provided our findings and recommendations for the replacement of discrete sections of rail prior to commencement of revenue service.
Prior to that assignment, MTA had requested that RailPros provide staff to conduct daily track and hy-rail vehicle inspections on an around-the-clock basis to verify ESA contractor vehicle safety and compliance and to troubleshoot issues with damage being caused to special trackwork. RailPros’ track experts quickly identified the root causes of the problems experienced and recommended corrective actions, completing what MTA had envisioned to be a multi-month assignment in just under three weeks.
FRA Monthly/Annual Track Inspections
RailPros’ staff also perform FRA mandated monthly track inspections for Class 3 short line and industrial rail customers nationwide. Track Inspection services provided by our staff typically include, at a minimum, the following:
- Providing detailed inspection attention for all switch and turnout conditions
- Checking of track gauge at regular intervals for all track segments and throughout switches
- Identifying defective switch and cross tie conditions by location and type of tie
- Providing and recording measurements for all track surface and alignment defects
- Checking switch stands for rigidity and securement, ease of operation, and condition of head-block ties
- Inspecting ties ahead of switch points for rail cant and lateral movement
- Inspecting connecting rod and switch rod conditions, and checking bolts for proper torque
- Checking all switch plates for proper fit and support
- Inspecting for and measuring any switch point and stock rail wear, and for proper fit of the switch point against the stock rail
- Inspecting heel blocks, and assuring ties are solid and properly tamped
- Checking gauge and underload measurements throughout turnout
- Inspecting frogs for unusual wear, surface cracks, and metal flow
- Inspecting guard rails for any unusual wear, and checking that guard face and check gauge measurements are within specifications
- Visually inspecting rail conditions for unusual wear, damage, or external defects
- Inspecting rail anchors for proper pattern and ability to provide proper longitudinal rail restraint
- Inspecting the quality of previous track repairs
- Noting any rail infrastructure items relevant to employee safety
Gatekeepers of the Railroad
Today the role is more important than ever before. With the implementation of precision scheduled railroading, which is a railroad strategy that uses departure schedules and point-to-point delivery methods to achieve low operating ratios and to consolidate railroad networks, Class 1s are trying to maximize the dollar by sharpening efficiencies.