WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Automated Track Inspection Program (ATIP) recently surpassed the milestone of inspecting its one millionth mile of track for compliance with federal standards, announced FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman.
The custom-built inspection vehicles are equipped with state of the art technology to help identify track flaws that could lead to train derailments.
The ATIP program uses a variety of technologies to measure track geometry flaws, such as whether the two rails are level, if the width between the rails is acceptable, and if the surface of each rail meets federal standards.
Problem areas are identified utilizing global positioning system (GPS) location and shared immediately with the railroad so appropriate corrective actions can be taken in a timely manner.
Started in 1976 with a single vehicle, the program now has a total of five vehicles to enforce federal track standards. FRA has added three new automated inspection vehicles to its fleet as part of the National Rail Safety Action Plan launched in 2005.