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Project Title:

Review of Department of Transportation Testing of Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes
PIN: TRB-SASP-16-01        

Major Unit:

Transportation Research Board

Sub Unit:
RSO: Wassel, Ray

Subject/Focus Area: Transportation and Infrastructure

Project Scope
In the first phase of this project, an ad hoc committee will review a test and analysis plan prepared by US Department of Transportation (DOT) and comment in a letter report on whether the proposed tests will provide objective, accurate, and reliable results to test the assumptions that US DOT has identified in its comparison of the emergency braking performance of railroad tank car Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes to conventional brakes or braking systems such as distributed power and two-way end of train devices. The committee will provide a written explanation detailing the need for any additional or alternative testing. The key question is whether ECP brakes would reduce the incidence and severity of spills of crude oil or ethanol from derailments compared with the alternative braking systems examined.

In the second phase of this project, the committee will review the conduct of DOT's tests, reports of test results, and, based on DOT's test results and analysis, provide its findings and conclusions addressing the performance of ECP brakes relative to other braking technologies or systems tested by DOT. The committee's reviews and letter reports will be limited to these tasks; the committee will not make recommendations about which braking systems should be required of railroads in revenue service.

Project Duration: 16 months    

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Contact the Public Access Records Office to make an inquiry, request a list of the public access file materials, or obtain a copy of the materials found in the file.

Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 09/21/2016
 Meeting 2 - 09/28/2016
 Meeting 3 - 10/14/2016
 Meeting 4 - 11/07/2016
 Meeting 5 - 12/10/2016
 Meeting 6 - 01/03/2017
 Meeting 7 - 05/31/2017
 Meeting 8 - 06/13/2017
 Meeting 9 - 07/06/2017
 Meeting 10 - 08/22/2017
 Meeting 11 - 09/18/2017


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Letter Report, February 17, 2017 - A Review of the Department of Transportation Plan for Analyzing and Testing Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes
Letter Report, September 29, 2017 - A Review of the Department of Transportation Testing and Analysis Results for Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes: Letter Report (Phase 2)
Letter from the chair of the Committee on the Review of Department of Transportation Testing of Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes, dated October 26, 2016.