Task force report on the M-2 axle/bearing failure investigation.
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Task force report on the M-2 axle/bearing failure investigation.

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    This investigation of the tubular-axle/roller-bearing failures experienced with M-2 multiple-unit cars of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority was aimed at establishing failure mechanisms, assessing the effectiveness of interim and long-term countermeasures, and determining if the risk of such failures exists on other fleets of similar design. Two major causes identified were improper axle/bearing/wheel assembly and design problems with the inboard bearing and tubular axle configuration. Short term recommendations included more frequent inspections, retrofitting with solid axles, and strict observance of rebuilding intervals for bearings. For the long term it was urged that there be more uniform bearing assembly, maintenance and inspection procedures, achieved through auspices of AAR and APTA. There should be an industry attempt to develop automated wayside or onboard hot box detectors for inboard bearings. The procedures used by other commuter railroad operators and by rapid transit agencies for inboard-bearing cars were studied. it was observed that none of the other properties have experienced journal wear or bearing failures at rates comparable to the M-2, in part due to lower vehicle weights and conservatism in axle/bearing design.
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