House energy committee faces logjam of choices on programs – and how to fund them

first_imgby Andrew Stein March 5, 2013 vtdigger.org Vermont lawmakers have tossed a variety of proposals into a ‘ kitchen sink’ draft bill aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improving energy efficiency.Rep. Tony Klein. Photo by Roger CrowleyBy the end of next week, Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, who chairs the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, said H.216 would be whittled down and voted out of his panel.Right now, a hefty 55-page spread is on the committee’ s table, including $17 million in appropriations; an order to adopt biomass pellet standards; a study on renewable heating and cooling methods; and a cost-benefit analysis for expanding the state’ s electric vehicle capabilities, among other items.But there’ s one central ingredient missing from the current draft: A big chunk of revenue.The original version of the bill, introduced by the committee’ s vice chair Rep. Margaret Cheney, D-Norwich, included a half-percent increase in the gross receipts tax on heating fuel, which funds the state’ s low-income weatherization program. According to a report released by the state-organized Thermal Efficiency Task Force, raising the gross receipts tax rate from 0.5 percent to 1 percent on the retail sale of fossil fuels for heating purposes would generate $15.9 million annually ‘ up from $7.97 million.However the tax was struck from the latest draft, and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association welcomed the change.‘ There is much relief that there will not be an attempt to increase the cost of heating fuel through a tax,’ Matt Cota, director of the association, said on behalf of dozens of fuel dealers.Klein cautioned that the notion is not entirely off the table, as the committee prepares to consider a wide range of revenue options early next week.Gov. Peter Shumlin proposed in his budget a tax on so-called ‘ break-open’ tickets to raise $17 million in revenues for thermal efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. But after the Legislature’ s Joint Fiscal Office ran the numbers, its staff estimated that a 10-percent excise tax on the lottery-like games would only generate $6.5 million in new state revenues.Klein said the tax on break-open tickets would be in play next week. While Klein is not keen on a gross receipts or excise tax on fuel, he said the money needs to come from somewhere, if the state is going to stop pouring dwindling dollars from the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) into homes that can’ t hold heat.‘ I know that it’ s going to be very, very difficult to raise the revenue for these programs in the current state that Vermont’ s budget is in, and with all of the valuable programs that are underfunded and vying for the revenues available,’ he said. ‘ I’ m going to fight hard, but I’ m not real optimistic we’ ll be successful.’The one revenue measure currently in the bill that the fuel dealers association supports is the removal of a gross receipts tax exemption for fuel dealers that sell less than $10,000 worth of heating fuels. According to state figures, the number of dealers, who apply for that exemption totals close to 70.While the source of the proposed $17 million is up in the air, the draft bill mirrors Gov. Peter Shumlin’ s budget proposal for how to spend it, calling for allocating $6 million to thermal efficiency initiatives, $6 million to shore up Vermont’ s Low Income Heating Assistance Program and $5 million for the state’ s Clean Energy Development Fund.The $6 million in proposed annual thermal efficiency funding doesn’ t keep pace with the roughly $267 million paid out over seven years that the Thermal Efficiency Task Force recommended. That is the amount the task force said the state should spend from 2014 to 2020, if it is to meet a statutory goal set five years ago. That Vermont statute, enacted in 2008, set a bar of ‘ substantially’ improving the energy efficiency of 80,000 homes ‘ or one quarter of all the Vermont homes ‘ by 2020.Staunch advocates of the task force’ s recommendations say the investment would more than pay off.Ben Walsh is an energy advocate for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group and a member of the task force. He pointed to the environmental and economic benefits of launching the program as recommended by the task force, which found that every $1 of public investment in such programs would create more than $5 in benefits.‘ We feel like this bill would be a good step in the right direction, but not nearly enough,’ he said. ‘ We’ d still be leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in savings on the table and millions of tons of CO2 going into the atmosphere. The bill does a lot of good things, but it isn’ t nearly what we need to see as a state.’The vice chair of the committee, Cheney, said that the $17 million figure is still in flux. But if she has anything to say about it, the state would allocate more to thermal efficiency and renewable energy projects.‘ That amount does not reflect what the programs actually need,’ she said. DRAFT BILL H 216last_img read more

Weekly unemployment claims back up over 700

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims rose last week and are ahead of numbers from the same time last year. For the week of April 2, 2016, there were 738 claims, up 99 from the previous week’s total and 137 more than they were a year ago. By industry, claims fell steeply for construction as that season is starting a little earlier than usual because of the warmer winter, in contrast to Services, which was up, likely due to the same reason, as the winter hospitality industry suffered and closed early. Altogether 6,858 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 82 from a week ago, and 120 fewer than a year ago.The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08).The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)Vermont’s unemployment rate held at 3.4 percent in February, as the labor force and total employment increased, along with a decrease in the number of unemployed. SEE STORY.NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) – A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment “by place of work.” Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.last_img read more

GMP crews help restore power to thousands in Georgia

first_imgVermont Business Magazine After almost a week helping restore power to thousands of people in Georgia, Green Mountain Power crews are returning to Vermont. The team of more than 30 lineworkers, supervisors, and mechanics left Tuesday, Sept. 12, and are set to arrive in Vermont tomorrow morning. They helped set new poles, make repairs to downed lines and replace broken poles. The storm left an incredible amount of damage, and at this point nearly all residents in Habersham County have power back on, where the team was working.“When we arrived, there was a lot of damage, massive trees down and destruction. Georgia Power assigned us as a group to one area, and it was up to us to work as a team on our own to restore power. This is what we do, what we are trained to do, and we are passionate about helping, whether it is in Vermont, or other parts of the country impacted by severe storms,” said Tom Bushey, a lineworker from the Rutland District office.  “We made a lot of progress quickly, and after a week away from families, are happy to be returning home.”  GMP received many nice notes from Georgia residents like the one below from William McEntire from Lulu, GA.:“On behalf of my neighbors and myself, I just wanted to Thank the Line Crews from Green Mountain Power for coming to our assistance after Irma wreaked havoc in our area in Northeast Georgia. I personally spoke with several different members of the crews and found them all to be quite professional and very personable. Their actions speak well for your company and its values. It sure was a sight for sore eyes when the army of Green Mountain Power line trucks came rolling into our community. There was a great deal of damage including lines down in an easement that’s hard to access. They went to work and had all of the damage repaired in a little more than 6 hours. IMPRESSIVE!! Thanks to each and every one of you!”The mutual aid relationship between utilities is strong, and in times of crisis extends throughout the country. GMP is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Jose, and at this point barring any changes to Jose’s track, it is not forecasted to cause damage in Vermont.  Source: GMP 9.18.2017last_img read more

Krieger: I would have been lost without the help of my mentor

first_img How does stellar Miami criminal defense attorney Albert J. Krieger, now in his 59th year practicing law, describe his abilities upon graduating from New York University School of Law?“Total ignorance!”Count him in as a supporter of mandatory mentoring of young lawyers.“I think mentoring should be mandatory, because merely graduating from law school does not give me the skills, the techniques, the equipment, the learning, the experiential knowledge to represent an individual in the full and complete fashion, which I believe the law demands of the lawyer,” 84-year-old Krieger told the News during a break at a November 30 professionalism retreat in Tallahassee, where lawyers and judges debated the best way to change lawyers’ bad behavior.Krieger — honored with The Florida Bar’s Criminal Law Section’s 2007 Selig I. Goldin Memorial Award, one of the founders of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and former chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section — admitted he would have been lost as a young lawyer without help from his mentor.“The principal mentor I had was a lawyer from New York, whose picture is on the sideboard in my office to this day. I also fund a scholarship at the National Criminal Defense College in his name and in his memory: Gilbert S. Rosenthal .”A sked why voluntary, informal mentoring, such as the relationship he benefited from, would not work just as well, Krieger answered: “I think there are many good ideas, and good ideas can be fulfilled without any compunction or overseeing. But human experience tells us there has to be a watchdog. With the knowledgeable person overseeing it, it gets done, whereas it would not otherwise.”Later, during a discussion between members of the Commission on Professionalism and the Standing Committee on Professionalism, on how best to instill professionalism in fellow lawyers, Krieger elaborated:“From what I’ve heard, and certainly from my own experience, there is a disease that is rampant throughout the Bar that we have characterized as unprofessional conduct. I think experience has taught us if we expect to correct that inappropriate behavior by addressing the older lawyers, we are going to lose out and lose out badly, because they are not subject to, shall we say, advice.“If we go to the law schools, we can eradicate one of the sources of infection. The new lawyers coming in would not be replacing the old lawyers with the same kind of behaviors.. . . We would be infusing the Bar with lawyers who are more responsible than the average lawyer today. They would be smarter.“We are talking about lawyers who are unprincipled. They make appointments for depositions, and, at the last moment, cancel or don’t show up. This is at considerable expense and considerable frustration to the other side, and they’re doing it as a tactic.. . .“We must recognize that we are not going to be able to do all the things we would like to do with existing lawyers. But we certainly can mold the new population. “I’m excited about the potential for mentoring. I’m in my 59th year of practice. I have spent most of my time on my feet in court,” said Krieger, who has defended clients ranging from Native Americans involved in the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee to John “Teflon Don” Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family.“I know that the lawyer that I was in 1950 is one hell of a far cry from the lawyer that I was in 1960. And we could go decade by decade after that. I go to seminars today because I want to learn. I have a thirst to learn and for improving that which I practice, because I have a responsibility to persons unknown, persons who are less fortunate perhaps, persons whose lives will be affected by whether or not I am prepared or proficient.“I think that is what we should be teaching, as part of the mentoring program. I know I learned as a result of a lawyer taking me under his wing and showing me where the court was and who is the judge, and who is the prosecutor, etc.. . .“I don’t think there is a lawyer here who can say he or she has not been influenced in a substantial fashion by a mentor. It has worked, obviously, because there are people with extraordinary talent and ability here.“This is not simply that we have mentoring. We have a program in place. We have teaching that is inspirational, as well as instructive. We are so fortunate. We deliver services to people and feel a great reward ourselves, for having done that. There are very few things in life that are like that.” Krieger: I would have been lost without the help of my mentor Dec 15, 2007 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Service King CFO Michelle Frymire Recognized Among Top Financial Executives

first_imgService King Collision Repair Centers‘ Chief Financial Officer, Michelle Frymire, was formally recognized as a finalist for Outstanding CFO of the Year at D CEO Magazine‘s 2016 Financial Executives of the Year awards banquet. The event, hosted inside the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, brought together 24 of Dallas-Fort Worth’s most accomplished financial executives from the last year, spanning a vast array of industries.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementD CEO Magazine, along with industry experts and colleagues at the Dallas CPA Society, selected Frymire from a field of more than 200 original candidates before she was named one of three finalists for the CFO of the Year award in the large private company category. As part of the recognition, Frymire is featured in the May edition of D CEO Magazine on newsstands now.“Michelle is a vital member of our leadership team as Service King continues to execute its strategic growth initiative,” said Service King CEO Chris Abraham. “It’s her keen insight, unparalleled depth of knowledge and steady leadership that continually provides our entire team a clear path forward as Service King continues to expand its operations across the U.S. We congratulate Michelle on her recognition and vibrantly echo the praises she’s received from colleagues, D CEO Magazine and the Dallas CPA Society selection committee.”AdvertisementThe company says Frymire, who joined Service King in early 2015, has been instrumental in guiding the organization through the industry’s current aggressive consolidation movement. As the company’s top financial executive, she oversaw more than 25 mergers and acquisitions in the last 12 months. During that time, Service King grew to more than 6,000 teammates in 23 states while the company officially eclipsed the $1 billion annual run-rate mark for the first time.last_img read more

Semi Japan kicks off today

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

The 28th Offshore Achievement Award Winners

first_imgWinners of the 2014 Offshore Achievement Awards, organised and hosted by The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), have been announced.The Offshore Achievement Awards have a 27 year history of celebrating outstanding success within the UK offshore industry, in categories which include safety innovations, new technologies, collaborative working and individual achievement.The 2014 Offshore Achievement Award Winners in each category are:Great Large Company (sponsored by Offshore Europe): HydrasunFor companies with more than 50 employees operating in the offshore energy industry, judges looked for evidence of the company’s development to date and plans for the future success and growth of the company.Great Small Company (sponsored by Wood Group PSN): CoretraxFor businesses with fewer than 50 employees, judges sought evidence of the company’s development to date – including successful creation and growth of the company, clear strategic direction and strong product / service differentiation.Working Together (sponsored by Robert Gordon University): The Underwater CentreThe Working Together Award highlights excellence in collaboration between companies and organisations on an offshore oil and gas or marine renewables project.Environmentalist (sponsored by AMEC): TWMAThe Environmentalist Award recognises an outstanding environmental technology developed for and deployed in the offshore oil and gas or renewables industry.Export Achievement (sponsored by Saltire Energy): EVThis award celebrates business growth resulting from successful development of export activity in the offshore energy sector.Safety Innovations (sponsored by Petrofac): Stork – ERBASThe Safety Innovations Award recognises excellence in innovative technology and products that have been developed in the UK and which contribute to offshore safety.The Innovator (sponsored by BG Group): TendekaThe Innovator Award recognises excellence in innovative technological solutions developed in the UK for the offshore energy sector (oil and gas and all forms of renewables).Emerging Technology (sponsored by Nexen): Guardian Global TechnologiesThe Emerging Technology Award recognises innovative new technology ideas developed in the UK for the offshore energy sector (oil and gas and all forms of renewables).Young Professional (sponsored by Maersk Oil): Raymond MacKenzie, Nexen Petroleum UKThe Young Professional Award recognises the professional capability and the wider contribution made to the offshore industry by a young man or woman under the age of 35.Inspiring Leader (sponsored by DOF Subsea): Steve Nicol, HalliburtonThe Inspiring Leader Award recognises the professional capability and the wider contribution made to the offshore oil and gas or renewables industry by a leader who has inspired their team, either in a mentorship capacity or as a manager, to deliver an outstanding result.Significant Achievement (sponsored by Aker Solutions): Brian Nixon, Decom North SeaThis award recognises the professional capability and the wider contribution made to the offshore industry by a man or woman over the age of 35.[mappress]March 21, 2014last_img read more

The Friday Flyer

first_imgHas the fat lady been silenced?The saying goes that it is not over until the fat lady sings but does she know what is happening in the heavy lift shipping sector? Reports this week point to a significant merger & acquisition (M&A) move in the coming days or weeks involving a raft of Dutch shipping companies.Just two days ago, Royal Boskalis Westminster took a 33 percent stake in Dockwise – and as a result is now the majority shareholder in the heavy lift shipping services provider.Dockwise is reported to be pleased to be courted so soon after it acquired Fairstar in a less than easy acquisition earlier this year. However, all does not seem to be rosy in the negotiations as a quarter of Dockwise shareholders are not happy with the price offered by Boskalis, which neatly mirrors similar statements made by Fairstar,when it was subject to that hostile and ultimately successful takeover by Dockwise. Plus ça change.Industry observers are suggesting that with the euro difficulties, global trading worries and financial pressures, the sector is likely to see high levels of M&A activity in the medium term. Just two years ago, Boskalis itself acquired heavy lift shipping, tug and salvage company SMIT International and this year has seen, among others, Scan-Trans Holding and Intermarine merging operations under the Intermarine brand.No doubt we will hear much more from the fat lady before she stops singing.Hong Kong PhooeyLooking to acquire business from international oil, gas, mining, and power generation companies operating in Central Asia, Russia and the CIS, A.R.T Logistics has opened its global HQ in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Agility achieved Authorised Economic Operator full (AEO-F) status in Hungary; F.S. Mackenzie – the UK member of the FPS network of independent freight forwarders – has opened its fifth office, located at East Midlands Airport; MIQ Logistics announced a multi-year service agreement with Atlas Tubular and Air Charter Service strengthened its position in the CIS by opening for business in Almaty.Going equippedThis week brought impressive news of two new crane models from the drawing board of Terex Corporation: Superlift 3800 is a lattice boom crawler crane that can lift a maximum load of 650 tonnes; while the Terex Powerlift 1000 crawler crane has a lift capacity of 55 tonnes.In Australia, AG&P ALE Ventures has developed Hydro Deck, an innovative transition pontoon, to enable load-in operations for loads of up to 17,000 tonnes regardless of tidal conditions.Port to PortThe going is about to get better as the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has approved an infrastructure development project at Ocean Terminal that will aid the handling of high and heavy cargo at the gateway. In Belgium, the first concrete has been laid for the Port of Antwerp’s multi-million Deurganckdocklock – the world’s largest lock due to open in spring 2016 which will strengthen the port’s position as Europe’s second-busiest.Spreading the netThis week, the Project Cargo Network (PCN) welcomed three companies, including SAMMA in Mauritania; Prime Cargo in Denmark, and Kimex Air & Sea in Korea bringing the PCN membership to 165 members spanning 85 countries.Rival network, Project Partners has snapped up EES Freight Services as the group’s member in Singapore, having said goodbye to Alliance 21.Pony expressPampas grass definitely doesn’t grow under Chapman Freeborn’s feet. No sooner had it opened an office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, it secured its first cargo chartering operations, including 75 tonnes of printing equipment flown from Germany to Buenos Aires on a B747 freighter.Brought to bookThe UK P&I Club wants us to ‘read all about it’ on the issues surrounding the operation of tug and barge fleets in its latest publication ‘Tug and Barge Matters’.Hatches, matches and dispatchesFrank Brogan is taking his seat as managing director of the Port of Corpus Christi having been promoted from deputy port director. Berndt R Olesen has been appointed as senior advisor in Perth, Australia for Hansa Heavy Lift. Discovery Air has named Jacob Shavitas president and CEO,with Brian Semkowskibe coming director and chair of the board.All about EvieEvie Aufheben, our sassy gossip columnist, was underwhelmed by the quirky and off-beat stories she has been sent this week. Working in the manly world of heavy lift operations, Evie is determined to hang on to her femininity at all costs and, quite naturally, facial hair has never featured in her beauty regime. However, it hasn’t escaped her notice that a number of men in her life have been taking part in Mo-vember, the global charity effort to support men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Throughout the heavy lift industry, there will be men today charging their electric razors to remove their ‘taches. Evie salutes those who put down their shavers this month to raise money for this worthy cause.Ms Aufhebenhas been all agog at this week’s news from the Netherlands, where the diner is about to become the dinner – and she’s not thinking about one of those scrummy pancakes she can’t resist when she visits the land of tulips, clogs and windmills. Having scoffed Fairstar, it seems like Dockwise is now on the menu itself, prompting some annoyance for Evie who failed to take heed of daddy’s advice to buy some shares in Dockwise last week, when the price was almost half what it is today.Join us on LinkedInThe Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International LinkedIn group complements the print and online editions of HLPFI and offers you the opportunity to discuss key issues and network with your peers and a wide cross-section of industry experts. Join the discussion now at: http://tinyurl.com/ces7odbFind the right person with HLPFI JobsRecruiting the right person can be a costly business. Agency fees can be prohibitively high and going through countless irrelevant applications can be very time consuming. Why not advertise your employment vacancy on our website? Those that have used this service tell us that they have found perfect applicants with the right expertise, very quickly.Our website now attracts over 9,000 unique visitors every month, all heavy lift industry professionals. Almost 10,000 receive our Friday Flyer. Both platforms could feature your vacancy and ultimately fill it.Issue 29 of HLPFI should be hitting your desks around now. Work is progressing on the first issue of 2013, issue 30, so do consider submitting editorial contributions or booking some advertising. There are still some opportunities to join the likes of Broekman Project Services, CEE, WWPC, GPLN, DHL, and PCN, by sponsoring our Friday Flyer.Contact Ian Matheson on +44 (0) 1689 857631 or ian@heavyliftpfi.com for more information on any of the above.last_img read more

City weaves safety net for Hanover Park children

first_imgA child safety pilot project has been launched in Hanover Park by the City of Cape Town to fast-track community response times in cases where children go missing.The plan is to use existing City resources in Hanover Park to solidify the response in the event of a child disappearing. “The idea is quite simple,” said Suzette Little, the City’s Mayco member for social development and early childhood development. “We want to ensure that the community knows what to do as soon as it becomes apparent that a child has disappeared. Those first two hours after a person goes missing are crucial and the more resources we can co-ordinate and mobilise in that time, the better the chances of finding them.” In terms of the protocol that the City has developed, a suburb co-ordinator is appointed and in the event of an incident, they are informed and are responsible for: Getting relevant information from the family, including recent photographs. Informing the 107 Public Emergency Communication Centre and relevant missing persons organisations. Activating the City’s Metro police and Traffic Services to set up vehicle checkpoints or use the City’s CCTV technology to assist in the search, and liaising with the South African Police Service. Mobilising the community to set up search parties and distribute information, photographs and flyers. Publishing details of the missing child via social media channels and other information-sharing platforms.The City urged parents to ask a trustworthy neighbour to keep an eye on their children when they are at work, to teach children about fire safety and what to do in an emergency and to ensure that they know the 107 number – that is 107 from a landline and 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.last_img read more

IDR2-Novum promises lower rail maintenance costs

first_imgCAPTION: TOP: One of DafuR’s test sites on the DB networkFig 1. Q-force profile recorded during passage of a wheel over a rail at a DafuR test site on the Halle – Erfurt line in GermanyFig 2. Preventive grinding (left) and curative grinding (right) of the gauge corner on rail affected by head checking in FranceFig 3. Periodical hardness monitoring of the rail surfaceCAPTION: Progressive transverse rail cracking in curves (top) and in tangent track (above)CAPTION: Fig 4. Wheel-rail contact pattern for high rails (left) and low rails (right)CAPTION: Fig 5. Different pressure patterns generated by a locomotive on the rail head with shallow (top) and deep (centre) grinding on the gauge face; the pressure pattern for a wagon is also shown (bottom)CAPTION: Arc welding to repair a rail surface defectCAPTION: ABOVE: Head checking is less developed for MHH rail than for other gradesCAPTION: Rail surface showing a mixed flash-butt weld between bainitic and 900 A rail. There are no head checking cracks on the bainitic rail, but cracks are clearly visible on the 900 A railFig 6. The effect of successive weld layings used to repair a surface defect is to lift the rail, but after cooling there is a residual permanent deformationCAPTION: DBSystemtechnik’s test rig at Kirschm?€?ser is being used to investigate the initiation of crackingIDR2-Novum programme promises lower rail maintenance costsA wide-ranging programme of theoretical and field research suggests that a system approach to track-train interaction can lead to more cost-effective rail maintenance. The programme includes investigation of the mutual influence of the rail surface and track geometry on wheel-rail forces, requiring the use of high-level theoretical tools and modern numerical models in vehicle and track dynamics. Other work embraces computation of wheel-rail forces under different vehicles and the influence of variations in the properties of rail steels. Four groups of experts drawn from France and Germany are charged with completing the programme.Le programme IDR2-Novum promet des coûts de maintenance ferroviaire réduitsUn large programme de recherches, théoriques et d’application, suggère qu’une approche globale de l’interaction entre train et voie peut conduire à une maintenance ferroviaire plus économique. Le programme comprend l’investigation de l’influence mutuelle de la surface du rail et de la géométrie de la voie sur les forces roue-rail, nécessitant des outils théoriques de haut niveau et des modèles numérisés modernes concernant le véhicule et la dynamique de la voie. Les autres travaux comprennent l’évaluation des forces roue-rail sous différents véhicules et l’influence des variations de propriétés des aciers pour les rails. Quatre groupes d’experts appelés de France et d’Allemagne sont en charge de l’achèvement du programme.IDR2-Novum-Programm verspricht geringere GleisunterhaltskostenEin breit angelegtes Programm an theoretischer und praktischer Forschung lässt folgern, dass eine System-Betrachtung der Interaktion zwischen Zug und Gleis zu kostengünstigerem Gleisunterhalt führen kann. Das Programm umfasst die Untersuchung der gegenseitigen Beeinflussung von Schienenoberfläche und Gleisgeometrie auf die Rad-Schiene-Kräfte, welche hochwertige theoretische Werkzeuge und moderne numerische Modelle von Fahrzeug- und Gleisdynamik ben?€?tigt. Andere Arbeiten betreffen die Berechnung der Rad-Schiene-Kräfte unter verschiedenen Fahrzeugen und den Einfluss von unterschiedlichen Eigenschaften der Schienenstähle. Vier aus deutschen und franz?€?sischen Mitgliedern zusammengesetzte Expertengruppen sind für die Fertigführung des Programms verantwortlich.El programa IDR2-Novum promete menores costes de mantenimiento de raílesUn amplio programa de investigación teórica y de campo sugiere que darle un enfoque sistem? tico a la interacción entre la vía y el tren puede proporcionar un mantenimiento m? s rentable del carril. El programa incluye una investigación de la influencia que ejercen la superficie del carril y la geometría de la vía sobre las fuerzas rueda-carril, lo que requiere la utilización de herramientas teóricas de alto nivel y de modernos modelos numéricos en la din? mica del vehículo y de la vía. Otros estudios engloban el c? lculo de las fuerzas rueda-carril con distintos vehículos y la influencia que ejercen los cambios en las propiedades del acero del carril. Cuatro grupos de expertos venidos de Francia y Alemania se encargan de completar el programa. This year four groups of French and German experts will complete a wide-ranging programme of theoretical and field research which suggests that a system approach to track-train interaction can cut rail maintenance costs,Louis Girardi is Head of Rail Maintenance Standards & Policy Division, SNCF; Dipl-Ing René Heyder is Engineer Materials, Damage analysis at DB Systemtechnik; Didier Lévy is a track expert with RATP in Paris; and Daniel Boulanger is Technical Manager, Corus Rail Products. The authors would like to acknowledge support for the IDR2-Novum research programme received from RFF and Philip MontierTHE INITIATIVE for Development & Research on Rail (IDR2) began with an agreement between SNCF, RATP, rail maker Corus and four research institutions – the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research, Paris (Inrets), Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (Insa), plus the Laboratoire de Mécanique des Solides (LMS) and Mecamix at the École Polytechnique in Palaiseau. Signed in 2002, the agreement aims to make rail maintenance more cost-effective by co-ordinating research programmes, integrating the results of theoretical work and benefiting from the latest developments in rail products. Financial support is provided by Réseau Ferré de France.In 2003 three German partners working on the closely-related Novum research programme joined IDR2. DB, the Federal Institute for Materials & Research (BAM) and the GKSS Research Centre in Hamburg are financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Education & Research.IDR2 pays particular attention to the behaviour of track under different conditions, covering theoretical computation of wheel-rail forces under various vehicles, surface forces between wheel and rail, internal stresses and crack propagation. The programme seeks to determine whether particular forms of defect are caused by the properties of different types of rail or by wheel-rail interaction. Throughout the programme, the research teams went to considerable trouble to ensure that a realistic environment was represented.Driving the programme is the need for a better understanding of maintenance requirements as train frequencies, speeds and axleloads increase. These all contribute to higher maintenance requirements at a time when there is strong pressure to make cost savings. Current maintenance methods including grinding and arc welding repair have been studied to understand their effectiveness, improve their performance and reduce costs.Research objectivesOne of the basic philosophies of the programme is that rail behaviour cannot be explained without considering the various interaction phenomena between track and vehicles, including the influence of rail surface and track geometry upon forces generated by the passage of vehicles. Geometry is affected by deformation under load and by local irregularities, some of which can arise from routine rail maintenance operations such as welds or arc welding repairs.Another basic idea is that, in many cases where rail cracks occur, there is a ‘stable’ crack growing phase which can be monitored before the rail breaks. This expansion phase can be modelled using classical crack expansion principles with stresses governed by vehicle-track interaction. The research also considers crack dimensions and location to derive a strong correlation between theoretical and actual behaviour.An important part of the programme is devoted to investigating the mutual influence of all these factors. This requires extensive use of modern numerical models in vehicle and track dynamics, as well as engineering observations about rail maintenance operations. High-level theoretical tools are necessary, but these must rest on engineering results and maintenance case studies.The programme is divided among four task groups. The first is charged with determining the forces between wheel and rail and between the rail and its supports. The second and third task groups are looking at material properties and internal stresses in the rail section, while laboratory and track validations are being undertaken by the fourth task group; all this work is due to be completed by December this year.Rail behaviourTrack observations are being carried out by railway and industrial partners. These will allow a clearer insight into the main physical and mechanical factors affecting rail behaviour, helping to rank their mutual influence.It is essential that realistic loading scenarios are used in the laboratory experiments if the results are to be transferable to actual operating conditions, and so the programme managers decided to use the measurements of dynamic vertical wheel-rail forces taken at three DafuR test sites in Germany.DafuR is a diagnostic system for testing out-of-round wheels, and 28 measuring sites are installed across the DB network. The core of the DafuR system is the ‘long Q-force measuring station’ which records dynamic vertical forces arising as a train rolls over the rail. Fig 1 shows a Q-force measurement where the mean value of the Q-force profile corresponds to the static wheel load.Data collected and evaluated over three months will be used to calculate frequency distributions of the wheel-rail contact forces as a function of running speed for freight and passenger trains. This will identify certain wheel defects such as out-of-roundness and flats, as well as establish time profiles for selected train movements.Control of wheel-rail contactModification of the wheel-rail contact is commonly achieved by grinding the rail gauge corner to eliminate or reduce head checking. Tests to determine the effectiveness of grinding have been performed on conventional and high speed lines in France at sites which suffered from head checking on the outer rail.Both preventive and curative grinding has been used in the tests, with different amounts of metal ground from the gauge corner of the rail. A small amount was removed for preventive grinding, and 0·7mm was ground off when curative grinding was required (Fig 2).Periodic hardness monitoring has been conducted at different points over the same rail sections (Fig 3). These points are located at the centre of the rail (blue dots), near the rail centre in a very hard zone (green dots), on the rail corner (pale blue dots) and on a bright zone (red dots) which appears when gauge corner contact between wheel and rail resumes. This bright zone forms a parameter that is easy to check for monitoring the end of a preventive or curative cycle.Defect developmentPractical observations on different railways reveal a wide range of defects over the rail surface. These include phenomena such as squats and the Belgrospis (crack clusters) observed by DB, which seem to be caused by non-uniform surface forces. Observations also confirm that head checking appears most frequently on the gauge corner of the outer rail in curves.Different types of internal crack exist, and these may be caused by surface cracks or existing initial inclusions, located at different positions inside the rail head or elsewhere in the rail section. In curves, they are often located near the gauge side, whereas in tangent track they are typically found near the centre of the railhead (below left).From these examples, we can see whether a defect is initiated internally or externally.Contact patterns and forcesHertzian or semi-Hertzian computations give a pseudo-elliptical print for the wheel-rail contact patch, with different patterns for high and low rails (Fig 4).Differences exist between the two rails because of lateral forces which tend to move the axle towards the external rail, leading to a different contact pattern for the two wheels. Computed pressure patterns have allowed a better understanding of the wheel-rail contact, and improved control of the contact area through grinding.For a locomotive, pressure patterns are very different after shallow grinding of the gauge corner of the rail (Fig 5a) and after deep grinding (Fig 5b). With a wagon, pressures are more centred on the rail tread (Fig 5c). This suggests that only traction vehicles cause head checking, but more information is needed to support this theory.If the pressure pattern for shallow grinding of the gauge corner in the case of a single rail and a single wheel is compared with that of a single rail and different wheels, it becomes clear that because of wheel and rail tolerances, strong profile modification is needed to alter the wheel-rail contact pattern significantly.Dynamic effectsThe track and rail are submitted to external constraints in the vertical and transverse directions, which can cause dynamic effects. These depend on the track geometry, but because of the inertial effects, they exist even in perfect track.Under the IDR2 programme, multibody load computations will be undertaken, coupled with 3D finite element modelling which takes track and rail dynamics into account. In the case of a moving constant load, the moving force represents the wheel contact, allowing derivation of the dynamic vertical translation at the location of the force. These computed results show that even in the case of perfect track, combined track and rail dynamics cause different behaviour according to the speed of the train. This can also be stated on the basis of experimental data.Thermo-mechanical effectsArc welding is commonly used to eliminate rail surface defects (below). Successive heating phases before welding help to avoid rapid cooling which would lead to the formation of martensite. Different thermal deformations occur after heating, and a small residual vertical deformation usually remains after the repair has been completed.As these residual geometric defects may cause harmful dynamic effects, especially on high speed lines, a transient elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical model has been tested to analyse the effects of boundary and thermal conditions. The purpose of this is to check if the simulation agrees with real-world data, and to fine tune the heating and weld deposit processes to obtain better residual geometry of the overall longitudinal rail shape.After the preliminary pre-heating phase, the increasing heat during the successive weld layings causes the rail to lift. After completion of the repair, the rail cools, but a final residual permanent deformation remains (Fig 6).Material properties and mechanical behaviourIDR2 includes a series of field tests to ascertain if head checking cracks are eliminated naturally where there is considerable wear on the gauge side of the outer rail. The chosen test site was a 985m radius curve at Saint-Benoît, near Poitiers on the Paris – Bordeaux main line, where trains run at 120 km/h. The external rail had been replaced in 1997 by a combination of perlitic 800 (220), 900 (260) and MHH (micro-alloyed, heat-treated) grades.After an initial grinding operation and 134 million tonnes of accumulated tonnage, the following conclusions were drawn:all grades suffered head checking;the head checking zone is generally more work-hardened, except for the MHH rail;wear is higher for the 800 and 900 grades;head checking is less developed for MHH than for other grades (p442). A further conclusion is that for both wear and head checking criteria, MHH appears to be outperforming all other grades.Bainitic rail was tested at Dieupentale, near Toulouse on the Bordeaux – Toulouse line, where traffic is a mix of TER regional trains and TGVs running at up to 160 km/h. A bainitic rail with hardness of 320HB was laid to replace an external 900 A rail in a 1140m radius curve which was strongly affected by head checking. No grinding was carried out until accumulated tonnage had reached 80million.The two grades display very different head check development. While there are no head checking cracks on the bainitic rail, cracks are clearly visible on the 900 A rail.Both the test zones revealed how important material properties can be in making an assessment of rail behaviour; they also served as useful references for validation of the numerical models.Mechanical behaviour of railMuch attention has been given to improving knowledge of the material properties of rail steels and to feeding these properties into numerical simulations. The mechanical properties of rail differ at every location, but it is clearly not possible to take test samples that would allow material characteristics over the entire rail section to be known.IDR2 therefore uses the results of successive indentation tests, in which pressure is applied by a small indenter onto various parts of the rail section, and the mechanical characteristics deduced from the measured force and displacement. Material properties can be identified using a finite element computation, fitting calculated force/displacement responses to the measured data.Crack initiation and propagationThere are three main phases in crack development: initiation; slow growth; and rapid growth before the break occurs. The slow crack growth phase is really what matters for rail maintenance, because inspection work needs to be minimised without risking a rail break.The German partners in the project are responsible for carrying out investigations into the first phase of crack development, using a wheel-rail test rig operated by DB Systemtechnik. The second phase of slow growth is being examined by means of fatigue testing on a 1MN servo-hydraulic resonance test machine at the Federal Institute of Materials Research & Testing in Berlin.ConclusionThe IDR2-Novum research programme covers a wide field of theoretical as well as applied rail research. One of the primary benefits expected is better prediction of the crack growth rate inside the rail in order to establish the opportunities for improvements in track monitoring, component design and service conditions.Thanks to a system approach it is possible to vary a range of key parameters to improve current maintenance processes such as lubrication and rail profile modification using grinding or other methods. Finally, the programme methodology may lead to a need for significantly fewer tests, and which will be of shorter duration with better understanding of their results.Rail manufacturers as well as railway infrastructure managers stand to benefit because of the strong links between rail product specifications, maintenance needs and research results. In the near future the project team hopes that use of a similarly comprehensive approach will help reduce maintenance costs and deliver products that meet the increasingly heavy demands placed on rail networks.last_img read more