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A Norwalk photo #138

A railroad car sits adjacent to the Danbury line tracks Saturday, just off Science Road and next to Oyster Shell Park, its engine rattling.

NORWALK, Conn. – A colorful railroad car sat perched next to the Danbury line Saturday, adjacent to the Norwalk Transfer Station, with an engine obviously at work although the vehicle wasn’t going anywhere.

“It’s a Sperry geometry car,” NancyOnNorwalk contributor Harold Cobin said. “It measures track deviations. The railroads hire Sperry to conduct track examinations to look for defects: gage, alignment, elevation, cracked rails, etc. It’s self-propelled, hence the engine noise.”

“A track geometry car (also known as a track recording car) is an automated track inspection vehicle on a rail transport system used to test several parameters of the track geometry without obstructing normal railroad operations,” Wikipedia states. “Some of the parameters generally measured include position, curvature, alignment of the track, smoothness, and the cross level of the two rails. The cars use a variety of sensors, measuring systems, and data management systems to create a profile of the track being inspected.”

2 comments

Christopher Duffy March 31, 2022 at 10:05 am

It is a rail flaw detector, not a geometry car. It uses ultrasonics and induction(a form of magnetic saturation technique) to detect flaws in the rails. It does on detect geometry nor gage defects.

Christopher Duffy March 31, 2022 at 10:08 am

and the engine you hear is an APU for the crew who live on the car for power when they are not working. It has a prime mover for movement along with air compressors for braking and air powered equipment like the test carriage. I also has another diesel engine that powers the test equipment and provides electric power when the car is tesing.

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