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    MCLB Barstow Railway Operations conducts impact tests

    Railway Operations crew conducts impact tests on MCLB Barstow

    Photo By Laurie Pearson | Bill Newcomb, test engineer from Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Base...... read more read more



    Story by Laurie Pearson 

    Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

    Railway Operations personnel intentionally crashed railcars loaded with a Light Armored Vehicle during impact testing on the Yermo Annex, aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., May 31.
    The impact testing is conducted to ensure that the LAV, with all of its up-armor specifications, can withstand impacts of 4, 6 and 8 miles per hour while chained down to the railcars.
    “This is the newest generation of LAV for the Marine Corps and each time a new piece of equipment is rolled out to the forces, we conduct impact tests to simulate various impacts the vehicle could be exposed to during transport,” said Chad Hildebrandt, Rail Ops supervisor. “We are the only installation within the Marine Corps that has the capability to conduct Rail Impact Tests for the various programs. Our location, our railhead, our equipment and our skilled personnel make this the best option for impact testing. Another major advantage for utilizing MCLB Barstow for these types of tests are the sizable cost savings and time savings we can offer to the Marine Corps vice using U.S. Army or civilian locations.”
    The parameters for the testing depends on the type of equipment being tested. For instance, for the new LAV, the chained vehicle can only show a small percentage of movement as the railcars impact one another at each speed.
    “The equipment is often transported by rail, and will be exposed to various levels of impact throughout the lifespan of the equipment,” explained Cliff Harmon, transportation engineer with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s Transportation Engineering Agency. “These tests help us evaluate the LAV and the transportation and tie-down requirements to ensure the equipment is structurally safe during transport.”
    The tests were organized and documented by Bill Newcomb and Drew Ferguson, test engineers from Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
    “We develop the test plan, instrument the test assets, collect and analyze the data, and will author the Final Test Report,” said Ferguson. “We process and verify the data, and we compare the results to the testing criteria and assess against the requirements. The specific pass/fail parameter speeds are 4 (±.5) MPH, 6 (±.5) MPH, and 8 (+.5,-0) MPH impact speeds as well as one 8 (+.5,-0) MPH impact in the reverse direction. These speeds were based on the requirements of (Military Standard) MIL-STD 810G, with Change 1, Method 526.1 Rail Impact.”
    The tests conducted on May 31 were a success, which means that the equipment can be safely transported as long as military and civilian personnel continue to chain the equipment to the railcars as was done during the tests.
    “A failure would be if the vehicle or any integral part of it breaks free, loosens, or shows any sign of permanent deformation beyond specification tolerances,” explained Ferguson.
    The tests are done in progression to gauge varying details. The impacts are tested in a step-up arrangement, so that once it passes lower speeds, you move up to the next higher speeds. The highest speed test at 8 MPH impact represents about the highest impact simulation during rail car operations such as hooking up and moving in the rail yard, Harmon explained.
    “Once the impact testing is completed, a test report is submitted to U.S. Army, SDDC TEA,” Harmon said. “We take that information and add it to our Transportability Approval Report for that specific vehicle.”
    “If the item tested fails the test, our engineers use the results to perform corrective actions for retesting until the test is passed,” said Marty Taylor, MARCORSYSCOM Transportability representative for land movements. “When an item passes the test, I submit th test report and results to SDDC-TEA for the America Association of Railroad to review and approve for railway transportation within the Contiguous United States. The end goal is to ensure safe and approved railway transportation by the warfighter.”
    With coordinated efforts between SDDC-TEA, MARCORSYSCOM, AVTB, ARR and Railway Operations on MCLB Barstow, the latest version LAV is set and ready for action, and transportation via rail, saving the DoD millions of more dollars in transportation costs as compared to other methods of transport.



    Date Taken: 06.14.2018
    Date Posted: 06.18.2018 16:14
    Story ID: 281396
    Location: BARSTOW, CA, US 

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