L.B. Foster has recently installed its next generation Protector X Trackside Friction Management (FM) System on Canadian Pacific’s (CP) Mountain Subdivision in Illecillewaet, British Columbia. This is the first of 46 Protector X tanks that will be installed during the company’s trackside lubricator equipment upgrade project.
According to CP, rail in this mountainous region experiences high wear rates, and due to unpredictable weather and difficult terrain with hard to access areas most of the year, routine seasonal grease switch-outs on the trackside lubricator units can be very difficult.
“Our next generation Protector X units are designed specifically to reduce track access requirements for installation, maintenance and refilling,” said Joel VanderMarel, P.Eng, Global FM Product Manager – Trackside Solutions. The combination of the large reservoir on the tanks, with the all-season durable Syncurve rail curve lubricant is expected to drastically decrease CP’s rail wear rates in this region and to reduce site visits by 50%. With reduction in site visits comes other safety benefits – with the maintenance frequency cut in half, less time is required to be on track.
To help manage its FM program, CP uses L.B. Foster’s Remote Performance Monitoring (RPM) system. This optional system allows users to monitor the status of trackside equipment remotely, and is built specifically to maximize system uptime, optimize application rates, and minimize the overall cost of an FM program.
L.B. Foster and CP engineering and product development teams also designed a unique filling apparatus which includes a step and guardrails along with other safety measures specifically for each of the large Protector X tanks. Additionally, the new design features a special double wall that meets strict Environment Protection Agency (EPA) secondary containment requirements. “This is a great example of the type of collaborative relationship we have with CP to ensure safety, performance, and the environment are a top priority in everything we do,” added VanderMarel.