Railroad Freight Car Remote Controlled Electrically Driven Set & Release Hand Brake (EDHB) – Wireless Control Development
This report discusses the development of prototype Electrically Driven Hand Brakes (EDHB) that provide remote automatic set and release functions from push buttons mounted on the side of a car, or wirelessly. The EDHB improves the safety of railroad operations in several ways, including making it easier to ensure that freight cars are parked effectively; additionally, it has the potential to eliminate injury and fatality risks for railroad employees having to get between cars, climb ladders, and physically operate hand brakes. Previously, a prototype EDHB was designed and lab and field verified for functionality and a specification was drafted that is under Association of American Railroads’ (AAR) review for use by the industry when designing and implementing remotely controlled hand brakes. After further development, that included increasing the efficiency of the drive train, improving the efficacy of the motor’s power, improving the control system, and the development of a more positive feedback system to ensure the appropriate torque is applied to the hand wheel drive shaft to meet hand brake application input specifications. This report covers the development of the new controller to include wireless communications and control, and the testing of such work.