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Design, Development and Implementation of an Effective and Efficient Emergency Third Rail Fishplate Joint Clamp
A third rail joint is an indispensable asset ensuring electrical continuity and third rail alignment in a railway network. When a faulty third rail joint issue is reported during train revenue service, track maintenance staff will implement an interim solution to address it. However, considerable time and effort are often spent on the emergency recovery process. This paper, therefore, aims to design, develop, and implement an Emergency Third Rail Fishplate Joint Clamp (ETJC) that can effectively and efficiently overcome faulty third rail joint issues, while minimizing operational costs. ETJC design, modeling, and simulation were performed using Creo Parametric and Ansys software packages. A static structural analysis of ETJC was conducted. Materials for manufacturing ETJC were carefully selected to withstand any loading and environmental conditions that may occur on the ground. The ETJC was implemented in a train depot track and evaluated via hammer impact tests. Acceleration signals were acquired and analyzed at different locations on the third rail joint with ETJC. Results from simulation and field experiments are consistent and promising, thereby implying that the ETJC can firmly support and align a defective third rail joint.