Track geometry derailments are the leading cause of derailments nation wide. Did you know this? I’m just making stuff if you can’t tell. This fun looking rail car is part of the Federal Railroad Administration fleet that travels the country test over 40,000 miles of mainline track each year. The GRMV vehicle operates in self propelled mode or tow mode, as seen here. It’s packed with all sorts of equipment and sensors to test track for weak ties and fasteners that could lead to rail track shifting in unwanted ways, track geometry in a nutshell. For a detailed explanation click visit the FRA website by clicking here.
When spotted, DOTX-218 was being towed by CSX 3290, a GE ET44AH that appears to be a rather new unit. The fun looking presidential looking car out back is DOTX-220, it’s also jammed full of sensors including a vehicle track interaction (VTI) system to measure truck and car body forces in g’s. That’s some Top Gun stuff right there.