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Award Information

Department of Transportation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Sharma & Associates Inc.
5810 South Grant Street Hinsdale, IL 60521
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: N/A
Agency: DOT
Contract: DTRS57-02-C-10024
Award Amount: $99,635.00


There is a growing trend towards the use of ¿Car-Less¿ technology, where a rail-car is not needed to transport road-haul trailers over rail: Trailers operate in the usual manner over highways, drive up to a rail yard and transform to ¿rail-mode¿ with relative ease. In rail mode, many ¿Car-Less¿ units use slightly modified 3-piece, 70-ton freight car trucks. These trucks are not designed for high-speed operation, especially in Bi-Modal service. Consequently, serious truck hunting and rock & roll issues arise, compromising operational safety. The objective of the project is the conceptual development of advanced trucks for ¿Car-Less¿ systems that can be operated on rail at speeds up to 150 mph. The developed concepts will provide the required safety, lateral stability, ride quality, and curving performance required for such operation. The concepts will also offer easy storage of unused parts, brake systems for both modes and the potential for real-time monitoring of truck performance. We will investigate the applicability of various truck configurations, suspension geometries, and wheel profiles for the new concepts. The feasibility of speed-sensitive suspension and active servo-control of suspension will be investigated. Subsequently, the relative feasibility of the different concepts will be evaluated, with emphasis on the safety, practicality and acceptance of the developed systems by the rail industry.

Principal Investigator:

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Sharma & Associates, Inc
5810 South Grant Street Hinsdale, IL 60521

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No