In 1980, the Track Train Dynamics (TTD) Program issued “Performance Guidelines for High Performance/High Cube Covered Hopper Cars” to stimulate new car designs and improve upon the dynamic characteristics of existing covered hopper cars. The TTD Program organized a development effort to promote better designs and to subsequently evaluate these cars. Comparative performance characteristics of a “base” car with various prototype cars submitted by car builders are to be determined by comprehensive tests and analytical studies. This paper briefly describes such a test program for the THETA-80 and summarizes the dynamic performance evaluation of this first prototype 100-ton, high-cube covered hopper car, in comparison with the base car. Test regimes consisted of rock-and-roll, pitch and bounce, hunting, curving, and curve entry/exit. The test results indicate considerable performance improvements for the prototype car compared with the base car for all test regimes.

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