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WABASH NATIONAL CORPORATION ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION OF AMTRAK ROAD TESTS OF ROADRAILER VANS

 LAFAYETTE, Ind., Nov. 25 ~PRNewswire~ -- Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC) announced that its RoadRailer(R) system has successfully passed an extensive series of high speed operational and revenue Amtrak road tests, RoadRailer Division President Lawrence Gross announced yesterday.
 The tests included instrumented runs in which RoadRailer trailers were pulled behind a special Amtrak test passenger train at speeds in excess of 100 m.p.h. (160 k.p.h.). The national rail passenger carrier is evaluating the concept of attaching RoadRailer trailers behind its passenger trains to carry mail.
 Support of the United States Postal Service has been an important factor in making the program possible. USPS contributed funding to the development program, and provided the test commercial loads during the revenue phase of the tests, which encompassed runs from coast to coast. According to J. Paul Seehaver, manager for highway rail and water operations for the Postal Service, "We see the successful RoadRailer~Amtrak compatibility tests as opening great new opportunities for the exploitation of Amtrak's high speed surface network. We are proud to be participating in this cutting edge technology."
 Three RoadRailer trailers were operated in the test. The trailers, which are standard Mark V units, ride on four high-speed Mark V bogies designed by RoadRailer specifically for the Amtrak application. Two of the bogies are of the new CouplerMate(R) design.
 The CouplerMate bogies are equipped with railroad knuckle couplers for connecting the RoadRailer units to conventional rail equipment. One CouplerMate bogie is attached to the nose of the first RoadRailer trailer and coupled to the Amtrak train. Another CouplerMate is attached to the last trailer with the coupler facing rearward to allow easy switching and handling of the RoadRailer units on rail.
 All the rail bogies are equipped with passenger-type braking systems for compatibility with Amtrak trains.
 Extensive instrumentation was utilized to monitor the stability and operation of the RoadRailer equipment at speed. The CouplerMate suspensions were modified after initial testing pointed to the need for some fine tuning of the RoadRailer bogie suspension. "After modification, the performance of the modified RoadRailer units at all speeds has been excellent" reported RoadRailer Project Engineer Ken Combs. "No instability or truck hunting was seen even at 101 m.p.h." The 100 m.p.h. run was conducted between Philadelphia and Baltimore on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line. Additional instrumented tests were conducted on Amtrak's Philadelphia-Harrisburg line, as well as on the Santa Fe railroad between Chicago and Los Angeles.
 In addition to the high speeds runs, push~pull tests were run in which the RoadRailer trailers were placed between the locomotives and 12 loaded hopper cars weighing 1,200 tons. The hopper cars were the equivalent of a twelve car passenger train with three locomotives. These tests demonstrated the emergency and switching capabilities of the CouplerMate bogie in the rear position.
 From here the equipment is headed for t ?test facility in Pueblo, Colo. During follow-up testing there, the stability of the RoadRailer equipment will be monitored at continuous speeds of 100 m.p.h. over a simulated 100,000 mile operation to determine the effect of wear and tear on performance and stability.
 "Not only are we excited by the potential represented by the Amtrak project," said Gross, "but the test also demonstrates the validity of the CouplerMate concept, which could be used to connect RoadRailer trailers to conventional freight trains under many circumstances."
 RoadRailer is a division of Wabash National Corporation, a leading manufacturer of truck trailers based in Lafayette, Ind. Wabash National Corporation designs, manufactures and markets standard and customized truck trailers. The company believes that it is the second largest United States manufacturer of truck trailers, the leading manufacturer of both fiberglass reinforced plastic trailers and aluminum plate trailers, and, through its RoadRailer Division, the leading manufacturer of bimodal vehicles.
 -0- 11~25~92
 ~CONTACT: Donald J. Ehrlich, 317-448-1591, or Larry Gross, RoadRailer division president, 516-767-2870, both of Wabash National Corporation~
 (WNC)


CO: Wabash National Corporation; RoadRailer ST: Indiana IN: SU: PDT

WB-OS -- NY012 -- 1455 11~25~92 10:44 EST
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Date:Nov 25, 1992
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