Identifying and testing new technologies and methods for a cost-effective detection of broken rails.
There are various challenges for railway infrastructure companies, one of them are broken rails. This still occurs on the world's rail networks. The main factors for broken rails are, among other things, poorer infrastructure conditions, the strain of increasing traffic and temperature fluctuations. Statistics in the European Union shows that broken rails are one of the main causes of rail accidents. Infrastructure operators are therefore forced to find a solution for continuously monitoring the condition of the railways, so that safety, punctuality and lower maintenance costs can be guaranteed.
The detection of broken rails is not a new challenge. The most common method of detection today is the use of track circuits. Increasingly, however, there are axle counters, ETCS Level 2 and in future ECTS Level 3, which make the use of track circuits superfluous. These advanced systems use intelligent positioning or satellite systems. In addition, new track technologies in infrastructure (slab track, concrete sleepers...) and new vehicle technologies (permanent slip, high acceleration...) can lead to new rail wear or fatigue.
In this context, the UIC initiated a project with the aim of identifying and testing new technologies and methods for a cost-effective detection of broken rails.
In a first step, the Carl Ritter von Ghega Institute for Integrated Mobility Research has surveyed the state of the art in this field. Subsequently, the technologies and methods were evaluated with the aim of identifying the most promising. These will then be set up and tested as a demonstrator. At the end, recommendations will be derived about the possible applications of these technologies and methods.
- Frauscher Sensortechnik GmbH
- ÖBB Infrastruktur AG