Continuous infrastructure monitoring at 300 km/h

Railway infrastructure monitoring is cumbersome, disruptive and expensive. Or isn’t it? Enabled by ASC sensor technology, Turkish State Railways (TCDD), Siemens Mobility and DB Systemtechnik GmbH decided to take an innovative approach: Continuous Infrastructure Monitoring (CIM).

Rail infrastructure monitoring needs to occur regularly, typically using special machinery that disrupts regular train services. The aim is to ensure that any signs of fatigue or other parameters running out of spec are detected early, so that critical maintenance can take place timely and avoid costly breakdowns and service disruptions.

Increased capacity and ride comfort

TCDD wishes to minimize these service disruptions yet increase capacity and ride comfort on two newly built high-speed rail links from Ankara to the cities of Konya and Eskisehir, and another from the capital to Istanbul. Therefore, the national Turkish operator collaborates with Siemens Mobility Türkiye and German rail infrastructure specialist DB Systemtechnik to implement constant monitoring of rail tracks and other infrastructure from high-speed passenger trains while in active service.

To that end, a Siemens Velaro train has been equipped with the latest innovative technologies to conduct all necessary measuring activities in real-time. Future risks will be proactively identified, too, by integrating historic data and calculating the appropriate time for preventive maintenance, repair or replacement to take place. The approach is based on years of CIM experience gathered on the German railway network.

Stable monitoring ‘where wheel meets track’

A critical success factor for CIM to deliver valid results is the use of the most robust and stable sensor equipment. “For this reason, we have been relying on ASC sensors,” recollects Dr. Klaus Ulrich Wolter, Senior Engineer Onboard Infrastructure Monitoring at DB Systemtechnik. “At Deutsche Bahn, we’ve been conducting continuous monitoring from high-speed in-service trains since 2013.”

Since 2018, ASC sensors have been in use. “In five years with almost three million kilometers covered by some of our CIM trains, ASC’s sensors are still running smoothly. It’s that reliability and the cutting-edge expertise of our partners that we are also offering to our customers, in Türkiye as well as around the world.”

 The CIM-equipped Velaro for Türkiye will be able to conduct comprehensive monitoring at speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour, and beyond. What counts, therefore, is the long-term stability of all sensors in use. “We need to position the sensitive equipment as closely as possible to where the wheel-track interaction happens”, explains Wolter. Therefore, ASC accelerometers and gyroscopes have been integrated in tailormade measurement systems embedded directly at the axle box.

Based on these latest technologies and the experience gathered by all partners, the Velaro is not only the fastest, but also the most comprehensive measurement train ready for active service today.

Read more: A comprehensive case study on this innovative project will publish in the railway trade press and on the ASC website shortly. Please come back to learn more here.

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Press: Köhler + Partner GmbH

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ASC 4415LN

Uniaxial, capacitive
Measurement range: ±2 to ±400 g
Noise density: 7 to 400 µg/√Hz
Frequency range (±5 %): DC to 2000 Hz

ASC OS-225MF-PG

Biaxial, capacitive
Measurement range: ±2 to ±200 g
Noise density: 10 to 680 µg/√Hz
Frequency range (±5 %): DC to 2900 Hz