Real-Time Continuous Monitoring of Tracks and Track Assets from In-service Trains

Developed in Collaboration with VR FleetCare

EKE-Electronics, in collaboration with VR FleetCare, have developed a unique solution that uses sensor data from in-service rolling stock to provide real-time monitoring of the condition of track and track assets.

SmartVision™ Track Condition Monitoring measures the smoothness of ride experienced by a normal in-service train passing in full load and with full speed over the track. These frequent measurements complement less frequently produced track geometry measurements from measurement trains. Sudden and quickly developing problems, such as broken rails or damage caused by wheel slip are detected. Early detection can result in a cheaper cost of repair and reduces the risk of secondary damage.

A key enabler for the condition monitoring of track assets is the SmartVision Rail Asset Database. This records the type and location of track assets so that the degradation of the asset’s condition can be followed. The user receives notifications of critical changes so that the correct action can be taken in the correct location at the correct time.

Field validation tests have been performed with our collaboration partner, VR FleetCare, to locate track irregularities, detect faulty insulation joints, monitor switch health and identify hunting.

We have an open data policy giving you access to the measured data via the SmartVision™ user interface.

Added Value from SmartVision™ Track Condition Monitoring

Efficient management of maintenance through condition based maintenance. Easily assess the condition of your track assets instead of analysing curves with masses of measurement results.
Improve safety by using frequent measurements about track asset condition which complement less frequent track geometry measurements from measurement trains to identify critical faults such as broken rails.
Increase line availability by reacting quickly to SmartVision™ warnings about sudden and quickly developing problems, such as wheel slips and squats.
Make cost savings by enabling repair to faults before secondary damage is caused to the track or wheels.
Optimise asset life by following the condition of track assets to maintain based on the real need instead of repairing once broken or servicing based on schedules.

SmartVision™ Rail Asset Database

The SmartVision™ Rail Asset Database is a key enabler for the condition monitoring of track assets. This records the type and location of track assets so that the degradation of the asset’s condition can be followed. The user receives notifications of critical changes so that the correct action can be taken in the correct location at the correct time.

The information required for the SmartVision™ Rail Asset Database can be taken from either:

  • your existing databases.
  • self-learning using a combination of AI (artificial intelligence) and expert knowledge.

SmartVision™ Track Condition Monitoring User Interface

SmartVision™ Track Condition Monitoring’s easy-to-use web-based user interface turns data into actionable information to make informed business decision about when to perform maintenance based on the condition of your track and track assets. Our system allows you to view the status of your whole network in one place. SmartVision™ Track Condition Monitoring increases line availability, helps avoiding unexpected faults and enables transition towards condition-based maintenance.

Our open data policy gives you access to the measured data via the SmartVision™ user interface. Users can download this data to enable further analysis using your own tools.

SmartVision™ is accessible via a standard web browser. EKE recommends performing user authentication via integration into the operator’s single sign-on environment.

Detection Capabilities of SmartVision™ Track Condition Monitoring

The SmartVision™ Track Condition Monitoring the vibration generated by the track and generates a number of condition indicators that detect changes related to degradation within the track and for track assets.

Some examples of where the monitoring system has been given indications of rail defects are:

  • Rails (scanning for shocks, corrugation, hunting)
  • Track elements (abnormal shocks caused by passing over joints or switches in bad condition)
  • Track bed (scanning for vertical or lateral movements, twist or yaw of the bogie frame)

Onboard Data Acquisition

Data collection is performed by Televic Rail’s industry leading COSAMIRA sensor gateway, equipped with signal processing software developed by EKE. It contains a central configurable processing and storage unit, and inertial measurement sensors.

The sensor gateway is installed on one bogie and performs continuous measurement of the track and movements of the bogie. It sends data of detected anomalies, as well as from defined track elements, to the SmartVision™ cloud via wireless data transmission for further analysis.

The SmartVision™ Track Condition Monitoring system is made up of a standard configuration of:

Cosamira Sensor Gatewaysensors and axle head of train bogie
Sensor GatewaySensors
A cable with wires protruding from the endA Router
CablingRouter
Antenna
Antenna
  • Access is required to a power supply (24/110 VDC)
  • Optimal number of installations depends e.g., on train schedules and typical faults
  • Support can be provided for planning and installation

No GPS? No Problem.

We have a number of underground position solutions available.

  • Soft Odometer. Algorithmic solution developed by EKE
  • Tachometer at axle head
  • Other tachometer solution e.g. eddie current or hall effect sensors
  • Integration with Train Control and Management System (TCMS)
  • Beacon –based positioning

Compare SmartVision™ for Track with Other Solutions

SmartVision™  Track Condition Monitoring

Measurement Train

Optical and Laser Measurement

Data Collection Frequency

Suitable for winter conditions with snow & ice

Detecting track support and ballast problems

Detecting track sections causing hunting of trains

Detecting corrugation on rail surface

Response of track to passing train

Measuring geometry of track

Detecting obstacles around track

Source: EKE’s internal analysis