Track condition analyser – assessment of need for track maintenance based on instrumented wheelset measurements
Paper in proceedings, 2010
Vertical wheel-rail contact forces with high magnitudes are generated in vehicle operation on track sections with periodic (rail corrugation) or discrete (rail joints, crossings) surface defects and/or in operations with out-of-round wheels. This may result in severe wheel damage, such as subsurface rolling contact fatigue and deep shelling. Based on input data in the form of contact forces measured by an instrumented wheelset, including contributions with frequencies up to about 2 kHz, Interfleet Technology Sweden has developed a Track Condition Analyser (TCA). The dominating and most frequently occurring types of track irregularity can be detected, their location along the line can be determined and their detrimental effect on the fatigue life of wheels can be estimated. This means that the TCA can be used as a tool for assessment of current track quality and to determine the need for immediate and planned track maintenance. Using the instrumented wheelset on a Swedish high-speed train, the 450 km line Stockholm-Gothenburg can be measured in both directions during an eight hour test campaign.