Increasing requirements concerning reliability, availability, safety and economic efficiency of railbound systems for urban traffic demand new strategies in the maintenance of grooved rail infrastructure.
Basis for the development is the extensive recording of the needs of the operators of grooved rail infrastructure via personal contacts with the people in charge as well as with the relevant stakeholders e.g. ÖVG, RTCA (Rail Technology Cluster Austria) or the working committee Urban Rail. Furthermore, the operator group in the EU-FP7-Programme “Urban Track” will be included. Thus a broad acceptance of the results and their realisation will be granted.
Currently there are no diagnostic units for recording the state of grooved rail turnouts on the market. The goal of this project is to develop a prototype of diagnostic equipment for turnouts in urban traffic networks. The basis for this task is the development of a well-founded monitoring method which fulfils the special demands of urban infrastructure.
In terms of optimisation of grooved rail infrastructure and its maintenance, attention must be paid to monitoring. With the use of a special data recording and analysing unit, the module “Point Condition Monitoring for Grooved Rail Turnouts”, objective and verifiable information shall be generated and made available for the user in order to take proper action.
Objective and verifiable information about the condition of a turnout is not automatically available for operators; often this information is only limited or restricted. The resulting potential for optimisation, is an indicator in the sense of a defined measure and is determined and improved only to a very limited extent. In this project a well-founded monitoring method which fulfils the special demands of urban infrastructure will be developed. The fundamental differences in the needs and characteristics compared to long distance rail applications will be determined and evaluated. The decisive criteria of recording and processing of all defined and needed measures in terms of condition based maintenance will be realised in the form of a prototype. The development of the module focuses on the separation of and the non-reactivity with existing signalling applications. The integration of present infrastructure for data transmission is another goal. The locally recorded condition measures will be made available to a superior management system.
Since such a module for the collection of data and the evaluation of grooved rail turnout systems has not been realised within the ÖPNV so far, a next major step into the direction of optimised reliability, availability and maintainability can be made. Furthermore, this development will optimise costs within grooved rail infrastructure systems and therefore, will have a share in the improvement of competitiveness and in the increase of safety.
Findings of the study are published in a short presentation (German only) which is available online via the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) at: