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Analysis of local track discontinuities and defects in railway switches based on track-side accelerations

Reetz, Susanne and Najeh, Taoufik and Lundberg, Jan and Groos, Jörn Christoffer (2024) Analysis of local track discontinuities and defects in railway switches based on track-side accelerations. Sensors, 24 (2), pp. 477-501. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/s24020477. ISSN 1424-8220.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/24/2/477


Switches are an essential, safety-critical part of the railway infrastructure. Compared to open tracks, their complex geometry leads to increased dynamic loading on the track superstructure from passing trains, resulting in high maintenance costs. To increase efficiency, condition monitoring methods specific to railway switches are required. A common approach to track superstructure monitoring is to measure the acceleration caused by vehicle track interaction. Local interruptions in the wheel--rail contact, caused for example by local defects or track discontinuities, appear in the data as transient impact events. In this paper, such transient events are investigated in an experimental setup of a railway switch with track-side acceleration sensors, using frequency and waveform analysis. The aim is to understand if and how the origins of these impact events can be distinguished in the data of this experiment, and what the implications for condition monitoring of local track discontinuities and defects with wayside acceleration sensors are in practice. For the same experimental configuration, individual impact events are shown to be reproducible in waveform and frequency content. Nevertheless, with this track-side sensor setup, the different types of track discontinuities and defects (squats, joints, crossing) could not be clearly distinguished using characteristic frequencies or waveforms. Other factors, such as the location of impact event origin relative to the sensor, are shown to have a much stronger influence. The experimental data suggest that filtering the data to narrow frequency bands around certain natural track frequencies could be beneficial for impact event detection in practice, but differentiating between individual impact event origins requires broadband signals. A multi-sensor setup with time-synchronized acceleration sensors distributed over the switch is recommended.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/198445/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Daten: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10209428
Title:Analysis of local track discontinuities and defects in railway switches based on track-side accelerations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Reetz, SusanneUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5096-6327UNSPECIFIED
Groos, Jörn ChristofferUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3871-0756151067592
Date:12 January 2024
Journal or Publication Title:Sensors
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 477-501
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:railway; switch; acceleration; fault diagnosis; track superstructure; squat; crossing; joint; track-side; way-side
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Rail Transport
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V SC Schienenverkehr
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - INTRA - Infrastruktur und Transformation
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Transportation Systems > Information Gathering and Modelling, BS
Deposited By: Reetz, Susanne
Deposited On:19 Jan 2024 10:43
Last Modified:29 Jan 2024 13:09

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