Automation of railway switch and crossing inspection

Rusu, Marius Florin (2017). Automation of railway switch and crossing inspection. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (12MB)


In recent years there has been an increase in railway usage which led to reduced time for rail maintenance. Railway switches and crossings (S&C) are an important asset and they typically account for 30% of the total budget spent on maintenance. The first part of this work researches the feasibility of automatically inspecting S&Cs in accordance with Network Rail inspection requirements and the likely necessary advancements. Current S&C inspection requirements, as well as current and developing inspection solutions, were analysed and categorised. This revealed the required technological advances and likely changes that the railway will have to adopt. The second part of the work researches the weakness of conventional S&C profile inspection practices used in industry. The work identified the main reasons that can lead to poor traditional inspection of the S&C profile, developed a novel, automatic method to carry out the profile measurements which eliminated human error and identified possible improvements in the area of S&C profile inspection. During this research, an inspection trolley was prototyped, field trials were carried out, and good results were obtained.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TF Railroad engineering and operation
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year