Monitoring railway track condition using inertial sensors on an in-service vehicle

Yeo, Graeme James (2017). Monitoring railway track condition using inertial sensors on an in-service vehicle. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Effective maintenance of railway track is critical for the safe operation of any railway network. Efficient maintenance may also result in economic benefits for rail operators. The work in this thesis looks into how an inexpensive measurement system could be fitted to in-service railway vehicles such as commuter trains, to provide a relatively high frequency of measurement on their routes of operation, when compared to dedicated measurement vehicles. This thesis describes how a prototype inertial measurement system was designed and built, and fitted to a commuter train operating in the region south of London, UK. Inertial data is processed to provide a vertical profile of the track. A novel use of a modified Bryson-Frazier filter is used to produce vertical profile datasets which are repeatable to within 0.2 mm. Profiles calculated from multiple passes of the same areas of track are compared to show track degradation. Methods of estimating track stiffness are developed using vertical geometry data from repeated passes of the same track sections at differing speeds. Some correlation to stiffness is shown through the results, but exact measurements were not possible.
Finally, two case studies are presented which show findings at a bridge approach, and through two level crossings.

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: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > TF Railroad engineering and operation
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering


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