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Analysis of Local Track Discontinuities and Defects in Railway Switches Based on Track-Side Accelerations
Institute of Transportation Systems, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Braunschweig, 38108, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5096-6327
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4895-5300
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7744-2155
Institute of Transportation Systems, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Braunschweig, 38108, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3871-0756
2024 (English)In: Sensors, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 24, no 2, article id 477Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2024. Vol. 24, no 2, article id 477
Keywords [en]
acceleration, crossing, fault diagnosis, joint, railway, squat, switch, track superstructure, track-side, way-side
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Research subject
Operation and Maintenance Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-104172DOI: 10.3390/s24020477ISI: 001151217700001PubMedID: 38257569Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85183276058OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-104172DiVA, id: diva2:1834677
Funder
EU, Horizon Europe, 101101966
Note

Validerad;2024;Nivå 2;2024-04-08 (hanlid);

Full text license: CC BY 4.0

Available from: 2024-02-05 Created: 2024-02-05 Last updated: 2024-04-08Bibliographically approved

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Najeh, TaoufikLundberg, Jan

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