Karl Akerlund
Detector system specialist – Trafikverket (Swedish Transport Administration)
Speaking on 22 November during the Wayside Train Monitoring Systems sessions

Karl Åkerlund

Karl Akerlund
Detector system specialist

RFID in Rail Paves the Way for Condition-Based Management

  • Condition-based management
  • RFID in Rail
  • Trend analysis on WTMS


Traditional use of WTMS are used to avoid accidents and to protect the infrastructure from damage. But many high-level alarms results in unplanned stops which stops the traffic and causes disturbances and high costs. The lower level alarms can be used to predict higher alarms but without a correct vehicle identification it requires a lot of manual work and it is almost impossible to achieve quality.

The Swedish Transport Administration has for several years worked on an identification for rail vehicles using RFID. The work has been carried out internationally and has led to a new standard, RFID in Rail.

RFID-readers has been installed together with WTMS sensors throughout all of Sweden and it is now possible to follow WTMS-measurements over time for a specific component on rail vehicles. The Swedish Transport Administration has together with universities in Sweden made investigations to see whether it is possible to predict damages and provide opportunities for condition-based maintenance. Research has been done both for hotbox detectors as for wheel-damage detectors showing big possibilities for prediction of wheel-damages but on the same time gives the train operators new undiscovered opportunities. So far the result has been used to easily discover spring damages, poorly distributed load etc.

The implementation in Sweden is now spread throughout Europe. Finland, UK, Denmark and Germany are just examples and it gives us even more possibilities. Though both the traffic and the implementation are done internationally it is possible to share information across borders, the Danish train operator DSB does for example integrate their monitoring system with data from Swedish detectors.

It has been shown that RFID really paves the way for condition-based maintenance, it directly creates values for operators who tags their vehicles with RFID but the implementation really shows its potentials across borders supporting both maintenance as well as vehicle visibility for intermodal traffic and transports.

View the topics of discussion and the speakers for each individual theme:

We look forward to welcoming you in Naples between 22 – 24 November for the Intelligent Rail Summit. 

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