Technical consultant at Ricardo Rail
Monitoring the geometric quality on a high speed line with passenger trains
HSL Zuid is a high-speed line that runs from Schiphol to the Belgian border. The Infrastructure was designed, built and is currently maintained by the consortium InfraSpeed Maintenance BV (IMbv). The duration of this maintenance contract is relatively long and ends in 2031.
For maintenance purposes information about the quality of the infrastructure, such as the track geometry is required. For this purpose, the track geometry is measured twice a year with a traditional measuring train. This method of monitoring comes with some limitations. First, the time interval is not sufficient to detect sudden changes of the track geometry. Second, the range of wavelength is limited from 3m tot 70m. This means that both short wave defects and long wave track geometry (>70m) are not measured. Especially the latter is relevant for the dynamic behavior of high speed trains.
IMbv and Ricardo Rail have acknowledged these limitations. For this reason IMbv started using InfraMonitoring for monitoring the geometry of their infrastructure. InfraMonitoring is a product developed by Ricardo which is installed in a passenger train. It runs on the HSL Zuid on a daily bases. While running in service, it automatically measured the geometry of the infrastructure. Information is provided on the vertical and lateral alignment in wavelengths ranging from 1cm to 150m.
InfraMonitoring on the HSL Zuid is in place since 2015. It has been verified against the requirements set out in the InfraSpeed maintenance manual. The presence of near real time data has proven to be very useful during track maintenance. The geometry was verified prio to and after extensive maintenance work. This supported IMbv in their process to release the track for save operation at 300 km/h just a few hours after the maintenance work had ended.
Thijs Roeleveld is a Technical Consultant at Ricardo Rail. He has over ten years of experience in the field of vehicle track interaction, providing consultancy on both infrastructure and rolling stock. He is also continuously involved in the development of monitoring systems for rail such as Gotcha and, more recently InfraMonitoring.
The RailTech Europe 2017 Conference will explore the following three themes:
- Day 1 – 28 March 2017: European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)
- Day 2 – 29 March 2017: Digitalisation in Railways
- Day 3 – 30 March 2017: Maintenance of Rail Infrastructure