Deutsche Bahn

Using passenger rolling stock to monitor the infrastructure

DB has developed effective and economical method

(Derby, 24. July 2017) DB has developed an effective and economical method for the continuous monitoring of track (CTM) conditions that is a ‘by-product’ of normal passenger train operations.

A small number of regular passenger service trains can be used to monitor the infrastructure with a minimal amount of equipment fitted.

The effect of this approach is that large areas of infrastructure can be monitored on a regular basis, whilst carrying out normal passenger services.  Further to providing valuable track condition data, this approach also alleviates some of the requirement to deploy and maintain specific track monitoring vehicles.

CTM provides continuous proof of the track quality. Analysis of this regular data flow also enables a much better approach to planning. It ensures that maintenance interventions are optimised, from both a cost and work content perspective. CTM basically saves time and money and results in sustainable maintenance.

The ability to identify defects early in the lifecycle, along with monitoring growth rate, means that potential issues can be predicted before they occur.  The consequence is an infrastructure with higher availability due to a reduction in the number of service breakdowns, delays and unplanned maintenance activity.  All of this supports a more punctual and efficient railway operation, with a reduction in the number of associated speed restrictions and in-service failures.

For a number of years, Deutsche Bahn AG has used an ICE 2 trainset, equipped with the CTM measurement system to monitors-around 2400 km of track per day.  This measurement system has been trouble-free with limited maintenance requirements since its introduction.

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