Determination of railway track longitudinal profile using measured inertial response of an in-service railway vehicle
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionStructural Health Monitoring. 2017, . 10.1177/1475921717744479
The use of sensors fixed to in-service trains has the potential to provide real-time track condition monitoring to inform maintenance planning. An Irish Rail intercity train was instrumented for a period of 1 month so that a numerical method developed to find track longitudinal profile from measured vehicle inertial responses could be experimentally tested. A bogie-mounted accelerometer and gyrometer measured vertical acceleration and angular velocity as the train made regular service operations between Dublin and Belfast on the island of Ireland. Cross entropy optimisation is used to find a track longitudinal profile that generates a numerical inertial response that best fits the measured response. Tolerance limits are used to inject variance where required to ensure a good match between measured and modelled signals. A section of track with known track settlement history is selected as a case study. A level survey was undertaken during the measurement campaign to characterise the longitudinal profile through the test section. Bandpass filters are used to compare inferred profiles and the surveyed profile. Good agreement is found between the two profiles although improvements in accuracy and reproducibility are required before conformance with current standards is achieved.