Condition monitoring at the wheel/rail interface for decision-making support

Many railway assets, such as wheels, suffer from increasing deterioration during operation. Good condition monitoring based on good decision-making techniques can lead to accurate assessment of the current health of the wheels. This, in turn, will improve safety, facilitate maintenance planning and scheduling, and reduce maintenance costs and down-time. In this paper, wheel/rail forces are selected as a parameter (feature) for the condition monitoring of wheel health. Once wheels are properly thresholded, determining their condition can help operators to define maintenance limits for their rolling stock. In addition, if rail forces are used as condition indicators of wheel wear, it is possible to use measurement stations that cost less than ordinary profile stations. These stations are located on ordinary tracks and can provide the condition of wheelsets without causing shutdowns or slowdowns of the railway system and without interfering with railway traffic. The paper uses the iron-ore transport line in northern Sweden as a test scenario to validate the use of wheel/rail forces as indicators of wagon and wheel health. The iron-ore transport line has several monitoring systems, but in this paper only two of these systems will be used. Wheel/rail force measurements are performed on curves to see how the vehicle negotiates the curve, and wheel profile measurements are done on tangent track not far away. The vehicles investigated are iron-ore wagons with an axle load of 30 tonnes and a loaded top speed of 60 km/h. The measurements are non-intrusive, since trains are moving and assets are not damaged during the testing process.


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  • Accession Number: 01535319
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 7 2014 12:39PM