Continuous Track Monitoring Operational Trial

Article: Continuous Track Monitoring Operational Trial


DB ESG received a contract from Network Rail to deliver the DB Systemtechnik Continuous Track Monitoring product (CTM2.0) for a operational trial in the UK during 2021/22.  This project is part of the wider In Service Monitoring design contest being led by Network Rail’s Research & Development team, looking at a number of train-borne track measurement/monitoring systems on in-service vehicles, covering some eight different solutions.

This trial has enabled Network Rail to assess the suitability of DB’s CTM 2.0 system in helping them to reduce the number and impact of service affecting failures, including predicting future condition to enable preventative maintenance actions to be implemented.

For this project, DB Systemtechnik (DB ST) provided the CTM2.0 equipment on a loan basis. They then monitored remotely, for the 6 month duration of the trial, analysing the data and supplying Network Rail with reports detailing the actual track condition and establishing prediction capabilities of future track conditions.

DB ESG was responsible for the vehicle design modifications required, all necessary approvals, material supply, installation of the CTM equipment, and testing and commissioning of the system.

DB ST‘s CTM2.0 equipment was installed onto a Mark 3 Driving Van Trailer (DVT), which was  operated in normal passenger service by Chiltern Railways, on the Birmingham to London Marylebone mainline.

The minimal CTM2.0 equipment consisted of external vehicle mounted sensors and an antenna, connected to an equipment enclosure inside the vehicle. The sensors measured the longitudinal level, track twist, dynamic alignment, ride comfort, cyclic top, speed and the vehicle’s motion response. The antenna transmitted the data to a land-based computer platform, which received, stored, processed and reported on the data.

The CTM2.0 system provided data on track condition specifically related to rail top.  Algorithms translated the data into EN standard measurement of rail top that could then be used to understand current and future track condition. 

Work Undertaken by DB ESG

  • Detailed vehicle survey to assess and confirm the extent of the modifications required to enable the CTM system to be deployed.
  • Concept designs created for review by Network Rail.
  • 3D CAD models developed to validate the equipment installation locations.
  • Detailed design drawings were developed and then finalised following stakeholder review.
  • Structural and electrical assessments carried out.
  • Evidence of compliance against mandatory requirements for each area was completed by DB ESG and assessed by Railways Approvals Ltd. (independent certification body).
  • Drawings produced for all installations, assemblies, manufactured items and modifications, including fixing brackets, general arrangements, wiring looms, electrical schematics and wiring diagrams.
  • Modification procedures written to accompany the installation drawings
  • Bill of Materials produced.
  • DB ESG was responsible for providing all materials and equipment required to deliver modifications.
  • Approvals and certification of the modifications by Railway Approvals Ltd.
  • Equipment installation onto the vehicles.
  • Testing and commissioning of the system.
  • DB ESG led the project and sub-contract managed DB ST for their goods and services.