In-service trial of a proven continuous track monitoring system with Network Rail

Article: In-service trial of a proven continuous track monitoring system with Network Rail

DB ESG, in collaboration with DB Systemtechnik, is to commence an in-service trial of a proven continuous track monitoring system with Network Rail.

(Derby, 13. October 2021) This is the first time that DB Systemtechnik’s (DB ST) track monitoring system (CTM2.0) will be used, to continuously monitor railway infrastructure, on a passenger service train in the UK.

DB ESG is pleased to announce a new project with Network Rail to trial DB ST’s continuous track monitoring (CTM2.0) system. The necessary equipment will be installed onto a Mark 3 driving van trailer (DVT), which will be operated in normal passenger service by Chiltern Railways, on the Birmingham to London Marylebone mainline. This trial will enable Network Rail to assess the suitability of DB’s 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 ST will provide the CTM2.0 equipment, which they will monitor remotely for the duration of the trial, analysing the data to supply Network Rail with regular reports detailing the actual track condition and predicting future track conditions.

For Network Rail, this represents a new approach to the monitoring of asset and system condition with a focus on performance. The project is part of a wider In Service Monitoring trial being led by Network Rail’s Research & Development team, which will trial a number of train-borne track measurement/monitoring systems on in-service vehicles to understand the feasibility of supplementing the traditional full track geometry systems. In total, there are eight supplier solutions across 12 system trials.

On this project specifically, DB ESG will be responsible for the vehicle design modifications required, all necessary approvals, material supply, installation of the CTM equipment, and testing and commissioning of the system.

Commenting on this contract, Nick Goodhand, Managing Director, DB ESG said: “We are looking forward to continuing our working relationship with our important customer, Network Rail. DB’s global expertise, coupled with its UK rolling stock knowledge will support Network Rail in their aim to achieve more proactive maintenance planning.”

Christoph Kirschinger, Managing Director, Sales, DB ST added: “Our proven, cost effective solution allows the early detection of issues before they disrupt the network. The quality of operations is therefore improved, by decreasing service disruptions and speed restrictions. This system has been in operation now for over seven years and is currently actively monitoring more than 3,000km of track. “

The minimal CTM2.0 equipment, consisting of external vehicle mounted sensors and an antenna, are connected to an equipment enclosure inside the vehicle. The sensors measure the longitudinal level, track twist, dynamic alignment, ride comfort, cyclic top, speed and the vehicle’s motion response. The antenna transmits data to a land-based computer platform, which receives, stores, processes and reports on the data.