Maximum track availability with “Vossloh Continuous Track Controlling powered by Frauscher”

At the InnoTrans 2018, Vossloh and Frauscher Sensortechnik will be unveiling their joint development in the field of continuous real-time monitoring of the condition of entire railway lines. Called “Continuous Track Controlling” (CTC), it is geared towards the maintenance of the entire railway track – including its components. With this innovative product, a customer-specific application library for monitoring the track will be built which not only allows keeping track of the changes in the respective infrastructure systems but also provides the basis for a targeted planning and monitoring of maintenance measures.

In order to support railway operators striving for a sustainable improvement in both track availability and train schedule reliability, Vossloh and Frauscher Sensortechnik will be jointly presenting their innovative Continuous Track Controlling (CTC) solution at the InnoTrans 2018. CTC allows an early detection of changes in the infrastructure that may occur due to wear and tear or similar causes as well as an identification of sudden component defects. For an accurate locating of these changes and an analysis of the network quality, CTC provides an application library that is specifically tailored to the installation officer.

With the continuous real-time monitoring of the rail-wheel contact over entire railway lines, installation officers can allocate their budgets more efficiently and perform more targeted maintenance measures. This not only reduces maintenance costs and avoids disruptions but also leads to a longer life of the track components. For the infrastructure operator, this means a substantial value added in maintenance management, which is the costliest part in the lifecycle of a track.

Mature and smart technology
CTC is based on the Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology that has already been tried and tested in other industries and has now been successfully adapted by Frauscher to the railway sector. DAS uses existing fibre-optic cables and detects vibration signatures by changes in the reflection of laser pulses. Any deviation from the stored standard parameters indicates an anomaly that permits inferences on (beginning) weak spots in the track.

The DAS technology is already in use in control and safety engineering applications (e.g. for train tracking). Also first condition diagnoses such as broken rails or flats in vehicle wheels have already been implemented. The further development of the functionalities towards a data-based maintenance management will be pursued jointly by the two companies Frauscher and Vossloh.

Focus on condition-based maintenance
The project focuses on the diagnosis of the track condition – from defects at rails, rail joints, sleepers and fastening elements through to weak spots in the ballast and the substructure. With the interpretation of the data provided by CTC, network operators have a detailed knowledge of the current condition of each section of the railway line. In future, also forecasts on the progressive development of track anomalies based on the specific operational data will become available.

With this, CTC opens up completely new opportunities for a sustainable improvement of the track availability, an extension of the life of the track components and the provision of a reliable high-quality railway infrastructure.

Contact data:

Press team Vossloh AG
Phone (+49-2392) 52-608
Email: presse@vossloh.com

The Smart Rail Track by Vossloh
As specialist and value creating partner for rail infrastructure, Vossloh will be showcasing its products and services at this year’s InnoTrans under the overarching motto “The Smart Rail Track by Vossloh”. New capabilities in the information and communications technologies and the targeted deployment of sensor and IoT technologies open up new avenues towards the objective of the smart track. Also novel materials and optimized designs of the track components are part of the new Vossloh world.

About Frauscher Sensortechnik
Track more with less: Frauscher makes it simpler for system integrators and railway operators to obtain the information they need to run, monitor and protect their trains and infrastructure. The wheel detection systems, axle counters and tracking solutions provided by the technology leader from Austria are based on inductive sensor technology and distributed acoustic sensing. They are essential for the reliable and safe functioning of a wide range of applications. With experts in its local branches, Frauscher offers comprehensive customer support during the entire life cycle.