FOSphAT – Fiber optic sensing for permanent and holistic assessment of track

Ivan Vidovic, Stefan Marschnig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


For the assessment of railway tracks, infrastructure managers use various measurement and evaluation methods. Thus, in-depth knowledge about track condition, rolling stock and executed maintenance actions is necessary for the assessment and can only be achieved by data analyses, data interpretation and the derivation of appropriate actions. The assessment of a track's condition is carried out mainly by analyses of data obtained with track-recording vehicles and manual inspections. Furthermore, wayside train monitoring systems (WTMS) are deployed at strategic locations and measure the load of trains, the condition of its wheelsets or the running performance. As a track needs to be maintained within its life cycle, several maintenance actions are executed.
None of the actual used monitoring and measurement methods provide a continuous and comprehensive monitoring of railway infrastructure and rolling stock.
This contribution elaborates the potential of distributed fiber optic sensing for railway infrastructure condition monitoring. Distributed sensors deliver continuous and permanent information for track evaluation by recording sense pressure changes in an optical fiber. These cables can be easily installed alongside specific track sections – in a cable trough or on the rail foot.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of World Congress on Railway Research
Place of PublicationTokyo, Japan
Number of pages5
VolumeUSB flash drive
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Event12th World Congress on Railway Research: Railway Research to Enhance the Customer Experience - Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 28 Oct 20191 Nov 2019
Conference number: 12


Conference12th World Congress on Railway Research
Abbreviated titleWCRR 2019
Internet address


  • Fibre optic sensing
  • Distributed acoustic sensing
  • Railway infrastructure monitoring
  • Track Data Analyses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

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