Higher railway track availability achieved with innovative data analytics

Ivan Vidovic, Matthias Landgraf

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


The availability of railway track is particularly crucial for heavy haul railway undertakings, as track closures and delays may result in a loss of vital revenue and could also result in expensive contractual penalties. Reactive maintenance, a common strategy in the past, has been replaced by preventive maintenance strategies that enables infrastructure managers to make optimum use of the remaining service life of track installations and also allows long-term budget planning. If these two positive aspects are to be ensured it is crucial to record the asset condition and to describe its development over time. Fractal analysis of vertical track geometry, already presented at IHHA 2017, enables infrastructure managers to determine the root-cause of track irregularities by quantifying wavelength characteristics of common track geometry data. This frequency
of information is sufficient for most parts of the network, but not for particularly problematic sections. For these cases distributed acoustic sensing comes into play. This methodology delivers continuous and permanent information for track evaluation by recording sense pressure changes in an optic fibre cable. These cables can be easily installed alongside specific track sections –in a cable trough or on the rail foot. The present paper shows the possibilities of this innovative approach by combining it with other methodologies such as fractal analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings: International Heavy Haul Association Conference
Place of PublicationNarvik
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


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