Innovative track geometry data analysis for turnouts: Preparations to enable the turnout behaviour description

Michael Fellinger, Stefan Marschnig, Petra Antonia Wilfling

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Turnouts are expensive but essential railway infrastructure components. Approximately 13,600 turnouts are located on the Austrian Federal Railways network. The average age of these turnouts is over 22 years. A turnout is an assortment of many individual parts and in addition, has some moveable elements. These two facts lead to high wear and very close inspection intervals. Therefore, new approaches are necessary to rate the actual condition very precisely and to forecast the remaining service life. In contrast to the open track, the inspection of turnouts is still carried out manually and based on this data it is not possible to describe or predict turnouts behaviour over time. In order to change this situation, the identification of the life-limiting components of turnouts will first be necessary. Having this knowledge, there is still a need to search for other sources of data to describe the condition and to predict the behaviour. The prerequisite is that this data is measured under load, so that the real behaviour of a turnout can be assessed during the passage of a rail vehicle. The measurement data from the track-recording car EM 250 seems to be best suited for that challenge. Nevertheless, a very extensive positioning process for these measurement data will be necessary to derive a dataset fulfilling all the requirements. This algorithm enables on the one hand the synchronization of all measuring signals and on the other hand the identification of the individual areas within the measurement signals. Consequently, after applying this positioning algorithm to the measurement data, it will be possible to describe the life-time limiting components’ condition. In order to handle the great amount of different data, a platform with the name CoMPAcT was introduced. Within this environment, it will be possible to store all the information relating to the respective turnout, while also to carry out analyses either for specific turnouts or for all existing ones. In addition to measurement data, all other information (performed maintenance activities, inspection results, geometric designs, etc.) is specifically implemented for each considered turnout.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 30 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


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