Railway Ballast Void Detection


Findlay Irvine and Heriot-Watt University

Start date:

Feb 2016


14 months

Project abstract

Findlay Irvine and Heriot-Watt University are exploring a new sensor system to detect voided railway track ballast during train passage.

Deploying accelerometers directly to railway track infrastructure allows for the real time monitoring of railway track movements during train passage. This data can potentially be processed to automatically detect track structure deterioration (e.g. sleeper voiding), thus increasing operational safety and facilitating large savings on track maintenance.

Although signal processing challenges have previously prevented the development of such a commercial product, a new algorithm has the potential to overcome these and be expanded to detect railway voids.

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