Track systems - Articles and news items
It is no secret that railway track switches – which have worked the same way for over 200 years – face stubborn reliability issues and costly maintenance bills. The signalling, detection and locking systems built into and around switches can slow things down and significantly reduce network capacity. Furthermore, when there is a problem, a switch failure stops the trains. As railway networks continue to expand and carry more passengers and freight, significant investment is required in order to cope with increased demand, and building new track is always a difficult option. Yet there could be a different way forward that enhances safety, reduces maintenance and improves capacity, as Professor Roger Dixon, Head of the Control Systems Research Group at Loughborough University, and Senior Project Engineer, Sam Bemment, explain…
In our latest free-to-view Track Systems & Infrastructure Supplement, Monika Heiming, Executive Director of EIM discusses how to encourage innovative infrastructure maintenance and Libor Lochman, Executive Director of CER shares a vision for the future of rail infrastructure..
In our latest free-to-view Track Systems Supplement, Chris Eady from the Institute of Rail Welding explains the topic of broken rails and rolling contact fatigue, plus experts from Graz University cover the challenges in railway asset management in order to implement a preventive, condition-based maintenance and renewal strategy…
In our latest free-to-view Track Systems Supplement, read articles about the CAPACITY4RAIL project, track maintenance facilities in Portugal, plus switches and crossings research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology…
Under Sleeper Pads in Track – the UIC project (Florian Auer, Past Project Manager for ‘USPs in Track’ / Rodolphe Potvin, Head of Track Laboratories, SNCF / Paul Godart, Deputy Director of Infrastructure at Infrabel and Chairman of the UIC Track Expert Group / Laurent Schmitt, Infrastructure Senior Advisor, UIC)
In-service track monitoring (Clive Roberts, Professor of Railway Systems at the University of Birmingham and Director for Railway Research, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education / Paul Weston, Research Fellow, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education)
This free to view Track Systems supplement is sponsored by voestalpine and features:
Optimising the wheel/rail interface: reducing forces for the benefit of all! (Steve Yianni, Director of Engineering at Network Rail and European Railway Review Editorial Board Member)
RAILECT – development of an ultrasonic technique, sensors and systems for the volumetric examination of aluminothermic rail welds (George Kotsikos, RAILECT Project Manager of NewRail – the Centre for Railway Research at Newcastle University, Tamara Colombier, Senior Project Leader in the Non-Destructive Testing Technology Group at TWI and RAILECT Project Co-ordinator and Angélique Raude, Principal Project Leader in the Non-Destructive Testing Technology Group at TWI)
Show Preview: INFRARAIL 2012
Issue 1 2012 / 6 February 2012 /
The contact between wheels and track is fundamental to railway operations, but the contact conditions are affected by often unpredictable external sources of contamination such as fallen tree leaves, snow and rain which can substantially reduce the level of adhesion of the track that is essential to the delivery of tractive effort for traction and braking systems in railway vehicles. The problem of low adhesion reduces the traction and causes wheel spin when trains accelerate or lock their wheels to slow down which can potentially cause severe wear of wheel and rail surfaces, increase mechanical stress in the system and affect stability.
The history of adhesion management can be traced back to the use of sanding systems in locomotives to improve adhesion as early as the late 19th century, but there have since been significant advances in wheel slip/slide protection (WSP) technologies for braking and traction systems. The most commonly used wheel slip protection schemes are achieved by measuring and controlling the slip ratio (relative speed between a wheel and the train) and in more extreme cases to control the wheel rotational acceleration below a pre-defined threshold. Further performance enhancement may be obtained with the use of hybrid anti-slip approaches with the use of slip, wheel speed and acceleration information. Those controllers are difficult to obtain optimal performance and also require accurate measurement of wheel slip. In general, WSPs are effectively reactive systems, i.e. only ‘activated’ to stop wheel slip/slide when detected by the sensors.
Issue 2 2011 / 6 April 2011 /
Track21 is a major new research programme funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) with the aim of developing the fundamental science needed to bring about a step-change improvement in the performance of the UK’s railway track system.
Led by Professor William Powrie of the University of Southampton, Track21 brings together worldleading academics from the Universities of Southampton, Birmingham and Nottingham with key industry players to develop the scientific knowledge needed to inform not just incremental advances, but a step change in the way the existing track network is maintained and new lines designed and built.
Issue 2 2010 / 5 April 2010 /
The Chinese railway dates back approximately 130 years. The first railway line, Wu-Song, was built in 1876 in Shanghai with a length of 14.5km and a track gauge of 762mm. The first railway built by Chinese engineers is the Jingzhang-Railway (Beijing to Zhangjiakou), finished between 1905 and 1909 with a total length of 201.1km, a small curve radius of 182.5m and four tunnels with a length of 1.6km. The Chief Engineer, Zhan Tianyou, who used a switchback to overcome a steep gradient, is called the father of China’s railway due to his achievement in construction of this railway line. Since that time, the Chinese railway has written its own story. At the beginning of the modern era, 21,810km of railway lines were in operation. Due to the economic reforms up until the late 1980s, the Chinese railway begun to grow significantly to meet the requirements of the growing economy and population. Over the last decade, the topic of high-speed railway has become a very important one for the Chinese railway industry.
Since March 2008, Tilo Brandis has been President and CEO of RAIL.ONE GmbH. After his studies at various universities in Europe and at Harvard Business School, Brandis began his career at HBS Consulting Partners as a Project Manager and Management Consultant. In 1997, he moved to Siemens AG Transportation Systems. In 2003, he took charge of Siemens AG A&D Assembly Systems, with around 2,300 staff and with sales of approximately €600 million. Until he moved to RAIL.ONE, Brandis directed the acquisition of the US software company UGS for Siemens AG. With more than 800 employees and 18 locations in nine countries, RAIL.ONE is one of the world’s leading providers of railway track systems, with comprehensive consulting and engineering competence for all areas of application.
Details of the study of a slab track system for the new Ring Rail Line conducted in Vantaa, Finland for Finnish Railway Administration by Pöyry Infra Ltd and VR-Track Ltd Railway Consulting department.
Jens Kleeberg, Vice President of R&D, RAIL.ONE GmbH, discusses the next step in the development of ballastless track.