Experimental Investigation on Condition Monitoring Opportunities of Tramway Tracks
The increasing demands for guided transportation modes in urban areas generate the need of high-frequency services. Due to the frequent services, the track deterioration process will be accelerated. Therefore, the exact knowledge of track quality is highly important for every railway company to provide high quality service level.
For monitoring of tramway tracks, an unconventional vehicle dynamics measurement setup is developed, which records the data of 3-axes wireless accelerometers mounted on wheel discs of regular in-service tram. In the implementation of prototype system, the bogie side-frame and car body mounted sensors are also fitted to the instrumented vehicle to compare the efficiency of these conventional solutions with the developed arrangement. At the first test period, the instrumented vehicle works as a dedicated inspection vehicle, in order to keep the constant velocity and help to determine the influencing factors on results. Accelerations are processed to obtain the track irregularities, in order to determine whether the track needs to be repaired. Real data come from measurements taken on tram line 49 of the Budapest (Hungary) and they have been validated by comparing results to the actual state of the track provided by a track geometry monitoring trolley and visual inspection. This paper presents the developed methods used for validation and the analysis of preliminary results of the wheel discs mounted accelerometers. This vehicle dynamic measurement system is cheap to implement and no significant modification of the vehicle is required. Therefore, in-service vehicles equipped with this system may serve a good opportunity for monitoring tramway track, while it multiple passes over same track section.