Maintenance Vehicles

On-board inspection technology

Maintenance vehicles can be used for hosting on-board equipment for track inspection. These vehicles differ significantly based on the model and may be using overhead line power or have diesel engines. In most railways, maintenance vehicles, often painted yellow, may be designed either for carrying people and machinery for repairs, or may be designed to host additional space internally to create a laboratory for various measurements. The latter is easier for attended operations where inspection engineers may use computer consoles to monitor live inspection run and control it. For old style maintenance vehicles, only the driver and a handful of other passengers may be possible. Similar to passenger vehicles, maintenance vehicles also have space and power limitations but these can carry higher loads, show greater flexibility in terms of where equipment is allowed for installation, and are less worried about mechanical modifications to the vehicle to integrate inspection equipment. Furthermore, some accessories such as wheel encoders and GPS may even be shared across various equipment coming from different manufacturers. The following Table shows some typical considerations when mounting equipment on maintenance vehicles.

Maintenance vehicles installation requirements
Limited space Depending on the choice of maintenance vehicle, both space for mounting and operating equipment in attended mode may be limited.
Limited power during operations A separate generator may be recommended if the vehicle cannot power the equipment. Generators are not ideal for tunnel and underground environments and need to be filled regularly.
Attended operations Train drivers cannot operate equipment so additional manpower to operate and look after start-stop and correct functioning of generators, UPS and other accessories is is important.
Noise and vibration issues Since equipment components may be placed inside the cabin, it is important that this does not generate undesirable noise for driver and is well cooled. Excessive vibrations may also loosen connectors and damage processors and storage media.
Driver coordination Equipment operators must ensure consistent coordination of their work with vehicle operators to ensure that their system is not prematurely powered off and that they have sufficient time to take any raw data off the vehicle.

TrackVue installation

TrackVue series Z, S and V are ideally suited for mounting on maintenance vehicles. Since all equipment is equipped outside of the cabin, it releases any pressure on resources inside the cabin, and offers both attended and unattended operations. For attended operations, a panel PC console can be put wired to the equipment through a network switch. The following video shows TrackVue mounted to a maintenance vehicle at the front.