High Speed Trains


High speed trains (speeds > 250kmph) are greatly expanding around the world. Performing track maintenance is particularly difficult for such networks as hardly any time is available to take possession of the track. Furthermore, track damage has greater potential for train derailment given the speeds involved. At present track inspection for such networks is limited to low speeds (<100kmph) with dedicated inspection trains that run on the same network and significantly reduce the capacity of the network.

High speed networks are fundamentally different to other types of railways with mostly standard gauge straight tracks and continuous welded rail. Systematic application of track tests, both dynamic control (measuring vehicle accelerations) and geometric one (measuring levelling, alignment, cant and gauge), is the key-tool in order to plan corrective work on track. Certainly, the most effective solution to counter problems of track infrastructure consists of improving structural quality of earthworks and drainage. Compensating these problems only by tamping work on the superstructure could be a short-time solution but not enough to get permanent stability. Track geometry degradation at ballasted high-speed lines depends on traffic, running speed and axle load of vehicles. These parameters have been identified as key-factors by theoretical studies and experience of lines in operation. Given the high speeds of these trains, even minor deviations in track condition can lead to major disasters so early detection of track geometry deviation, rail breaks and any fastenings breaking or getting loose is very important.

RV Diagnostics

Our existing TrackVue series Z products can be used directly on high speed trains at half of their resolution, e.g. 1mm/pixel and 40 cm sampling between laser measurements. Second generation TrackVue models are undergoing testing and development for high speed railways to further enhance the quality of analytics. The main emphasis is to use the latest and newly developing technology to maintain high sampling rates for sensors so that data quality is appropriate for decision making. Rail Vision is working together with leading sensor manufacturers who supply diverse applications to bring such technology within TrackVue for effective high speed train network. These developments will allow a detailed inspection at 350kmph without any loss in data quality.

TrackVue V series development for high speed rail is addressing overhead line and pole measurements at high speeds. The management of image blurring due to motion and dynamic range issues play an important role for such applications. With exposure times as less as 5 ms, the choice of sensors with large sensor size is very important. Downstream, high speed trains generate almost three times as much data as lower speed trains, and trying to process so much data in real-time requires a major upgrade to the overall data processing and storage modules. TrackVue second generation high speed systems will manage this large data volume for real-time analysis.

TrackVue for high speed trains will generate solutions that can be used on standard passenger trains improving overall track capacity by removing the need or slower inspection vehicles. In the interim period, existing TrackVue systems operating at speeds of less than 200 kmph can be used on-board inspection vehicles for inspecting high speed networks.

RV Advantage

Our technology is able to cope with the high data resolution and volume collected on high speed vehicles. Some advantages include:

  • Our systems for high speed networks can be integrated on passenger trains and work at full line speeds. We can achieve 1mm/pixel image resolution at high speeds of up to 320 kmph
  • We have efficient data management at such high speeds and use embedded hardware for high speed data acquisition and processing
  • All data collected is free of motion blur