Rail inspection technologies cover almost every aspect of the track, rails, and ballast, but a significant component that has previously been overlooked is the track circuit.
Track circuits are designed to fail safe, in which case all traffic is stopped. This generates delays that mean cost in today’s competitive environment. What’s more, leaks or breaks can be hard to locate–especially in a hurry.
NxGenRail and ERTMS Solutions from Belgium have teamed up to deliver the first fully contactless track circuit integrity monitoring system in North America capable of examining both DC and AC track circuits. The system will be installed on NxGen’s NXGX 391 Laboratory test car in 2018.
One of the many benefits of this system, which operates at line speed, is that it can detect and locate anomalies like leakages or defective insulated joints before they cause the track circuit to break down. This allows proactive maintenance in order to avoid the track circuit failure and keep the trains running as scheduled.
“This is another first for NxGen. We are proud to be first in the field of machine vision at line speed, and to combine technologies like Geometry and Ground Penetrating Radar. Each new additional component makes track inspection more cost effective and works to create a holistic view of what is really happening in the rail infrastructure ecosystem,”said Robert Grant, managing director of NxGenRail.
“We are delighted to be working with NxGen to raise awareness among the US Railroads that track circuit failures can be avoided by using a simple on-board monitoring sensor. The delays and costs that these failures cause can now be avoided without having to invest in costly wayside instrumentation.” Stanislas Pinte, CEO, ERTMS Solutions.
NxGen Rail, a subsidiary of Sasser Family Holdings, provides and operates rail-bound track inspection services at line speed, combining multiple technologies to provide a holistic view of the track and infrastructure condition. These technologies include full track and rail geometry, machine vision and ground penetrating radar.