Continuous monitoring of essential components as a measure to increase the safety of Rail Transport

Ali Daadbin, Jarek Rosinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The paper looks at the essential components in Rail Transport such as Axles and Pantograph and gives the detail of the systems used in monitoring their operation. The continuously measured data such as Torque on the main gearbox shaft or load/acceleration on the Pantograph enables diagnostics of such systems on routinely operating trains. Variations from the expected values are being detected early and corrected to avoid compromising passenger safety. A theoretical model is proposed which includes all the components in the traction system and their dynamic influence on each other. The model studies the traction system with the view on the interaction between the wheel and the rail interface. The paper discusses the system designed for monitoring the transmitted torque and bending moments in the rail vehicle axle as a mean for identification of any abnormal loading. Pantograph failures due to complex interactions between the overhead line (OHL) and pantograph structure cause significant problems to railway industry worldwide. This paper also describes the design, development and test results from the first fully proven Pantograph Monitoring System which is now deployed on routinely operating trains in the UK. In both applications monitoring data instantly captured by the embedded systems. The system uses two subcomponents; Digital Processing Module (DPM) and the Receiving Signal and Relay Unit (RSRU) which is installed in a secure location inside the carriage. The DPM uses Bluetooth communication to report any unexpected events to the RSRU, which is equipped with an on-board GPRS module to allow instantaneous access and remote interrogation from any location worldwide. The data collected will enable the reliability of the component under operation to be assessed. Any high alarm events are instantaneously transferred to the train to warn the operator and the control centre about potentially harmful event which require immediate attention. This will in turn increase safety of the travelling passengers from any consequences of developing failures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-297
JournalInternational Journal of Safety and Security Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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