Rail profile and rail wear measurement

The latest laser and video camera technology is applied to measure the profile and wear condition of the rails. The sensor heads with laser transmitters and receiver cameras are mounted on one bogie of the track recording car. The electronics and the computer system are housed in the interior of the car in one of the electronic racks.

The laser units are temperature stabilized precisely, eliminating the need to shield off ambient light from the measuring area on the rails. The receiver cameras capture full cross-sectional rail profiles from the base area to the top-of-rail surface.

The sampling frequency can be defined by the user. The rail profiles are recorded at every measurement, linked with the kilometer location and stored. The system works at measuring speeds up to 300 km/h and allows automatic identification of the rail type in real-time.

The following parameters are measured for both rails:

  • Full profile
  • Rail height
  • Rail head width
  • Rail inclination
  • Track gauge and minimum track gauge
  • Rail head lips
  • Rail weight (rail ID)

By comparing these measurements in real-time with a defined target profile the following parameters can be calculated for both rails:

  • Rail height and width wear
  • Wear of the rail head area, given in square millimeters or percentage
  • Wear of the rail for up to 9 user-defined positions across the rail head

The recordings of those points on the rails outside the pre-selected tolerance are marked by the system and listed in a rail profile exception report. The link of the measured data for track gauge with rail inclination and wear enables an analysis of the overall state of the rails and the pads.

The rail profile measuring system can also measure the distance between running rail and guard rail. For this purpose the sensor heads are moved inwards horizontally with the help of servos. The measured parameters are transmitted to the on-board computer where they are stored together with the measured track data.

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