2019 Heavy Haul Session
Moving to Performance-Based Automated Track Inspection: The Benefits and Hurdles Ahead
This presentation examines the evolution of automated track condition assessment from the early days of using manned mechanical contact systems to identify adverse track geometry conditions to today’s world of ever-expanding types and numbers of sensor systems. Coupling the vast amount of track condition data produced by these test systems with new analytical systems allows for development of powerful track assessment tools. Advancements in technology also provide a movement from manned to unmanned track testing platforms where processing of condition data is either on the vehicle or transferred over wireless systems and processed remotely.
The presentation will highlight the benefits of the ever-evolving world of track assessment systems with new analytical methods. The models produced provide information used to assist in targeting the appropriate remedial action and to create a more effective capital program that maximizes asset life while reducing risk to personnel by minimizing on-track inspection time. Challenges, however, remain: dealing with massive amounts of data, aggregating various data streams into singular results and changing employees’ work practices.