The Educational Railroading Conference Leader Since 1994


2021 Rail Transit Session


Vibro-Acoustic Inspection of Vienna‘s Tram Network

Karoline Alten

Karoline Alten
Transportation Infrastructure Technologies at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Vienna has the world’s fifth largest tram network at around 420 km of rail that need to be maintained to provide transport services to over 300 Mill. passengers per year. About a decade ago, an inspection vehicle was introduced by equipping a former in-service vehicle with a series of optical sensors to scan the rail heads for wear. In recent years, the instrumentation of the vehicle was extended to include a microphone and data analysis was also performed on the onboard acceleration sensors, which had hitherto only served the tram’s positioning system. Using this vibro-acoustic data, it is possible to evaluate the network in terms of potential immission hotspots where the wheel-rail contact can result in adverse effects such as rail squeal or the formation of corrugation. This presentation will give an overview of the research done over the last three years regarding the methods applied to detect and classify certain acoustic irregularities and the current work performed on the analysis of turnouts.