Complying with Rail Directives for Geo-Monitoring in Germany

Complying with Rail Directives for Geo-Monitoring in Germany
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Complying with Rail Directives for Geo-Monitoring in Germany

Achieving Redundancy by Combining Total Stations and IoT-based, Wireless Tiltmeters

This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine, Issue 3 2022.

Rail infrastructure is subject to change and evaluating how these changes impact the safety of railway services is key.

In Germany, the regulatory framework for monitoring is provided by the 883.8X00 series of directives issued by Deutsche Bahn AG (DB).

This article aims to show how the demands of these directives, such as clear task descriptions, monitoring of external geometry and high reliability through redundancy, can be achieved in practice.

The Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), the German standardisation body, regulates the planning, implementation, evaluation and documentation of monitoring measurements via DIN 18710-4.

The requirements and conditions for deformation monitoring must be defined in a task description and implementation must be mapped out in a measurement programme.

The description defines what objects should be observed, the minimum and maximum deformations, the precision required, the measuring frequency, accessibility, safety, warning and alarm parameters and the form and frequency of results and documentation.

The Geo-Monitoring Directive

For measures affecting the rail system, DB states:

“By means of geo-monitoring, possible changes in the spatial position (rigid body movement) and/or internal shape (deformations) of railway tracks and points, constraint points of the line, buildings and other installations are recorded and documented.”

If changes have occurred or are foreseen, a risk analysis and assessment must be carried out in accordance with Ril 883.8100. It shall indicate whether monitoring should be undertaken and, if so, its extent and purpose.

The directive states: “According to the same procedure [risk analysis], the dispensability of geo-monitoring must be demonstrated.” The directive requires changes in external geometry to be recorded.

Two requirements of the 883.8X00 series of directives are that geo-monitoring must detect, document and, if necessary, report changes in the external geometry, and it must be set up in a redundant manner so the malfunction of a component does not prevent measurement results from being available.

Download the full PDF here.

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