This paper discusses the results of an initial trial and continued use of a V/TI Monitor by ARTC in the Hunter Valley and how the data is utilized to evaluate track conditions. The Vehicle/Track Interaction Monitor (V/TI) is an autonomous measurement system that has been in use for over 15 years in the US for determining locations of excited vehicle/track interaction. Included in the paper are results of the system trial and assessment of exceptions detected.
Additionally discussion is included on how ARTC plans to utilize the data for track inspection and maintenance planning, as well as, safety alerts. Lastly the paper discusses the V/TI Monitor’s latest functional improvement to measure track top using a 3-metre (10-foot) mid-chord offset (MCO). MCO measurement with the autonomous V/TI Monitor has been found to be a very useful measurement of track surface conditions.
A growing method for evaluation of track conditions is to use autonomous measurement systems. This allows for “Train Path Free” measurement, meaning that a standard revenue vehicle is used to obtain the measurement. This is greatly preferred to using a non-revenue vehicle which consumes track time. Additionally it has the added advantage of utilizing the vehicle weight to fully load the track during measurement. Lastly, the continuous monitoring and real-time reporting of critical conditions can allow for reduced manned track inspections by hi-rail. These attributes have been the primary reason for ARTC evaluating the V/TI Monitor system in the Hunter Valley. It is also important to note, that this V/TI Monitor evaluation was the first ever conducted in Australia. This paper outlines the background of the V/TI Monitor, the installation, trial results, defect threshold determination and the continued use of the system by ARTC.
Vehicle/Track Interaction Monitors (V/TI) are autonomous track inspection systems that utilize acceleration measurements mounted on a vehicle with real-time reporting. V/TI Monitors have been in use for over 15 years in North America. Currently there are 253 V/TI Monitors in operation, including passenger and freight, locomotives and wagons. The entire fleet surveys over 64,000 km per day and create over 250,000 messages to the remote server per day.
Click download below for the system trial results and analysis.
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