London Underground chose MERMEC Unattended Geometry Measuring Systems (UGMS) for line inspection
Twelve new track geometry measuring systems will guarantee continuous, real-time monitoring of the London Tube’s 408 km of tracks, 24/7 365 days per year. These new systems will be installed on revenue-service trains and used to evaluate track conditions in a fully automatic mode. Data from the trains will be collected, distributed through a wireless network to a central facility, and finally analyzed to have a complete understanding of infrastructure conditions.
London, September 2012 – Carrying more than 1.2 billion passengers annually on 11 lines and serving 270 stations, London Underground continues to beat records one after the other. Opening in 1863, the oldest subway system on the planet that serves the largest city in Europe will be the world’s first metro to introduce “unattended” measuring technology for the monitoring of its 408 km of track.
“Today, we can offer cutting-edge technology,” said Vito Pertosa, President of the MERMEC Group, “whose level of safety, reliability and artificial intelligence allows us to develop very-compact measuring devices that can be installed on revenue-service trains – under the frame or on the bogie – and used during service hours”.
UGMS, the MERMEC Group new unattended track geometry measuring system is a smart “unattended” device that is able to operate autonomously. UGMS is a valuable and cost-effective alternative to employing “dedicated recording cars” whenever track inspection could become a very complex and expensive task due to very short headway between trains and multiple lines not always interconnected.
“Revenue-service trains equipped with unmanned measuring systems can boost the frequency of track inspections,” continued Mr. Pertosa. “This ultimately guarantees an insightful understanding of infrastructure behavior. The analysis of the deterioration trends allows us to plan more effective maintenance. The systems supplied, for example, are going to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, permitting London Underground to acknowledge the behavior of the infrastructure under real operating conditions.”
UGMS will collect data from two further acquisition devices – a video surveillance system and noise/vibration measurement equipment. A specific software application directly correlates, for the first time ever, track geometry data with other useful information (type of track, vehicle load and stress…) for trending analysis and maintenance planning.