Complete turnout inspection in four minutes

Complete turnout inspection in four minutes

The parameters measured during a turnout inspection:

  • Track gauge
  • Narrowest passage (between blade and stock rail)
  • Check rail gauge
  • Flange groove
  • Rail profile

Research partners

A new non-contacting measuring system makes it possible! The system records all the necessary parameters during a short pass over the main track and the diverging one. Another great benefit: it provides detailed image data. This data can be used to assess the condition of key components such as the common crossing, blades, or important system parts such as fastenings, drive units, and cable ducts.

Every turnout in an infrastructure network must be measured regularly as a preventive measure. Doing it by hand with a turnout measuring gauge requires a great deal of manpower and time. The safety aspect complicates things further and negatively impacts operations. Measuring work in turnouts blocks multiple tracks at the same time.

This new form of turnout inspection remedies that. It is no longer necessary to enter the track’s danger zone for turnout inspections.

Measuring during regular operations

Experience in many countries has shown that the system is proven in practice. Installed on a track inspection vehicle, such as the EM100VT by Plasser & Theurer, measurement takes place in short intervals between trains. In turn, there are no operational restrictions. When measuring multiple turnouts in large railway station facilities, the intervals between trains running at night, where there is less traffic, are sufficient. For example, 61 turnouts were measured on the night of 8 March 2023 in St. Pölten, Austria. Another major advantage: it is not necessary to travel according to a specific pattern. The system recognizes the pass and correctly assigns it to the relevant turnout. Synchronization occurs with the aid of master data and GPS. An average value of only four minutes per turnout can be determined based on operations like the one in this example.