Condition monitoring of rail vehicle bogies

This paper details a range of work carried out by the authors within the general theme of advanced condition monitoring possibilities for rail vehicle bogies. Maintenance of rail vehicle bogies represents one of the largest areas of whole vehicle running costs and their efficient operation is of safety critical importance to the entire rail system. Currently the majority of maintenance is carried out on a scheduled basis which can be time consuming, costly and potentially not effective at fault detection. This paper reviews concepts that could allow real time detection of the condition of the bogie so as to reduce vehicle out of service time and improve safe operation. Concepts reviewed are: the use of condition monitoring for detection of suspension component condition; detection of low adhesion conditions; and assessment of the wheel-rail interface condition.