Condition monitoring opportunities using vehicle-based sensors

Recent increases in railway patronage worldwide have created pressure on rolling stock and railway infrastructure through the demand to improve the capacity and punctuality of the whole system, and this demand must also be balanced with reducing life-cycle costs. Condition monitoring is seen as a significant contributor in achieving this. The emphasis of this article is on the use of sensors mounted on rolling stock to monitor the condition of infrastructure and the rolling stock itself. This is set in the context of modern rolling stock being fitted with high-capacity communication buses and multiple sensors, resulting in the potential for advanced processing of collected data. This article brings together linked research that uses a similar set of rolling stock sensors, and discusses: general usage and benefits, a track defect detection method, running gear condition monitoring, and absolute train speed detection.