Rail test with HBM: The world's leading measurement technology for railways, rail traffic and railroad companies

Sensor-based derailment detection system "Argos Derail"
Quality and Durability Tests with Argos Systems

The rail test product range and portfolio offered by HBM for the rail industry covers almost all areas that are relevant metrologically for development, checking, controlling and monitoring.

Customers around the world therefore trust the comprehensive know-how that HBM has gained over decades of cooperation with the railway industry and application service companies.

Continuous monitoring of vehicle status

HBM is the partner of Argos Systems for more safety and transparency in rail traffic. This is how Argos Systems functions:

  • Local measuring points make it possible to continuously monitor, with constant quality levels, vehicle status and superstructure load parameters.
  • The measurements do not impede traffic at normal speeds on the operational track.
  • The vehicles do not require any equipment, but vehicle identification systems (transponders) can be incorporated.

Visit the Argos Systems Website

Simulations and calculations

HBM's nCode software branch itself began in the rail industry in the 1980s, so it is no surprise many companies in the design and operation of trains continue to derive benefits from the latest generation of nCode products.

Upfront design of train structures and bogies can be optimized for fatigue performance, thus saving weight and reducing energy required and damage to tracks. Operational measurements of strain and acceleration are taken on both train structures and tracks to predict failure and also assess damage. In this way, problems can be identified before they can cause failure and thus preventing serious derailments and accidents.

Typical applications and measurements are:

  • Understand fatigue of railway components like wheels, bogies, axles, etc.
  • Understand field loading – how often are bumps seen, how many starts/stops per hour or mile, etc.
  • Fatigue analysis of structural members
  • Ride quality analysis to understand the impact of ride and track harshness on the riders
  • Remote monitoring of tracks

Learn more about HBM nCode Durability Software

Rail measurements

As part of the track structure in railway networks, rails are subject to high and permanent strains. In addition to material failures, weather influences and the effects of rail traffic can lead to various types of damage. HBM measurement technology helps in continuous monitoring of the rail network and in individual measurements on rails - for instance, in the following tasks:

  • Measurement of forces, mechanical stresses, accelerations and methods for determining lateral track displacement, longitudinal track displacement, track distortion, lateral sleeper displacement
  • Measurement of track component loading during operation
  • Investigations following changes in operating conditions, e.g. increasing axle load, speed, etc.
  • Detection and continuous monitoring or risk factors for derailments and overloading due to: Y and Q forces, load status, derailment coefficient, train formation, centrifugal force, curve travel, rolling characteristics, instabilities, rail displacement forces, wheel deformities
  • Verification of applicable rules
  • Data determination for Life Cycle Cost calculations

Measurements on carriages and rail vehicles

The current international standards (e.g. EN 15227) for rail test impose high requirements on the safety of rail vehicles. The aim of every new development in rail transport is to develop structures that are crash-safe with appropriate designs for maximum safety during collisions, impacts and crashes.

HBM measurement technology provides assistance, amongst others, for the following tasks:

  • Determination of requirements for the collision safety of passenger and driving compartments
  • Crash tests with force transducers

Road tests and acceptance runs

There are numerous application options and cases for mobile measurement data acquisition in rail traffic. Whether the dynamic behavior of railway carriages are involved or the checking of specific parameters: HBM measurement technology provides valuable services in road tests and acceptance runs.

  • For approvals: Investigations on curve junctions and/or a 190m track curve, and measurements on wheel contact and driving forces
  • Detection systems for unround wheels, vehicle detection stations, rail temperature, gauge changing systems and rail weighing bridges.

Component test bench measurements

Specific requirements must be complied with for the approval of components by national supervisory authorities (e.g. Federal rail office). Typical application cases are strength tests, driving tests and braking tests. The use of reliable measurement technology ensures a high level of safety and traceability of measurement results in these cases.

Numerous state accredited testing facilities therefore use HBM measurement technology for approvals in rail traffic, e.g. for:

  • Operation measurements for the analysis of loads and component loadings
  • Structural durability testing of wheel set shafts, bogie frames, complete wheel sets, draw gear and buffing appliances, and superstructure components
  • Experimental strength verifications on rail vehicles
  • Operational vibration analyses
  • Metrological accompaniment during introduction of new components for superstructures and their field tests
  • Investigation into effects of vibrations on components
  • Planning, performance and documentation of measurements for the documentation of the actual status
  • Measurements as per DIN 45672.

Measurements on overhead lines and high voltage components

Measurements on leading wires, overhead lines and high voltage components pose special challenges for measurement technology. The difficult electromagnetic ambient conditions often prevent the use of standard products, such as electric strain gages.

There are numerous new possibilities, with optical measurement technology based on Fiber Bragg sensors (optical strain gages, interrogators, software), for achieving correct and meaningful measurement results, even for measurements on overhead lines and high voltage components.

Optical measurement technology for rail test

Power and isolation data acquisition systems

HBM is partner of Argos Systems

Article about Fibre Optic Sensor

This article presents the project SAFE onLine (Pantograph for fibre-optic based recordingand online evaluation of the catenary condition) funded by the Austrian Research Promo-tion Agency (FFG).

Article (PDF)

DB Systemtechnik: Measurement technology in railway engineering
The European Dynotrain research project investigates to what extent computer simulations could replace part of the measurement runs in future.

IRT Australia: SoMat eDAQ used in Australian rail operations tests
The Institute for Rail Technology decided to use HBM's SoMat eDAQ data acquisition system when designing a new measurement vehicle.

Chinese tests highlight superiority of HBM’s eDAQ solutions
Comparative tests of data acquisition equipment for use on high-speed trains undertaken by the Beijing Jiaotong University in China have demonstrated the effectiveness of HBM’s SoMat eDAQ equipment when operating under extremely tough conditions

DB Minden is testing optical strain gages from HBM
At present, DB Systemtechnik in Minden, Germany, an independent testing authority, explores the possibilities resulting from the use of optical strain gages, for example K-OL from HBM.

RATP: Fatigue analysis of structure
In France, the RATP is using GlyphWorks to process data primarily coming from HBM MGCplus and SoMat eDAQ data acquisition systems.

TÜV SÜD Rail: With QuantumX on the tracks of the Glacier Express
TÜV SÜD Rail: With QuantumX on the tracks of the Glacier Express

Medellín Metro: Portable diagnosis system for mobile data acquisition
Medellín Metro: Portable diagnosis system for mobile data acquisition

WA displacement transducers used for taking measurements at trackside experiments for Austrian Railways
Inductive transducers can be used in even the severest conditions, such as on this stretch of track at Brixental in Austria.

Interfleet: making trains safer all over the world
Interfleet uses the HBM data acquisition systems QuantumX and MGCplus to carry out rail measurements in a scalable and flexible way

SIMS Professional Engineers: Reliable Data Acquisition Ensures Rail Car Safety
For a recent series of tests on a new truck trailer design, Sims Professional Engineers (SPE) chose the Somat eDAQ data acquisition system from HBM.

Chinese locomotives: Testing Electric Locomotives
The customer wanted a Data Acquisition system that can be used both as a distributed system and also a centralized system. The device must be portable, compact and rugged - suitable for in-vehicle test under harsh conditions.

DB Systemtechnik: Measurement technology in railway engineering
The European Dynotrain research project investigates to what extent computer simulations could replace part of the measurement runs in future.

IRT Australia: SoMat eDAQ used in Australian rail operations tests
The Institute for Rail Technology decided to use HBM's SoMat eDAQ data acquisition system when designing a new measurement vehicle.

Chinese tests highlight superiority of HBM’s eDAQ solutions
Comparative tests of data acquisition equipment for use on high-speed trains undertaken by the Beijing Jiaotong University in China have demonstrated the effectiveness of HBM’s SoMat eDAQ equipment when operating under extremely tough conditions

DB Minden is testing optical strain gages from HBM
At present, DB Systemtechnik in Minden, Germany, an independent testing authority, explores the possibilities resulting from the use of optical strain gages, for example K-OL from HBM.

RATP: Fatigue analysis of structure
In France, the RATP is using GlyphWorks to process data primarily coming from HBM MGCplus and SoMat eDAQ data acquisition systems.

TÜV SÜD Rail: With QuantumX on the tracks of the Glacier Express
TÜV SÜD Rail: With QuantumX on the tracks of the Glacier Express

Medellín Metro: Portable diagnosis system for mobile data acquisition
Medellín Metro: Portable diagnosis system for mobile data acquisition

WA displacement transducers used for taking measurements at trackside experiments for Austrian Railways
Inductive transducers can be used in even the severest conditions, such as on this stretch of track at Brixental in Austria.

Interfleet: making trains safer all over the world
Interfleet uses the HBM data acquisition systems QuantumX and MGCplus to carry out rail measurements in a scalable and flexible way

SIMS Professional Engineers: Reliable Data Acquisition Ensures Rail Car Safety
For a recent series of tests on a new truck trailer design, Sims Professional Engineers (SPE) chose the Somat eDAQ data acquisition system from HBM.

Chinese locomotives: Testing Electric Locomotives
The customer wanted a Data Acquisition system that can be used both as a distributed system and also a centralized system. The device must be portable, compact and rugged - suitable for in-vehicle test under harsh conditions.

Lösungen für verschiedene Aufgabenstellungen

Argos Wayside Train Monitoring

Örtliche Messstellen ermöglichen es, kontinuierlich bei Regelgeschwindigkeit die Parameter des Fahrzeugzustandes und der Oberbaubelastung zu erfassen. Gemessen werden vertikale statische und dynamische Kräfte, horizontale Kräfte und Längskräfte sowie hochpräzise die Radformen.

Komponenten auf dem Prüfstand

Für die Optimierung und auch Zulassung von Komponenten durch nationale Aufsichtsbehörden sind bestimmte Anforderungen einzuhalten. Typische Anwendungsfälle sind Festigkeitsprüfungen, fahrtechnische Prüfungen und bremstechnische Prüfungen. Der Einsatz zuverlässiger Messtechnik sorgt hier für ein Höchstmaß an Sicherheit und Rückführbarkeit der Messergebnisse.

Messungen an Oberleitungen und Hochspannungskomponenten

Messungen an Fahrdrähten, Fahrmotoren, Oberleitungen und Hochspannungskomponenten stellen eine besondere Herausforderung an die Messtechnik. Mit der optischen Messtechnik gibt es zahlreiche neue Möglichkeiten, zu korrekten und aussagekräftigen Messergebnissen auch bei Messungen an Oberleitungen und Hochspannungskomponenten zu gelangen.

Fahrversuche und Abnahmefahrten

Für die mobile Messdatenerfassung gibt es im Schienenverkehr zahlreiche Anwendungsmöglichkeiten und Einsatzfälle. Ob es um das dynamische Verhalten von Eisenbahnwaggons geht, oder Prüfungen von bestimmten Parametern: Messtechnik von HBM leistet auch bei Fahrversuchen und Abnahmefahrten wertvolle Dienste.

Messungen an Schienen, Weichen und Schwellen

Schienen, Weichen und Schwellen sind als Teil des Gleiskörpers im Bahnverkehr hohen und dauerhaften Belastungen ausgesetzt. Neben Materialfehlern können Wettereinflüsse sowie die Einwirkungen des Fahrbetriebs zu verschiedenen Schäden führen. Messtechnik von HBM hilft bei einem kontinuierlichen Monitoring des Schienennetzes und bei einzelnen Messungen an Schienen.

Simulationen und Berechnungen

Der Bereich Software HBM nCode ist in den 1980er Jahren im Umfeld der Bahnindustrie entstanden. Der Entwurf von Eisenbahnkomponenten (Fahrzeug und Oberbau) kann vorab hinsichtlich des Ermüdungsverhaltens optimiert werden, wodurch Gewicht eingespart und Energiebedarf, Beschädigungen und Verschleiß reduziert werden.

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