Railway Infrastructure: Monitor Bridges, Tunnels, Tracks Railway Infrastructure: Monitor Bridges, Tunnels, Tracks | HBM

Tunnel, Bridge, and Wayside Train Monitoring in Railway Infrastructure and Civil Engineering

Covering all areas of monitoring solutions for the railway industry, HBK also delivers short and long-term monitoring solutions for the railway infrastructure.

Measurements of the applied loads and stresses are necessary in order to observe changes in the material and to react in time. A reliable monitoring system can detect anomalies in time, thus enabling maintenance and repair to be implemented more efficiently, which immediately results in reduced operating costs.

Replacing schedule-driven maintenance with condition-based maintenance is the main goal of infrastructure monitoring.

Railway Infrastructure Monitoring Options


Measuring strains, forces and movements. Monitoring of deformations due to mountain movements and mountain pressures during construction or operation. Continuous monitoring of the tunnel shell and of difficult or inaccessible tunnel parts.

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Static and dynamic stress checks for prediction, material fatigue and lifespan, as short-term measurement or continuous monitoring. Precise diagnosis of structural parameters by analyzing factors such as, vibration, elongation, path and temperature.

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Tracks and Overhead lines

The strains, forces and deformations of overhead lines, rails, switches, sleepers and in the substructure, can be reliably measured and assessed under difficult electromagnetic, chemical and mechanical conditions.

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Extension of service life

Short- or long-term monitoring of the assets’ behavior and integrity can extend their service life past their design life, resulting in huge savings.


Reduction of operational risk

Early detection of damage leads to the prevention of critical assets and structural faults, reducing intervention times and repair costs.

Design validation

Instrumentation of structures during construction can be a valuable tool to validate sophisticated construction methods and new materials.

Modular Solution for Efficient Asset Health Monitoring

The HBK measurement setup offers you everything from sensor to result, plus fully integrated and customized services.

Benefit from a wide range of optical and electrical sensors, complemented by our modular DAQ solutions QuantumX and SomatXR for precise and reliable long-term data acquisition, open to integration of any sensor. Store data safely – locally in the Edge recorder and centrally in your asset management cloud – and add HBK data analytics predicting your individual maintenance plan.

Additionally, we offer a competent service and support, up to entire management of your project.


Railway Infrastructure Monitoring: Tunnels

Tunnels are at the core of our infrastructure. They are found in large cities, mountains, and even underwater.

Mechanical deformations in a tunnel may present a significant safety hazard, particularly during operation and during construction work on the tunnel itself, or in its immediate surroundings. It is essential to know the stability and reliability of the structure.

Over the past years, we have developed powerful alternatives to conventional monitoring systems for the following applications:

  • Instrumented tubbing segments
  • Deformation and convergence estimation
  • Fibre-optic inclinometer
  • Monitoring of inaccessible ceilings

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Railway Infrastructure Monitoring: Bridges

Civil engineering structures need to withstand exponentially increasing applied loads, impacts, and environmental burdens. The continuous assessment of the resulting structural behaviour is becoming mandatory, so that faults can be detected at an early stage and safety is guaranteed.

Online structural health monitoring allows anomalies to be detected in time. This optimizes maintenance and reduces operating costs.

We deliver monitoring solutions for the entire structure´s life-cycle – from its design, construction, and operation, to its rehabilitation and even turnkey solutions for end-of-service-life:

  • Continous monitoring
  • Displacement, deflection as well as inclination and vibration measurements
  • Material testing and load assessment
  • Strain and temperature distribution

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Railway Infrastructure Monitoring: Tracks, Switches, Sleeper and Overhead Lines

Tracks, switches and sleepers are important for the functionality and safety of the whole railway infrastructure. Material failure due to exposure to high and permanent loads, but also weather influences and impacts of train driving, may lead to damage and malfunction.

Measurements on leading wires, overhead lines and high voltage components pose special challenges for measurement technology. Products, compatible with electromagnetic environments, are required here.

Our measurement technology helps you with:

  • 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, for example, 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

Further Reading