Conference Proceedings


Paraic Quirke
Cathal Bowe
Eugene J. O'Brien



track vertical alignment railway dynamic model low cost cross entropy drive by vehicle rail interaction

Determination of Vertical Alignment of Track using Accelerometer Readings (2015)

Abstract Railway track vertical alignment is an important indicator of serviceability condition. Through comparisons with past history, track alignment also informs maintenance planning. The vertical alignment of a railway track excites a dynamic response in a train which can potentially be used to determine that alignment. A method is proposed in this paper for the detection of the alignment through an analysis of vehicle accelerations resulting from the train/track dynamic interaction. The Cross Entropy optimisation technique is applied to determine the railway track profile heights that best fit the measured accelerations at and above a railway carriage bogie. Such an approach, using relatively low-cost accelerometers fixed to trains in regular service, would provide inexpensive daily 'drive-by' track monitoring to complement and compare data collected by the Track Recording Vehicle (TRV). The use of a TRV is the current preferred method used to determine railway track profiles using laser based methods. Numerical validation of the concept is achieved by using a 2-dimensional quarter-car dynamic model for the railway carriage and bogie to infer the track profiles in the longitudinal direction. The interaction model is implemented in MATLAB. The track is modelled as an infinitely stiff beam featuring various grades of rail irregularity which excite the vehicle inducing a dynamic response. Ten vertical elevations are found at a time which give a least squares fit of theoretical to measured accelerations. In each time step, half of these elevations are retained and a new optimisation is used to determine the next ten elevations along the length of the track. The optimised displacements are collated to determine the overall rail track profile over a finite length of railway track. This paper reports the results of the numerical simulations and the plans that are underway to further develop the model and test the concept in field trials.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Civil Engineering Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Engineering & Architecture
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Civil Engineering

Full list of authors on original publication

Paraic Quirke, Cathal Bowe, Eugene J. O'Brien

Experts in our system

Paraic Quirke
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 5
Cathal Bowe
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 6
Eugene J. O'Brien
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 192