USA: Georgetown Rail Equipment Co and the University of Florida’s Nuclear Engineering Department have developed Aurora Xi, a method of using X-ray backscatter technology to look deep inside sleepers to reveal internal flaws which traditional inspections might not discover.
As well as identifying decay in wooden sleepers and cracks in concrete ones, Aurora Xi can spot rail chips and cracks and flaws in rail fasteners, pads and other components.
The first road-rail vehicles with Aurora Xi are to be deployed commercially from May. They will be able to scan track at speeds in excess of 30 km/h, enabling maintenance teams to pinpoint individual sleepers and other components that need to be replaced.
‘GREX is offering the rail industry a new level of inspection accuracy through Aurora Xi’ according to President & CEO William Shell. ‘Customers can forecast the life of their sleepers with precision, as well as plan their capital maintenance programmes with complete confidence.’