INTRO: Norway’s infrastructure authority is developing with MerMec a self-propelled car that can record track geometry and rail profiles at 200 km/h, as well as static and dynamic measurement of the catenary

BYLINE: Dr Tom Hultgreen

Norwegian National Rail Administration

OCTOBER 4 1998 sees the introduction of 200 km/h trains in Norway when the Gardermobanen opens, bringing the centre of Oslo within 20min of our new national airport (RG 2.97 p107). Although construction and operation of the airport line is the responsibility of NSB Gardermobanen AS, this project is just one outstanding example of the upgrading and construction of new lines which is taking place throughout Norway.

Maintenance and development of the national rail infrastructure is the responsibility of Jernbaneverket, the Norwegian National Rail Administration. Higher speeds mean that track geometry must be improved substantially to achieve acceptable ride quality. This can only be done economically with the aid of modern diagnostic systems which not only evaluate and predict the state of the infrastructure accurately, comprehensively, and at low cost, but can also relate different parameters such as track gauge and cant as an integral part of the analysis.

Multi-function recording car

In January 1997 Jernbaneverket signed a contract with MerMec SpA of Italy for the development and delivery of an innovative infrastructure monitoring system, using a high speed multi-function measuring and recording car. This was an important milestone in the process of establishing a Norwegian Infrastructure Recording Service.

The task of our Recording Service is to collect, process and store all kinds of infrastructure data, and disseminate the information to users. The organisation consists of a central In-Office service with real-time communications links to on-track recording vehicles; these are known as On-Board units. There are also direct telecommunications links from the In-Office and from individual On-Board units to users of the data, such as engineers responsible for track and catenary maintenance.

The Recording Service offers users four basic modes of operation: