UK: The Institute of Railway Research at the University of Huddersfield has developed an algorithm aimed at enabling sensors fitted to Siemens GSM-R cab radios to detect track voids and potentially other rail defects.

The algorithm is intended to enable every vehicle equipped with GSM-R radio equipment to act as a track recording car, transmitting vibration data in real time. This should enable operators, fleet owners and infrastructure managers to gain insights into track quality and vehicle function, IRR says.

Initially, the partnership with Siemens covers the modification of the Tracksure sensor to enable the detection of track voids, but IRR says that the sensor could also pick up other signs of track degradation, including rail corrugation and problems in transition zones and at switches.n