UK: TRL and Balfour Beatty are co-operating on a trial to use instrumented wheelsets to monitor acceleration data from a Class 159 diesel multiple-unit used by South West Trains. The project partners are assessing how best to interpret the acceleration data to assess any correlation with poor railhead adhesion.

TRL has added accelerometers to the DMU’s wheelsets which were already fitted with Balfour Beatty’s TrueTrak geometry monitoring tool. The equipment was fitted in August 2014 and is to be operated throughout the winter period; the DMU typically covers around 1 000 km per day on routes between London and the west of England, generating around 3 GB of data.

TRL hopes the trials could eventually lead to development of a tool able to inform drivers about adhesion conditions in real time.