Enhancing rail operations through advanced connectivity

Dr. Elizabeth da Silva, Wesley Gilbert, Dr. Oliver Hirsch, TE Connectivity

Summary

The railway industry is striving for ever-greater levels of operational efficiencies, at the same time as it is competing with other modes of transportation. This article introduces two technology innovations that will reduce costs and improve operation of electric and diesel railways. A new-generation roofline system reduces aerodynamic drag and the overall height of electric rolling stock. It reduces operating costs as the smooth and low-profile modular system requires less traction energy (therefore lower energy bills). The second innovation is a condition monitoring system based on crankshaft torsional vibration collected from speed sensors giving information on key components inside the engine of diesel locomotives. The system identifies components that are nearing the end of their life, enabling the operator to carry out maintenance only when needed. This monitoring system has the potential to make significant savings for operators.

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