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Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IN2TRACK3 (IN2TRACK3)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2021-01-01 al 2021-12-31

The European railway faces major challenges in times to come. More people prefer train to fossil-based means of transport, and it is efficient to transport goods by train over long distances. With this comes a need for improvements on the existing rail network, in order to manage the increased travelling and shipping.

Large parts of the railway network in Europe is old, and in need for maintenance and upgrading. The infrastructure managers (the companies or authorities responsible for the railway in each country) want to do the maintenance, but due to the heavy traffic, it is difficult to get the time needed to do the maintenance. Because of this (and for other reasons) things happen that causes delays for travellers and goods, with frustration and disappointment as a result – and perhaps one does not choose the train for their next trip.

In2Track3 cannot create more time for maintenance for the infrastructure managers (IM), BUT we try to help them do maintenance more efficiently and also to improve the railway in itself to reduce the need for maintenance.


Before maintenance can be done, the IM must get the information that there is a need for maintenance. One way of doing that could be to optically see that there is actually a problem. Performing an optical investigation can be difficult – with trains passing continuously on the track, it is not possible to get close enough to inspect the track, some track problems cannot be seen by the eye and special instruments are required, and problems with drainage in tunnels is something you cannot see at all until it is too late.

In2Track3 investigates methods and develops physical prototypes for doing so-called Condition Based Monitoring (CBM). The purpose of CBM is to monitor and predict the need for maintenance. That way, maintenance can be properly planned by the IM and the risk of unexpected failures could be reduced. The project also looks at ways to reduce the need for maintenance, for instance by changing materials, and ways to reduce the environmental footprint from the railway by looking at the possibility to replace chemicals and reducing the amount of material needed for replacing damage rail and sleepers.
The overall objectives for the project are

- Enhancing the existing capacity, fulfilling user demand
- Increasing the reliability delivering better and consistent quality of service
- Reducing life cycle cost, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the European rail system and European rail supply industry

Planning maintenance and preventing the need for maintenance is an important part of the cost-efficient railway prepared for higher capacities that Europe needs. With increased travelling and goods transports, the railway must improve to stay competitive and In2Track3 is part of this improvement.
A method to identify ballast conditions in crossing panels has been developed, as well as a crossing condition indicator that estimates crossing geometry status from the dynamic track response under wheel passages.

Laser cladding process for frogs to up to 5 Mio cycles (compared to 4 Mio in In2Track2). This was enabled through improvement of the heat treatment process. Results are positive and now preparing for field tests.

Optimisation of one of three different frogs has been done. This includes numerical modelling, numerical fatigue simulation and optimisation, a manufactured and installed demonstrator which is now being monitored in track. Second frog model for optimisation has been identified.

Measurements and comparisons with turnout in Vienna continue as planned after 2020 installation.

Further development of a fault-tolerant switch control system, with focus on increased stability and availability in various hardware configurations.

Basic research as part of design study for a new concept of moveable point crossing.

Development of a Crossing Restoration Machine has reached the maturity level when assembling and testing functionality of the machine is done, and FAT is next.

Testing with a grinding machine, both in a controlled environment and in open network.

Development and testing of underwater robots, one to detect scale deposits in tunnel drainage, and one to inspect scour on bridges.

Work on improving bridge shear capacity has progressed with theoretical review and analysis, identification of a bridge for installation of a shear-strengthening solution, and another bridge that has already been strengthened is monitored to measure strain, including seasonal variations.

Dynamic field tests on a bridge with a damper to better understand bridge damping and contribution of surrounding soil has been performed, and analysis and numerical modelling of data is underway.
Development of a method to identify ballast conditions in crossing panels by calibrating a multibody simulation to measured sleeper responses.

Development of a crossing condition indicator that estimates crossing geometry status from the dynamic track response under wheel passages.

Completion and publishing of a S&C simulation benchmark organised as part of In2Track2

The S2R demonstrator turnouts has been installed in Vienna. Measurements have been performed and demonstrated the benefits if the optimised turnout.

Further development of a fault tolerant switch control system

A methodology for optimisation of slab track design considering dynamic vehicle-track interaction and environmental impact has been developed.

A numerical model for predicting crack paths during varying operational conditions has been established.

Investigation of crack propagation in severely anisotropic rail materials, as found in the running surface of the railhead.

Full preparation for full-scale of slabtrack and transition zone on heavy haul line.

Improved ballasted high speed track demonstrator fully deployed in operational environment.

Development of simulation model for welding that includes thermal analysis, continuous addition of filament material and multiple weld passes.

Extensive testing of grinding machine for urban environments.

Development of a model to predict the risk of rail breaks.

Development of methodology to express stress spectra obtained during a field test by statistical distributions. Employment of the stress spectra in fatigue life evaluations.

Established novel measuring method for single value denominator of rail roughness.

Development and validation of a diagnostic method for assessment of critical areas before renovation of track.

Development of a hybrid soil-structure interaction approach for the assessment of vibrations in buildings due to railway traffic

Design of a sensor-carrying platform able to navigate partly clogged tunnel drainage systems

Development of a digital twin of a bridge including evaluation of fatigue capability utilisation.

Development of two load models for dynamic analyses of high speed bridges.

Damping estimations for portal frame bridges based on ambient vibration tests.

Progress and results includes new solutions for monitoring and improvements of tunnels and bridges.

• Tunnel drainage monitoring system - stationary and mobile sensors for tunnel drainage inspections
• Improvement of tunnel drainage - long-distance flushing systems in tunnel drainage
• Replacement of damaged lining - patch repair with flexible plate in tunnel including material optimization